Expect shorter winters, longer summers

4 November 2014 10:00 (UTC+04:00)

By Nigar Orujova

In Azerbaijan, summer season may prolong with the number of cold winter days decreasing. The trend is reflected in the climate scenarios of the centers engaged in climate data collection, the Institute of Geography of the Azerbaijan's National Academy of Sciences said.

An average annual air temperature is expected to increase by two degrees in the next 50 years in Azerbaijan.

It may seem not a big deal but bear in mind that during the thousand-year period prior to the twentieth century, the average annual temperature has risen only by 1.5 degrees. From bad to worse, in a short period of time from 1950s to the late 20th century, the average annual temperature has risen by 0.6 degrees.

The average annual temperature has increased by 0.2-0.7 degrees from 1960 to 2000 in Azerbaijan. If forecasts on a two-degree increase turn to be right, the duration of the summer and winter will change. The duration of the summer will increase by 15-20 days, and it will end in late September - early October.

Despite the treacherous weather in this October, the dry summer is still in mind. This torrid summer damaged some of the agricultural products in Azerbaijan. The drought is expected to affect the future of the country, scientists believe.

It has already left serious consequences in the eastern part of the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus - in Shamakhi, Gobustan regions, on the flat part of Ismayilli and Shirvan plain.

This year the drought has destroyed crops fields in Shaki, Shamakhi and Gobustan. It has also created problems with vegetation of summer pastures in Guba-Gusar region, and reduced vegetation significantly, which cause damage to livestock.

The longer summer will be felt most in areas located below 1,000 meters above sea level, and 73 percent of regions in Azerbaijan are located on this altitude. The regions include Baku, Absheron, Gobustan, Neftchala, Salyan, Saatli, Sabirabad, Goychay, Agdam, Agdash, Barda, Agjabedi, Yevlakh, most part of Gazakh, Shabran, Siyazan, coastal part of Khachmaz, Lankaran and Astara region. These are the territories that already suffer from heat and drought in summer.

The geography institute stressed the climatic seasons are characterized by a certain average temperature. When the average daily temperature constantly exceeds 17.5 degrees, it means the beginning of the summer season.

Duration of summer also depends on the latitude, and from this point, Azerbaijan has quite a large number of sunny days, and the amount of precipitation decreases.

Conversely, when the temperature falls below 17.5 degrees reaching 8-10 degrees, the fall begins. The lower temperature indicates the start of winter while the increase from 8-10 degrees to 17.5 degrees, shows the beginning of spring.

Today, the longest season in Azerbaijan is summer, which lasts 105-116 days, when average summer around the world takes 90-91 days. Spring in the Land of Fire lasts 90 days, autumn - 75-80 days. The shortest season continues for 60-65 days.

Scientists predict the climate change in Azerbaijan will lead to fewer crops in the next 20-30 years. Thus, special attention must be paid to planting and developing drought- resistant crops in the country, for this end, the country now plans to import new kinds of wheat resistant against the drought. Nearly 10,000 tons of new kinds of wheat will be imported this year.

These changes will also affect the population's health. The changes of weather around the globe are connected with the global warming, which has been on the rise due to greenhouse gases emission. However, there is still time to change the situation for the better, if the globe population thinks a little more about nature.