Russia, Siberia, Warmest Winter on Record. New Theory on Mysterious Craters.

March 8, 2015


MOSCOW, March 2. The outgoing winter, which ended a couple of days ago according to the calendar, has proved the warmest in the history of weather monitoring in Russia conducted since 1891, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring said on Monday.

Over the past winter the average air temperatures in almost all Russian regions were two degrees above the norm as a minimum; on some territories it was even warmer. The past winter proved particularly mild in the Central, Northwest, Siberian and the Far Eastern Federal Districts, where seasonal air temperatures were 4-7 degrees above the norm.

The 2014-2015 winter beat a record earlier set by the 1962 winter by 0.5 degrees. The past winter was one of the four warmest winters in Moscow’s history, ranking fourth after almost equally warm winters registered in 1961, 1989 and 2008.


The mild winter in Russia was a result of being centered in a zone of abnormal warm weather that set in on the whole territory of Eurasia, in the west of North America, starting from Alaska to Mexico, and spreading to the central Atlantic area. It was warm whirls of wind from the Atlantic area that made the past winter in Russia particularly mild.

But, the east of the United States and Canada , the northwestern area of Africa and some territories in India suffered from a spell of winter cold last year, although a gap between abnormally low and normal air temperatures on these territories was essentially lower than on the territories where the last winter was mild.

A general conclusion was that the 2014-2015 winter was the warmest in the Northern Hemisphere in the history story of weather monitoring, The average air temperatures last winter were higher than the previous” warm” record set in 2006-2007.

National Geographic:

When a massive and mysterious hole was discovered in Siberia last July (see pictures), social media users pointed to everything from a meteorite to a stray missile to aliens to the Bermuda Triangle as possible causes. But the most plausible explanation seemed to be the explosive release of melting methane hydrate—an ice-like material frozen in the Arctic ground—thanks to global warming.

Now, scientists are arguing that the methane theory is unlikely, based on new satellite surveys released by Russian researchers that found dozens of new craters in Siberia.

“The jury is still out” on the cause of Siberia’s craters, says Carolyn Ruppel, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gas Hydrates Project. (see my 2014 interview with Dr. Ruppel here) But she and other scientists say the new satellite mapping suggests another explanation that has to do with the rapid melting of ice cores called pingos.

A pingo is a plug of ice that forms near the surface over time and has a small mound or hill on top.

When an ice plug melts rapidly—as many have been, thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures in Siberia over the past year—it can cause part of the ground to collapse, forming a crater. But that process alone isn’t enough to explain the ejected rocks that have been found around the rim of the craters, which suggest some sort of explosion.

Instead, Ruppel theorizes that the craters were formed by a sudden release of natural gas that had been stored in the permafrost but was kept under pressure by the weight of the pingo.

This theory is bolstered by the Russian satellite data, which show pingos—they appear as small mounds—in the exact positions where the craters later formed.

There are many more pingos across Siberia, as well as on Alaska’s North Slope, so there’s substantial risk of additional craters opening up as the planet continues to warm, Ruppel says.


3 Responses to “Russia, Siberia, Warmest Winter on Record. New Theory on Mysterious Craters.”

  1. celticlord88 Says:

    My friends in Russia told me that the winter was abnormally warmer than usual with temperatures rising above freezing on numerous days.

  2. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    If it is confirmed that these craters originate from pingos, then a pongo would be a logical name for the result.

    When a pingo goes ping, it makes a pongo that pongs!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Couldn’t resist, could you? Actually I’m just miffed because I was thinking along the same lines and you beat me to the punch. I did NOT, however, give you that thumb down for getting there first—-that’s likely Omno’s work—-he seems to be in a surly mood this AM—-it must be getting really gloomy and depressing in his mother’s basement. Spring will soon arrive, and he can move out to her garden shed.

      Actually, I’m old enough to remember the Andrews sisters and I was working on using their old song “….bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo, …,no,no, no…”.

      And ignoring whether it should be pingos that pong resulting in pongos that ping or vice-versa, I will go back to the question I asked that moron Russell Cook when he declared that pongos were THE answer to the craters.

      The photos of pingos that I googled showed them with water in them, as was to be expected from the melting of a “plug” of ice just below the surface. Most pics of the larger craters show no lake within—-just a hole. Since there is a layer of permafrost underlaying the pingos, where did the meltwater go in the empty ones? Could it be they were formed by gas explosions, the gas dissipated, and that’s why we can see Chinese coal miners in the bottoms?

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