Cold Snap Leads Moscow to Turn On Heat Early

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Cold Snap Leads Moscow to Turn On Heat Early


Cold Snap Leads Moscow to Turn On Heat Early

26 Sep 08 - Moscow is caught in the grip of an unusually early winter chill and, with most apartments hooked up to the city's centralized heating system, residents are just plain cold. Authorities have avoided turning on the heat because of a rule that requires the outside temperature to remain below 8 degrees Celsius for more than five days in a row.

But City Hall decided this week to make an exception and turn on the heat for all apartments by next Wednesday -- two weeks earlier than usual. In the meantime, residents are shivering, buying electric heaters or just slipping into the hot tub, like Shuvalova.

Moscow temperatures were 8 to 10 C in the second and third weeks of September, 1 to 2 degrees lower than average for this time of year, said Nikolai Volobuyev, deputy head of the federal weather bureau.

"This is a considerable drop for the fall, when every degree is important," he said.

The temperature on Sept. 1, the first day of school, when outdoor welcoming ceremonies are held on school grounds around Moscow, was 8 C.

Under city rules, the heat is turned on for residential buildings after the temperature is lower than 8 C for more than five days, which is usually the case in mid-October, department spokeswoman Marina Gaze said.

Some residents are fed up with the system. "I would prefer to decide for myself whether it is cold or warm in my apartment to start heating it," said Yelena Rusakova, a high school teacher browsing electric heaters at the Rizhsky market on Thursday. Rusakova, who bought two heaters, added that she was also tired of the centralized hot water system, which leads to hot water being turned off for several weeks every summer.

Moscow stores, meanwhile, are seeing the sale of electric heaters soar as people try to fight off the September cold. Sales at the Tekhnosila electronics chain have jumped more than 150 percent in the first three weeks of September in comparison to the same period last year, said store spokeswoman Nadezhda Senyuk. "We are really busy day and night trying to supply our stores with these kinds of things. On weekends, everything is usually sold out," she said.



22 Sep 08 - An international team of earth scientists reports finding warmed sea water moving through the flat, Pacific Ocean floor off Costa Rica.

Located between 50 and 150 miles offshore, the region studied covers an area the size of Connecticut. The sea floor, some two miles below, contains about 10 widely separated outcrops or mounts rising from extinct volcanic rock beneath the sedimentary crust.

Carol Stein, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her colleagues found that seawater on this cold ocean floor is flowing through cracks and crevices faster and in greater quantity than typically found at mid-ocean ridges formed by rising lava. Water temperatures, while not as hot as by the ridge lava outcrops, are surprisingly warm as well.

"It's like finding Old Faithful in Illinois," said Stein. "When we went out to try to get a feel for how much heat was coming from the ocean floor and how much sea water might be moving through it, we found that there was much more heat than we expected at the outcrops."

The water gushing from sea floor protrusions warms as it moves through the insulated volcanic rock and picks up heat.

The findings were reported in a letter printed in Nature Geoscience's September 2008 issue. The lead author is Michael Hutnak, now with the U.S. Geological Survey.

See entire article:
Thanks to Larry Lund for this info



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