Moscow Forced to Use Fake Snow in Holiday Display

Residents used to harsh winters can expect more like this one
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2019 5:45 PM CST
Moscow Forced to Use Fake Snow in Holiday Display
Performers wearing Russian traditional carnival masks take part in a Moscow celebration last Friday at a holiday market on Red Square, decorated for holiday celebrations.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

With Russia having its warmest winter on record, an executive decision was made: The government is trucking in artificial snow to Moscow in time for the city's New Year's celebration. The shipments are being added to a holiday display in the city center, the Guardian reports. An Instagram post including a photo of a small pile of snow with fencing said: "This is all the snow there is in Moscow. It is being guarded on the Red Square." Some of the snow—broken-up ice from skating rinks—was going to the building of a small snowboarding hill, a city official said. The effort was there, but some people quoted in the Moscow Times were disappointed at the effect, per the BBC. "It's not festive at all," one person said. "It's already turned beige or gray," another complained.

The city is more accustomed to spending a fortune removing snow. But a Russian climatologist said this month that warm winters "are a direct consequence of global warming—they will happen more frequently." He said the average winter temperature in Moscow has climbed 4 degrees over the past 30 years. "We've effectively jumped from December to November," he told the RIA Novosti news agency. Moscow hit 42 degrees on Dec. 18, beating the previous high recorded in 1886. "Winters used to be a lot harder here," said one resident visiting the holiday decorations. The city did get a light dusting of snow Monday afternoon. (The thawing could transform Siberia.)

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