Дата публикации: 09 ноября 2021
Автор(ы): Alexander MAKOSKO
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №5, 2013, C.88-97
Номер публикации: №1636448963

Alexander MAKOSKO, (c)

by Alexander MAKOSKO, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), deputy head of Rosgidromet


On March 23, 2013, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) set up in 1959, its 191 member-countries and the world community marked the World Meteorological Day. They also marked the 50th anniversary of the World Weather Service created on the initiative of the USA and the USSR. WMO is a specialized agency of the UNO in the field of meteorology, officient hydrology and related geophysical sciences, an authoritative source of information on problems of the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere and its interaction with oceans, formed climate and emerging distribution of water resources. Rosgidromet with a network of hydrometeorological and aerological stations represents Russia in this global observation system. This year the motto of the World Meteorological Day was "Meteorological Observations for Protection of Life and Property" initiated by the Russian delegation.




Rosgidromet marked its 179th anniversary this year as in April of 1834 according to "the imperial assent" being effective as law and signed by Emperor Nicholas I, the Normal Observatory and a number of its branches attached to the Mining Engineers Corps established in St. Petersburg started regular meteorological and magnetic observations under common guidance in our country.


However, back in the 16th century a detailed geographical description of Muscovy from the Barents Sea to the Black and Caspian seas and from the Gulf of Finland to the Ob and Yenisei rivers was prepared and at the same time the chroniclers collected a lot of information on extreme acts of nature for the past 15 centuries and included them in the Russian Chronograph. Later on, by order of tsar Ivan IV they were included in the Illuminated Manuscript Collection illustrated with

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wonderful color miniature pictures, which have no equal in the world history.


In the reign of Peter I there started daily weather observations, a substantial part of which came down to our days. The cultural shifts of the first half of the 18th century paved the way for creation of the Academy of Sciences in Russia, and one of the areas of its activities became conducting of the first instrumental meteorological observations by Acad. Friedrich Christopher Mayer from December 1, 1725. At the same time such observation networks were launched in the country including Siberia.


The outstanding Russian scientist Acad. Mikhail Lomonosov placed high emphasis on the elaboration of fundamentals of meteorological science and meteorological instrument-making. He raised a question of organization of an international weather service, a wide network of meteorological stations and observatories. In the middle of the 18th century he drew attention to such a completely unstudied phenomenon of gigantic forces of nature as atmospheric electricity. Besides, Lomonosov suggested the first hypothesis explaining electrization of thunderclouds.


In the same epoch the Great Northern Expedition, planned earlier by Peter I, covered by observations vast expanses from Yekaterinburg to Yakutsk. The instructions for observers were drawn up in 1732 by Acad. Daniil Bernulli, author of the basic work Hydrodynamics (1738), one of the founders of this science, whose principles are widely used in modern methods of weather forecasts.


Leonard Euler, an outstanding mathematician, mechanic, physicist and astronomer, applied higher mathematics in the theory of cartographic projections and for the first time used functions of a complex variable in it. His works Marine Science or Treatise on Shipbuilding and Navigation (1749) and Theory of Motion of Solids (1765) were a substantial contribution to the

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development of general hydromechanics and also kinematics and dynamics of the solid. He also was the first to construct an ideal fluid flow equations widely used in theoretical studies even now.


In the early 19th century a great deal of proposals appeared for creation of a regular hydrometeorological observations service. All these proposals served as a basis for a service organization project, whose implementation was taken up by a talented scientist and organizer Acad. Adolph Kupffer. His activities led to creation of the Main Physical Observatory (today the Main Geophysical Observatory) in 1849. From that time on there started organization of a regular network of meteorological and magnetic observations as well as printing and dissemination of observation materials and creation of meteorological instrument-making and an instrument verification system.


In 1850 in Edinburgh Kupffer appealed to Western countries to follow Russia's example. He wrote: "Had this system been accepted by all states of the enlightened world, directors of these institutions from all countries could have met from time to time to discuss the progress of observations and improvements to be derived from their cumulative work." The proposals of Russia concerning basic principles of international meteorological cooperation were realized at the Vienna Meteorological Congress in 1873, when the International Meteorological Committee was set up with an active participation of Acad. Heinrich Wild, successor to Kupffer.


As a head of the observatory (1865), he left a bright trace in national and world meteorology. At the Vienna Congress of 1873 he was elected as a member of the International Meteorological Committee and at the first international congress in Riga in 1879 he was elected president of this committee and headed it for 17 years. His name is associated with organization of weather and storm warning services, publication of meteorological bulletins, creation of summary works and reference aids in meteorology, and development of meteorological instrument-making.


At the end of the 19th century by virtue of efforts of Acad. Mikhail Rykachev unification of meteorological networks continued as well as further development of the required observations service, the weather forecast service and climate studies. It was he who laid the groundwork for the aerological service, whose development started almost forty years later.


On June 21, 1921, at the hard time of the Civil War, the Soviet of People's Commissars of the RSFSR passed a "Decree on the Organization of the Meteorological Service of the RSFSR" signed by Lenin. The decree not only legalized activities of the Main Physical Observatory as a meteorological center of the country but also provided wide possibilities for further development of meteorological studies. Thus, an Interdepartmental Meteorological Committee chaired by the observatory director was set up to coordinate actions on the development of geophysical and meteorological studies in accordance with the needs of various branches of national economy. In 1921-1929, a process of creating meteorological bureaus in the union republics, territories and regions was under way. On August 7, 1929, a resolution was adopted for creation of the Unified Hydrometeorological Service of the USSR.


A new stage in its development began in the 1960s, when the Main Department of Hydrometeorological Service was headed by Acad. Yevgeny Fyodorov, a noted scientist and organizer. At that time a number of institutes joined this service too. A large-scale scientific experimental base was created in Obninsk. It included the Institute of Experimental Meteorology (today a part of the NPO Taifun), the Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information--the World Data Center and the Research Institute of Agricultural Meteorology. The West Siberian Research Hydrometeorological Institute was also established in Novosibirsk. The meteorological networks and efficient bodies were expanded and strengthened in the provinces, and new experimental bases came into existence.

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The Hydrometeorological Service was entrusted with an accomplishment of a number of new crucial missions such as creation of monitoring services for air and water bodies, an active action on hydrometeorological and geophysical processes and phenomena. A great impetus was given to research methods in meteorology, hydrology, oceanology and studies of natural resources. This research was coordinated by the Planeta Scientific Research Center (Moscow). The introduction of computer science, numerical methods of weather analysis and forecast, automated systems of getting, processing, presentation and dissemination of information has totally transformed the technological processes developed and used in the Hydrometeorological Service, which has received new first-class research ships and aircraft.


From 1974 to 1991 the Hydrometeorological Service was headed by the prominent scientist, corresponding member (full member from 1994) of the USSR Academy of Sciences Yuri Izrael. During this time the Hydrometeorological Service reached its heyday for the whole history of its existence. The transformation of the Hydrometeorological Service into the USSR State Committee for Hydrometeorology and Control of Natural Environment in 1978 was indicative of its role in life security of the country.


After collapse of the USSR the functional integrity of the Unified Hydrometeorological Service was impaired considerably, although even under the circumstances it preserved interrelation and coordination of its activities in the CIS countries.




At present the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet) is subordinated to the RF Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology and comprises 7 departments (in federal dis-

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tricts) and 23 administrations for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring, and majority of the latter include branches or centers for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring located in major cities. Under the jurisdiction of Rosgidromet there are 17 research institutes including two having the status of a state scientific center (Gidrometcenter of Russia and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute) and the Institute of Advanced Training of Top Officials and Specialists. Rosgidromet includes also three paramilitary services of active influence on hydrometeorological processes. Starting from 1999 meteorological agencies have been set up for specialized hydrometeorological security. Rosgidromet remains one of the major bodies in the World Meteorological Organization.


There is an extensive network of meteorological and hydrological stations and posts in Russia. Of great importance are observations carried out by special radiodetectors and meteorological Earth satellites. Aerological observations are conducted by radio-sounding apparatuses on a network of special stations. We carry out studies of upper layers of the atmosphere by meteorological and geophysical rockets and observations on the seas and oceans with the aid of specially equipped research vessels and also buoys. In recent years we realized a number of important advanced developments for meteorological observations concerning models and methods of forecasts and regime calculations, instruments, methods of getting, processing and storing information, development of means of communication and computer engineering, and modernization of observation networks.


It is planned to develop and install 140 Doppler meteorological radars DMRL-S of a new generation. They will provide information on cloudiness, precipitation and related dangerous meteorological phenomena within a radius of 250 km and the altitude range up to 20 km. They will be also used for meteorological support of aviation, agriculture, etc. Information obtained by them can be used in the long term to enhance the quality of forecasts of dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena such as heavy showers, hail, squalls, sand-storms, etc. Seven such DMRL-S and another 10 were installed respectively in 2011 and 2012 in Sheremetyevo, Arkhangelsk, Stavropol, Ufa, Kostroma, Barabinsk, Petrozavodsk, Orenburg, on Valdai Hills and in other places.


The heliogeophysical monitoring system shows dynamic development. For example, 19 ionospheric observation points were set up in 2012 and also 2 thematic centers--Center of Monitoring of Heliogeophysical Situation over the Russian Federation territory and Center of Monitoring of Geophysical Situation over its southern region. The creation of the YaK-42D flight lab equipped with geophysical monitoring instruments is nearing its completion, and its flight tests are under way.


Rosgidromet participated in flight tests of the space complex Kanopus-V with a device Kanopus-V No. 1 launched on July 22, 2012, from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Now it

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is put into operation. The complex will be helpful in efficient monitoring of technogenic and natural emergency situations, dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena, agricultural activities, natural resources and specified regions of the ground surface.


We have started work on the creation and development of a subsystem for the collection of hydrometeorological, geophysical and other data through geostationary space vehicles Elektro and Luch. During 2012 a trial operation of Meteor-M No. 1 and Elektro-L No. 1 satellites was in progress. More than 300 meteorological stations will be equipped with data transmission facilities through Elektro No. 1 satellite.


Rosgidromet is actively developing the National Unified System of Information on the World Ocean State (ESIMO) for information support of marine activities. The number of calls to its portal increases annually, and now it makes up about 2,000 daily visits on average. An interactive electronic chart also remains in force (over 3,500 layers including 400 on-line information). In 2013 we shall complete creating of a fully functioning ESIMO.


Implementation of the project "Modernization and Technical Reequipment of Rosgidromet Institutions and Organizations" started in 2005 with the aid of the World Bank. The project implies computing machinery, keeping of archives of information and communication facilities, modernization of observation networks, and increase in readiness to emergency situations.




The annual number of hydrometeorological phenomena has an upward trend both at the expense of urbanization of Russia and expansion of economic activities and also due to climatic changes. For example, 2012 was an anomalous year in the number of dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena which increased as compared with the past years and did great harm to economy. They resulted in the loss of over 190 lives and the material loss of more than 200 bln rubles.


Agriculture greatly depends on weather conditions and climate. Its productivity is affected materially by soil and air humidity, amount of precipitation and heat. It is not accidental that already at the end of the 19th century an independent branch of meteorology, namely, agrometeorology, formed. It should be noted that in the last years the conditions for formation of basic crops harvest in a number of regions of the country were unfavorable. The winter crops were lost, and the regime of an emergency situation was introduced in 20 subjects of Russia due to a heavy drought. Therefore, the weather forecasts, including those of a soil moisture reserve, carried out by Rosgidromet and also space monitoring of crops (together with the RAS Institute of Space Research) have significant importance for agricultural needs.


It is customary for us to provide related on-line information and work out storm warning measures on all

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dangerous meteorological and geophysical phenomena such as magnetic storms, Solar flares, tornado, hurricanes, heavy showers with thunderstorms, tsunami, avalanches, hail, sudden floods, droughts, fires, etc. Monitoring of these phenomena and enhanced accuracy and timely forecasts allow averting of the threat for people and their property. After all, it is these data, which serve as a basis for the respective ministries and departments, including the Russian Federation Ministry of Emergencies (MChS), to take appropriate steps for protection of the population and infrastructure of the country.


Of great importance for prompt actions and efficiency of the storm warning system are situation centers, and 5 of them were created in 2012, while 40 observations points were covered by a network of videoconferences. They enable Rosgidromet to make full use of its participation in the MChS activities to prevent dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena.


Frequent rapid springs in Russia coupled with rains form high water levels with possible flooding of territories. In such cases it is of crucial importance to inform appropriate departments to take necessary steps. Our annual reports describe in detail data on opening of rivers after break-up of ice in European and Asiatic parts of the country and warn of spring flood levels on rivers and possible flooding of lowland coastal cities and population centers. No doubt, this information helps reduce risks of sudden flooding. An important point is that any citizen of the country has an opportunity to get acquainted with a forecast of interest on the official site of Rosgidromet: http://www.meteorf.ru/default.aspx.


Further, the marine forecasts prepared by efficient forecasting subunits of Rosgidromet and Rosgidrometcenter of Russia are submitted with a time interval from 1 to 60 hours. Thus, only the last year our institutions released and brought to consumers over 2,300 storm warnings, whose accuracy reached 92 percent.


Such natural hazard as tsunami is extremely dangerous for people. The hazard information system is especially urgent for public safety in the Far-Eastern region. The warning system updated in 2009-2012 allowed a double reduction of possible false alarms and also tsunami hazard warning during 8-10 minutes from the earthquake start, which is a significant time length. It is not accidental that this system demonstrated its high reliability and operating speed in the conditions of the real seismic event which took place on March 13, 2012, in the northeast of Japan and on December 7 near its eastern coast.

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As a result, it was managed to size up the situation in due time and make a conclusion that there was no threat for the Russian coastal area. Note that the following institutions participate in the tsunami warning system operation: Rosgidromet, the RAS Geophysical Service, MChS of Russia, the Russian Ministry of Information and Communications, and administrations of the Far-Eastern region subjects.


Jointly with the RAS (in particular, the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology and others) we carry out a tsunami generation analysis of the Black and Azov seas for making decision on creation of a warning system in that region.


Here we must emphasize marine expeditionary studies. Their main objective in 2012 was radiation monitoring of the northern and eastern seas. Thus, a joint Russian-Norwegian expedition took place to the sites of nuclear waste and spent fuel burial in the Kara Sea as well as a multi-purpose Arctic sea-based expedition Yamal-Arctic Regions 2012, and the radiation situation in the coastal regions of the Russian Far East was studied with a view to the Fukushima-1 accident.




The hydrometeorological and heliographical information, including that on contamination of the environment, which Rosgidromet passes on a regular basis to the population, government authorities and economy, is improved constantly and becomes more accurate. The accuracy of daily weather forecasts in 2012 made up 96 percent, though information on weather changes can be reported 5.6 days on average in advance with authenticity not lower than 70 percent.


Civil aviation is in a special need of similar reports as flight safety, regularity and efficiency depend on them. The required information is supplied by aviation meteorological stations. Results of their work speak for themselves: no air accidents or incidents have happened due to unsatisfactory meteorological support in the country in the past years.


The assessment and forecasts of radiological safety of crews and passengers are now a new line of aviation servicing. The point is that at a high flight altitude the effect of space radiation on man increases considerably (for example, in case of a transpolar flight man can get a quarter of the annual radiation dose and in case of a solar flare it can get a total dose or even cause X-ray sickness). Therefore, the Fyodorov Institute of Applied Geophysics attached to Rosgidromet has suggested warning measures for passengers concerning the state and forecast of space weather.


Active influence on different hydrometeorological processes are also under way to control and, above all, decrease possible harm to the population and economy. It implies protection of agricultural crops from hail, people and different economic entities from snow avalanches, etc. By the way, the work on the protection of

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agricultural crops from hail is especially active in Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, the republics of Adygeya, North Ossetiya-Alaniya, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya and Kabardino-Balkaria. There Rosgidromet specialists add an ice-forming agent (Agl type) to hail-dangerous clouds by means of Alazan rockets. As a result, the crops survive and economic efficiency makes billions of rubles.


Of no less importance are special forecasts of landslides made by our staff members. Contemporary devices allow to warn about them 48-72 hours in advance, which is sufficient to take appropriate safety measures and avoid disastrous effects.


Modern methods of climate forecasting use used also in handling of practical problems in power industry. That is why an interdepartmental seminar "Influence of Climatic Changes on Energy Production and Consumption in Russia" was held at the Voeykov Main Geophysical Observatory--Climatic Center of Rosgidromet--on March 20, 2013. This project was carried out by the observatory experts supported by the Embassy of Great Britain in Moscow. They discussed the influence of climatic changes on energy production and consumption in Russia with account of prognostic assessments of the related industry development. The results of the analysis served as a basis for working out a set of recommendations on adaptation to climatic changes in the sector of energy production and consumption in different climatic zones of the Russian Federation.




Alongside with other organizations of our country Rosgidromet promotes geopolitical interests of Russia in Arctic Regions and maintains the positions won earlier by national science. This conditioned creation of the Russian Scientific Center on the Spitsbergen Archipelago by Rosgidromet with the support of the RAS. The construction of infrastructure facilities for the said center is under way now under the subprogram "Exploration and Utilization of Arctic Regions" (2009-2013). For example, in 2012 the design and survey work was carried out to reconstruct the Barentsburg building into a laboratory and another construction into a storehouse. There was also built a station for receipt, processing and transmission of satellite information. In 2013 it is planned to reconstruct Building No. 2 into a laboratory of the Center, to create four scientific test grounds, namely, meteorological, ecological, cryosphere-hydrological and oceanographical, and also to install remote aerials of the station for receiving satellite information.


The work is in progress on modernization and renewal of the Russian Antarctic Expedition infrastructure. Besides, on November 15, 2012, the RF Government released a resolution "On the Powers of Federal Executive Authorities Connected with Regulation of Activities in Antarctic Regions". It specifies a field of activities of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of the Environment in this region. In this context it is important to note that the Antarctic Expedition is already working for many years (since 1955) and is under control of different departments with Rosgidromet acting as an operator coordinating their activities, including those of the expedition as a participant of the subprogram "Studies and Exploration of the Antarctic Regions" of the national target program "The World Ocean".

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Geological and geophysical studies are under way in the southern polar region of the Earth related to global climatic changes and the Vostok subglacial lake located in the region of the Vostok Antarctic station (77 °S, 105 °E), geodetic and cartographic operations are carried out as well as ground support of the required space activities.


Routine geomagnetic and aerometeorological observations and also different research activities are now in progress at the Bellingshausen Antarctic station set up by the Soviet Antarctic Expedition on February 22, 1968, and named after the famous Russian navigator Faddey Bellingshausen.


On December 21, 2012, the new scientific expedition vessel Academician Tryoshnikov put out to sea from St. Petersburg for its first trip bound for the Antarctic Regions. The vessel successfully passed ice tests near the coasts of the Antarctic and proved its design standards. Having covered the distance of 21,773 marine miles including 1,568 miles in the ice field and 3, 138 miles in the Antarctic bergy waters, the vessel Academician Tryoshnikov completed successfully its navigation and reached St. Petersburg on April 11, 2013.


The Academician Tryoshnikov is the first Russian expedition vessel built in the post-perestroika period in the national shipyard and corresponding to the modern international standards. It bears the name of Alexei Tryoshnikov, a polar researcher and a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He headed many polar expeditions in a period from 1977 to 1991, was President of the USSR Geographical Society and from 1960 to 1981 headed the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.


The Academician Tryoshnikov is designed for delivery of cargo, staff members of arctic stations, for research works and studies of natural processes and phenomena in the ocean.


The drilling of a super-deep ice borehole at the Vostok station is the most significant Russian scientific project in the Antarctic Regions. The work was carried out in the most severe climatic conditions on the Earth (the registered absolute temperature minimum was -89.2 °C, and the station was located at a height of more than 3,400 m above sea level). The lake area is 16,000 km2, the length is about 300 km, the width--50 km and the depth reaches 1,200 m. Here in February of 2012 specialists of the glaciological drilling party of Russian Antarctic Expedition No. 57 of Rosgidromet penetrated into a relict subglacial lake at a depth mark of 3,769. 3 m. The field and research works were carried out by specialists of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Rosgidromet and St. Petersburg State Mining Institute.


The analyses of ice cores allowed reconstruction of temperature variations for a period of 420,000 years, which is extremely important for understanding of reasons for contemporary global climatic changes. The ice core revealed unique thermophilic bacteria typical of biodiversity of hot geyser springs. This fact is an evidence of a riftogenic origin of the lake syncline with a possible existence of geothermal streams at its bottom and accordingly, of a unique flora and fauna. Further research will provide new knowledge of living organisms evolution in natural environments outside contacts with the earth's atmosphere over a period of dozens of millions of years, understanding of geological processes in the original cover of Antarctic Regions before the epoch of its glaciation and development of technologies and engineering solutions for search of living organisms on other objects of the Solar system.


In conclusion: in general Rosgidromet works hard on technical upgrading, introduction of up-to-date equipment and handling problems of transfer of information volumes by orders of magnitude greater. Accuracy and timeliness of weather and storm forecasts. The knowledge and interest of executive bodies in hydrometeoro-logical information are steadily increasing. As a result, the estimated economic effect from the use of appropriate information made up 27.61 bln rubles in 2012, which exceeds similar indicators of 2011 by 9.72 percent.


At the same time, there is a set of challenges to be solved. First of all, to find funds for maintenance of a great number of new high-technology equipment (meteorological radars, flight bench, automatic hydrometeo-rological stations, etc.) and also for preservation of skilled specialists.


Nevertheless, Rosgidromet is successfully coping with all major objectives and the results of its work are rather impressive. This allows to affirm that today the Hydrometeorological Service is at a stage of stable growth and has good development perspectives.


Illustrations supplied by the author and from Internet sources

Опубликовано на Порталусе 09 ноября 2021 года

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