In July 2010, hundreds of wildfires broke out across Russia, primarily in the west. What do you think caused these fires?
To find out, read the text below.
The 2010 Russian wildfires
The 2010 Russian wildfires are a series of hundreds of wildfires that broke out across Russia, primarily in the west due to record temperatures and drought in the region. The President of Russia has declared a state of emergency in seven regions for the fires, while 28 other regions were under a state of emergency due to crop faliures caused by the Russian drought.
During the year 2010, Russia experienced generally dry and hot weather starting around late May-early June. Temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius first occurred after June 12, which alone was an abnormality for the country (average mid-June temperatures seldom rise above 30°C). A new record for the highest nationwide temperature in Russia was set on 11 July, at 44.0°C, in Yashkul, Kalmykia (in the European portion), beating the previous record of 43.8°C set on 6 August 1940, also in Kalmykia.
Moscow and Saint Petersburg both recorded temperatures with a high of 42 degrees on July 3, 4 and 5. Average temperatures in the region increased to over 35 degrees. Citizens of Moscow endured nights of 36 degrees, a record for nighttime temperatures since the year 1947.
Effects on grain exports
Since the continuing fires have destroyed a large amount of grain, and because Russia is one of the world's largest exporters of grain, world market prices for cereals, particularly wheat, rose rapidly in early August. This is in addition to the drought and high temperatures that Russia is encountering; in large parts of Russia, the highest temperature are being recorded since records began 130 years ago.
On 2 August 2010, the Russian Grain Union cut its harvest forecast from 81,585 million tons down to 7278 million.In the following days the prediction was reduced to 7075 million tons. On 5 August 2010, Russia announced a temporary ban on grain exports from 15 August to 1 December.
Russia has received assistance in extinguishing the fires from Serbia,Italy, Ukraine,Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Iran, Estonia, Uzbekistan,Venezuela, France, and Germany.
After you read the text, think about the basic facts of the wildfires. Imagine you are a presenter on TV or radio and tell the people what happened. Use the basic facts to write this short news report in 4-5 sentences. Afterwards you can compare your text to a sample solution.
- What caused the fires?
- What are the consequences of the fires?
- Who helps Russia in this situation?
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
Since the beginning of July there have been massive wildfires all across Russia. They were caused by extraordinary high temperatures and drought. As a consequence, large amounts of grain have been destroyed and the Russian Grain Union had to cut its harvest forecast from 81,585 million tons to 7075 million tons. On 5 August 2010, Russia even announced a temporary ban on grain exports from 15 August to 1 December. However, Russia receives help from countries all over the world. Amongst them are Serbia, Italy, Ukraine,Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Iran, Estonia, Uzbekistan,Venezuela, France, and Germany.
The wildfires destroy huge stretches of crop fields and forests. Below you can learn vocabulary on the topic "trees". You can practise the words with the vocabulary trainer below.