Russia Fires, Pakistan Floods Linked?
Extreme weather driven partly by global warming, experts say.
That's because the monsoon—a seasonal wind system that brings rain and floods to Pakistan and much of the rest of Asia in summer—also drives the circulation of air as far away as Europe, said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research.
(Related: "Chinese Kingdoms Rose, Fell With Monsoons?")
Air pumped into the upper atmosphere by monsoon winds has to come down somewhere. And with the monsoon's giant reach, much of that air seems to be settling over Russia, where it's creating high-pressure conditions, which favor heat waves, Trenberth said. Near high-pressure systems, air tends to sink, which discourages clouds from forming.
Such circulation patterns