The highest recorded temperature in the Arctic was recorded over the weekend.
What We Know:
- Over the weekend, the town Verkhoyansk, Siberia was struck with a massive heat wave. The town, located 3,000 miles east of Moscow, is one of the coldest spots on Earth. In November, the town reached nearly 60 degrees below zero, one of the first sports to drop that low this winter.
- On Saturday, June 20th, the town, which sits at 67.5 latitude, recorded its highest temperature ever of 100.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees over the average high in that area. If verified, this will mark the highest recorded temperature within the Arctic Circle, which begins at 66 latitude.
We are in a relentless Arctic #heatwave – Siberia is literally on fire right now and it's set to continue.
Temperatures will comfortably exceed + 30 °C within the Arctic Circle over the next 10 days at least. It is a staggering + 20-25 °C warmer than it should be…
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) June 19, 2020
- While reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit is almost unheard of, it’s not impossible. In 1915, in Fort Yukon, Alaska, another town on the border of the Arctic Circle reported to reach nearly 100 degrees. Similarly, another town in Siberia reached nearly 100 degrees.
- This temperature is not an isolated occurrence. Since January, the average temperature in Siberia has been running high. May has featured some astronomical temperatures, with places in western Siberia averaging temperatures 18 degrees above normal. Overall, western Siberia has averaged 10 degrees above the norm for the whole month, something never before seen in that area.
- The average heat across Russia from January to May this year has been so high that it matches the projected norm of temperatures of that area in the year 2100 if we continue our current emission of carbon dioxide. Because to these emission, the Arctic is warming almost two times the rate of the rest of the globe. This phenomenon, known as Arctic Amplification, is the leading cause of sea ice and snow decay within the region.
- Over the past 4 decades, the volume of sea ice within the Arctic has decreased by over 50%. The lack of white ice and, in turn, the increase of dark ocean and land area, results in less light being reflected and more being absorbs. This ultimately creates a feedback look which causes the area to become heated disproportionately.
Scientist say the only saw to prevent this is to stop our use of fossil fuels before it’s too late.