Arctic Circle swelters as temperatures break records

Arctic Circle swelters as temperatures break records


The Arctic heatwave shows no signs of cooling, as temperatures around the Arctic Ocean continue to break records. The region recorded its hottest day ever in June (up to 18 degrees Celsius above average), with the small Siberian town of Verkhoyansk hitting 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit). Forest fires can naturally occur in Siberia in the summer months, ignited by lightning in dry forests. But with temperatures rising, blazes in recent years have come unusually close to population centres. Now, the Arctic is burning again. 

Verkhoyansk, which is 4660 kilometres (2900 miles) northeast of Moscow, is also the town that holds the record for the coldest temperature above the Arctic Circle, -90 degrees Fahrenheit in 1892. 

With the Arctic warming at double the rate of the rest of the planet, the impact of climate change is a visible reality, not a future visualisation. In the last decade, the Arctic has heated by 0.75°C, significantly outstripping the heating across the rest of the world. According to the Journal Science Advances, if global temperatures increase by 2°C, then the Arctic may see 4°C annual warming. Sea ice in the Arctic is warming faster than in other parts of the globe, in turn making heating more pronounced. As the ice disappears, the risk is the release of greenhouse gases which would ordinarily remain locked in the ground.

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