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  • Sammy Melnick

Record Arctic Circle temperature

The World Meteorological Organization is seeking to verify reports of a new temperature record for north of the Arctic Circle of 38 C (100.4 F). The temperature was reported on June 20 in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk. It comes amid a prolonged Siberian heat wave and an increase in wildfire activity.

Climate change isn't taking a break because of COVID-19. You know, temperatures are carrying on rising. We see continuing extreme weather events.

Nullis said that that the far northern area of Siberia in Russia has experienced unusual heat during the current northern hemisphere spring.

The Arctic is among the fastest-warming regions in the world, said the WMO.

Over the last four years (2016–2019), annual surface air temperatures in the Arctic (60°-85°N) have been the highest on record.

The WMO said that the volume of Arctic sea ice in September 2019 (after the melting season) has declined by more than 50% compared to the mean value for 1979–2019.

"The Arctic is heating at roughly twice the global average," said the WMO.

Siberia has witnessed exceptional heat in the past few weeks, with temperatures up to 10 C (18.5 F) above average in May, driving the warmest May on record for the entire northern hemisphere, and indeed the globe.

The unusual warmth in winter and spring was associated with an exceptionally early breakup of ice in Siberia's rivers.

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