Weather body checking record Arctic temperature
June 24, 2020 - The World Meteorological Organisation is looking to verify reports of a record temperature reading of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F) in Siberia, which would be unprecedented for the region north of the Arctic Circle.
Much of Siberia had high temperatures this year that were beyond unseasonably warm. From January through May, the average temperature in north-central Siberia has been about 8°C (14°F) above average, according to the climate science non-profit Berkeley Earth.
Russia’s Arctic regions are among the fastest warming areas in the world.
The temperature on Earth over the past few decades has been growing, on average, by 0.18°C (0.32°F) every 10 years. But in Russia it increases by 0.47°C (0.85°F) – and in the Russian Arctic, by 0.69°C (1.24°F) every decade, said Andrei Kiselyov, the lead scientist at the Moscow-based Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory.
The increasing temperatures in Siberia have been linked to prolonged wildfires that grow more severe every year and the thawing of the permafrost – a huge problem because buildings and pipelines are built on them. Thawing permafrost also releases more heat-trapping gas and dries out the soil, which increases wildfires, said Vladimir Romanovsky, who studies permafrost at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Persistently warm weather, especially if coupled with wildfires, causes permafrost to thaw faster, which in turn exacerbates global warming by releasing large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide, said Katey Walter Anthony, a University of Alaska Fairbanks expert on methane release from frozen Arctic soil.