Arctic Circle Records Hottest-Ever Temperature of 38.3 C

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A small Russian town located in the Arctic Circle has recorded temperatures of 38.3 degrees celsius, or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit; the hottest ever recorded in the Arctic Circle. 

The temperature record is yet to be verified by climate experts, but those in the town of Verkhoyansk say it is nearly double the monthly average of 20 degrees celsius. The Siberian town is famous for some of the most brutal winter temperatures for an inhabited area; in winter, Verkhoyansk records an average temperature of -42 degrees celsius in January. 

Map graphic courtesy of Karsten Haustein.

Ahead of the record high June temperatures, scientists say that the month of May recorded temperatures significantly warmer than previous recorded May temperatures, setting a record in its own right. 

Researchers have said that heat waves in Arctic regions are normal, but consistently warm temperatures spanning months are a significant warning sign of rapid climate change, which exacerbates future climate extremes. 

Meterologists warn that the Arctic and Antarctic regions are more prone to feeling the effects of global warming significantly more than their neighbours bordering the equator in more tropical areas. 

According to a report from Forbes, “it is well known that the poles warm faster as a result of climate change. For example, the average increase in temperature on Earth over the past 40 years is 1.44 F. In comparison, the Arctic has warmed by more than 3.5 F during the same period, more than double the global average.” 

The sudden spike in temperatures has researchers concerned, considering their early estimates anticipated double-digit temperature rises would hit the Arctic, but not until the turn of the century. 

The Copernicus Climate Change service has said that the average temperatures in the Arctic Circle were 10 degrees Celsius warmer than the average temperature. 

Professor Chris Rapley told the BBC that “we’ve upset the energy balance of the entire planet,” adding that “this is a warning message from the Earth itself.”

The same report quotes the UK’s Meteorological Office, who says there is a 50-50 chance that 2020 will be the hottest year on record, citing above average temperatures in northern Europe, as well as Asia. 

2016 currently holds the record for the hottest year on record, but the margin is “very close” according to the Met Office. 

Dr Dann Mitchell, associate professor in atmospheric science at the University of Bristol has said that “year-on-year temperature records are being broken around the world, but the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth.” 

“So it is unsurprising to see records being broken in this region. We will see more of this in the near future,” he added. 

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