A temperature of 38 degrees was measured on the Arctic Circle last Saturday, BBC News writes . The area is experiencing an unusually heavy heat wave.
It concerns first measurements that still have to be checked definitively. But if it is correct, then there is a good record. The current measurement is 18 degrees higher than the average maximum temperature in June.
The record was measured at the Siberian village of Verkhoyansk, usually one of the coldest places on Earth with around 1,300 inhabitants. The ground never completely thaws here, a phenomenon called permafrost.
Siberian heat wave is not uncommon
The area normally also experiences extreme temperature fluctuations. In January it does not get warmer than -42 degrees, while in June the mercury rises to an average of 20 degrees. This is partly due to an exchange of air flows: in the summer warm air flows to the north and cold polar air to the south.
Heat waves are no stranger to the region either. However, temperatures have been particularly high in recent months. For example, in the Arctic Circle in May it was about 10 degrees warmer than the average for a month, according to Corpernicus Institute for Climate Change.
It is getting longer and longer warm at the Arctic Circle
The record temperatures initially seem to be mainly due to a high-pressure area that hangs over eastern Russia for a number of months.
However, the area has also been experiencing increasingly high temperatures for a longer period of time in recent decades. This development fits the fate that, according to scientists, the region is facing due to climate change.
For example, most scientists agree that the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the entire world does on average over the past thirty years. Factors that contribute to this include the melting ice.
This white ice usually reflects the sun, making the Earth and sea less likely to heat up. Now that this disappears, the effect is lost and a vicious circle is created.
There are also concerns about the natural CO2 and methane reserves that are still stored in the ground, but are released when the ground no longer remains permanently frozen.