A temperature record of 38 degrees was measured in the Arctic last year.

The World Weather Organization (WMO) recognized the measurement from June 20, 2020 in Siberia as a record for the region north of the Arctic Circle, as it reported in Geneva on Tuesday.

This is a sign of climate change and is ringing the alarm bells, said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.

The temperatures in the Arctic have risen more than twice as much as the global average.

Also in the Antarctic, at the opposite pole, a record was measured in 2020: 18.3 degrees.

The WMO keeps the register of such records.

Before recording, it always checks with which instruments and under which conditions measurements were carried out in order to rule out unreliable measurements or unusual circumstances.

Forest fires and ice melt

The temperature record in Siberia had been reported by the meteorological observation station in Verkhoyansk, which has been in operation since 1885, during an unprecedented heatwave in 2020. The station is 115 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. At that time, the temperatures in the region were around ten degrees above the long-term average. This led to devastating forest fires and a large sea ice melt. 2020 was one of the three warmest years compared to the average from 1850 to 1900.

The WMO experts are currently investigating three more records, the WMO reported.

Two measurements of 54.4 degrees this year and last year come from the hottest place on earth, Death Valley in the US state of California.

A third of 48.8 degrees was measured in Sicily in the summer of 2021.

The team has never conducted so many temperature record investigations at the same time.