June 2020 was the warmest month on record in the world, on par with June 2019, according to the European service Copernicus on climate change. This highlights the persistence of disturbing anomalies and fires in Siberia.

June 2020 was the warmest month on record in the world, on par with June 2019, the European service Copernicus on climate change announced on Tuesday, stressing the worrying anomalies and fires in Siberia. "June 2020 is on par with June 2019 the hottest June since the start of the data, at 0.53 ° C above the average for the period 1981-2010," Copernicus said in a statement after an already record month of May. 

"Exceptional heat" in Siberia

But it was the "exceptional warmth" over Arctic Siberia that caught the attention of the European service. The average temperature there reached up to 10 ° C above seasonal norms in June. On June 20, a temperature of 37 ° C over an hour was even estimated in eastern Siberia, a record inside the Arctic Circle, according to Copernicus. The same day, in the same region, the station in the Russian city of Verkhoyansk recorded a peak at 38 ° C, a possible heat record for the Arctic being verified by the World Meteorological Organization. 

Corpernicus points out that these "exceptional" temperatures are linked to various interacting factors, including wind conditions and particularly low snow cover. Beyond June, the agency insists on a period of several consecutive months of particularly high temperatures in certain regions of Siberia, since December. "What is worrying is that the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world," commented Carlo Buontempo, director of this European service. 

"That western Siberia has experienced higher than normal temperatures for so long in winter and spring is unusual, and the unusually high temperatures in Arctic Siberia in June are just as worrying," he added. 

An increase in the number of fires

Copernicus has also seen an increase in the number and intensity of fires in the far northeast of Siberia, and to a lesser extent in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. "What is remarkable with these fires in Siberia is the similarity to last year at the same period, in terms of affected region and extent," noted expert Mark Parrington. 

According to Copernicus, these fires have already caused the emission of 59 megatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, against 53 megatonnes in June 2019. The year 2019 was already "very unusual", underlined Mark Parrington, fearing an activity "intense" in the coming weeks due to temperatures and less humid soils than normal. 

Due to global warming, the planet has already gained more than 1 ° C since the pre-industrial era, causing a multiplication of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts or floods. 2019 was the second hottest year in the world, after 2016, and experts expect the global average temperature to break a new record in the next five-year period (2020-2024).