According to a report released Thursday by the Russian meteorological institute Rosguidromet, the country recorded a record heat last year and a historic decline in summer sea ice on the northern sea route. 

Russia recorded a record heat for the year 2020 and a historic decline in summer sea ice on the northern sea route, Russian weather institute Rosguidromet said in a report on Thursday.

The annual average temperature in 2020 was 3.22 ° C higher than the average for the reference period (1961-1990), and 1 ° C higher than the previous record dating from 2007, the institute noted, emphasizing an "extremely hot year both in our country and on the whole planet".

The ice surface "5 to 7 times less" than in the 1980s

The report also noted that "the rate of warming in Russia is on average much higher than the global average", estimating that since 1976 the average temperature in the country had increased by 0.51 ° per decade.

Rosguidromet also established "a stable trend towards a reduction of the ice covering the Arctic", even reaching on the northern sea route at the end of last summer its historic low.

Compared to the 1980s, the surface of the ice is "5 to 7 times less", notes the agency, and "in 2020 the surface of ice cover in September reached a record low with 26,000 km2".

Finally, the report states that "the thickness of the permafrost layer thawed each season is increasing".

Above-average temperatures expected in spring in Russia

The meteorological agency had already predicted Tuesday above-average spring temperatures in most of the country and dry weather in Siberia, saying they feared forest fires and linking this phenomenon to climate change.

Russia has already in recent years been faced with fires and record temperatures.

Large forest fires hit Siberia more and more regularly, a consequence of unusual heat waves