Arctic records its hottest temperature ever as mercury hits 38 degrees

Map shows the location of Verkhoyansk, where the highest Arctic temperature was recorded on 20 June 2020.

Map shows the location of Verkhoyansk, where the highest Arctic temperature was recorded on 20 June 2020. Courtesy of The Sun

By Luke Andrews | Daily Mail

ON THE WEB, 22 June 2020

The Arctic is thought to have recorded its hottest ever temperature of 38C (100.4F) in Siberia, an astonishing 18C (32F) above the normal level for this time of year.

The mercury shot up to the unprecedented level in Verkhoyansk, 3,000 miles east of Moscow, as the region endures a summer heatwave.

Scientists had predicted the Arctic wouldn’t reach these levels until 2100, meaning it is warming 80 years faster than previously thought.

If the record is confirmed it will represent a new high. The current record for hottest temperature in the Arctic is held by Prospect Creek, Alaska, which recorded 38C (100F) in 1915.

Weatherman for CBS, Jeff Beradelli, said on Twitter yesterday: ‘Likely the hottest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic happened today.

‘What’s happening in Siberia this year is nothing short of remarkable. For perspective, Miami has only reached 38C (100F) once on record.’

But he pointed out: ‘The reason Miami has only reached 100 once is because it’s near the ocean.

‘So this is not an apples to apples comparison, because land heats faster than water, and the sea breeze cools Miami down, but it is an interesting fact that always seems hard to believe.’

Siberia has been in the grip of a heatwave since May, with temperatures up to 10C (18F) above normal levels.

Western Alaska and west and eastern Antarctica have also experienced warmer temperatures than normal.

On 23 May, the Siberian town of Khatanga, more than a hundred miles further north than Verkhoyansk, recorded 25C (78F), smashing its previous record by 11C (22F).

In Verkhoyansk, this week alone it is expected to experience highs of 36C (96.8F).

The increased heat has triggered further permafrost fires in the Arctic region, which are releasing tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Smoke clouds from the fires can be viewed from space, and are also visible from the town of Verkhoyansk.

Verkhoyansk, with a population of 1,000 people, is also the coldest place on Earth, having recorded a record low temperature of -67.8C (-90.04F).

It experiences extreme temperature changes due to its position deep inside the Asian continent where it is surrounded by land, which heats and cools far faster than water.

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