Jun 21, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Siberian town records Arctic's hottest temperature ever

Copper refinery in Siberia

Nickel refinery in Siberian town of Norilsk. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Temperatures in the small Siberian town of Verkhoyansk — normally one of the coldest places on the planet — reached 100.4°F on Saturday, likely the hottest temperature ever recorded in Siberia and north of the Arctic Circle, CBS News reports.

Driving the news: Multiple northern towns around the world have recorded scorching temperatures in recent days, including the city of Caribou, Maine, which on Friday tied its all-time record of 96°F.

  • Temperatures in Caribou were also well above 90°F on Saturday, almost matching temperatures in Miami, Florida, which has only reached 100°F one time since Miami began keeping temperature records, according to CBS.
  • The Arctic Circle begins at a latitude of 66.5°N. Verkhoyansk sits at 67.5°N.

How it works: The record temperatures are likely the combination of natural weather patterns and human-caused climate change resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide.

  • The greenhouse gases released from the burning of fossil fuels become trapped in the atmosphere and hold onto heat from the Sun, which gradually warms the Earth's atmosphere and surface.

The big picture: Some cities in western Siberia recorded temperatures 18°F above normal throughout May. As a whole, western Siberia averaged 10°F above normal that month.

  • The unprecedented summer in Siberia has ignited numerous fires in the region.
  • Last year, the northern Swedish town of Markusvinsa hit 94.6°F. The abnormal heat caused large Arctic fires, making 2019 the Arctic's worst fire season on record.
  • Overall, the Arctic is warming at more than two times the average rate of the globe.

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