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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.

Go deeper: The game theory of using geoengineering to fight climate change

Go deeper

Newsom to Trump at wildfire event: "Climate change is real"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pointedly told President Trump on Monday afternoon that climate change is "exacerbating" the wildfires currently ravaging the West Coast.

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly insisted that the fires were "about forest management," while dismissing climate change. Newsom acknowledged to Trump that "we have not done justice on our forest management," but emphasized that climate change was making everything much worse. A number of politicians have criticized Trump and his administration for not properly addressing climate change.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.