Siberian Arctic ‘records temperature as hot as Florida’
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A Siberian town is believed to have recorded the highest known Arctic temperature on record.
Verkhoyansk, which sits just inside the Arctic Circle, reported readings showing its temperature equal to that of Florida on June 20, with the mercury rising to 38C (100.4F).
The town, which sits 3,000 miles east of Moscow, has one of the world’s most diverse climates, recording lows below -51C (-60F) and summer highs of around 20C.
But scientists had predicted the region would not see temperatures this high until the end of the century.
American weatherman for news channel CBS, Jeff Beradelli, highlighted the reading on Twitter, writing: “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 100F (38C) once on record.”
Records of Arctic temperatures began in 1885.
Experts said this weekend they believe the spike in temperature was caused by a combination of “zombie” wildfires – sparked by the embers of previous fires submerged in the ground – and a phenomenon known as “Arctic amplification” which is caused by man-made carbon emissions.
The summer of 2019 saw the region’s worst fires on record.
The Arctic Circle has seen a 50 per cent reduction in sea ice volume over the past four decades, and the town is not the first to see record temperatures. In 2019 the town of Markusvinsa in northern Sweden saw a reading of 34.8C.
Many reports in recent years have also warned that permafrost in Siberia is in danger of melting, which would release plumes of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and potentially unearth long-forgotten diseases.