Context: The Arctic Circle has recorded temperatures reaching over 38 degrees Celsius in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk, likely an all-time high.

More about the Arctic heatwave:

  • The recent temperatures seem to have been 18 degrees Celsius higher than normal in June.
  • These higher temperatures are pushing the world towards what might be the hottest year on record, despite a fall in emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • A World Economic Forum (WEF) report says:
    • The warmer temperatures in Siberia have contributed to May being the warmest on record globally, at 0.63 degrees Celsius warmer than the recorded average temperatures for May between 1981-2010.
  • According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS):
    • Siberia has been recording higher-than-average surface air temperatures since January this year.
    • While the globe as a whole is warming, regions like Western Siberia stand out, since they are warming faster than average.
      • Copernicus Climate Change Service gives access to information about the past, current and future states of the climate in Europe and worldwide.

Impact of the rising temperature in the region

  • The number & intensity of wildfires in northeast Siberia of the Arctic Circle has continued to increase over the last few days.
  • Heatwave occurrences in this region have already started to threaten local vegetation, ecology, human health, and economy.
  • Concern raised in Russia
    • The rising temperatures could eventually lead to the melting of the permafrost on which some northern Russian cities are built.
    • Power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region due to melting permafrost
      • Earlier in June, Russia declared a state of emergency after a power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region caused nearly 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil to escape into a local river called Ambarnaya. 
      • The oil spill was caused when a tank at the power plant collapsed due to melting permafrost, which weakened the support it provided to the tank.

Source: Arctic Circle has recorded,likely an all-time high.&text=These higher temperatures are pushing,due to the coronavirus lockdown.

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