Updated: Jan 12
GENEVA, 14 December 2021 (WMO) – A temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June 2020 has been recognized as a new Arctic temperature record by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The temperature, more befitting the Mediterranean than the Arctic, was measured at a meteorological observing station during an exceptional and prolonged Siberian heatwave. Average temperatures over Arctic Siberia reached as high as 10 °C above normal for much of summer last year, fuelling devastating fires, driving massive sea ice loss and playing a major role in 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record. “This new Arctic record is one of a series of observations reported to the WMO Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes that sound the alarm bells about our changing climate. In 2020, there was also a new temperature record (18.3°C) for the Antarctic continent,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
“WMO investigators are currently seeking to verify temperature readings of 54.4°C recorded in both 2020 and 2021 in the world’s hottest place, Death Valley in California, and to validate a new reported European temperature record of 48.8°C in the Italian island of Sicily this summer. The WMO Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has never had so many ongoing simultaneous investigations,” said Prof. Taalas. The Arctic is among the fastest warming regions in the world and is heating more than twice the global average. The extreme temperature and ongoing climate change prompted a WMO panel of experts to add a new climate category “highest recorded temperature at or north of 66.5⁰, the Arctic Circle” to its international Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes.
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Source: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) - https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/wmo-recognizes-new-arctic-temperature-record-of-38%E2%81%B0c