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Temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius reported above Arctic Circle

Temperatures soared to 10 degrees Celsius above average in Siberia last month.

Temperatures reached into the high 20s in large parts of Siberia today
Temperatures reached into the high 20s in large parts of Siberia today
Image: Windy.com

UNUSUALLY WARM CONDITIONS in the Arctic Circle have continued this month with temperatures reportedly hitting 30 degrees Celsius in parts of northern Russia.

BBC Weather reported the temperature today at Nizhnyaya Pesha, an area of Russia about 1,300km north of Moscow.

It follows a recent heatwave in the region, with temperatures soared to 10 degrees Celsius above average in Siberia last month, when the world experienced its warmest May on record.

Large swathes of Siberia have been unusually warm for several months running, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

“The really large anomalies started during January, and since then this signal has been quite persistent,” C3S senior scientist Freja Vamborg said last week.

Temperatures reached close to 10C above the 1981-to-2010 average over parts of the Ob and Yenisei rivers, which have seen record-early break-up of ice, C3S said.

The collapse of a reservoir some 800 km further north at the end of May saw 21,000 tonnes of diesel fuel pollute a river near the Arctic city of Norilsk, which has been linked by Russian officials to melting permafrost.

Earth’s average surface temperature for the 12 months to May 2020 was reported to be close to 1.3C above pre-industrial levels, the benchmark by which global warming is often measured.

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw nearly 200 countries pledge to stop the temperature rising above 2 degrees Celsius, and to 1.5 degrees if possible.

The heatwave across parts of Siberia and Alaska will cause particular alarm in regions that were engulfed by huge forest fires last year fuelled by record heat.

Globally, May was 0.63 Celsius warmer than the average May from 1981 to 2010, with above average temperatures across parts of Alaska, Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Antarctica.

The last five years have been the hottest on record, as has been the last decade.

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In the Arctic as a whole, average temperatures have risen by more than two degrees Celsius since the mid-19th century, twice the global average.

A warming Arctic has also accelerated melting of Greenland’s kilometres-thick ice sheet, resulting in a net loss of 600 billion tonnes of ice mass for the year – accounting for about 40% of total sea level rise in 2019.

The permafrost in Russian and Canadian forests contains as much as 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide – around 40 times current annual emissions.

Current pledges to cut emissions put Earth on a path of several degrees warming by the end of the century.

Contains reporting from - © AFP 2020

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