Arctic records its hottest temperature EVER as mercury hits 100F in town of Verkhoyansk in Siberia
- Mercury shot up to 32F (18C) above normal in the Siberian town of 1,000 people
- Scientists had predicted that the Arctic wouldn’t reach these levels until 2100
- Siberia is experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures 18F (10C) above normal
The Arctic is thought to have recorded its hottest ever temperature of 100.4F (38C) in Siberia, an astonishing 32F (18C) above the normal level for this time of year.
The mercury shot up to the unprecedented level in Verkhoyansk, 3,000 miles east of Moscow, as the region endures a summer heatwave.
Scientists had predicted the Arctic wouldn’t reach these levels until 2100, meaning it is warming 80 years faster than previously thought.
If the record is confirmed it will represent a new high. The current record for hottest temperature in the Arctic is held by Prospect Creek, Alaska, which recorded 100F (38C) in 1915.
Surface air temperature anomalies in May are mapped above, with red representing higher temperatures than normal and blue lower temperatures than normal
This graph reveals that there has been a marked increase in the number of air temperature anomalies over recent years
Weatherman for CBS, Jeff Beradelli, said on Twitter yesterday: ‘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.’
But he pointed out: ‘The reason Miami has only reached 100 once is because it’s near the ocean.
‘So this is not an apples to apples comparison, because land heats faster than water, and the sea breeze cools Miami down, but it is an interesting fact that always seems hard to believe.’
Siberia has been in the grip of a heatwave since May, with temperatures up to 18F (10C) above normal levels.
Western Alaska and west and eastern Antarctica have also experienced warmer temperatures than normal.
Pictured above is the location of Verkhoyansk, where the temperature was recorded
Temperatuers in Verkhoyansk are expected to reach highs of 96.8F (36C) this week
This tweet reveals the projected temperature changes for the coming years and the black line shows the actual temperatures that have been recorded
On May 23 the Siberian town of Khatanga, more than a hundred miles further north than Verkhoyansk, recorded 78F (25C), smashing its previous record by 22F (11C).
In Verkhoyansk, this week alone it is expected to experience highs of 96.8F (36C).
The increased heat has triggered further permafrost fires in the Arctic region, which are releasing tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Smoke clouds from the fires can be viewed from space, and are also visible from the town of Verkhoyansk.
Verkhoyansk, with a population of 1,000 people, is also the coldest place on Earth, having recorded a record low temperature of -90.04F (-67.8C).
It experiences extreme temperature changes due to its position deep inside the Asian continent where it is surrounded by land, which heats and cools far faster than water.
Verkhoyansk, in Siberia, often looks more like the scene above – snow-covered and frozen
Is the Arctic circle warming?
Map of sea ice retreat in September 2012
It is beyond doubt that temperatures inside the Arctic circle are rising, impacting wildlife and the balance of the Earth’s climate.
Over the past 30 years, the Arctic has warmed at roughly twice the rate as the rest of the globe, according to NASA and National Science Foundation-backed National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC).
The amount of floating sea ice in the region is also dropping, especially during summer, with levels reaching an all-time low in 2012 of 1.31 million square miles.
Glaciers in Alaska, Greenland and northern Canada are also in retreat, while the amount of time Arctic land is covered in snow has also been dropping.
Starved and drowned polar bears have also been identified, suggesting that these animals are struggling to find food as their hunting ground – the sea ice – disappears.
The NSIDC warns that changes in the Arctic are important, as the region acts as a refrigerator for the rest of the world.
They say any alterations there cascade through the food chain, from phytoplankton to marine mammals.