In June 2020 in Siberia, Verkhoyansk recorded a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, which was already considered a dangerous record for the northern region of Russia. Well, the United Nations World Weather Organization (WMO) has confirmed that this is the highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic.
The WMO confirmation came just a few days ago, with a press release of recognition of the Arctic record. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of WMO, said: • This new record of the Arctic is part of a series of observations reported at the Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes of WMO ringing the
The heat wave in the region then caused devastating fires, which in turn caused massive loss of sea ice and destruction of millions of hectares of forest. According to data collected by the Russian Forestry Agency, fires in Siberia in 2021 alone have led to the disappearance of 18.6 million hectares of forest. We remember, in fact, that in June this year the temperature of the ground reached 48°C. It has not been confirmed yet by WMO as many factors in the measurement must be evaluated, besides the fact that the temperature of the earth’s surface is not the air temperature at
However, given that Verkhoyansk is located about 115 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, it is still dangerous data that forced WMO to create a new extreme weather monitoring category for this region only. The implications are frightening: scientists have warned that the increase in Arctic temperatures could also lead to the disappearance of the polar bear by the end of this century, but also to thaw the permafrost and release radioactive waste and dormant viruses. Another additional risk concerns fires, as temperatures can lead to the combustion of carbon-rich peat.
In Italy, too, this summer we felt the effects of climate change, when Floridia recorded the record temperature of 48.8°C, the highest ever in Europe.