Climate: record temperature of 38 ° C in the Arctic validated by the WMO


According to this Geneva-based organization, these global archives of data relating to weather and climate extremes attest to “the reality of climate change”. The survey thus highlights the rise in temperatures in a region that is important for the rest of the world from a climate point of view.

“This new record for the Arctic is part of a series of observations reported to the WMO database on weather and climate extremes which are sounding the alarm bells on the evolution of our climate”, the Secretary General of this UN agency, Petteri Taalas, said in a statement, noting that the same year, Antarctica also experienced a record 18.3 ° C.

This temperature, which is more reminiscent of the shores of the Mediterranean than of the ice of the Arctic, was recorded at a weather station in Siberia during an exceptional and prolonged heat wave.

Verkhoyansk, in the Eastern Siberian region, is about 115 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle and temperatures have been measured there since 1885.

A record which reflects “clearly a warming of Siberia”

During much of last summer, the average temperatures recorded in this region of the Arctic sometimes exceeded seasonal norms by 10 ° C, thus promoting the spread of devastating fires and massive melting of ice and contributing to a big step towards making 2020 one of the three hottest years on record.

“It is important to monitor this region at all times,” said Randall Cerveny, WMO rapporteur on climate and weather extremes.

Drawing on the consequences of the fact that the Arctic is one of the regions with the fastest rising temperatures, the WMO has created a new category, that of the highest temperature for anything on or north of the circle. polar.

The expert committee concluded that the observations made at Verkhoyansk were consistent with those at the surrounding stations and that the equipment, location and logistics had been certified by the department of Roshydromet in Yakutia.

The weather, characterized by the presence of a very strong ridge aloft over the region, was also consistent with the record temperature.

“This record clearly reflects a warming in Siberia,” said Phil Jones, renowned British climatologist and member of the committee.

Unsplash / Sarah Lachise

Death Valley, USA.

Checks underway for 54.4 ° C recorded in Death Valley in California and 48.8 ° C in Sicily

Since 2007, WMO has been listing temperature extremes recorded in Antarctica (polar regions below 60 degrees South latitude, which correspond to lands and ice shelves covered by the Antarctic Treaty).

Alongside this survey, the WMO Weather and Climate Extremes Database indicates that the lowest officially recorded temperature at or north of the Arctic Circle is –69.6 ° C (- 93.3 ° F), recorded on December 22, 1991 at the SMA in Klinck, Greenland [72° 18’ N, 40° 28’ W, altitude : 3 216 m (10 551 ft)]. This value also corresponds to the coldest temperature recorded in the northern hemisphere.

In addition, WMO investigators are also trying to “verify a temperature of 54.4 ° C recorded in 2020 and 2021 in the hottest place on earth, Death Valley in California, as well as a new European heat record of 48.8 ° C reached in Sicily this summer, ”concluded Petteri Taalas.  

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