(ORDO NEWS) — This month a record thermal wave arrived in the Arctic, which appeared unusually early and with amazing intensity. Forecasts show that the temperature will remain above average next week, and possibly throughout the year.
By mid-May, the temperature in the Arctic was the warmest ever recorded at this time of the year.
Last week, temperatures reached 26 degrees Celsius 0 above the Arctic Circle. A little south, in Siberia, the temperature reached 30 degrees.
Climate change in the Arctic is warming twice as fast as in the rest of the world. The early emergence of unprecedented temperature jumps indicates that this speed is accelerating.
In the Siberian city of Khatanga, an air temperature of 25 degrees was recorded on Friday.
Above average air temperatures have been maintained in Siberia since winter, and the region is already experiencing unusually large forest fires and declining snow cover.
In the Kara Sea, just north of central Siberia, Arctic sea ice began to melt more than a month earlier this year. Sea ice cover reached the lowest level that was ever recorded in May.
Zach Labe is a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine, who studies Arctic climate change:
“Despite the fact that Siberia is known for wild temperature extremes, the constancy and magnitude of heat in the region so far this year have been amazing.”
“This week is an example of an extreme event, with summer temperatures over parts of Western Siberia.”
“We can already see this reflection in the data on snow cover, since there are large negative deviations of snow cover along the entire Siberian coast of the Arctic.”
In addition to worrying about how much sea ice will be lost this year and the consequences for rising sea levels, scientists are also closely monitoring the stability of Arctic permafrost.
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