38 degrees on June 20, 2020

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, confirmed this Tuesday that the 38 degrees Celsius measured on June 20, 2020 in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk is the highest temperature on record in the arctic region.

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The temperature, which according to the WMO statement is "more typical of the Mediterranean than the Arctic", was recorded at a local weather station during the heat wave suffered by Siberia that summer, despite being usually one of the coldest regions of the planet.

Verkhoyansk is located 115 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, and its weather station has been measuring since 1885.

Last year, Siberia had temperatures above the local average for most of the summer months by up to 10 degrees, which contributed to the occurrence of devastating fires in the area and there would be a great loss of frozen mass. This helped make the summer of 2020 one of the three warmest ever recorded globally.

The confirmation of this record is one more sign of climate change, underlined the secretary general of the organization, Petteri Taalas, who recalled that in 2020 a record temperature was also measured in Antarctica, of 18.3 degrees Celsius.

The Arctic region is experiencing a greenhouse effect faster than other regions of the planet, with an increase in temperatures that is twice the global average.

The WMO continues to verify extreme measurements and is currently in the process of confirming several records of 54.4 degrees in Death Valley (California, United States), measured in 2020 and 2021, as well as a possible European maximum of 48, 8 degrees contributed by a station on the Italian island of Sicily this summer.


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