• By The Financial District

Climate Change Causing Higher Temperatures In North, South Poles

On June 20 last year, as much of the world stood at a standstill in the early days of COVID-19, temperatures in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Photo Insert: Penguins floating on ice

The heatwave lasted several days – amidst an already abnormally warm six months – drying out soils, baking vegetation, and helping to kickstart a number of large wildfires, Jena Brooker reported for the online environmental magazine Grist.

Now, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), has confirmed that the scorching temperature in Verkhoyansk that day set a new record high for the Arctic. It also prompted the WMO to add a new category to its international Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes, for “highest recorded temperature at or north of 66.5⁰, the Arctic Circle.”

The new record “is one of a series of observations… that sound the alarm bells about our changing climate,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. Nowhere are these warning signs more pronounced than in the world’s polar regions.

“In 2020, there was also a new temperature record (18.3 degrees C) for the Antarctic continent,” he said.

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With the Arctic heating twice as fast as the global average, scientists expect to see record high temperatures shattered again soon. In fact, 2021 came pretty close. In parts of the Arctic Circle, air temperatures measured 86 degrees F, while the ground temperature was 118 degrees F.

Wildfires caused by dry and hot conditions this year led to the worst wildfire season on record for Siberia, with hundreds of fires catching across the region and smoke, even, reaching the north pole for the first time in history. And all this warming in the poles has a compounding effect on climate change.

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