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As wildfires ravage Russian forests, Arctic Siberia smashes record for hottest ever June

Russia’s Siberian Arctic has recorded its hottest ever average June temperature. In 2020, the region was more than five degrees Celsius warmer than is usual for the first month of summer.

That’s according to scientists at the European Union’s Copernicus Programme, which observes the Earth and collects data on weather, vegetation, and sea level, amongst other indicators.

Its scientists say that the Russian Arctic broke the previous record by more than a degree Celsius, with some areas of the Arctic seeing temperature rises of more than 10 degrees.

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Monument in Verkhoyansk  © Wikipedia
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Russia is also suffering from mass forest fires and has seen a dramatic spike in carbon dioxide in the air. On June 29, the Copernicus Programme spotted flames at a latitude of 72.723°N – an area once considered immune to such high temperatures.

On June 20, the small northern town of Verkhoyansk, home to just 1,000 people, saw a record temperature of 38 degrees Celsius. In the winter, the mercury in Verkhoyansk regularly dips below -40.

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