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Science & Technology

Official: Arctic temperature record broken

An Arctic temperature record has been officially broken in a Siberian town during a prolonged heatwave in 2020. Today, the World Meteorological Organisation has officially recognised the 38-degree Celsius record.

Professor Will Steffen, Climate Councillor, climate change expert and ANU emeritus professor, who studied permafrost and extreme weather changes in Siberia during the 1990s, said:
“This newly recognised Siberian temperature record shows the dramatic increase in heating in an area that is usually one of the coolest places on the planet.”
“These intense and widespread heatwaves often trigger devastating large fires and permafrost thaw, which emits both carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. There is no doubt that climate change, which is driving higher-than-average temperature rises in the northern high latitudes, played a large role in this extreme weather event.”
“As the Earth continues to warm, these heatwaves are occurring in a system that has become hotter and more energetic, and in an atmosphere that carries more water vapour, which increases the likelihood as well as the severity of extreme weather.”

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