Climate Change: Siberian Heat Waves Alarms Scientists
The Arctic is feverish and on fire, at least parts of it are. And that’s got scientists worried about what it means for the rest of the world.
The thermometer hit a likely record of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Russian Arctic town of Verkhoyansk last Saturday, a temperature that would be a fever for a person, but this is Siberia, known for being frozen. The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that it’s looking to verify the temperature reading, which would be unprecedented for the region north of the Arctic Circle.
University of Michigan environmental school dean, Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist, said in an email sent to world renowned scientists;
“The Arctic is figuratively and literally on fire, it’s warming much faster than we thought it would in response to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and this warming is leading to a rapid meltdown and increase in wildfires, The record warming in Siberia is a warning sign of major proportions”.
Siberia had high temperatures this year that were beyond unseasonably warm. From January through May, the average temperature in north-central Siberia has been about eight degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) above average, That’s much warmer than it’s ever been over that region in that period of time.
The increasing temperatures in Siberia have been linked to prolonged wildfires that grow more severe every year and the thawing of the permafrost, a huge problem because buildings and pipelines are built on them. Thawing permafrost also releases more heat-trapping gas and dries out the soil, which increases wildfires.