Temperatures in the Arctic Circle have hit an all-time record, with a town in Siberia reaching an unprecedented peak of 38 degrees Celsius over the weekend. This comes amid a record-breaking heat wave that’s left the region scrambling to contain a spate of severe wildfire. Many locals have welcomed the development but to experts, Siberia’s unseasonably high temperatures are cause for concern.
Rising heat across the Arctic has led to widespread wildfires in the Sakha Republic, where Verkhoyansk is located. Local authorities say more than 275,000 hectares are burning. The heat wave is also causing permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, to thaw at a faster pace. In late May, the Arctic saw one of its worst environmental disasters in decades, when a fuel reservoir collapsed near Norilsk, spilling 21,000 tons of diesel into local rivers, an accident blamed in part on melting permafrost.
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