The Thermometer on the Arctic Surpassed 100 Degrees Fahrenheit

By: | July 7th, 2020

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

People in the Russian Arctic town of Verkhoyansk are diving in the nearby Yana river to get some well-needed chill from the extreme heat. The temperatures have reached 100.4°F (38°C) and have stayed unusually high for a couple of weeks now.

Verkhoyansk is a small town situated 675 kilometers north of the “always freezing” Yakutsk, so it’s not exactly your typical summer resort. This is a place where temperatures as low as −90.0 °F (−67.8 °C) have been recorded, and which has a daily mean temperature of 55.8 °F (13.2 °C) in June.

All that said, we’re not talking about a small deviation but a huge spike, and the fact that it’s so prolonged tells us something about climate change.


According to experts, who study the ongoing phenomenon with a mix of interest and concern, the current situation is the result of a combination of factors.

Last summer, more than four million hectares of forests in Siberia were burned down from wildfires, and this year, the fires started raging even earlier than usual. Last month, an oil tanker had a catastrophic accident that resulted in a big oil spill near the Arctic city of Norilsk. This incident resulted in the melting of permafrost which released methane and accelerated the temperature rise. And finally, it just happens that the weather is warm and the sky is clear right now.

Thinking that this is merely something that happens in a particular area would be the wrong approach to take here. Methane escapes from there and travels around the globe, so what happens in the Arctic accelerates global warming and brings even more extreme temperatures everywhere in the world. Verkhoyansk temperatures are sending a clear message to the whole world, but at the same time, our leaders continue to play deaf. And this is only the beginning of a catastrophic record-breaking temperatures streak that is about to come in the next couple of years.

Bill Toulas

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