A sustained heatwave in a Siberian city last year helped to set a record temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius (38F), bringing widespread concern over the severity of global warming, the UN agency confirmed on Tuesday (14 December).

Worryingly, the temperature measurement in the Siberian city of Verkhoyansk last June – about 115 miles north of the Arctic Circle – is “just one of a series” of potentially record-setting observations from around the world in 2020 to be reviewed by the UN agency.

The extreme heat fueled conflagrations in the forests and tundra of northern Russia, even igniting usually damp conditions and releasing carbon dioxide emissions.

The World Meteorological Organization’s archive of weather and climate extremes list the new category as “highest recorded temperature at or north of 66.5⁰, the Arctic Circle”

The probe was one of a record number of investigations the United Nations agency has launched into weather extremes at a time when climate change is triggering unprecedented storms and heatwaves.

They have also set the European record of 48.8C (73F) of temperature recorded on the Italian island of Sicily this summer.

The agency already has a category for Antarctica, and was expected to establish a new category for the Arctic in 2020, one of three warmest years on record.

This includes a new record of 18.3 ° F during Antarctica, which was recorded at the Argentinian base in Esperanza.

World Meteorological Organization

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The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics. (wikipedia)

Petteri Taalas

Petteri Taalas is the Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Appointed in 2015 by the World Meteorological Congress, (wikipedia)

Climate change

Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth’s weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, (wikipedia)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change. (wikipedia)