CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB
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The highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic, 38C (100F), has been officially confirmed, sounding “alarm bells” over Earth’s changing climate.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Tuesday verified the record, reported in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June last year.
The temperature was 18C higher than the area’s average daily maximum for June.
The WMO, a UN agency, said the extreme heat was “more befitting the Mediterranean than the Arctic”.
It is the first time the agency has included the Arctic Circle in its archive of extreme weather reports.
The WMO said the 38C temperature was measured at a meteorological station during “an exceptional and prolonged Siberian heatwave“.
Last year’s extreme heat in the region contributed to the spread of wildfires, which swept across the forests and peatlands of northern Russia releasing record amounts of carbon.
While relatively common in summer months, high temperatures and strong winds made the fires unusually severe.
The high temperatures across Siberia led to “massive sea ice loss” and played a major role in 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record, the WMO said.
2021 was the year of the EF-2 tornado, the deadly B.C. heat dome, wildfire records and more
Environment Canada has released its Top 10 weather stories for 2021 — a year that its senior climatologist Dave Phillips calls the “most destructive, the most expensive and the deadliest year for weather in Canadian history.”
Though this is the 26th year that Phillips has created the list, he said: “No year compared to this year.”
“The events are bigger and badder and more impactful now than they were just 20 years ago,” he said.
While scientists have been raising the alarm over climate change for decades, in the past, it has appeared gradual, subtle and distant, Phillips said. “I think this is the year that Canadians saw it firsthand.”
The trend over the past 26 years also shows this is a preview of what we need to expect more of and adapt to, he said. “I think that we need to consider this as a dry run, a dress rehearsal, of what we’re going to see more of in the future.”
British Columbia bore the brunt of the weather events, experiencing both the Top 2 and half of the overall events.
“The province was baked, dried out, scorched, flooded and inundated with mud, rock and debris flows,” said a statement accompanying the Top 10 list.
1. Record heat under the dome
2. B.C.’s flood of floods
3. Canada dry from coast to coast
4. Wildfire season — early, active, unrelenting
5. Canada rides out 4 heat waves
6. Year of the EF-2 tornado
7. Dreaded Arctic blast freezes Canada in February
8. Another hailer-flooder in Calgary
9. Hurricane Larry belonged to Newfoundland
10. January Prairie Clipper