A prolonged heatwave in Siberia is “undoubtedly alarming”, climate scientists have said. The freak temperatures have been linked to wildfires, a huge oil spill and a plague of tree-eating moths. On a global scale, the Siberian heat is helping push the world towards its hottest year on record in 2020, despite a temporary dip in carbon emissions owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Temperatures in the polar regions are rising fastest because ocean currents carry heat towards the poles and reflective ice and snow is melting away. Russian towns in the Arctic circle have recorded extraordinary temperatures, with Nizhnyaya Pesha hitting 30C on 9 June and Khatanga, which usually has daytime temperatures of around 0C at this time of year, hitting 25C on 22 May. The previous record was 12C.
Guardian 17th June 2020 read more »
The extent of the summer sea ice in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica has decreased by one million square kilometres – roughly twice the size of Spain – in just the last five years, scientists have warned. The Weddell Sea is a huge bay in the Antarctic continent where explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton famously lost his ship The Endurance to pack ice in 1915, and it is one of the few areas surrounding the continent which usually retains sea ice all year round. But levels of ice in the bay have begun to fall sharply. The amount of ice in the Weddell Sea was first monitored beginning in the 1970s, but the total area of summer sea ice has now fallen by a third over the last five years.
Independent 17th June 2020 read more »