Siberia’s 2020 heatwave made ‘600 times more likely’ by climate change

Siberia’s prolonged heat from January to June this year – which broke temperature records and drove polluting megafires – would have been “almost impossible” without human-caused climate change, according to new analysis.

The results find that climate change made Siberia’s heatwave at least 600 times more likely.

Temperatures peaked at 38C in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June 2020. The reaching of this temperature, which is likely to be a new record for the entire Arctic region, was also made “much more likely” by climate change, says the analysis.

Overall, temperatures in Siberia were more than 5C above average from January to June.

The findings are the latest in a string of scientific analyses linking human-caused climate change to recent record heatwaves in Japan , the UK and France , among other regions.

‘Strongest results’

The Arctic is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. Average global temperatures have risen by around 1C since the start of the industrial era, but the Arctic has seen around double this amount of warming. In some parts of the Arctic, temperature rise is four times higher than the global average.

The build-up of heat in the Arctic has triggered the rapid disappearance of sea ice , the thawing of carbon-rich permafrost and changes to the physical make-up of the Arctic Ocean.

Heatwaves in the Arctic over the past two years have also been associated with the emergence of extreme wildfires .

The scale & intensity of #Siberia / #Arctic #wildfires in June 2020 has been greater than the 'unprecedented' activity of June 2019 in #Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service GFAS data based on MODIS

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