Breakdown: Siberia: Why the frozen Tundra is burning

Breakdown: Siberia why the frozen Tundra is burning

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Arctic temperatures reached 100.4 in June setting a new record for the hottest temperature ever in that area. In June in the Arctic Siberia temperatures were above average for the month of June. In January, their normal high temperature is minus 47 degrees Fahrenheit, but in June and July, their average temperature is near 70 degrees.

According to climatology for the area, they’ve only been above 90 degrees over 150 times, and above 95 degrees at least twelve. This record breaking temperature of 100 degrees in June 2020 and the unseasonable heat has fueled many wildfire outbreaks.

The region has had some of the worst wildfires ever and many are continuing to burn. Average temperatures in the region were around nine degrees Fahrenheit above normal. This increase in temperatures made it more than a degree higher than the two Junes before in 2018 and 2019 according to data.

Not only have the fires been surprising, but the location of the fires have been shocking to many researchers. Fires have been burning to the Arctic Ocean. Researchers point out that this area doesn’t typically burn easily because there’s not much fuel to burn and because this area is kept pretty cold by the ocean.

The above normal hot temperatures have taken away most of the moisture from the ground across the forests and tundra, which is fueling wildfires that have intensified.

According to scientist the abnormal heat is the main cause of these fires. Since December, temperatures across Siberia have been above normal because of the prolonged warm pattern of high pressure. This area of high pressure has produced warm, sunny weather, and as a result has melted the snow-pack sooner than normal. This stationary pattern and abnormally warm temperatures have been linked to climate change.

The fires continue to move underground which will mean the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This release of greenhouse gases could allow for more Arctic warming and more permafrost thaw down the line.

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