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A HISTORIC HEAT WAVE ROASTS SIBERIA

Focus: GS-I Geography, GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

The climate has been warming rapidly in the Arctic for years, but a heat wave roasting northern Siberia recently has been shocking.

Signs of seriousness

  • Verkhoyansk was best known for sharing the Northern Hemisphere’s cold temperature record — 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, set in 1892, and the same place has now recorded over 37 degrees Celsius — possibly the hottest temperature ever recorded above the Arctic Circle.
  • The frozen ground, or permafrost, lies just below the surface across much of Russia. In some areas, including northeastern Siberia, the permafrost contains ice. With every hot summer, more of it thaws, flooding pastures, twisting roads, destabilising buildings and eroding riverbanks.
  • The thawing permafrost has global consequences because it results in the release of greenhouse gases from the decomposition of frozen organic material.
  • The Arctic has been heating over twice as fast as the rest of the world.
  • Above the Arctic Circle, there is no escaping the heat because the sun shines around the clock in the summer season.

-Source: Hindustan Times

February 2023
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