The effect of Climate change on the Arctic has sent the alarm bells ringing. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN agency, said the extreme heat was more like that in the Mediterranean than in the Arctic.

The WMO confirmed that the town of Verkhoyansk in Siberia recorded a high of 100F (38C) in June last year. This was considerably higher than the area's average daily maximum for June. The agency added the Arctic Circle in its archive of extreme weather reports in view of these observations. A meteorological station measured the temperature during the Siberian heatwave.

The extreme heat in the region last year led to wildfires. These spread across the forests and peatlands of northern Russia. Fires are common in summer, but the high temperatures and strong winds make them more severe. Moreover, the high temperatures across Siberia resulted in sea ice loss on a large scale. Scientists attribute the high temperatures in the Arctic to climate change.

Melting of snow and ice in the Russian Arctic aggravates the warming

The WMO believes the loss of ice due to the heatwave was responsible for transforming 2020 into one of the three warmest years on record. Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of WMO, revealed to the BBC that melting snow and ice in the Russian Arctic boosted the warming.

He explains that this situation is because of changes in the radiation properties of the soil and the ocean. The snow cover helps in the radiation properties of the surface. The WMO concludes that the Arctic is gradually becoming one of the fastest-warming regions in the world. That is a matter of concern, and the world must take corrective action.

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Dangers of permafrost thawing in the Arctic

As the Arctic warms up, it sets in motion a vicious cycle. The frozen permafrost below ground level thaws and releases trapped greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. That leads to further warming and thawing of the permafrost. The BBC adds that the rise in temperatures translates into a faster rate of melting of land ice in the Arctic.

That leads to greater run-off into the ocean and contributes to sea-level rise. Human activity is a significant factor responsible for an increase in world temperatures. Human lives are under the threat of climate change. That could result in situations where the frequency of droughts and sea-level rise would increase with the mass extinction of species