Between January and June, an unprecedented heatwave occurred in Siberia. As a result, the average temperature increased by 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Researchers have found that this weather is 600 times more likely according to a new report.
And just to be clear, this was not your average heatwave. A new record was set when a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit was detected. This is the hottest of any location within the Arctic in recorded history.
And as climate conditions continue on their current trend, it could get worse.
Conditions Will Get Worse
It is possible that it might already be too late to do anything.
While emissions from industry and transportation continue to pollute our air, the higher temperatures in the arctic region now mean that permafrost is melting. As a result, large quantities of methane are released into the atmosphere.
This creates a vicious cycle in which more emissions end up in the atmosphere, which causes the temperature to rise and melt even more permafrost. Thus, even if we can curb our own emissions, it might be too late to break this cycle.
A Very Rare Event
Researchers did find that even if you ignore the current climate conditions, this heatwave was a very rare event. In fact, you could expect an event like this to occur once every 130 years.
However, this does mean that there is a chance it could occur naturally, although extremely unlikely.
A Threat For the Region
The melting permafrost is a threat to the entire region of Siberia and a disaster has already happened.
Earlier this year, a massive 20,000-ton oil spill happened at a power plant when the permafrost was melted. Permafrost is the foundation for most structures in the region. As a result, any structure built on it is at risk.
The devastating effects of climate change are now becoming visible to the world.