Svalbard, the northernmost inhabited area in the world, has recorded its highest temperature since records have been kept.
According to Norway’s meteorological institute, for two days in a row, the archipelago measured 21.7 degrees Celsius, setting a new record.
— Meteorologene (@Meteorologene) July 25, 2020
This frozen island is only 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole and is home to the “Dooms Day Vault” which houses seeds and code that are hoped to survive should something happen most of the global population.
This heatwave is a huge spike in temperatures, even though July is the hottest month of the year in this region. According to AFP, the average temperature is usually between 5-8 degrees Celsius this time of year.
These estimates are based on the changes already happening in the region. From 1971 to 2017 between three and five degrees Celsius of warming have been observed.
While shocking, this change has been expected as the Arctic has been found to be warming faster than the rest of the planet. In addition, a recent report on the Svalbard climate has put the average temperature expected for the area between 2070 and 2100 at 7-10 degrees Celsius because of climate change.