Record of heat at the most northerly inhabited point of the Earth
Mercury hit 21 degrees Celsius Sunday in Alert, the world’s most northerly inhabited place, less than 900 km from the North Pole, setting an “all-time record” of heat for the station, Canadian weather Tuesday said.
“This is phenomenal as a statistic, it is an example among hundreds and hundreds of other records established by global warming,” said AFP Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at the Canadian Department of the Environment.
Permanent military base established at the 82 th parallel, primarily designed for intercepting Russian communications, Alert home since 1950 a weather station.
It was 21 degrees Sunday: “This is an absolute record, we have never seen that,” said Mr. Castellan, pointing out that it was 20 degrees Monday.
It was 17.6 degrees Tuesday at 16:00 local “and it can still go up,” he said.
“It’s no exaggeration to call it an Arctic heat wave,” said David Phillips, a senior climatologist with the Canadian Environment Ministry, and noted that it was “of records for each of these days “.
Such high temperatures also in the north, “it’s completely devastating”, according to Mr. Castellan, especially as “it’s been a week and a half that we have temperatures much warmer than usual”.
The previous record of -20 degrees Celsius was recorded on July 8, 1956, but since 2012, several days between 19 and 20 degrees have been recorded at this station located on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.
The average daily for a month of July is 3.4 degrees at Alert, and the average maximum temperature is 6.1 degrees.
The current heat wave is explained by a “high-pressure ridge” that hangs over Greenland, which is “quite exceptional” and “helps to have southerly winds” over the Arctic Ocean, observed Mr. Castellan.
Mr. Phillips recalled that northern Canada had had its second or third mildest spring in 72 years, depending on the location. “And our models indicate that it will continue in July, August and until early September,” he added.
For Castellan, “climate change has an influence very indirectly or directly” on these record temperatures, especially as the Arctic is warming three times faster than elsewhere on the planet.