DNA Explainer: With 48 degrees Celsius how Siberia temperature surpassed that of Delhi

Two EU satellites recorded a scorching temperature of 48 degrees Celsius on the ground in Arctic Siberia in the midst of an ongoing heatwave.

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DNA Explainer: With 48 degrees Celsius how Siberia temperature surpassed that of Delhi
Huge wildfires in Russia's Siberia kill 26 (Image Source: Reuters)


We all know that Russia, especially the northern part from St Petersburg to Moscow and into Siberia is one of the coldest regions on Earth. But then wait, it may not be the case now. Climate change is clearly reflecting in this part of the Earth, which is otherwise extremely cold with snowfall all around.

However, this year even as the world battles with the COVID-19 pandemic, two European Union satellites recorded a scorching temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) on the ground in Arctic Siberia in the midst of an ongoing heatwave over much of Siberia. 

The recording by EU's Copernicus Sentinal-3A and 3B satellite was done on June 20 which is the longest day of the year. It falls on the summer solstice, also known as an estival solstice or midsummer which occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. 

Temperatures recorded

Daily temperatures in St Petersburg rose to a record-breaking 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday as the city faced the hottest temperatures it's seen since 1998.

Temperatures in Moscow broke their all-time June record Wednesday when they reached 34.8 degrees Celsius (94.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The previous record was 34.7 degrees Celsius (94.46 degrees Fahrenheit), recorded in 1901, the Associated Press reported.

In Siberia on Sunday, the land surface temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Peaks of 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) were recorded near Verkhoyansk, and 37 degrees Celsius (nearly 99 degrees Fahrenheit) in Saskylah, both of which are north of the Arctic Circle.

Reason for this change

This is a predictable start to the summer season, following a spring that saw hundreds of wildfires scorching the Siberian countryside and blacking out major cities with blankets of smoke.

Many of these spring fires were 'zombie fires', so named because they are thought to be the rekindled remains of wildfires that ignited the previous summer and were never fully extinguished.

The zombie fires smoldered for months under winter ice and snow, fed by the carbon-rich peat below the surface. When the spring melt arrived, the old fires blazed anew.

For years, average temperatures in the Arctic have been rising at a far faster rate than anywhere else on Earth, largely due to melting sea ice induced by man-made global warming.

Comparison with Delhi temperature

Back in India, Delhi and its surrounding areas are also witnessing the hottest summers this year with the mercury touching 45 degrees Celsius.

This year's May month has been Delhi's hottest month during which maximum temperatures reached 45 degrees Celsius or even a little higher.

Ironically, Delhi's temperature on June 20 was recorded a maximum of 35 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 25 degrees Celsius, which is much less than Siberia's temperature.

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