Siberia, which lies within the Arctic Circle, has been hit by an early wildfire season due to the unusual heat blast causing temperatures to rocket. Nizhnaya Pesha saw sweltering highs of 30C last Wednesday, which have been described by Scottish meteorologist Scott Duncan as “mind-boggling” for the typically cold region. He said last week: “It reached +30°C (86.5°F) in the Arctic today.
“Hotter than pretty much all of Europe right now.
“Truly exceptional for any time of the year but mind-boggling for May.”
He added temperatures across the Arctic region are now 20 to 24C higher than average for this time of year.
It comes as areas in the Arctic Circle, including Naryan-Mar, Arkhangelsk and Salekhard, have all seen temperatures averaging 25-30C for most days this month.
State meteorological service Roshydromet added the heat anomaly is likely to have originated from southwestern Siberia, before then spreading through most of central Russia.
Moscow and several other Russian cities have seen record levels of heat over the last week.
St Petersburg also recorded its hottest day in 58 years on May 12, as highs of 26.7C hit just days after it the city saw snowfall.
City authorities in Russia have now issued a weather hazard level and published guidance for citizens who are not used to the heat.
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He said: “Over the past 20-25 years, the number of dangerous phenomena in Russia has doubled.
“This is especially noticeable in the summer, as more wet masses rise from the ground into the layers of the atmosphere.
“Climate change also leads to the variability of the weather.”
UN scientists have also said climate change is the most likely cause for the increasing temperatures.
However, despite this warning, the Russian Government’s Arctic Strategy 2035, which was published last year, revealed the country is aiming to develop several fossil fuel projects in the Arctic.
The Arctic heatwave also hit at the same time foreign ministers gathered in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a meeting of the Arctic Council to discuss future relations in the eight Arctic states.
This also marked the start of Russia’s two-year presidency at Council meetings.
Scientists have warned climate change and global warming will cause devastation for the Arctic ecosystem.
This is due to the changing temperatures causing changes in habitat, food habits and interactions between animals, including polar bears.