Record breaking temperatures recorded in Arctic Russia

In Saskylah, a small community in the Arctic Circle, the air temperature reached 31.9 C on Sunday, the highest record since 1936. (European Union, Copernicus Sentinel-3 imagery)

Sunday saw a slew of record-breaking temperatures in Arctic Russia, as a persistent heatwave continues to sweep Siberia, especially in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia.)

In Saskylah, a small community in the Arctic Circle, the air temperature reached 31.9 C, the highest record since 1936. Land surface temperature reached 39 C.

The temperatures were among the data published on Monday by Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation program. 

The readings, taken from the Copernicus Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B satellites, showed the land surface temperature in Siberia was above 35 C.

A peak of 48 C was recorded near the town of Verkhojansk, located in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

Hot, dry weather affecting forest fires

The hot, dry weather is an increasing concern in Yakutia were 64 forest fires were active as of Tuesday, said the regional government in a news release. 

Although the fires are currently not threatening any communities or infrastructure, regional governor Aisen Nikolaev said the current climate was a key factor leading to the rapid increase in the number of fires. 

In the update, the government said 1,586 people and 139 pieces of equipment were currently being used to fight the blazes. 

The government said the current heatwave was “abnormally hot weather” and was expected to last until the end of June.

Dry thunderstorms have also ignited new fires in recent days, it says.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at) 

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Glacier mass decreasing across Arctic but at different rates, says study, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland ice cores reveal historic climate clues, says study, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Climate change hits back at Svalbard, coal mine flooded by melting glacier in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Retreating ice reveals new land in Arctic Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Glacier in central Sweden “collapsing” as climate warms, Radio Sweden

United States: Climate change a threat to bases across the U.S., Defense Dept. says, Alaska Public Media

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

3 thoughts on “Record breaking temperatures recorded in Arctic Russia

  • Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 09:18

    Meanwhile, Antarctica is experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures.

    • Friday, June 25, 2021 at 11:25

      Can you tell us where to find that information?
      What are the implications of that, given that this is the start of winter in the antarctic.

  • Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 20:14

    i live in the yukon…yes in 50 yrs not the same place

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