Over the past few days, the news media, social media, and even the Drudge Report have been overheating about a 100-degree temperature reading in Siberia. For example, a trending tweet, below, claims Siberia is “literally on fire”:
Prominent climate activist Bill McKibben, founder of the climate activist organization, 350.org, tweeted on the 100-degree temperature recorded in Verkhoyansk Siberia:
“Siberian town tops 100 degrees F, the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle. This scares me, I have to say.”
He’s scared? Well, what about the other times when it got that hot above the Arctic circle, before “climate change” became a social justice cause?
For example, this Associated Press article says “…it was 100 degrees on June 27, 1915, in Fort Yukon, [Alaska] according to official records of the National Weather Service. Records date back to 1904.”
That pretty much cools down Bill’s claim of “the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle”. Both Verkhoyansk, Siberia and Fort Yukon, Alaska are well above the latitude that defines the Arctic Circle. How is it that 105 years of global warming ago, when “climate change” wasn’t even a factor, that it got that hot? Inquiring minds want to know.
Or how about the fact that the 100-degree reading in Verkhoyansk, Siberia, this week topped Verkhoyansk’s previous record (37.3C / 99.1F) by just 1 degree? Verkhoyansk’s previous record was set back in the 1980s, more than 30 years of global warming ago.
Climate activists spreading alarm about Siberian summer temperatures are ignoring that the geography and meteorological patterns of Siberia make Siberia prone to both cold winters and hot summers. Verkhoyansk has an extreme climate dominated much of the year by high pressure. This has the effect of cutting off the region from moderating temperature factors and facilitating long stretches with little cloud cover. In the winter, this leads to extensive cold. In the summer, the opposite is true, leading to very high temperatures.
According to the Moscow Times:
“Verkhoyansk holds the Guinness World Record for the highest recorded temperature range of 105 C, fluctuating from minus 68 C to a high of 37 C. The previous temperature record for the isolated town of around 1,300 residents stood at 37.3 C [99.1F] in July 1988.”
In other words, such extremes are normal for this place. With only 100 years of temperature records there, and the planet being billions of years old, it isn’t at all surprising that we still haven’t measured the extremes of natural variation, both hot and cold, for Siberia.