Arctic town records highest temperature ever

Arctic town records highest temperature ever
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The temperature in a Russian town located within the Arctic circle reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, the hottest temperature on record for the area.

Verkhoyansk, a town in the region of Siberia known for experiencing wide ranges in temperatures throughout the year, reported a temperature reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius, the Associated Press reported. The previous record was 98.96 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures of -90 degrees Fahrenheit have also been reported in the area.

The record high temperatures are thought to be contributing to dangerous wildfires in the region, the AP reported, and are part of a six-month heat wave affecting the region. Some of the wildfires are reportedly so-called "zombie" fires, in which decayed organic matter burns underground causing smoke to rise to the surface. 

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"We might actually be missing some of the fire activity which is burning in peat, that could even be burning underground, so it may not be detectable by satellites," said Dr. Mark Parrington, a scientist with the European Union's Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC).

"In the really far northern latitudes this is quite a surprise," he added.

"Events that were once thought to be relatively rare have been observed to be happening a lot more frequently in places of the world where it wasn't thought that these kinds of events could take place," Parrington said.

More than 680,000 acres are thought to be burning in one area affected by the wildfires, according to a Russian monitoring agency.