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Arctic wildfires linked to warming temperatures: NOAA

Arctic wildfires linked to warming temperatures: NOAA
© ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires in the arctic are linked to warming temperatures there, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

NOAA’s new 2020 update to its Arctic Report Card said the “extreme” fires in Russia’s Sakha Republic “coincided with unparalleled warm air temperatures and record snow loss.”

Increasing air temperature over the past 41 years is a factor contributing to “more favorable” conditions for fires, the report said. 

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Scientists have repeatedly linked climate change to extreme weather events. 

The new report noted that this year’s annual land surface air temperature in the region was the second highest recorded since at least 1900. 

The new NOAA report also said sea ice loss this year was particularly high, with the end of summer sea ice extent reaching the second-lowest level recorded during the past 42 years. 

It said that changes due to sea ice loss are “challenging” traditional ways of life for coastal indigenous communities and the loss of sea ice cover may be linked to weather shifts.

The report follows recent news showing that the planet in general is reaching warmer temperatures.

The United Nations’s World Meteorological Organization recently projected that 2020 will be among the three hottest years recorded globally. It also said the years 2015 through 2020 are expected to be the six warmest on record.