Ice floes on the Lena River in Yakutsk, Russia.

  • The Siberian town of Verkhoyansk hit almost 38°C on Saturday, following months of record-breaking heat in the Arctic Circle.
  • Last winter was the hottest in Siberia since temperatures were first recorded 130 years ago, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said there's a 75% chance that 2020 could be the hottest year on record.
  • If not for climate change, Siberia's record-breaking temperatures would be "a one in 100,000 year event," one scientist said.
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The Arctic Circle hit temperatures almost 38°C  on Saturday. If verified, it would be the region's hottest day on record.

The Siberian town of Verkhoyansk reached 38°C, or 3.3 degrees higher than normal temperatures, CBS News reported. The same day, extensive fires blazed east of Verkhoyansk, satellite images show. On the East Siberian Sea, north of the town, those images showed open water instead of ice.

The Siberian town, about 5,000km east of Moscow, Russia, is historically one of the coldest places on Earth. Last November, temperatures dropped to almost -51 degrees.

Siberian temperatures have broken records in the past several months, however, and last winter was "the hottest in Siberia since records began 130 years ago," Marina Makarova, chief meteorologist at Russia's Rosgidromet weather service, told The Guardian.

In late May, Khatanga recorded 26°C, CBS News reported. Two weeks later, Nizhnyaya Pesha reached 30°C. The month of May was 10 degrees higher than average in western Siberia.

If not for man-made climate change, Siberia's record-shattering heat would be "a 1 in 100,000 year event," Martin Stendel, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, said on social media.

Searing, record-breaking heat is also occurring in the United States.

Caribou, Maine, hit a record 36 degrees Celcius on Friday and stayed in the 90s through Saturday. 

Meterologists said earlier this year that 2020 is on pace to be one of the hottest years ever. "It is virtually certain that 2020 will be a top 10 year," the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in April, and there's a 75% chance it could be the hottest on record.

Climate change will be felt most severely in the Global South, especially among the poor and working class. 

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