Last sunset before the polar night in Varanger, northernmost Norway this weekend. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Shocking temperatures across the Arctic

The hottest October ever in Europe is now followed by a November weekend with an average of 6,7°C above normal across the Arctic.
November 22, 2020


Heating is continuing to accelerate at an unprecedented speed in the north. The anomaly high temperatures this weekend are following a row of bad news this autumn.

November 21 came with temperatures 10-12°C higher than normal 30 years ago, according to the Climate Change Institute with the University of Maine. For the entire Arctic, the heat was on average 6,7°C higher than normal.

A belt of warm air is currently stretching from northern Greenland across the North Pole to the Laptev- and East Siberian Seas north of the Russian mainland. Northeast of Svalbard via Franz Josef Land to Severnaya Zemlya see similar heat.



The Russian Arctic waters have a delayed growth of sea ice this winter. Open waters trigger warmer weather, and as previously reported by The Barents Observer, this October was extraordinary warm at several of the Russian archipelagoes, between 6-8°C warmer than normal. September also the warmest in Russia’s 130-year recorded history of measuring temperatures in its Arctic regions. 

U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information can tell about October being the fourth-warmest on record in global average, but for Europe, the month ended as the hottest on record. Norway’s Meteorological Institute also points to the northern regions having the largest anomaly for October with 2,5-3°C higher than normal in Troms and Finnmark region.



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