Russia’s average temperatures in June 2021 were 3 degrees Celsius hotter than normal as some regions of the country hit all-time heat records, scientists from the St. Petersburg-based Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory told The Moscow Times.
The data comes as Russia and Canada continue to swelter under historic heat waves that have been linked to climate change.
According to scientists Andrei Kiselev and Elena Akentieva, parts of Russia from the Baltic Sea to the Far East saw extreme temperatures last month.
Record temperatures have been recorded “all over the place” in European Russia, where most of the population lives, with exceptions around the Sea of Azov, the scientists said. In St. Petersburg, average temperatures exceeded the monthly norm by 5 C – a new record for the city — while Moscow also experienced its hottest June in 142 years of recorded history.
In Russia’s Asian regions, the heatwave has been especially pronounced in the northeastern Siberian republic of Sakha, which saw the hottest June in its recorded history. Temperatures across the region ranged from 1.2 C higher than usual in some areas to 4.5 C higher in others, Kiselev and Akentieva said.
Globally, the three hottest years in recorded history have all taken place in the past five years, the scientists told The Moscow Times.
Russia is warming 2.5 times faster than the planet as a whole, with its vast territory vulnerable to increasingly severe wildfires, permafrost melt and loss of sea ice cover in the Arctic.
Kiselev and Akentieva stressed that it is impossible to say whether Russia will see record-breaking temperatures each consecutive year as weather conditions are influenced by many factors.
“At the same time, we can assert that temperatures will continue to rise and this is likely to get more and more intense,” the scientists said. “Even if the global community reaches all the Paris Agreement goals, it will not be enough to lead to rapid change – it will take a lot of time to soften the blow of anthropogenic warming.”
Last month was the fourth-warmest June in recorded history for the entire planet, according to scientists at the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
It’s still too early to tell whether last month was one of the hottest in Russia’s history as final calculations haven’t yet been completed, experts at the Central Geophysical Observatory said.
Russia’s hottest June in recorded history was in 1999, when temperatures exceeded the monthly average by 4.9 degrees. However, any monthly fluctuation of more than 1 C is considered significant, the chief scientist at Russia’s weather service Rosgidromet Roman Vilfand said in an interview last week.
According to Rosgidromet data, June 2020 was 1.6 C warmer than the monthly average, an anomaly that is likely to double this year if the Voeikov scientists’ estimate of June temperatures being 3 С above normal holds true after final analysis.