The heat wave in Siberia between January and June this year pushed overall temperatures 5°C higher than normal, would have been “almost impossible” if not for human-caused climate change, a new study has found.
Temperatures in Siberia have been above average since the beginning of the year, with the Russian town of Verkhoyansk recording a temperature of 38°C in June breaking record Artic temperatures.
The heat wave has also been associated with an outbreak of silk moths, whose larvae eat conifer trees in the region, according to the Met Office.
The heart wave triggered wildfires sending out 56 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The heat in Siberia has also accelerated the melting of permafrost. An oil tank built on the frozen soil collapsed in May, leading to one of the worst oil spills ever in the region.
A study released on Wednesday by a team of international researchers found that the prolonged heat like the Arctic region experienced this year would only happen less than once in every 80,000 years without human-induced climate change.
Scientists found that climate change increased the chances of prolonged heat by a factor of at least 600, and warned that greenhouse gases released by the fires and melting permafrost will further heat the planet, melting ice and snow.
The scientists said that, even in the current climate, the prolonged heat was still unlikely, with such extreme conditions being expected to occur less than once every 130 years.
However, without rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions they risk becoming frequent by the end of the century, experts warned.