Russia's Hottest September Ever Recorded Saw Temperatures Rise 10 Degrees Above Average

Last month was Russia's hottest September in more than a century of climate records, with some parts of the country seeing temperature anomalies of over 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average, according to the state weather service.

Marina Makarova, from the Russian Hydrometeorology Center, told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that almost every part of the country had experienced temperatures that were several degrees above average in September.

"The largest anomalies were observed in north Eurasia where temperatures exceeded the average by 5-6 degrees [Celsius] (9-10.8 degrees Fahrenheit)," she said. "It was Russia's warmest [September] in the entire 130-year history of measurements. New temperature records were repeatedly set throughout the month there."

She said the "temperature anomaly" was mostly down to the record temperatures recorded in the northern regions. For example, the town of Verkhoyansk located around six miles north of the Arctic circle in remote eastern Siberia recorded a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on June 20.

This measurement could be the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic, although this needs to verified by the World Meteorological Organization.

Temperatures in other western parts of Russia reached over 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for September, Markova said.

Scientists say that Russia, with its vast Arctic territories, is being particularly badly affected by climate change and is warming at around two times the rate of the rest of the planet.

Last year was the Russia's hottest year on record. The first six months of 2020 were also the warmest in the "history of instrumental weather observations" in the country, Roman Vilfand, the director of the Hydrometeorological Center, told Russian news website RBC in July.

Vilfand said the country had experienced "extremely anomalous weather in June," with measuring stations recording "fantastical" anomalies—notably in the Russian Arctic.

"Previous records were broken easily," he said.

Moscow, Russia
Stock image of Moscow, Russia. Scientists say the country has experienced its hottest September on record. iStock

Siberia—the vast region that accounts for around 77 percent of Russia's land area—is no stranger to climate extremes, regularly experiencing large temperature swings between summer and winter.

But scientists say that temperatures in the region have been unseasonably warm for much of 2020.

"What's unusual is the extraordinary persistence of the heat," Weather Channel meteorologist Carl Parker previously told Newsweek. "The six-month period from December to May is likely far and away the warmest since 1880."

Experts say that the Earth has warmed by around 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, while the Arctic has warmed by 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit in that same period, meaning abnormally high temperatures are more likely to occur in the region.

"What climate change is doing is moving the distribution of weather events, such that historically low-frequency, extreme events occur more frequently. Had the climate not changed due to man-made greenhouse gases, the heat we've seen in parts of Siberia would have been a 100,000-year event," Parker said.