As two-thirds of the United States grapples with dangerously high temperatures this weekend, climatologists are now sounding the alarm over another blast of warm weather further to the north.
On Tuesday, an Arctic heatwave hit the settlement of Alert, Canada causing temperatures to reach 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius) for the very first time.
The news has shocked even the most hardened environmental experts, with Alert located less than 500 miles from North Pole.
The remote outpost – which is home to 62 permanent residents – is known for its icy conditions and is the northernmost inhabitable part of the planet.
Tuesday’s temperatures were remarkably higher than the July average of 41 degrees (5 degrees Celsius).
David Phillips, the chief climatologist of Environment Canada, told CBC that the weather was ‘unprecedented’.
‘It’s not just half a degree or a 10th of a millimeter. It’s like hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It is so different than what the previous record was,’ he warned.
Phillips claimed the temperature was the equivalent of New York reaching 111 degrees (44 degrees Celsius).
Meanwhile, Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at the Canadian environment ministry, called Alert’s heatwave ‘quite phenomenal’.
‘It’s an absolute record, we’ve never seen that before,’ he told AFP.
According to scientists, this summer is the warmest in the Arctic in 115,000 years.
The Gulf of Mexico just had its hottest June since the federal government began keeping records 110 years ago, according to a new report on global land and ocean temperatures from American scientists.
The sobering information comes from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monthly climate report released this week that found last month to be the hottest June on record across the globe.
In a breakdown by region, the Gulf of Mexico was disproportionately warm. The June sea surface temperature, measured by buoys, ships and satellites, was more than 2 degrees warmer than average.
In the Gulf of Mexico there has not been a cooler-than-average June since 1988, clear evidence that the body of water is warming over time, even though the progression is not quite linear. Six of the 10 warmest years recorded in the Gulf have occurred within the last decade.
Summers are terrible in south Louisiana, but this week, for the first time, I thought about whether or not it’s going to make sense for our children and the families they start one day to settle here — this, because of global warming. How tolerable is this heat going to be for me and my wife when we are elderly? Should we and our adult children one day become climate refugees, and sell our land here in Louisiana while we can get a good price for it, and move to some part of the US where the climate is likely to be less severe in this century, and beyond?
Maybe I won’t have to think about this. I’ll probably be dead by 2050. My kids, though, and their families — it’s going to be an issue, for sure. And that’s assuming that they have the resources to migrate, and assuming that there has not been some kind of political change that would keep Americans from regions hard hit by climate change from relocating elsewhere within the country.
This is going to be one hell of a century.