Siberia roasts in a historic heat wave
|Residents of Russkoye Ustye, a Siberian village by the Arctic Ocean coast, used to ride snowmobiles in June.
|The town of Verkhoyansk topped 100 Fahrenheit last Saturday, possibly the hottest temperature ever recorded above the Arctic Circle. Verkhoyansk had been best known as a place of exile that shared the Northern Hemisphere’s cold temperature record — 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
|Bigger picture: The Arctic is warming up more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, and its effect on thawing permafrost could unleash as much as 240 billion tons of carbon by 2100. This year’s thaw destabilized a fuel tank that released 150,000 barrels of diesel into a river.
Quotable: “Nature is taking its revenge on us, probably,” said Sergei Portnyagin, the head of Russkoye Ustye. He added that residents are developing skin problems and headaches because of the heat. “We’ve been too bloody in how we’ve treated it.”