Climate change: Siberian heatwave 'clear evidence' of warming

Wildfires were made more severe by high temperatures and strong winds

A record-breaking heatwave in Siberia would have been almost impossible without human-caused climate change, a study has found.

The Russian region's temperatures were more than 5ºC above average between January and June of this year.

Temperatures exceeded 38ºC in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June, the highest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic circle.

The Arctic is believed to be warming twice as fast as the global average.

An international team of climate scientists, led by the UK Met Office, found the record average temperatures were likely to happen less than once every 80,000 years without human-induced climate change.

That makes such an event "almost impossible" had the world not been warmed by greenhouse gas emissions, they conclude in the study.

The scientists described the finding as "unequivocal evidence of the impact of climate change on the planet".

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