On Wednesday, the mercury rose above 30 ° C in parts of the Arctic, significantly above average for the time of year.
Scott Duncan, a UK-based meteorologist, described the conditions as “truly exceptional at any time of the year, but breathtaking for May”.
The climate expert added that because the Arctic is warming so quickly, “deep heat waves” are more likely to occur in the future.
Rising temperatures are melting ice and permafrost in the region, releasing previously trapped methane into the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
The current heat wave is expected to continue, with climatologist Zack Labe saying that over the coming week temperatures will be more than 10 ° C above average in eastern Siberia.
Although still shocking, the temperatures seen this month are well below the hottest day in arctic history, which was 38 ° C recorded in the Siberian city of Verkhoyansk last year.
At the time, CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli described the record as “the kind of weather we expect by 2100, 80 years earlier.”
The latest temperature record comes shortly after a new study found that the region has warmed three times faster than the rest of the Earth in the past half-century.
Published by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the report warned that temperature changes in the Arctic could have far-reaching consequences across the world, including on issues such as sea level rise.
Its findings were discussed last week by the Arctic Council, a group of countries that includes the United States and Russia.
The Council’s 12th ministerial meeting took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Thursday, with a discussion focused on its four big issues: climate change, human health, Arctic shipping and innovation in local communities.