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UN evaluates reports of record Arctic heat in Siberia

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency is investigating media reports suggesting a new record high temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Arctic Circle amid a heatwave and prolonged wildfires in eastern Siberia.

The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that it’s looking to verify the temperature reading on Saturday in the Russian town of Verkoyansk with Roshydromet, the Russian federal service for hydro-meteorological and environmental monitoring.

Agency spokeswoman Clare Nullis said wildfires in the Russian region and hot summer conditions regularly drive temperatures above 30 degrees C (86 F) in July, but they’ve never been found to top 38 degrees in the area.

“We’re taking it seriously, but we need to await official confirmation,” she told reporters in Geneva.

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Follow all AP coverage of climate change issues at https://apnews.com/Climate.

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