STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard has seen such extreme warmth this year that the average annual temperature could end up above freezing for the first time on record, scientists said Friday.
Ketil Isaksen of the Norwegian Meterological Institute said that the average temperature in Longyearbyen, the main settlement in Svalbard, is expected to be around 0 Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) with a little over a month left of the year.
“This is a little bit shocking,” Isaksen said. “If you had asked me five or 10 years ago, I could not have imagined such numbers in 2016.”
The normal yearly average in Svalbard, an island group midway between the North Pole and continental Norway, is minus 6.7 C (20 F) and the warmest year until now was 2006, when the average temperature in Svalbard was minus 1.8 C (29 F), Isaksen said.
“Svalbard is a very good spot to show what’s happening …
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