Hottest Day Ever Recorded in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

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Longyearbyen Downtown
Longyearbyen is one of the most northern towns in the world. Its name means The Long Year Town. Photo: The Culture Map

The hottest day ever recorded in the small town of Longyearbyen occurred on July 26th. The high temperature for the day was 21.7ºC (71.06ºF). Longyearbyen is a town of about 3,000 people on the Norwegian island of Svalbard. The town lies just over 620 miles from the North Pole.

While July is typically the hottest month of the year, the average high temperature for the month usually lies below 9ºC (49ºF)These record highs are a familiar trend in recent years as the polar regions warm significantly faster than any other region on Earth. In fact, according to a recent report, from 1971-2017 the average temperature on Svalbard has increased three to five degrees Celcius. It is expected the temperature will increase by another seven to ten degrees Celcius by the end of the century.

svalbard location
The Svalbard archipelago is located east of Greenland and is the most northern region of Norway. Photo: Pinterest

Can You See the Warming Trend?

The above list is just a small snapshot of the record heat across the globe. The repetition of records being broken may make you numb to the news, but our planet is in crisis none the less.

Longyearbyen is an important town, not only because it is the economic hub of Svalbard, but because it is home to two ‘doomsday vaults’. The Global Seed Vault and the Arctic World Archive are both located in this remote town in order to preserve plants’ biodiversity. The theory was that an underground bunker could keep seeds safe no matter what happens on Earth. The only problem with the vaults is that no one accounted for how fast the Arctic would start to thaw. In 2017 the Global Seed Vault experienced minor flooding as water inundated the cache due to intense melting.

Longyearbyen home of the Seed Vault
The Global Seed vault is located in Longyearbyen due to its remote location. Photo: The Guardian