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CO2 Budget Depletion

18 Jun 2023 | Iceland

Record breaking temperatures in Iceland

Iceland, it’s known as the land of Fire and Ice–but usually the ‘fire’ refers to volcanoes not the roasting temperatures.

For the past couple days, several towns in eastern Iceland have seen record-breaking temperatures. In both Egilsstaðaflugvöllur (27.9°C) and Hallormsstaður (27.8°C), temperatures were the hottest ever recorded before the solstice. A persistent high-pressure system just south of Iceland has been pumping warmer air into the country’s east, prompting the Iceland Monitor to predict “better weather” in Iceland than in the Canary Islands. However, while good for bikinis and flip flops, such heat anomalies in Iceland have an icy side. Warming in the region has led to the rapid loss of glaciers in the country, affecting Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. This has led to changes both in local ecosystems and in wider planetary ones.

Find out more about how Arctic change affects climate vulnerability in Europe HERE.



The following gauges show up-to-date data regarding key indicators in the Arctic. These indicators clearly point to the crisis at hand.

Greenland rate of ice loss
13 million l/s
on average
13 million tonnes/s
on average
Arctic Sea Ice Extent
500,000 km²
below 1981-2010 average on 24-May-2024
193,050 mi²
below 1981-2010 average on 24-May-2024
Arctic Amplification
4 times
faster than global average
Arctic 66N+ Wildfire emissions
37.40 megatonnes CO₂e
CO₂e emissions in 2024 so far
Arctic Air Quality (PM2.5)
2.62 microgram per cubic meter
on 25-May-2024
Global mean Sea Level
since 1993