Polar daylight record of 69 days of continuous sunshine in 2020.
Ny-Ålesund is a small research community on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, located in the Arctic Circle. During summer months at this high latitude location, the sun does not set below the horizon due to the effects of polar daylight. From May 18th to July 25th 2020, there was not a single period of clouds or precipitation recorded at the Ny-Ålesund weather station.
The previous record was 58 days set in 2018. Scientists attribute increases in polar sunshine duration to climate change impacts on Arctic weather patterns.
With 24 hours of continuous sunlight, temperatures rose to over 15°C (59°F) during the record period, unusually high for the region. Plants and wildlife had optimal conditions for growth during this extensive stretch without interruption from clouds or rain.
Such a prolonged stretch of unbroken sunshine is rare even for polar regions in summer. It highlights how climate variability could influence temperature and biological activity in the Arctic. Ny-Ålesund’s record is believed to be the longest overall period of uninterrupted sunshine recorded at such high northern latitudes.