Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Alaska: The New California

Alaska this spring, courtesy NOAA
Think Alaska and you think cold and snow, right? Most of the state is above the Arctic Circle. Think again. Alaska is becoming more temperate all the time. Just ask the Iditarod organizers who have had to ship in tons of snow to Anchorage so the famous dog sled race could start in its usual hometown. This spring was the hottest on historical record. Temperatures to date are running 10℉ above normal according to data released by NOAA. The spring average temperature was 32℉ beating the previous record set in 1998 by two degrees. The past three January to May periods are among the four warmest on record. Early snow melt is contributing to the warm up as well as persistent high pressure systems over the region. Barrow, the northern most city in the United States, reported snow melting ten days earlier than the previous record set in 2002. Sarah Palin must think she has died and gone to California!

Climate experts think there is a 99% chance 2016 will be the warmest ever on a global basis because of greenhouse gas emissions with an assist from a strong El NiƱo phenomenon. They said that last year would be the hottest too.