Alaska continues to melt under record heat

According to the latest data from NOAA: “For the first time in its modern climate history, Alaska’s average spring temperature hit 32.0 degrees F, breaking a record set in 1998. A new warm record was also set for the warmest year to date.”

And the news doesn’t get any better looking back to April …

The Alaska April temperature was record high at 33.3°F, 10.0°F above the 1925-2000 average and 0.4°F warmer than the previous record set in 1940. Record warmth was observed across the southern parts of the state with much-above-average temperatures for central and northern Alaska. Temperatures more than 12°F above average were observed across western parts of the state. Anchorage had its warmest April on record with a temperature of 43.5°F, 2.8°F warmer than the previous record set just last year…

In fact, as the site Climate Central notes, the past three January-May periods are among the four warmest in Alaska’s records.

Rick Thoman, climate science and services manager for the NWS’s Alaska region, told Climate Central that several factors had converged to keep Alaska so relatively toasty…The effects of the elevated temperatures are readily apparent, Thoman told the site, with berries ripening weeks earlier than usual, very early “last frosts” and an early start to construction projects.

All of which means the frozen ground, the permafrost that has been solid for tens of thousands of years, is melting.

Study results show that much of the undisturbed discontinuous permafrost south of the Yukon River has warmed significantly and some of it is thawing. That raises the possibility that roads, buildings, and other structures on thawed areas will collapse. Another problem could arise as well: As permafrost thaws it can release methane and carbon dioxide, gases that contribute to the green house effect and accelerate global warming.

Basically, Alaska as we all know it is turning into marshland and the consequences are likely to be troubling for us all.

To some extent this explains Republican fascination with Trump. He’s the 21st Century equivalent of Nero. Fiddling with his profit-making campaign while Rome burns.

2 thoughts on “Alaska continues to melt under record heat

  1. Harbinger says:

    “Consequences of Global Warming: Why the Arctic’s Strange Pink Snow is Something We Should Be Scared About” (includes video) “According to a study published in the journal Nature, as global warming continues, populations of the harmful red algae increases, resulting in rapid ice melting in the Arctic. Commonly found in polar and alpine settings like Greenland, Antarctica, the Alps and Iceland, the red algae blooms when they experience a rise in temperature in their surroundings.
    They accelerate the melting rate by reducing the glaciers’ albedo effect by as much as 13 percent. The albedo effect is a process of glaciers to keep the earth cool by reflecting sunlight. However, as these red algae populate the surface, the glacier surfaces’ ability to reflect sunlight decreases.
    Steffi Lutz of the University of Leeds and lead author of the study told Gizmodo that the red algae need water in order to bloom and spread. This means that they will increase as snow melts in the Arctic.”

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