Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Alaska Is Having Hottest Year Since Records Began

Climate
Alaska Is Having Hottest Year Since Records Began

By Nika Knight

Like the rest of the world, Alaska has been unusually hot this year—and it's about to get hotter.

That's according to the most recent data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Climate Central reported.

Symphony Lake, near Anchorage, Alaska. Photo credit: mcav0y / Flickr

Between March and May of this year, the meteorological spring, the entire state has been about 10 degrees hotter than normal, with an average temperature of 32 F.

"That may sound cold," Climate Central noted, "but warmth is a relative term. That temperature handily beat the previous record hot spring of 1998 by 2 F (1 C), according to NOAA."

The cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau have experienced their hottest springs since records began.

How much spring temperatures departed from the average in Alaska this spring. Photo credit: NOAA / Climate Central

Frightening effects of a warming Alaska include melting permafrost, increasing wildfires, an acidifying ocean and depletion of habitat for critical species, scientists have warned.

"Alaska isn't only experiencing the hottest temperatures on record by a huge margin,"observed Gizmodo: "The state's frozen rivers broke up earlier than ever before. The growing season shifted earlier than ever in recorded history. The state is also drying up quick, with only the very lowest coastal regions not in active drought right now."

Climate Central reported:

Rick Thoman, climate science and services manager for the NWS's Alaska region, said that several factors had converged to keep Alaska so relatively toasty, including persistent high pressure systems over the region and warm waters off the coast. Early snowmelt has also exacerbated the spring heat.

The effects of the elevated temperatures are readily apparent, Thoman said, with berries ripening weeks earlier than usual, very early “last frosts" and an early start to construction projects.

Climate Central observed that temperatures in Alaska "have also steadily risen—like the planet as a whole and the Arctic in particular—thanks to the excess heat trapped by human emissions of greenhouse gases."

Indeed, scientists say that 2016 may end up being the hottest year in recorded history and by the widest margin, as Common Dreams reported.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Scientists Turn CO2 Into Solid Rock

Arctic, Greenland Stuck in Feedback Loop of Melting

Flooding and Climate Change: French Acceptance, Texas Denial

Atmospheric CO2 Reaches New High, Arctic Ice Shrinks to New Low

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch