Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alaska's Record Breaking Heat in January Offers More Evidence for a Dramatically Warmer Arctic

While the continental US was being slammed with a succession of cold spells and winter storms in January, Alaska was experiencing some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded for the month. Temperatures were as much as 40°F (22°C) above normal. The all-time warmest January temperature ever observed in Alaska was tied on January 27 when the temperature peaked at 62°F (16.7°C) in Port Alsworth.

The NASA map (above left) shows the temperature anomalies in Alaska for January 23–30, 2014. Those areas which experienced higher than average temperatures compared to the 2001–2010 average for the same week are highlighted in red. The map is based on data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.

The record heat and rain caused rivers to rise and avalanches which buried highways under as much as 100 feet (30 meters) of snow. The warmer temperatures were caused by a persistent ridge of high pressure off the Pacific Coast.

These findings are consistent with the general warming trend being observed in the Arctic. A recent University of Waterloo study of more than 400 lakes of the North Slope of Alaska, found less ice and a shorter ice season in 2011 compared with 1950. Over the same time-span, the winter ice season has been reduced by almost one month (24 days). Lakes in the region froze almost six days later and broke up about 18 days earlier in the winter of 2011 compared to the winter of 1950. The ice has also gotten 38 centimeters thinner over that period.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Articles
Video - Arctic Emergency: Scientists on Melting Arctic Ice
Canada's Ruling Conservatives Suppress Arctic Ice Loss Research 
Save the Arctic from a "Death Spiral" 
More Evidence that Arctic Warming is an Economic and Ecological Time Bomb
Scientists Link Loss of Arctic Sea Ice to Anomalous Weather
Video - Richard Branson on the Need to Protect the Arctic
Video - The Arctic is Under Threat from Shell and Gazprom
Video - The Global Implications of Rapid Climate Change in the Arctic
Geothermal Heating Accelerating Greenland's Ice Melt
The Race to Exploit the Arctic's Resources Ignores the Costs
White Paper - Oil Spills in Arctic Waters
More Evidence of Historic Arctic Warming: Lake Sediment and Ice Cores
Why the Fate of the Arctic Should be of Concern to Us All
Video - O' Canada Stand Up for the Arctic and Oppose Climate Change
Its Official Arctic Sea Ice is at its Lowest Level in Recorded History
The Arctic's Dangerous Combination of Environmental Toxicity and Genetic Vulnerability
The Dramatic Implications of Melting Arctic Sea Ice
Melting Arctic Ice is Releasing Massive Amounts of Methane
Video - Methane is the Ticking Time Bomb Beneath the Ice
Video - Massive Costs Associated with Arctic Methane
Video - Unlocking Methane in the Permafrost is a Global Warming Time Bomb
Video - I Love Arctic (Greenpeace)
Video - Warming Arctic, Changing Planet
Video - Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions
Video - Beautiful Arctic: Look at the Awe Inspiring Beauty We Stand to Lose
Lawsuit to Protect Arctic Sea Ice as Critical Seal Habitat
Lawsuit Protecting the Arctic from Oil and Gas Drilling
Russia Lining Up Investors for Arctic Drilling
Shell's Game with the Future of the Arctic
Global Warming Exposes Resources in the Arctic
Arctic Monitoring Stations Report CO2 Levels of 400 PPM
Clinton Working to Cut Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and Arctic Awareness
Northern Ice is Melting at a Dramatic Rate
Environmental Tipping Points

No comments: