“Defiant as ever, the state that gave rise to Sarah Palin is bucking the mainstream yet again,” says this article in the Alaska Dispatch.
The thought that Alaska may be headed into an ice age “may not be news to Alaskans coping with another round of 50-below during the coldest winter in two decades,” the article continues. Nor would it be news to the “mariners locked out of the Bering Sea this spring by record ice growth.”
“In the first decade since 2000, the 49th state cooled 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
That’s a “large value for a decade,” say scientists G. Wendler, L. Chen and B. Moore of the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
According to Wendler et al, the cooling is widespread — holding true for 19 of the 20 National Weather Service stations sprinkled from one corner of Alaska to the other.
In a report published this year in The Open Atmospheric Science Journal (link below), “the cooling is most significant in Western Alaska, where King Salmon on the Alaska Peninsula saw temperatures drop most sharply, a significant 4.5 degrees for the decade.”
“Researchers blame the Decadal Oscillation, an ocean phenomenon that brought chillier surface water temperatures toward Alaska. Some contend the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is harming the state’s king salmon runs, too.
“People have noticed the new chill in King Salmon, but slightly colder temperatures don’t bother you much when you’re already bundled up for 20-below, said Don Hatten, the National Weather Service forecaster there. Most noticeable was that for the first time last year, the Bering Sea ice shelf extended south nearly to the edge of the Alaska Peninsula, he said.
Will Alaska’s frigid spell last long? The researchers don’t know.
See report by G. Wendler, L. Chen and B. Moore:
“The First Decade of the New Century:
A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska”
Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA