Alaska Records Temp Hotter Than Arizona Thanks To A Crazy Heat Wave

It’s hotter than normal in Alaska. That simple statement encapsulates all the data about the crazy heat wave that has been pushing temperatures up in the 49th State. Alaska and northern Canada have been warming faster than any other region on earth, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The warm temps and low snowfall affected Alaska in several ways this past winter. The Iditarod had to be moved to Fairbanks, 300 miles further north. Ski resorts were hurting – one near Juneau had to close because of warm temperatures and a lack of snow.

Now, during the usually brief summer season up north, record high temperatures are being recorded. Fairbanks was hotter than Phoenix, AZ on May 23rd, reaching a high of 86 degrees, while Phoenix topped at 83 degrees. The small town of Bettles, inside the Arctic Circle, recorded a high of 82 degrees. Another small town, Eagle, hit 91 degrees, the earliest such high temperature in its history. These are not normal temperatures for these areas this early in the season. According to the NASA Earth Observatory:

“Between May 16 and May 24, Eagle hit 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher daily—its second longest such streak on record for any time of the year.”

The Weather Channel, whose founder is not a believer in climate change, reports that Barrow, Alaska — the northernmost city in the U.S. — set record high temps between May 17 and 22, fully 18 degrees above normal. Now, 47 degrees may not sound warm but it’s much too warm for that region in the month of May.

The temperatures can be partially blamed on weather, with two typhoons pushing the jet stream out of its normal pattern, according to The Weather Channel‘s operational scientist, Dr. Michael Ventrice:

“A series of two western Pacific super typhoons—Noul and Dolphin—have done a number on the (jet stream) pattern across the north Pacific following their extratropical transition.”

El Niño is also exacerbating the heat wave. This could lead to the worst wildfire season on record, and not just in Alaska. This is a scenario that many states are looking at with trepidation.

However, the main culprit for this warming is climate change. Oh, the deniers will bitch and moan, calling it a hoax, as they always do. But, as the saying goes, “denial is not just a river in Egypt.”  Give them irrefutable proof, like the video below, and they still deny. Because it’s a scary thought. Rising seas, droughts, dying ecosystems, the fact that we’re killing ourselves slowly. It’s scary. But denying it is like a child burying herself under the covers believing that the monster can’t see her if she doesn’t see it. That won’t work with climate change. It’s time to come out from under the blanket and face the truth. The monster is here, now. It may already be too late.

This video from NASA is an eye-opener:

Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory