Is Alaska the Canary in the Coming Ice Age?

From the Alaska Dispatch:

“That may not be news to Alaskans coping with the coldest winter in two decades or to the mariners locked out of the Bering Sea this spring by record ice growth, says author Alex DeMarban.

In the first decade since 2000, the 49th state cooled 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

“That’s a “large value for a decade,” the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said in “The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska.”

The cooling is widespread — holding true for 19 of the 20 National Weather Service stations sprinkled from one corner of Alaska to the other, the paper notes. It’s 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, the report says.

“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,” said Don Hatten, the National Weather Service forecaster in King Salmon.

“Researchers blame the Decadal Oscillation, an ocean phenomenon that brought chillier surface water temperatures toward Alaska.”

See entire article, published on December 23, 2012:

No mention of the Sun and the declining number of spots.

H/T to Ice Age Now for the tip and the link


One thought on “Is Alaska the Canary in the Coming Ice Age?

  1. Sean May 1, 2013 / 8:16 am

    Alaska’s weather is dominated by shifts in the PDO. It turned from warm to cold in the last few years. I recall a friend’s parents were living in Fairbanks in the late 70’s and the stories of how cold it got were really something. My wife’s uncle, living in Minneapolis (which is supposed to get 2-5″ of snow tonight) told of similar persistence of cold but certainly not to the same degree. So my suspicion is that we are getting more of the same from the 60 year PDO roller coaster that we got back in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m not saying it isn’t the canary in the coal mine, just that we should be very cautious about taking a short trend and making linear extrapolations. We should know by now the cycle will change with a predicable periodicity put that variability into our expectations.

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