This year the World Economic Forum’s annual risks report focuses on climate change in a major way because its effects are entirely undeniable.Continue Reading 419 words
For most people, a mild end to the long winter is a blessing, but for the people of Alaska, it may be too much of a good thing. Temperatures in Alaska reached record highs for the month of March — with an unprecedented 70-degree day in the Southeastern town of Klawock on March 19 — the earliest any spot in the state has hit that high. — beating the previous first warm day by almost a month. And this is compared to many parts of the continental U.S. such as Boston still looking for its first 70-degree day, and Anchorage regularly warmer than many spots in the Plains of the Midwest. The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang broke down the historically warm temperature records this way:
Making matters worse, Anchorage had no snow accumulation during March either, and although Southern Alaska was not as warm as the rest of the state, it is experiencing a long-lasting drought. Finally, Bering Sea ice levels are again at their lowest ever (see graphic below), which is leading climate scientists to conclude that previous low sea ice records were not anomalies.
Why This Matters: Alaska is warming faster than any other state, with devastating impacts for the way of life in the region. It will mean loss of permafrost that many native Alaskans use as “freezer” storage, will change wildlife migration patterns impacting subsistence fishing and hunting, and the weather pattern “stuck” over the region has also caused unusual storminess over parts of the state and in the Bering Sea. As we have said repeatedly, the evidence that climate change is here, and causing many problems beyond catastrophic weather disasters, continues to mount. We need to aggressively adapt in Alaska and that will take federal help — help that a large green infrastructure mobilization like the Green New Deal could provide.