In the middle of December, the thermometer displays oddly spring temperatures in Alaska. Up to 19.4 degrees Celsius have been observed in the island community of Kodiak and several cities are experiencing the same phenomenon, with mercury regularly exceeding 10 ° C.
According to Rick Thoman of the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, Kodiak’s temperature of 19.4 ° C was the highest on record in Alaska in December. During the month, a series of measurements well above seasonal norms were observed in this American state, in particular 16.6 ° C in Cold Bay and 13.3 ° C in Unalaska on Christmas Day.
The temperature at the Kodiak Harbor NOAA tide gauge briefly reached into the 60s again on Monday afternoon and as high as 55F early morning Tuesday. In late December. I would not have thought such a thing possible. #akwx H/T @Climatologist49 @KmxtNews pic.twitter.com/ebuTUCfolP
— Rick Thoman (@AlaskaWx) December 28, 2021
A frankly unusual weather in this region, where winters are usually dry and cold. Asked by the Huffington postRick Thoman explains that these unprecedented weather conditions are not without consequences: the mild temperatures brought more rain and the Fairbancks region experienced its most violent storm since 1937.
On Twitter, the Ministry of Transport further explains that this spring atmosphere favored the melting of the snow which, having become liquid, then froze on the surface of the roads, forming a layer of dangerous ice as solid as “cement. “.
The fear of rising waters
In recent decades, these kinds of abnormal climatic events have become more and more frequent in Alaska. Rick Thoman established a direct link with global warming, knowing that, according to scientific research, the phenomenon is twice as fast in this area.
In a study dating from April 2019, the researcher from the Center for Climate Assessment and Policy had noted that “average temperatures in the United States increased by one degree Celsius” from 1901 to 2016, when “they gained 2.6 degrees ”over the same period in Alaska.
In 2021, the indigenous community of Newtok was forced to leave their homeland, threatened by rising waters. Global warming is indeed thawing permafrost, the layer of ice that covers more than 80% of Alaska, which promotes flooding and land subsidence. Eventually, entire villages could be swallowed up.