Tuesday, January 18

Environment. Sad record in Alaska: almost 20 ° C on the thermometer in December

The temperature record was set Sunday on Kodiak Island in southern Alaska. With 19.4 degrees in December, the temperature is now seven degrees above the previous record recorded in this territory, informs the BBC.

This new record is part of a series of others recently recorded in Alaska, such as 16.6 degrees in Cold Bay, or even more than 10 degrees in Unalaska.

Normally, winter is cold and dry in Alaska, but this year the rain falls heavily due to milder temperatures. The Fairbanks area was even hit by the most severe storm since 1937.

Danger on the road

And then, who says rain, says melting snow. And on the roads, it’s a disaster: the liquid becomes ice. On several occasions, and because of temperature variations, the American authorities issued alerts because the ice, which had become “as hard as cement” had covered the roads, explains the British media.

The ice will cling to the roads “probably until March or April,” the BBC climatologist Rick Thoman, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.

Change twice as fast as on the rest of the world

Over the past two decades, these abnormal climatic events have multiplied in Alaska, in connection with climate change which affects the whole planet.

But on this American territory, the phenomenon is amplified. A study published last month in the journal Nature Communications even predicts that winter rains will be more numerous than snowfall from 2060 or 2070.

Warming in Alaska is twice as fast as in the rest of the world. The melting of permafrost, more often called “permafrost”, also increases the risk of flooding and therefore subsidence of the ground. It is therefore a real vicious circle that is taking place.

The first victims are once again the indigenous populations. Surrounded by water, the indigenous community of Newtok was also the first in Alaska to leave its native land in 2021, recalls the HuffPost.

“2021 really seems to be the year when these extreme precipitation events have come to the fore,” laments the climatologist.


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