We’ve reached the point where weird weather is really the new normal. But even in a world full of strange occurrences like El Niño ice blizzards, unstoppable wildfires, and mega-droughts, the warm weather in Alaska right now is quite alarming.
NOAA just put out its latest State of the Climate report and, yes, you guessed it: It’s hot on earth. How hot it is? Really hot! It’s the second hottest year on record so far. But that’s no longer really a surprise.
The surprising news comes from Alaska. Even a one-degree temperature change in a year is pretty incredible, but NOAA analyses pins Alaska at eleven degrees over the norm this year.
Alaska isn’t only experiencing the hottest temperatures on record by a huge margin. The state’s frozen rivers broke up earlier than ever before. The growing season shifted earlier than ever in recorded history. The state is also drying up quick, with only the very lowest coastal regions not in active drought right now.
These aren’t isolated incidents. Alaska is a bellwether for climate change: It’s where we look to see the earliest indicators of where the rest of the planet will be shortly. Alaska is changing and has been for some time now. Though this is one of the more dramatic examples of change we’ve seen, it’s indicative of the warmer world we’re headed toward.