Alaska State Science & Nature

Arctic didn’t stop warming during 'global hiatus' — it got warmer

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Arctic didn’t stop warming during 'global hiatus' — it got warmer


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Another winter storm aims for Interior Alaska

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Another winter storm aims for Interior Alaska


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Winter storm causes warnings and advisories across much of Alaska

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Winter storm causes warnings and advisories across much of Alaska


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Snow blankets Fairbanks; colder weather coming

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Snow blankets Fairbanks; colder weather coming


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Winter storm warning issued for Fairbanks area, much of northern Alaska

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Winter storm warning issued for Fairbanks area, much of northern Alaska


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Why are haunted houses scarier than climate change?

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Why are haunted houses scarier than climate change?


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Alaska Gov. Walker signs Climate Change Action Plan

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Alaska Gov. Walker signs Climate Change Action Plan


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Home / Alaska / Science & Nature
Arctic didn’t stop warming during 'global hiatus' — it got warmer
FAIRBANKS — A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that while the rest of the world was in a climate change hiatus between 1998 and 2012, the Arctic continued to warm six times the rate of the rest of the planet. As it turns out, gaps in temperature data in the Arctic during that time may have contributed to the misinterpretation that climate change had slowed   Read More ...
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Brrr – expect single-digit temps this week, Anchorage
Anchorage is headed for a string of frigid days this week as arctic air moves over the state, according to the National Weather Service. "We're going to be headed to below-normal with our temperatures,"said Shaun Baines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Anchorage. The forecast calls for daytime temperatures in the teens and nighttime temperatures in the low single digits, dropping as low as 4 degrees on Friday   Read More ...
Categories: Science & Nature | 
Another winter storm aims for Interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS—Just as Northern Alaska finishes digging out from the last snow storm, another one is in the forecast. A National Weather Service winter weather advisory warns that 4 to 7 inches of snow is expected to fall in Fairbanks between early Thursday morning and noon Friday. Like the last storm, this storm is expected to cover a large area. The Weather Service issued warnings and advisories for most of the state north of the Alaska Range   Read More ...
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Snowfall could make for a dicey commute Thursday in Anchorage and Mat-Su, weather service warns
A fast-moving cold front will bring a "quick burst" of snow to Southcentral Alaska early Thursday and could lead to a dicey morning commute in cities including Anchorage, Palmer and Wasilla, the National Weather Service warned. "In the addition to the potential for slippery roads, cold temperatures will allow for snow to easily be blown around by traffic leading to significantly reduced driving visibilities at times," the weather service said in a statement Wednesday evening   Read More ...
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Winter storm causes warnings and advisories across much of Alaska
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A winter storm centered over Siberia is bringing Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories to the West Coast, Interior and Northern areas of the state. As the front moves through, it will bring snow and strong winds. Some parts of the Interior will see 4 to 7 inches of snow, with up to 12 inches near the Alaska Range   Read More ...
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Snow blankets Fairbanks; colder weather coming
FAIRBANKS – A snowstorm that materialized from the Chukchi Sea dropped 3 to 5 inches on Fairbanks on Sunday, said meteorologist Jim Brader of the National Weather Service. The measurements were taken at 3 p.m. An additional 3 inches of snow was expected to drop before this morning. The Fairbanks International Airport recorded 3.7 inches, the College Observatory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks recorded 5 inches, and South Fox 3 inches   Read More ...
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Winter storm warning issued for Fairbanks area, much of northern Alaska
The Fairbanks area and much of northern and Western Alaska can expect severe winter weather conditions going into Sunday and Monday. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Fairbanks and many of its surrounding communities from 3 a.m. Sunday until noon Monday. Travel will be difficult, the weather service said. Snow accumulations are predicted to be between 6 and 9 inches, with the heaviest snow expected during the day Sunday   Read More ...
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Winter storm warning issued for Fairbanks, Interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS - A strong winter storm is heading for Interior Alaska and could drop more than 8 inches of snow in some areas tonight and Sunday. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Alaska's west coast, Brooks Range and Interior regions today. In Fairbanks, the warning is in effect from 9 p.m. today through noon on Sunday. Heavy snow is expected, with accumulations of 5 to 8 inches in Fairbanks, with up to 10 inches to the east of town   Read More ...
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More snow forecast for Anchorage and Mat-Su during afternoon commute
Anchorage and Mat-Su drivers, take it easy on the roads during the Thursday afternoon commute and into the night. The National Weather Service is forecasting an inch or two of new snow. A fast-moving front will pass over Anchorage and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, then weaken over the Gulf of Alaska, the National Weather Service said. Forecasters say "light snow will cause difficult driving conditions" from afternoon rush hour into the evening   Read More ...
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Alaska on 'front lines' in national climate report
FAIRBANKS—The White House has released the latest National Climate Assessment report, with focus placed on Alaska and the Arctic as areas of particular concern with regard to rising sea levels, increased forest fires and thawing permafrost, among others. "Residents of Alaska are on the front lines of climate change. Crumbling buildings, roads, and bridges and eroding shorelines are commonplace," the report reads   Read More ...
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Strong winter storm may bring winds, heavy snow to Interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS - A strong winter storm could bring up to 10 inches of snow and high winds to the Fairbanks area this weekend, the National Weather Service stated Tuesday afternoon. The storm, moving southeast across the Chukchi Sea, could bring even heavier snowfall elsewhere in the Interior, with some areas receiving up to 16 inches. The Weather Service statement also said, however, that snowfall could be much less   Read More ...
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Snow blankets Anchorage area, making for slick morning driving
Snow was falling across Anchorage early Sunday, making for slick driving. Up to three inches accumulation was expected in the city, according to the National Weather Service. The snow is expected to taper off by noon, the weather service said. Snow was also reported in the Mat-Su and south along Turnagain Arm. It was the first significant snowfall of the season at lower elevations in the city   Read More ...
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Climate change preview? Pacific Ocean ‘blob’ appears to take toll on Alaska cod
Gulf of Alaska cod populations appear to have nose-dived, a collapse fishery scientists believe is linked to warm water temperatures known as “the blob” that peaked in 2015. The decline is expected to substantially reduce the Gulf cod harvests that in recent years have been worth — before processing — more than $50 million to Northwest and Alaska fishermen who catch them with nets, pot traps and baited hooks set along the sea bottom   Read More ...
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Why are haunted houses scarier than climate change?
In sitting down to write this installment of the UAS Sustainability Committee’s monthly column, I’m taking a break from my preparations for the annual invasion of my neighborhood with hundreds of ghouls and goblins. In thinking about our Halloween decorations and researching how best to terrify the children who will knock on my door tonight, I stumbled on a short NBC Nightly News television segment about an elaborate haunted house in Pennsylvania   Read More ...
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Is climate change making the Chugach Range less hospitable to Dall sheep?
About half as many Dall Sheep live in the Chugach Mountains today than in the 1990s, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game research. (Photo courtesy of Luke Metherell | Alaska Department of Fish and Game) As a wildlife field technician, Luke Metherell combines job, hobby and homework on weeklong backpacking trips in the mountains. A biology student at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Metherell spent most of his summer deep in Chugach State Park, observing and recording Dall sheep behavior for days at a time   Read More ...
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Major climate report warns of rapid change, potential tipping points
Climate change is happening, we’re the cause, and Alaska will feel it first. Those are some of the conclusions of a sweeping report out Friday from 13 federal agencies and outside climate scientists. The report was released by the Trump administration, even though it contradicts the position of President Trump and many of his top officials. Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and a lead author on the report   Read More ...
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Rain-snow mix expected Monday
Juneau’s first snowfall of the season may come almost right on schedule. National Weather Service forecasters here expect sunny and cool conditions to continue through Monday, when a low-pressure system moving through the Gulf of Alaska will bring a mix of rain and snow to the panhandle. Forecasters believe the best chance for snow will come on the outer coast of the northern panhandle, with inner channels (including Juneau) getting more rain   Read More ...
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Gov. Walker announces new climate change task force
On Tuesday, after months of hinting that a new climate change policy was in the works, Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order setting out a new state climate strategy and creating a task force to recommend specific actions. The 15-person “Climate Action for AlaskaLeadership Team” will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and will propose a climate change action plan   Read More ...
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Alaska Gov. Walker signs Climate Change Action Plan
FAIRBANKS - Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order Tuesday creating the Alaska Climate Change Strategy as well as forming a leadership team to address climate change in Alaska. The order also calls for state departments to review previous work on climate change and identify immediate responses they can take. Walker said the time was now to take a stand against climate change   Read More ...
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Alaska creating team to recommend climate change response
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is creating a special team to recommend ways to address climate change, saying Alaska, with its vast coastlines, is on front lines. No money is attached to the administrative order Walker signed Tuesday, and he said it is unclear who will pay to relocate villages being nibbled away at by erosion. But he hopes to focus more attention on climate change and to create a map for addressing its effects   Read More ...
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In Fairbanks, when life gives you freezing rain, go ice skating
Freezing rain hit the Interior Alaska city of Fairbanks Monday, creating icy and hazardous conditions on some roads – unless of course, you had ice skates. At least one person decided to go for an afternoon skate, as seen in a video provided by Wes Ford. Ford took the video Monday afternoon on a side road off Badger Rd., between Fairbanks and North Pole, he said   Read More ...
Categories: Science & Nature | 
Young Alaskans sue the state, demanding action on climate change
Sixteen young Alaskans are suing the state, demanding Gov. Bill Walker’s administration take action on climate change. It’s the second such legal action in the last six years. In 2014, the Alaska Supreme Court dismissed a similar lawsuit, from six young people asking the state to reduce carbon emissions, among other recommendations. The justices ruled then that it’s not for the courts to set climate policy and that those decisions must be made through the political process, by the Legislature and the governor   Read More ...
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Floods close bridge, but no injuries reported
Heavy rain Thursday and Friday caused minor mudslides and triggered flood warnings across Juneau, but as soggy conditions gave way to sunshine, no major damage was reported and no injuries were reported. According to the National Weather Service, 3.56 inches of rain fell at Juneau International Airport between midnight Thursday morning and 4 p.m. Friday. In downtown Juneau, 3.35 inches of rain was recorded between 8 a   Read More ...
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Freezing rain advisory issued for Interior Alaska
FAIRBANKS - A strong storm moving into Interior Alaska could bring freezing rain to the Parks and Elliott highways on Wednesday. Winter weather advisories for snow, freezing rain and high winds are in effect for the Alaska Range. Freezing rain may coat the Parks Highway south of Nenana, and the Elliott Highway from Livengood west, according to the National Weather Service   Read More ...
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Heads up, Southcentral: Evening snowfall could make for a slippery commute
With snow forecast for Monday evening, the Alaska National Weather Service put out a statement warning Southcentral commuters of potentially slick roads during peak driving times. A small amount of snow is forecast to fall on Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough between 5 and 7 p.m., said meteorologist Rebecca Duell. "We just want to give a little extra caution," Duell said   Read More ...
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The creeping effect of climate change on Bush life
Lake Minchumina — Numerous natural events hinge on a single degree, the difference between freezing and thawing. As the autumn sun dips ever closer to the horizon and the nights grow longer, we shift our attention from fall to winter, from gardening and moose hunting to fishing and trapping. At least, that’s the plan. Since roughly the turn of the millennium, the seasonal progression has usually stalled out during the fall — the “extended shoulder season” predicted by climate scientists   Read More ...
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Season’s 1st snowfall arrives in Anchorage — along with over 2 dozen car crashes
Alaska's largest city saw its first measurable snowfall of the season on Saturday, with "a whopping two-tenths of an inch" of powder accumulated by 4 p.m. in West Anchorage, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Wegman. "It has been sticking, it's just not all that much snow," Wegman said. He doesn't expect accumulations to get higher than an inch in Anchorage from these snow showers, which will continue into the evening   Read More ...
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Alaska winter: Southern chill, northern warmth
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It's been a bit of a slow start to winter for many parts of the state, but the Climate Prediction Center says some areas of Alaska could feel the freeze. For the second winter in a row, forecasters are expecting a weak La Nina to form. What this means for Alaska is the polar jet stream tends to shift and carry storms up the west coast of the state, bypassing Southcentral   Read More ...
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Could migrating squid help Alaska predict climate change?
Chasing warmer waters, the market squid might be here to stay Attracted to warming ocean temperatures, small, iridescent squid have been moving into Southeast Alaska waters. They could be a cipher to understanding how sea life reacts to climate change, said University of Alaska Southeast associate professor Dr. Michael Navarro at an Evening at Egan talk Friday at UAS. Navarro, an assistant professor of marine fisheries, has been studying what are called market squid in partnership with researchers at Stanford University   Read More ...
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How Trump nominees talk about climate; what it means for Alaska
When asked about climate change, the nominees for senior posts at the departments of Interior and Energy have very similar answers – the climate is changing, and humans play a role. But how big a role, they can’t say. “Mr. Walker, do you believe that human activity accounts for the majority of climate change since the Industrial Revolution?” Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn   Read More ...
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Tuesday's deluge set precipitation record in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS - Tuesday was the rainiest 24 hours for an October day in Fairbanks recorded weather history, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service. Fairbanks broke the October 24-hour precipitation record of 1.17 inches at noon, with half the day remaining. As of 4 p.m., 1.34 inches of precipitation had fallen and it was still raining. The deluge started as snow, with 0   Read More ...
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First significant snowfall of season expected in the Fairbanks area
In Fairbanks, 2 to 5 inches of snow is expected, and up to 8 inches could fall at elevations above 1,500 feet, the National Weather Service advisory said. Much of the snowfall at lower elevations is expected to melt as it mixes with rain, said Jim Brader, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. That is what has happened as the storm has moved over areas like Ruby and Kaltag, he said   Read More ...
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Season's first significant snowfall expected Monday night
FAIRBANKS - Do you have your snow tires on yet? Fairbanks and the surrounding area could get up to 3 inches of snow overnight and through Monday, with 4 to 7 inches expected in the Alaska Range, according to the National Weather Service. A mix of rain and snow is forecast for early Monday morning, turning to all snow as temperatures fall   Read More ...
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Climate change roundtable puts Alaska contradictions on full display
A downtown Anchorage conference room hosted an unusual meeting Wednesday, as Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott gathered a cross-section of Alaskans to brainstorm paths forward on climate change. Representatives from the oil and gas and mining industries joined environmentalists and local community leaders to spitball solutions. The Walker administration plans to use the ideas to inform a state climate policy currently in the works   Read More ...
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Alaska Gov. Walker’s administration convenes climate change meeting as it prepares release of new policy
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker's administration convened government bureaucrats, environmentalists, Alaska Native leaders and oil company lobbyists Wednesday in an unusual public discussion about climate change — an effort that's expected to inform a forthcoming state action plan. The meeting, at the Dena'ina Center in downtown Anchorage, included several dozen participants — representatives from villages, state and federal agencies, Alaska Native corporations, and industry and environmental groups   Read More ...
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Weekend brings weather record, first frost to Anchorage
A temperature of 32 degrees was recorded at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the city's official weather recording station, said Michael Kutz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Colder parts of the Anchorage Hillside and East Anchorage have seen conditions to produce frost already, he said. But Sunday was the first day where temperatures were low enough all over the city   Read More ...
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DEC rejects climate change petition
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has rejected a petition from a group of Alaska youths that sought tougher state regulation of greenhouse gases. In a letter dated Wednesday, DEC commissioner Larry Hartig told Alaska Youth for Environmental Action that “there are both practical and legal hurdles to DEC carrying out the petition’s requests.” The petition, filed Aug. 28, was a rare “Petition for Rulemaking” that asked DEC to draft and institute regulations to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of sources   Read More ...
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Season's first official snowfall recorded in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks got its first official snow of the season Friday morning, but it didn't last long. Mixed in with all the rain, some snow flurries were reported at about 2 a.m. Friday at Fairbanks International Airport, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Bartos. It was the first snow observed at the airport since May. Flurries were also reported elsewhere in Interior Alaska on Friday, including Eielson Air Force Base and Cleary Summit   Read More ...
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State rejects teen climate change petition
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation denied a climate change petition on Thursday submitted by a group of teens. The petition asked the state to reduce carbon emissions, monitor greenhouse gasses and come up with a long term climate change strategy. In late August, the teens hand-delivered the petition to DEC commissioner Larry Hartig. In his rejection letter, Hartig said the request posed “significant consequences for employment and resource development” in the state   Read More ...
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Walker administration appoints climate adviser, promises new policy “soon”
The Walker administration has said for more than a year that it’s working on a new set of policies to address climate change. Those policies have yet to materialize. But Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott told an Anchorage audience Tuesday that a plan is coming soon, and he announced a new climate point person in the executive branch. Mallott told a gathering of ocean researchers in Anchorage that climate change is an urgent challenge for Alaska   Read More ...
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