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Doomsday warming?

 

HB4116

Green grass, pesky mosquitoes and strangely snow-free mountaintops highlighted September in the Anchorage area/Craig Medred photo

On the day the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations publicly revealed its special report warning of an impending global-warming catastrophe, the daily temperature in Alaska’s largest city was 9 degrees above normal, and the string of days on which the temperature had failed to even once reach the nightly normal low had stretched to more than a month.

The two events may or may not be related. Weather is highly variable as is well illustrated by the extremes recorded in Anchorage on Oct.8 over the decades: a high of 64 in 2006 and a low of 17 in 1965.

What is not variable is the reality associated with shifting environments, and that reality is that in every change there are losers, and there are winners. The IPCC report detailed the big losses that can be tied to an estimated 1.5 degree Centigrade (2.7 degree F) increase in the global temperature as early as 2030:

Droughts, floods, hurricanes, melting glaciers, rising seas, water shortages, falling agricultural production, acidifying seas, heat-related deaths, increasing poverty and more.

Alaska is at the front of both these downsides and the far-less-often discussed upsides. Nobody in the 49th state has been complaining about an Anchorage September that ended 6.4 degrees (3.6 degrees C) above the norm. 

Many, however, are worrying about 31 rural, predominately Native villages that the U.S. General Accounting Office more than a decade ago described as “facing imminent threats” from rising sea levels or river erosion. 

“At least 12 of the 31 threatened villages have decided to relocate—in part or entirely—or to explore relocation options,” the 2009 report said. “(But) federal programs to assist threatened villages prepare for and recover from disasters and to protect and relocate them are limited and unavailable to some villages.”

Little has changed since then with the costs of relocating villages having proven prohibitive. The U.S. Congress this year awarded Newtok, a community of 355 on the Ningliq River near the edge of the Bering Sea in far Western Alaska, $15 million to begin moving.

But that’s less than 15 percent of the more than $100 million the relocation is expected to cost. The more than $280,000 per resident expense has led some to question the move given that even after the relocation Newtok will remain a community with no real economic base.

A Native subsistence village about 500 miles from Anchorage, Newtok offers few cash-paying jobs. The number-crunching website City-Data says more than 41 percent of Newtok residents live at or below the poverty level. Per capita income in 2016 was reported as $8,565.

The 2010 Census found half the population was under the age of 19. Males outnumbered females three to two. The media age was 20.2

“The majority of village students in all grades lag behind their peers in the district and around the state on Alaska’s reading and math proficiency tests,” The Atlantic’s Mareesa Nicosia wrote after visiting Newtok in 2016. “Many students don’t consider leaving the village for college, often because they’re relied upon to help care for elderly relatives or siblings.

“Newtok is legally a dry town, but alcoholism and drug abuse is widespread. School officials say it’s not unusual for parents to leave their children to look after each other while they drink away their annual permanent fund dividend check….”

Newtok struggles to survive, but the residents of the village, like the residents of most Alaska villages, love their hometown and want to save it, and in a state where rural traditions are cherished, that matters.

Thus both state and federal officials have tried to find ways to preserve Newtok and other villages threatened by low-lying locations close to the sea or along constantly meandering rivers.

If the IPCC prediction of significantly higher water as early as 2030 is correct, time might be running out for those rescue efforts.

Greening the Arctic

But global warming isn’t all doom and gloom in the north. After 2016 set a state record for warmth, the Northwest Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported “the 2016 (barley) crop was valued at $1,196,000, up from the 2015 value of $796,000.

“Value of the 2016 (oat) crop, at $274,000, compares with $179,000 in 2015….Value of production of all hay at $10,200,000 was up $2,800,000 from the previous year. ”

Agriculture is today a tiny industry in the 49th state, but there were those who once dreamed big, among them the revered late Gov. Jay Hammond.

“Alaska is tapping its oil wells for a second product — bountiful cropland — to ensure a continuing harvest long after the oil runs out,” the Christian Science Monitor reported in 1980. “Over the past 18 months, forests have been stripped and converted into rich fields of grain.

“The payoff, said bearded Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond on a visit to Chicago, is that with this fall’s harvest his state has joined the grain export business. The first harvest from 14,000 acres is out doing all predictions, and Governor Hammond expects that more than 10,000 tons of barley will be shipped to customers in Asia this year.

“Hammond said this first success means the state will speed up plans to develop 20 million acres of land that recent studies indicate are suitable for farming. The state is committed to converting 500,000 acres to farming by 1990 — at an estimated cost of $150 million.”

The barley project turned into a boondoggle and Hammond’s dream of what the Monitor headlined as the “new bonanza – vast amber waves of grain” died, but Hammond might have just been a man ahead of his time.

“Alaska’s barley growers had their most productive year in the last decade in 2017,” the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported in March.

Alaska salmon production, meanwhile, has benefited from warming since the 1970s, although there is considerable debate as whether further warming will continue to support large runs or diminish them.

On the history, scientists agree.

“Salmon stocks from Alaska have been highly productive since the 1976 regime change in the North Pacific, an estimated three times more productive than in the 1946-75 period,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “The periods of increased salmon production correspond to an eastward shift of the Aleutian Low pressure system which produces…warming of the surface waters in the Gulf of Alaska.”

Mason Bryant, a fisheries researcher with the U.S. Forest Service, summed the debate going forward in a look at Southeast Alaska salmon a decade ago.

“Many of the predicted outcomes from scenarios for climate change are not favorable
for anadromous salmonids,” he wrote. “However, some may be positive. In several instances,  the outcome is not known and may depend on interacting events. In all cases, the magnitude is speculative. It is highly unlikely that there will be a wholesale extirpation of salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska. All anadromous species found in Southeast Alaska are also found in more southern locations with thermal regimes that might be expected in southeast Alaska under most predictions of climate change.”

Most climate models show Southeast becoming more like the Pacific Northwest as the planet warms and Anchorage becoming more like the Alaska Panhandle.

Four years ago, the models had the New York Times suggesting “Anchorage may be the place to be.” 

Offering predictions on where to live, reporter  Jennifer Kingson wrote, “forget most of California and the Southwest (drought, wildfires). Ditto for much of the East Coast and Southeast (heat waves, hurricanes, rising sea levels). Washington, D.C., for example, may well be a flood zone by 2100, according to an estimate released last week.

“Instead, consider Anchorage. Or even, perhaps, Detroit.

“‘If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited,’ said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047.

‘The best place really is Alaska,’ he added. ‘Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century.'”

Or maybe the next Silicon Valley.

Changes already?

Some in the Alaska tourism industry are already talking about recognizable growth in the “shoulder seasons” of summer driven by national perceptions that “Seward’s Icebox” is becoming a warmer, friendlier place to visit in May and September.

The latter, many in Anchorage would argue, turned out to be the best month of 2018 with an average daily high temp near 64 degrees – more than 8 degrees above normal – and less than nine-tenths of an inch of rain – more than two inches less than normal.

What was missing? The four-tenths inch of snow that is the norm for the state’s largest city sometime in the month.

One of Alaska’s few growth industries, tourism has been on a steady upward trend from approximately 1.5 million, May-September visitors in 2010 to just shy of 2 million last year, according to a study prepared for the Alaska Travel Industry Association. 

Almost 60 percent of them arrive on cruiseships, according to the study done by McDowell Group, and they don’t clamber aboard to shiver their way north.

Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concedes global warming is likely to bring  “increased tourism,” along with longer growing seasons and “access to natural resources that are currently inaccessible due to ice cover,” but stresses the pitfalls of climate change and “new hardships for Native Alaskans.”

Along with those rising waters come melting permafrost, which can turn the ground to goo beneath homes and roads in Central and Arctic Alaska;  risks of insect infestations and wildfires as summer temperatures rise; new diseases; and shifts in wildlife populations due to habitat changes that started decades ago. 

Shrubs have been steadily moving north and west in the state to take over tundra with forests eventually following behind to displace the shrubbery. The same plant succession has been going on as shrubs and eventually trees climb higher and higher into the Alaska mountains.

Loss of tundra habitat, according to the EPA, could lead to declines in caribou numbers, though there has been no real sign of that yet. To date the most obvious wildlife changes have been the movements of moose north and west with expanding shrub habitats, and booming bear populations in areas of high salmon abundance.

But there is no denying a lot of bad things could happen if warming continues and Alaska becomes more like what the other states are now, though the 49th state still has a long way to go.

The average annual temperature for Anchorage is 37 degrees. The average annual temperature for Minneapolis, one of the colder cities in the lower 48, is 46.15 degrees.

And Anchorage, which sits at the head of Cook Inlet, is in the warmer part of Alaska. The average annual temperature for Fairbanks is 27.55 degrees.  It would take a massive warm up beyond anything the IPCC imagines for it to become anything like the rest of America.

But that’s not impossible.

During the long ago Cretaceous Period when dinosaurs ruled the earth for 79 million years, the National Park Service calculates the average annual temperature in Denali National Park and Preserve was near 51 degrees, about the same as Seattle today. 

Denali, meanwhile, is today as cold as Fairbanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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62 replies »

    • Pete Snow, hope this isn’t too political for you! Some thinkers are able to handle it IMO.
      As for the non-believers on here, tough noogies!

      Like

      • non·be·liev·er
        ˌnänbəˈlēvər/
        noun
        plural noun: non-believers
        a person who does not believe in something, especially one who has no religious faith.

        Definitely takes a lot of faith to believe in the new religion of man made global warming, you have to disregard science and the historical record as well. Yep, sounds just like a new religion!

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      • Real nice Steve-O. Your ilk would have insisted the earth flat for similar reasons that you deny human caused warming. And during that period folks used sphere.

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      • Actually Bill, the faithful called my ilk heretics for daring to question the orthodoxy using science and fact, instead of relying on faith and believing whatever the authoritarians decided was the cause of the day. It’s called history Bill, disregarding it doesn’t make it go away. Climate changes and has historically changed, regardless of what you believe.

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      • As usual you have missed the point, Steve-O. Nobody has ever suggested that climate has not historically changed.
        What is occurring today is that the “change” is predominantly “human caused.” And this is supported by 97% of climate scientists. And, the link I provided also states that, in the case of this latest hurricane, this human caused climate change has caused the hurricane to be more destructive and powerful.
        You will need to argue with the experts-don’t waste our time with your tired bullshit, anymore.

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      • Bill, you’re a flat earther? Yeah makes sense you would be a flat earther.

        From that article “When it comes to knowledge, more democratic is not good, absolutely not. We don’t decide how fast things accelerate in a vacuum by voting on it.” Kinda like saying a consensus makes something so, actually that’s exactly like saying that…we don’t vote on scientific fact.

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      • Steve-O, and here I thought that Bryan was actually “Mad Mike!”
        Who woulda thunk that it was you all the time. Maybe if you get up in the atmosphere enough you can slow down time enough to get a look at history of climate change. Heheh!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. There’s no doubt in my mind that people somehow affect our earth. Not sure how though, except for pollution for sure, low water, and radiation, as far as the weather, time will only tell in the end.

    If you think about it, only man/humans could truly screw shit up on earth. No other creature on earth can, except for maybe pink salmon with the help of humans, Oh and them tree killing beetles, also with the help of humans. A bear, whale, moose, buffalo, otter, and so on have no means to do what we could do to this earth.

    I’m no tree hugger, always had fun making fun of them, especially with being raised on a cattle ranch. You put too many cattle per acre on good land only weeds and sagebrush will happen. To be good stewards of the land and be able to make a living you don’t do stupid shit like that. I just know that there are too many people right now. Natural resources can only handle so much. At least with animals, nature takes care of over population, keeping a balance. Animals also don’t create deadly inventions like nuclear, the jury’s still out on them cow farts though.

    All I’m saying is, if it starts getting warm enough that I have to start wearing a bikini, it’s going to get ugly up in here, and beautiful uplifting personality is going to turn to shit.

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  2. A home for readers and thinkers? Seems more like a home for 4 angry old white dudes who want to spit politics at each other all day long. Your articles are interesting for Alaskans, Craig, but lately the people who comment don’t seem to have much going on in their lives other than commenting on and politicizing your writing. Maybe they’re “professionals”? Bit of a turn off. Maybe they’ll go away soon. If they don’t, I’m sure your other readers will.

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    • When I first arrived in Alaska in 1972 they were telling us school kids there was an Ice Age coming and we’re all gonna be screwed.(The Seventies in Fairbanks seemed a lot colder than recent times)
      Now they espouse their global warming B.S. and even suggest doing without for the better of the planet!Interesting that the elitest dipshits who whine about carbon footprint are burning up more carbon credits than 200 or more of us regular folks.If they get their their Ponzy Scheme Carbon Credit Scam pulled off it will be one of the biggest Gov’t. ripoffs of all time!We the people should not bow down to that one.
      Truth is the giant lizard hunting was fantastic here in Alaska several million years ago and maybe again someday,A Dipshit Marxist Muslim Queer from Kenya turning off a few coal powerplants(Cheapest most plentiful energy available) isn’t going to make a bit of difference.Mt.St.Helens put more contaminants in the air in 60 seconds than the traffic of So.Cal. puts in the atmosphere in a decade!
      The world is changing and always has been.Like it or not we are along for the ride and our “leaders” aren’t any more prepared to do anything about it but get rich off “Carbon Credit” scams and other crap they’re sure to come up with.

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    • Pete, you cannot hack a difference of opinions? I am an angry black dude. Hopefully racists such as yourself will take your racism elsewhere. But, before you go, more silliness “Paris (AFP) – The world must drastically reduce its meat consumption in order to avoid devastating climate change, scientists said Wednesday in the most thorough study so far on how what we eat affects the environment.

      As humanity grapples with tough choices to offset a rapidly heating planet, the research suggests that the Western world would need to slash its meat intake by 90 percent to avoid crippling Earth’s ability to sustain an anticipated 10 billion people by 2050. “

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    • Pete, I guess you feel that the NASA article I linked to is “politics.” Are you daft?
      “Bit of a turn off????”
      I happen to be an old white dude that is “angered” by such stupidity. Go ahead and attempt to explain your asinine post.

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    • Pete,
      Seems like U are the most “angry” about our political disscussions, and I have a feeling that I am a lot younger than U are?
      Maybe it is time that U stick to ADN where nothing important ever gets discussed?
      Or try Rogoff’s latest Arctic buzz site…think China.
      If you have nothing to ever add, how are U enriching the debate?…
      Debate is the foundation of politics…
      When alternative opinions are lost, so too will our independence to disagree be finished.

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      • Steve, from this response it would seem we have reached a detente. Because I am going to use your words when it comes to my responses and your name calling rebuttals, “If you have nothing to ever add, how are U enriching the debate?…
        Debate is the foundation of politics”

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    • Monk, I am curious which parts you disagree with? The problem with you is, you just believe anything you are told enough and then label people trolls who do not believe the same nonsense as you. I can prove NASA/NOAA fudge, mislead, and omitted temp data to further their money driven, Global Warming agenda. I can prove the “97% of scientists believe” is misleading at best. I can prove hurricanes are not more severe or more frequent today then they were over 100yrs ago. I can prove that Alaska is in an el Nino pattern which brings temp differences. A common weather pattern. What can you prove Monk? Nothing tjat is what, yet you call others trolls. Now that is rich.

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    • Monk,
      Some days I feel U there, but I am afraid “outside” opinions like Bryan and folks like Rogoff who came to AK to “liquidate” ADN and buy out Alaskan Dispatch will take over the news sites meant to inform Alaskans.
      We had a much broader view on Politics when the Dispatch was up and running as well as when the Anchorage Press was independent and paid local authors to write stories…
      Keep your voice heard and speak your mind.
      I enjoy hearing the different opinions from Alaskans facing the concerns we debate.
      Craig has a good forum here and that is a dying format in today’s FB culture of “likes” and forgein state propaganda.

      Like

  3. Pleistocene Epoch, Younger Dryas, Older Dryas, Oldest Dryas, Maunder Minimum…climate change history.

    https://www.livescience.com/40311-pleistocene-epoch.html

    The conceit that some people, including some “scientists”, have is truly amazing. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Just because we are here and have the ability to record it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen before, it has, and science proves it has happened over and over and over and over…

    Liked by 1 person

    • climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
      Yessir Steve-O, that some “scientists” happens to be 97% of climate scientists from 18 scientific associations. Go ahead and publish your bullshit theory sometime and see how it is received by them. Heheh!

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      • Wait a second, are you actually saying that the Pleistocene Epoch, Younger Dryas, Older Dryas, Oldest Dryas, Maunder Minimum didn’t happen, or are somehow irrelevant
        to the discussion?

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      • Jason, I’m saying 97% of climate scientists (representing those 18 scientific associations I linked to) agree that: “Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” Their statement goes on but you get the idea.
        Nobody is saying these periods of fluctuation have not gone on in the past but what they are saying is that what is occurring today is human caused.

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      • Big Climate Change is a multi billion dollar industry that everyone from writers to politicians to scientists of various fields have a hand in profiting from, an industry that is not only financially motivated to prove its own theories, but shout down any dissenting opinion as well. You’ll have to pardon my skepticism. For the record, I’m also skeptical of Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, too, to keep it fair and balanced.

        Not to say that I don’t believe in conservation, mind you.

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      • Baznyankee what exactly is going on today that hasn’t been going on the last 4,000 years? You do realize that governents make HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS PUSHING THE GLOBAL WARMING LIE. Notice I said “make”. There is no 97%

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      • I’m just not sure what “Big Climate Change” you refer to but you are entitled to your opinion-Just note that the vast majority of Climate Scientists don’t agree with you. That’s how science works, if your argument doesn’t pass muster it is shouted down with arguments supporting their position.
        That is how science works (now and always). We’ll list you in the column of nonbelievers along with Bryan and Paul-do you also think the earth flat?

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      • Bryan, you don’t get it-your argument is not with me but those scientists that know beyond any reasonable doubt that what is going on today is that this Climate Change is caused by humans.

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      • Baznyankee,

        Actually that’s not how science works…at all, it isn’t “shouted down”. The scientific method explains how “science works”, google scientific method sometime. Consensus and majority have no place in actual science.

        I’m not trying to prove anything to you, I’m not trying to disprove anything to you. Do your own research. A couple of good places to start are the Pleistocene Epoch, Younger Dryas, Older Dryas, Oldest Dryas, Maunder Minimum. Form your own conclusions but believing that 97% of some group somewhere believes something proves absolutely nothing.

        Inform yourself, or don’t. I choose to be informed.

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      • Cut the crap Steve-O. Nobody needs to study what you refer to because nobody is saying they didn’t happen. All I’ve said is that the consensus of Climate Scientists, who’ve studied what you refer to, happen to believe that this situation we are in now is “human caused.”
        Unless you consider yourself a climate scientist, please don’t attempt to place yourself in a position of disagreeing with them. Nothing wrong with being informed but you have not shown us on here where you are informed.
        You believe this is not “human caused” which makes you, along with Bryan, Paul and Jason a nonbeliever. Go ahead and push your bullshit on those Climate Scientists as see where it gets you. And we are not talking about the scientific method, either. Whenever someone, such as yourself, opposes the consensus of scientists, they look at your reasonings and arguments and if they do not agree that your theory is reasonable they do indeed shout it down. They do give their reasons, however, the result is that it is deemed unworthy.
        Next you’ll be telling us that you’ve studied all that you refer to, with understanding, and you’ve come to the conclusion that humans have not caused this Climate Change. And while you are at it, give us your credentials (or are you just of the common sense crowd, like Paul).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My thought is it’s to debatable how much impact we humans have . To some degree a waste of time to debate . It’s obvious we have some effect. It’s even possible we have cooling effect . Research that if you will . It’s known we release toxic chemicals dangerously . Why risk the possibility of changing our ecosystem uncontrolled? Unplanned? So my thought is government is to slow and capitalism should be relied on to solve . Inventors and engineers should be supported best possible. Kids directed in study of green energy systems. Sure Tesla is a mess but he is trying. I think reform on oil energy companies ability to buy up patents and slow progress through excessive competition could be helpful. Extreme rich People that are into progressive solutions could fund green energy college scholarships in a big way . Start funding massive green energy buisness grants rather than funding political groups that cause drama . They waste their money. Just think how many scholarships the millions of dollars good intention democratic people could pay for . That alone would functionality change the face of education and within a few years pollution . They could donate to companies that meet green energy goals and perhaps even individuals . Their money would be better spent on that than supporting political groups drama . My opinion is real change comes from families and individuals not government. It was individuals and families that created our nation and our system of government. Many Do good rich folks are going about their goals in backwards fashion . Invest in the individuals and change will occur. IMO Obviously trump has no intention to resolve through government. Government will always be back and forth waste of time . Though I do think people who have good ideas and concerns could influence trump if they worked with and ignored their political garbage . He could use a few greenies to show him its financial beneficial to get ahead of the ball and work towards green energy. Just like tech money is currently our nations super power so could green energy. Trump just showed he’s a numbers man . He is pushing corn ethanol to off set financial pain caused by trade war with China . If he had advisors that showed him financial benefits for a green energy plan perhaps he would get a light bulb . That’s why I say throw away politics and get to work even if a person thinks a leader is on opposite side of the fence. Probably isn’t . Just appears that way due to media and questionable people who play up political drama for funds or possibly national division to control our nation. There my 90 cents .

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  5. For 50 years the Commies have been crying Global Cooling, Global Warming and now Global Climate Change! Enough already, nobody with any common sense listens to this globalist Marxist Bravo Sierra.

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  6. This is not Alaska related, but more to do with individual weather events like Florida hurricane happening now.
    “The climate is changing, and that means that weather is impacted by the current state of the climate. There’s a human fingerprint on that,” said Kevin A. Reed, an assistant professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. “So, to some extent, there’s a human fingerprint on individual weather events.”

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    • Bill,
      I just spoke to my folks back East and for two years in a row, the leaves are not changing into fall foliage colors in PA like they normally due by late September.
      This year my dad said they are falling off of the trees Green without changing?
      How will this effect health of the forests?
      PA had Tornado warnings in the forested hills one day, then 81 degrees and sunny the next in mid October?
      Go figure…
      Humans have warmed the planet and all anyone has to do is watch the daily traffic flowing in and out of cities throughout America…add in all of the coal fired electric plants in the country and you wonder when a “gas mask” will be warranted?
      Many children in LA cannot even go out for recess…just too toxic to breath.

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      • But, of course, Trump digs coal. Heheh!
        We in Alaska are not helping, either with our new UAF coal plant as well as the just-fired up coal electric plant near Healy. UAF plant is the only one being built in US, too. I suspect this was a cave in to Usibellis who own the coal and are prominent Fairbanks folks.
        Anyway, anyone’s guess as to how these habitat changes will shake out. Has anyone heard of any tornadoes happening in Georgia, yet?

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    • Baznyankee what are you smoking? You act like the Hurricane happening now in FL is something new or man-made? What was it when we went 11yrs without a major hurricane? Read my lips THIS HURRICANE IS THE WORST TO HIT THE PANAMA CITY/GULF COAST AREA. You guys post the silliest nonsense I just can’t stand it. Why do both NOAA and NASA feel the need to fudge, Omit, and lie about their temp data, thus making it BOGUS. Why did they feel the need to put temp gauges near highways and city centers? Because BLACK asphalt radiates heat and cities trap heat THUS GIVING BOGUS DATA.
      Chew on this for awhile and the year was 1900 – “The Great Galveston Storm came ashore the night of Sept 8, 1900, with an estimated strength of a Category 4. It remains the deadliest natural disaster and the worst hurricane in U.S. history.

      From 6,000 to 12,000 people died on Galveston Island and the mainland. Texas’ most advanced city was nearly destroyed.”

      Steve, I was in PA last week and the leaves are changing normally. Depending on the moisture, temps, etc.. the leaves aren’t as spectacular as some years. Nothing out of the ORDINARY. Stop being so brainwashed. It is ALL A LIE, JUST ASK NASA!!!

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  7. Warming increases the rate that trees populate Alaskan mountainside. But it happens even if temperature averages remain constant. Alders are first to populate poor soil. The frankia bacteria in the alder roots increase the nitrogen content in the soil. And this allows other trees, birch and spruce, to grow where once only alders grew.

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  8. Our climate has been changing in both directions for thousands of years and evidently we have adapted as we are still here. I for one am enjoying a bit longer growing season. These days though most anything is opportunity for “politicization”and/or “weaponization” for a variety of agendas.

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  9. Great article, Craig. Pretty sobering financials on the village you cited. Out of curiosity, do ANY villages in AK pay for their own upkeep, or are state and federal taxpayers on the hook for everything? How about a township such as Nome?

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    • Jason,
      I do not think any borough in the state is independent from using federal and state dollars to operate…many on top of local property taxes.
      Especially in areas with no local property taxes.
      Here in the mat su, 61 percent of our local taxes go to schools and school loan payments.
      I heard it could be as high as 86 percent if you include plowing and salting roads for buses, school district maintenance by borough employees, etc.
      Our local governments are a subsidized social experiment and after all these high taxes with still are faced with school teacher child molestation cases like the one currently against a teacher at Iditarod Elementary in Wasilla…
      Last year it was a guy who drove buses for 2 years in the mat su that was arrested for molesting kids.
      This is on top of some of the lowest performance ratings in the country for students.
      So, a bit off your point (yet school expenses and sexual assualt are big issues in villages) but to answer your question…
      I think not….even ANC loves the federal and state “gravy train”.

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  10. For those of us that live in AK, the changes are real…
    I personally have been picking fresh Kale out of my garden until last week.
    When I first homesteaded in Willow nearly 13 years ago, the ice was forming on rain puddles in late August and the dog teams were out training during the day.
    During the last few Septembers the temps have been in the 60’s during the day.
    It is about time the residents of AK got serious about Agriculture as our “food security” depends on much more than hunting protein to sustain healthy lifestyles.
    All it would take is another major earthquake to destroy key infrastructure and we could see a major disruption in food distribution.
    Our mono culture large corporate farming in the lower 48 will also be susceptible to droughts as the warming continues throughout America.
    For the first time in U.S. history, places like Eastern PA now face tornado warnings….what will these “super storms” created by our warming planet do to farmlands as they flood and face destruction from winds?
    After the recent hurricanes hit the East Coast, NASA scientists could watch millions of gallons of hog feces get washed out to the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina.
    Our Ecosystem and Habitat are at a critical point and fracking for more gas will only exasperate the warming of our planet (from all the Methane released and gases released from burning fossil fuels).
    It is time we start to think “Green” as we move forward and remember: like Kermit the frog once said: “It’s not easy being Green!”

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    • Steve, the scientists already agreed your fears are related to el Nino. Look, you can’t have it both ways, you either support Facsism (your go-to word and Global Warming) or you do not. Just enjoy the fact you still have Kale this late in the season. Next year or the year after you may not. So, here’s to late season Kale in the garden (I am saluting you with a Kale leaf). YUMMY!!

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      • Bryan you forfeit the discussion. Invoking the tradition of Godwin’s law : ). Other than that what you say is always interesting!

        Like

      • Bryan,
        Just found more fresh Kale in the garden….still crunchy!
        There are some benefits to the obvious warming of our environment…and it is pretty darn obvious to most of us who work and play out-of-doors daily.

        Like

  11. Steve, I know you are a big advocate but, could there be any bigger example of Facsism then Global Warming? Think about it – the government claims we are all going to die. Government takes over and over-regulates corporations, fines, and taxes everything from how times your cows fart to how many breaths you exhale in the name of saving your life. I mean who doesn’t want their life saved from a falling sky? This is like the never ending Affirmative Action. Just re-label it “white privliledge” and the gift keeps giving for another 50yrs and then re-label. Kind of like Global Warming, just re-label it “Climate Change, because any Bozo will believe that – right? Biggest money generating, redistributing fraud in the worlds history.

    Like

    • Bryan,
      We all know U will rant daily with “Anti Democratic” speech until our November Election is over…
      That is what GOP Operatives do…
      As far as the Republicans shift towards Authoritarian Strategies, well I am not the only long term moderate to loose faith in the GOP and leave the “party”.
      A long time Republican, Tom Nichols (who works at the U.S. Naval War College) also left the GOP and wrote a very good article for the Atlantic…and he is not your typical “lefty” either.
      He writes:
      “The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh convinced me that the Republican Party now exists for one reason, and one reason only: for the exercise of raw political power, and not for ends I would otherwise applaud or even support…
      The true authoritarian muscle is now being flexed by the GOP, in a kind of buzzy, steroidal McCarthyism that lacks even anti-communism as a central organizing principle. The Republican Party, which controls all three branches of government and yet is addicted to whining about its own victimhood, is now the party of situational ethics and moral relativism in the name of winning at all costs.”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/tom-nichols-why-im-leaving-republican-party/572419/

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Is this more Fake News? Tell you what, just send more money to Al Gore, pay more taxes, create more job killing regulations and act more like a leftist, and we will all survive. But wait, they don’t want us to survive, because we are the planet killers. Argh, so confusing. Oh yes, the IPCC. Notice how many “could” they use. What a bunch of horse crap. Just another silly talking point to stir the loons for the election.

    Liked by 1 person

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