According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and Alaska Dispatch, several reporting stations in Interior Alaska broke their daily low temperature records on Sunday April 28th, 2013. The low temperature at Fairbanks International Airport was 2 degrees above zero, which obliterated the old record of 8 above set in 1924, and the high temperature of 29 degrees at the Fairbanks airport tied the coldest high temperature for that day, which was set in 1935. New low temperature records were also set at Eagle (5 below), Eielson Air Force Base (1 above) and Delta Junction (3 above). Eagle also recorded a new record low of 5 below. Other Interior locations reporting unusually cold low temperatures included 9 below at both Circle Hot Springs about 100 miles north of Fairbanks, and at 25 Mile of the Salcha River about 40 miles south of town. It was 6 below at Smith Lake on the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The culprit is a low center aloft interacting with a blocking high over the Bering Sea, as depicted in the screenshot below. The circulation is pushing cold, dry air from the North Pole and Arctic Ocean being blown over a large part of Alaska. Temperatures are not expected to warm up dramatically anytime soon; the National Weather Service suggests the pattern could continue for a couple of weeks.
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This could result in a messy breakup along rivers in Interior Alaska. A sudden warmup when this pattern breaks could trigger ice jams and floodwaters anywhere along the major rivers. The extended cold is also affecting the Nenana Ice Classic; the Tanana River ice in Nenana was still 51 inches thick on Thursday April 25th when officials with the Nenana Ice Classic measured it. That’s the thickest the ice has been this late in decades; the latest the ice has ever gone out, knocking over the tripod in midstream, is May 20th.
And it's not just dry cold. On the screenshot above, you'll notice that Juneau is located close to the transition zone. That means active, wet weather, and on Friday April 28th, Juneau got a bunch of the white stuff, recording 4.4 inches at the International Airport north of town, obliterating the previous record of 0.2 inches for the day. We expected a couple of bouts of light, wet snow here in Anchorage this week, but it'll melt quickly.
It's not just Alaska that's shivering. Northern Europe and the Southeastern U.S. experienced colder-than-normal temperatures in march, explained by Dr. Jeff Masters as an Arctic Oscillation. The accompanying graph is quite useful and shows nearly as many hits on the negative side as on the positive side since 1950, which works against the catastrophic endless warning scenario envisioned by other scientists. But some scientists are beginning to whisper that unusually cold springs may become the new norm for Northern Europe as a result of the ice cap melting, and Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, created a stir when he recently claimed that we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years. Academician Vladimir Kotlyakov, head of the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences who has studied Antarctic ice cores that are hundreds of thousands years old, said "There are no grounds to claim that global warming will continue till the end of this century...Early signs of cooling are already there and the trend may pick up in coming years...Human activity and industrial discharges do have a great impact on environment, but forces of nature are far more powerful".
Global warming theologists aren't conceding without a fight. In 2011, they switched from "global warming" to "climate change" to protect their flanks. David Easterling, chief of the Scientific Services Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, complained in March 2011 that "People make the mistake of equating weather in their location with global warming or climate change. But the answer is that even with a warming planet, you're always going to have some places that are unusually cold for a day, or even a month, while at the same time other areas are unusually warm." This, of course, is true, but it seems like that because their global warming tack did not produce the desired course of action, they're now pursuing the climate change tack. We also haven't forgotten the contemptuous and patronizing behavior of global warming theologists towards those of us who are skeptics, and we're glad to give it back to them in spades whenever we have the opportunity.
Even if there is so-called "global warming", there is still far too much disagreement on the effects and the prognosis. Thus it is ludicrous to pass legislation like carbon cap-and-trade, which could commit billions of dollars to projected outcomes that might prove either unnecessary or fruitless. Science is no more inerrant than religion, and we need to quit viewing science as dogma. Peer review is nothing more than a form of mutual academic masturbation. Rather than curtail carbon emissions, which may not work, we can better spend our money relocating communities like Kivalina and Shishmaref to less vulnerable areas. We know relocaion will work -- we don't know if cap-and-trade will work.