Alaska Set To Finish 2019 With Record Warm Year
Alaska is set to finish 2019 with a record average high temperature after a year of extremes ranging from a sweltering summer and rampant wildfires to vanishing sea ice and winter rains where heavy snows were once the norm.
Wildlife also suffered from the state's chaotic weather, with mass die-offs of seabirds and marine mammals struggling to cope with ecological upheaval.
The turmoil is part of a rapid warming pattern in which Alaska - at the leading edge of climate change due to its proximity to the Arctic - is heating at twice the rate of the planet as a whole, researchers say.
"Even with the current cold snap, I don't see any way that 2019 is not the warmest year on record," Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center, said in a tweet on Thursday