The Inconvenient Truth of Alaska's Climate

After Tuesday's midterm election, Martin Kaste at NPR published a piece discussing how the “Republican sweep highlights climate change politics in Alaska.”  On election night, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) apparently said that “I come from a state where we see a warming.”

Kaste's article also claimed that Alaska is “a place where the warming itself is becoming too hard to ignore.”

And here are the trends in annual average temperatures for the NOAA National Weather Service climate sub-regions in Alaska over the past 30 years.

Only one sub-region has a significant warming trend, which is balanced by one sub-region with a significant cooling trend.  For the 16 sub-regions with no significant trends, 13 of the 16 (81 percent) have negative correlations toward cooling temperatures, not warming.

In other words, there appears to be absolutely no evidence that Alaska has been warming over the past three decades.  On the balance of probabilities, the state appears to be cooling.