The Baking of Alaska

Apparently Alaska is "baked" due to climate change. Or, maybe not.

According to the story at

Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, which Zappa calls home, has been practically tropical this winter. Rick Thoman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Alaska, has been dumbfounded. "Homer, Alaska, keeps setting record after record, and I keep looking at the data like, Has the temperature sensor gone out or something?"

Practically tropical on the Kenai Peninsula this winter?

December was warm in the Homer area, setting a record for the warmest December on record at 37 F. That is hardly "tropical."

But then came January 2015, which was 8 F colder than January 2014. Neither January nor February of this year came remotely close to being record warm in the Homer region.

In fact, this winter in Homer averaged 29.8 F, which -- last I checked -- is below freezing, not tropical.

The winter of 2014-2015 wasn't even the warmest in Homer's history. The record warm year was 1976-1977, where the average winter temperature was 1.3 F warmer than this year. If this year was "tropical," 1976-1977 must have been near Australian Outback searing hot.

There is an almost perfect non-correlation in Homer's winter temperature over the past three decades.

But surely there must have been an increasing trend in Homer's annual temperature during the last several decades. Nope. Effectively a perfect non-correlation since 1985, and negative correlation since 1980.

Nevertheless, Alaska is apparently cooking:

Alaska is heating up at twice the rate of the rest of the country -- a canary in our climate coal mine. A new report shows that warming in Alaska, along with the rest of the Arctic, is accelerating as the loss of snow and ice cover begins to set off a feedback loop of further warming. Warming in wintertime has been the most dramatic -- more than 6 degrees in the past 50 years. And this is just a fraction of the warming that's expected to come over just the next few decades.

Until you realize there has been no significant trend in Alaska's annual temperature over the last three decades. Then you may also need to accept that Alaska's winter temperature for 2014-2015 was almost 4 F below the record warm winter. This year was back in 7th place between 1928-1929 and 1941-1942.

There is almost a perfect non-correlation in Alaska's winter temperature over the past three decades, and no significant non-parametric trend since records began in 1926.

Another gem appears at

This winter, Anchorage has essentially transformed into a less sunny version of Seattle.

Sure it has. Even though the winter of 2014-2015 was only the 8th warmest in its history, almost 5 F colder than the record warm winter of 1976-1977?

The average winter temperature this year in Anchorage was 24.4 F. The average temperature this past winter in Seattle was 46.4 F. So, it is a "less sunny version of Seattle," just 22 F colder.

As readers may expect, there is also no sign of a significant trend in Anchorage's winter temperature during the last three decades.

But these are just facts.

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