Travel News August 24, 2019
2019 Marks The Hottest Summer In Alaska’s History
States all across the U.S. have been experiencing record-breaking heat, and it has spread all the way to Alaska. Even The Last Frontier, a place characterized by frigid temperatures and permanently frozen soil, is being ravaged by devastating wildfires. Salmon are dying at a rapid pace, ice is thawing, and citizens are buying fans faster than stores can replenish their inventory. Here’s everything you need to know about this crisis.
So far this summer, over two million acres of Alaskan land have been set ablaze by wildfires. Even more concerning than the sheer amount of devastation is how long this fire season has lasted, with the first inferno erupting on April 30.
Nearly four months have passed, and there's still no sign of things slowing down.
A whopping 663 fires have been documented in 2019, 232 of which are still burning.
Red pins on the map above represent an acreage of at least 2,500.
Alaska's average temperature has increased more than two degrees Celsius over the past century, which is double the worldwide average.
This makes it the fastest-warming state in America. Not a single weather station has measured a temperature below freezing since the end of June - the longest streak in more than 100 years. Equally shocking, the thermometer recently hit 90 degrees for the first time ever recorded at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
The majority of Northern and Central Alaska is covered in permafrost, or soil with a thin icy layer on top that never melts.
It is now beginning to liquefy, releasing dangerous greenhouse gases buried underneath. Not only is this phenomenon contributing to global warning, but it also provides more surface area for wildfires to engulf.
Unfortunately, humans aren't the only lifeforms being affected by this unprecedented heatwave. Salmon are suffocating as water temperatures increase because there is less oxygen for them to consume.
This is not only devastating from a biological standpoint, but economically as well; Alaska produces over 50% of the fish caught in U.S. territory.
Miserable citizens are stocking up on portable fans and ice faster than stores can handle. Even moose have been spotted cooling off in front lawn sprinklers to get relief from the oppressive heat!
We'll have to wait and see how the last month of summer plays out, but it will likely be no less record-breaking.
Amid the uncertainty, one thing remains unquestionably true: something drastic must be done before next summer rolls around.
here to keep tabs on the current state of the wildfires.
Were you aware of this staggering fact? Let us know your thoughts. Read our previous article to learn about a strange phenomenon occurring due to thawing permafrost:
This Bizarre Phenomenon In Alaska Is Baffling Scientists.