As globe warms, Alaska is cooling down

Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Despite a global trend of warming climate, Alaska has been experiencing a widespread cooling pattern for at least a decade, scientists say.

In the first decade since 2000, the state has cooled an average of 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the online newspaper Alaska Dispatch reported.

That's a "large value for a decade," the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said in a report published in the Atmospheric Science Journal.

Cooling temperatures have been recorded at 19 of the 20 National Weather Service stations spread throughout Alaska, the report said.

Parts of Western Alaska saw temperatures drop a significant 4.5 degrees for the decade, it said.

Researchers said the cooling was likely caused by an ocean phenomenon known as the Decadal Oscillation that moved colder surface water temperatures closer to Alaska.

Researchers said it is unknown how long the cooling trend might last, although they noted the state experienced thirty years of relative cold climate starting in the mid-1940s.

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