UTQIAGVIK, Alaska (AP) – Scientists say changing sea ice patterns are affecting fall temperatures in the far northern Alaska city of Utqiagvik.
Alaska’s Energy Desk reports temperatures in the town formerly known as Barrow have increased in October more than any other month over the last five decades.
Rick Thoman, climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, says the lack of ice is both the effect of warming in the Arctic and a primary driver for the town’s warmer Octobers.
Pack ice that remains frozen on the Arctic Ocean through the summer has been steadily retreating north.
Thoman says that pack ice previously helped more ice form along the coastline by cooling the land and water around it. New sea ice now needs more time to form.