This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Record-breaking heat across Alaska is pushing tourists to beaches, and sending flames across the unseasonably hot, dry state.
Anchorage experienced higher-than-average temperatures nearly every day of June, reaching a balmy 80 degrees on days that once maxed out at a mild 67.
The weather is forecasted to heat up further through and after the Fourth of July, with temperatures expected to climb to nearly 90 degrees in Fairbanks and Anchorage over the weekend.
If the forecasts are correct, the state could set several new local heat records before the week is out.
Alaska’s heating has a cascading effect. As ocean temperatures rise, the coasts heat up, with potentially catastrophic consequences on land and in the water. And all that local heat contributes to faster planet-wide warming.
Alaska is no stranger to large wildfires, and so far this year’s fire season is only slightly worse than average. But with about a quarter-million acres burned in roughly the last week, nearly 120 fires still uncontained, and the heat still risi... Read more