Let’s talk for a minute about Nome, Alaska. This burg of 3,700 sits near the western edge of the Seward Peninsula where it borders the Bering Sea, summer destination for the Earth’s recovering population of Grey whales due to very cold surface waters which circulate freely with deep currents, bringing up nutrients that feed a thriving surface community of algae and plankton that nourish the whales.
You might remember Nome from the recent documentary The Fourth Kind in which aliens use the immersion technique to teach
Liv Tyler Milla Jovovich’s family ancient Babylonian. Though far north as towns go Nome weather is moderated by the ocean, keeping it as warm as minus two to twelve Fahrenheit on average even in late January against an average of zero to minus eighteen for the Alaskan interior.
You might be thinking to yourself, minus two to twelve degrees sounds pretty appealing right now. We all have that personal limit where the cold becomes definitely NOT OK; mine is when the inside of my nostrils freeze every time I breathe in. Fortunately Max has about the same limit. Around that temperature he says screw this noise, poops in a hurry and drags me back to the house. A Siberian Husky my Doberman is not.
For those of you wondering what happened to your jet stream, folks in Nome are enjoying a record high of forty six degrees (forty with wind chill) and looking at an overnight low around thirty three. It is raining in Anchorage.
Sea ice started melting a while ago in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean. This warms up the area like crazy because ice reflects solar energy whereas open water absorbs it. This drew the jet stream north as everyone knew it would, winters get a lot nicer in the far north (unless you have a foundation in permafrost, which everyone does) and the higher atmo pressure pushed the arctic weather south to us while denying the Southwest any precipitation at all. That kind of sucks for SoCal, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and anyone in the lower 48 who prefers not to freeze to death and it will put huge pressure on Colorado and other upriver states to sacrifice their water consumption so Arizona farmers and Flagstaff golf courses can stay in business.
To summarize, whenever someone says “where is your global warming now?“, punch him in the neck.
See XKCD for a similar point made better.