Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Another hint...  

Some new climate change converts:
Blake Freking, a musher who trains Siberian huskies on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, said he planned to compete in the Beargrease race in January. “With global warming, it’s hard to deny that there are some big changes going on right now,” he said. “We’re in it. It isn’t looking good.”
During last year’s snow season, defined as July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, Anchorage had 134.5 inches of snow, according to Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with the National Climatic Data Center. This season’s tally in Anchorage was 39.2 inches, through Wednesday. North of Fairbanks, another area where mushers train, snowpack is 21 percent of average.
“This is a pretty big deal,” said Crouch, who is among the climate experts who attribute the conditions to global warming. He said climate change had resulted in warmer temperatures for Alaska over the last century.
“One of the things we’re seeing with climate change is that the high latitudes are experiencing the brunt of it,” he said. “They’re very vulnerable.”
Mushing in Alaska originated with Native American settlers and pioneers who traversed the chilly landmass using dog sleds out of necessity. Canine-powered transit was a practical option for transporting fur, medicine, freight, mail and passengers in the snow. Even as airplane travel diverted much from mushers’ daily business, the culture endured along with the Iditarod trail, which stretches about 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome.
“It definitely has us concerned,” Erin McLarnon, a musher and spokeswoman for the Iditarod, said of the long-term effects of the weather. She is among the mushers breeding dogs with thinner coats, more suitable for warmer weather. [More]
When I was in Green Bay recently, a snowmobiler told me if it weren't for mud races, they wouldn't be getting much time in the saddle. 

Do they do that?


Troy said...

They may be lacking snow, but the average temperature in Alaska has been cooling for the past decade.

someguy said...

This seems like the typical strategy of using a single anecdotal statistic to suggest an obvious reality, when there are hundreds of statistics to look at. When opponents of anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming use individual statistics they are defamed as not understanding science.
The other point is that even if something has changed in Alaska, we all know weather patterns and climate change over the centuries for many reasons, most of which are not well understood. The UN report that was released a couple of days ago said that sunspots may indeed have a much bigger influence than previously acknowledged. Using anecdotes like this to imply we need to do something to try to change the weather makes no sense to me.

John Phipps said...


My point was the reaction of people, like the mushers who are breeding thinner-hair dogs. I did not say this story was definitive scientific proof.

We're all making our bets. And more are betting climatologists are closer to truth than skeptics.