Anchorage set a new seasonal snowfall record this past weekend. The winter of 2011-2 is now the snowiest in history with 134.5 inches. The Anchorage Daily News went nuts with lots of photos and a front page story.
We are in the middle of breakup….that time of year when the snow that has been hanging around since November starts melting. Usually by the end of the month it’s all gone. I for one am ready for Spring. Now that we have the record, it can all melt…as soon as possible. It is an attitude many Anchorage residents share. We really wanted the record, but enough is enough. But this is Alaska; we’ll probably get one or two more snowy days before we officially quit counting.
We live in a wonderful world full of exaggeration. Yes, we set a record, an all time record. It really is only a 97 year record, because we didn’t start counting until 1915. It was most likely quite a bit colder during the Revolutionary War than it is today. There was just nobody around to take measurements.
This preoccupation with records that don’t mean much is ever present in the Arctic. Whenever I see or hear anyone talk about record melting in the Arctic, I remind myself that the records are only about 33 years old. Give me a break.
Climate has so much variation from time to time and place to place. I live the part of the world that is supposed to be the most changed by global warming, and it was until about 2005. Small data sets, wild predictions, records everywhere.
Welcome to the world of Climate SWAG.