2016 set a lot of records all over the world, so why should we care about Alaska? For one it is one of the best monitored bits of real estate north of the 60th parallel. True, there is good monitoring in Nordic Europe but there the effects of the Gulf Stream make for a less representative sample of Arctic conditions. True, there is monitoring across northern Canada and Siberia but the density of observation is woefully inadequate and the commitment to northern monitoring wavered in both Canada and Russia through the 1990’s resulting in inconsistent data. The fact that Alaskan records are being broken by huge margins should be particularly attention-getting.

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