Temperature Change in Alaska 1971 - 2000

The questions surrounding media coverage of climatic change in Alaska has re-enforced the fact that determining the accurate magnitude of temperature changes of the State is a somewhat subjective process. The selection of the stations which represent Alaska is, of course, of importance. Bowling (1990) chose the mean of Fairbanks, Anchorage, Nome and Barrow (FANB), a north-south cross-section of the State plus one station (Nome) in Western Alaska.

This page features the trends in mean annual temperatures from all of Alaska's first-order weather stations for the period of 1971-2000, which represents the most recent 30-year climatic normal. While the temperature change varied widely from one climatic zone to another as well as for different seasons, there is not a single first class weather station in all of Alaska, which reported 5°F temperature increase for the last 3 decades neither in summer nor for the annual value, values frequently cited by the popular press. About half the value can be found both following Bowling or for the mean of all stations.

The temperature changes were calculated from the trend of the best fit of the linear regression line. Click on any city to see a detailed graph of the 1971 to 2000 period. Click on "Mean of all Stations" to see the graph for that calculation.

Please send comments/questions to webmaster@climate.gi.alaska.edu