Long Climate Records in Alaska


Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska 99775

Abstract

The question of whether the climate is warming (or changing otherwise) is by no means settled. While instrumental records exist from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in many parts of the world, they are rarely continuous and uniform over time. This leads to the question of whether observed changes are real or due to changes in instrument location and shielding, changes in the surroundings (e.g., the growth of cities or clearing of forest), or changes in operational procedures (e.g., the time of day at which observations are made.) All of these possible sources of error must be examined in order to produce a time series of temperatures which may be used to assess climate change. At the present time it appears unlikely that it will be possible to correct any Alaskan stations well enough to obtain reliable temperature trends back into the first half of the century. There are, however, several stations with potentially usable records dating back to the 1950s.


Financial support was obtained from NOAA grant number NA16RC 0518: Scientific personnel -- S. A. Bowling.
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