August 21, 2015

Hot July

Hot, hot, hot. We in Virginia already knew it, but NOAA just confirmed that . . . 

The July average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F above the 20th century average. As July is climatologically the warmest month for the year, this was also the all-time highest monthly temperature in the 1880-2015 record, at 61.86°F, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.14°.

And we witnessed it in Alaska where temps were in the mid to high 70s while we were there. Glaciers receding throughout the state, except for one.

It was a delight to see no plastic water bottles available for sale in Denali. Aramark has provided water refilling stations for tourists and backpackers at the visitor center to refill their reusable bottles. The one road into and out of Denali made a stiff drink more necessary than water. Sheer drop offs from a dirt road with no guard rails kept bears my second fear.

One more final comment on the green factor (or lack of) in Alaska. A lot of folks burn their trash at various times throughout the day. The forest fires still burning in Alaska are not the only source of air pollution. I suppose that they justify burning trash as we mainlanders did in the early 1950s. Alaska may be huge, but air is not an infinite landfill.