An early spring in Alaska • Earth.com An early spring in Alaska

Last update: July 3rd, 2020 at 11:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory illustrates how warm weather caused Alaska to jump from the middle of winter straight into spring.

March of 2019 was part of an ongoing warming trend across the state in recent years. According to the Alaska Climate Research Center, a high-pressure ridge developed in the middle of the month and stayed in place.

The hotter air temperatures combined with warm sea surface temperatures have significantly lowered the amount of sea ice coverage west of Alaska in the Bering Sea.

This image was captured over Anchorage on March 30, 2019 by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite.Alaska (/əˈlæskə/ (listen); Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂; Inupiaq: Alaasikaq; Alutiiq: Alas’kaaq; Tlingit: Anáaski; Russian: Аляска, romanized: Alyaska) is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of the United States West Coast, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast. Its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015—is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska’s residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska’s economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. United States armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy. 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

 

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