Is Alaska heading towards ice age?

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 13:20 hrs

London, Jan 3 (IANS) Far from the effects of global warming, the snow covered land of Alaska is actually growing colder, according to new research.

A study by the Alaska Climate Research Center shows that since the beginning of the 21st century, temperatures in Alaska are reportedly going down to 50 degrees below zero, the Daily Mail reported.

Scientists now confirm that the northwest US state is indeed seeing a temperature drop.

The report by the research center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said the state has cooled by 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.33 degrees Celsius since 2000.

The drop is described as a "large value for a decade", in the academic paper "The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska".

Scientists based their research on temperature readings from weather stations operated by the National Weather Service.

The stations are scattered across the state. Based on the readings, 19 of the 20 stations measured a consistently cooler climate over time.

In the paper, researchers credit an ocean phenomenon, the "Decadal Oscillation", with bringing colder surface water temperatures and thus beginning the overall cooling effect.

Before the 2000s, the warming trend in Alaska was actually twice the overall warming rate.

The sudden temperature increase began in 1977 and has gone up ever since 1998. But now the trend has been reversed.

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