A Clear View of Alaska, and the Problem it Presents

Alaska on a clear day.

Alaska on a clear day. Photo: NASA, Image Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC.

This is really interesting. NASA released this rare photograph of Alaska from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on June 17, 2013. Most of the time the state is covered with clouds, but not on that day. Because of the lack of clouds in this image, we can see the surface with it’s mountains, the small amount of snow and ice on mountain ridges, and even a wildfire.

This photograph also shows the effects of global climate change. NASA said of this image:

The same ridge of high pressure that cleared Alaska’s skies also brought stifling temperatures to many areas accustomed to chilly June days. Talkeetna, a town about 100 miles north of Anchorage, saw temperatures reach 96°F on June 17. Other towns in southern Alaska set all-time record highs, including Cordova, Valez, and Seward. The high temperatures also helped fuel wildfires and hastened the breakup of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea.

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