The article "Alaska, No Longer So Frigid, Starts to Crack, Burn, and Sag" written by Timothy Egan, stated that the average temperature has risen seven degrees in the last 30 years. This statement was repeated in an editorial by Bob Herbert of 24 June 2002. This statement is incorrect. The correct warming for Alaska is about 1/3 of the quoted amount for the last climatological mean 1971 to 2000 (see table below). It should be pointed out that the table presents data from first class weather stations, which are professionaly maintained and generate high quality data. The three stations, Barrow, Fairbanks, and Anchorage, represent a cross section of Alaska from north to south. Further, Barrow, situated in Northern Alaska, which gave the largest temperature increase, is the only long-term first class meteorological weather station in Northern Alaska. All changes are based upon the time period 1971 to 2000 and are compiled from a linear trend.
24 June 2002
In their 11 July, 2002 Edition, the New York Times ran a correction of the value of 7°F as used in the 16 June article, 24 June op/ed, and mentioned in an 8 July op/ed as well. The corrected value is now 5.4°F over a 30 year period. We still find the value of 5.4°F too great by a factor of 2 for the 1971 to 2000 period, the last 30 years. However, the possibility exists that the value of 5.4°F is in reference to a temperature change in some other earlier 30-year period.
Wendler and Hartmann, 12 July 2002
If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Gerd Wendler at firstname.lastname@example.org
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