How do the excessively warm sea surface conditions of 2013-16 compare to the past? (1926)

Alaska “Blob” Tracker

Since mid-2013 Alaska has been excessively warm, and this has been most emphatically the case over the western Gulf of Alaska, Alaska Peninsula and the Bering Sea regions. But how does this compare to the past?

For the first half of the 20th century, 1926 stands out as the warmest calendar year in Alaska.  This is apparent when looking at the available station data as well as global surface temperature analyses. There were a rather small number of places in Alaska that had climate observations made in 1926 and still are. The core of the current climate observation network in Alaska was actually established during World War II, and there remain climate observations dating from the 1940s and some prior data that are not available in digitized form from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). As a result, these observations are overlooked and unused in many modern analyses and databases…

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