Alaskan Temperature Fluctuations and Trends: An Analysis of Recorded Data


  • Thomas D. Hamilton



Koch, Lauge, 1892-1964


Relates recorded temperature data for Alaska to documented trends of annual world mean temperature, which show a warming trend from 1880 to 1940 followed by cooling (graphed). The records of the 20 Alaskan stations are described in detail and their reliability assessed. The state is divided into five regions, and the trends analyzed exhaustively by region, a composite mean being constructed for the state. Distinction is made between trend and fluctuation, utilizing 4 and 8 yr running means and 3 and 5 yr weighted means (8 yr means graphed). Fluctuation extremes at 7 yr intervals until 1948 are identified, with minor fluctuations subsequently. All regions show a pronounced warm maximum around 1940 with the interior region showing an unusually great warming 1910-1935 (approx 3 F). The 8 yr running means for the Alaska composite 1870-1960 (graphed) shows a close relationship to the world temperature trends for the same period, the warm peak occurring in 1941. The limited precipitation and freeze-thaw data available do not appear to correlate directly with temperature trends.