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Heat wave brings record-breaking temperature highs to Anchorage

This photo is a birds eye view of melting ice in Alaska.
Melting ice on the Kuskokwim River near the town of Bethel on Alaska's Yukon Delta in April. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Anchorage, Alaska, saw sizzling temperatures on Thursday, hitting 90ºF degrees and toppling the city's all-time record-high temperature by 5 degrees, as well as the daily record of 77ºF for July 4, according to Weather.com.

Why it matters: The Arctic region has pushed into an entirely new climate. The last 6 years have been the warmest Alaska has experienced since record keeping began in 1952. In addition, Alaska's land-based ice is being lost at a rate of about 14,000 tonnes per second, according to William Colgan, co-author of a report on Arctic climate change in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Details: A heat dome — or an area of stationary, high pressure — that formed over southern Alaska, is forecast to remain for the next few days, with sweltering heat continuing and then trending northward next week, Weather.com reports.

  • Anchorage's previous all-time record high of 85ºF was set on June 14, 1969.
  • Highs are expected to average 10ºF to 20ºF above normal for this time of the year.
  • Other areas in Alaska have set heat records within the past week.

The big picture: A record-setting heatwave has swept across Europe — a region with some of the longest-kept temperature records in the world. Numerous studies have shown that the odds of extreme heat events, as well as their severity and duration, are dramatically increasing due to human-caused global warming.

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