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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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43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.