Sabine Poux/KDLL

A heat wave in the Lower 48 cooked shellfish alive on Pacific Northwest beaches and triggered excessive-heat warnings in several states. Climatologists say it’s because of a dome of heat that drove temperatures high above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and even skirted part of Southeast Alaska.

Southcentral Alaska hasn’t seen that kind of heat. But could scorching heat waves be in the region’s future?

National Weather Service Alaska Region

Every 10 years, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration analyzes data from its thousands of weather stations and releases new climate “normals,” providing temperature touchstones for any given day or month of the year.

NOAA’s latest batch of data came out Tuesday. The data shows how Southcentral Alaska, and the country as a whole, is heating up. 

Rob Suryan

When a heat wave swept through the northeast Pacific ocean between 2014 and 2016, it changed the marine makeup of the Gulf of Alaska. The warm water decimated some commercial fish populations.

Some species bounced back right away. But a recent study from NOAA finds others are rebounding more slowly.


Eagle-eyed observers are wanted this spring to track creatures of a non-avian persuasion. The Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership is recruiting volunteers to keep a lookout in Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm from March 15 through May 15.

Madison Kosma is the coordinator of the partnership, which brings together environmental nonprofit organizations, federal agencies and volunteers to maximize the amount of information gathered on endangered Cook Inlet belugas.

“We already have these community members that are out there that are telling us about these sightings that they have. There are only so many scientists, and so if we can gather the force of community, we can know so much more about what’s going on with this population and contribute to the conservation efforts and databases that are already established,” Kosma said.

Citizen scientists wrap up Fall Beluga count

Nov 15, 2019


Belgua whale watching has wrapped up for the season. The organized, scientific variety anyway. The fall beluga count administered by several government agencies and volunteer groups around Cook Inlet formally finished its work for 2019 last week. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran spoke with Kenai resident Ed Schmitt of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance about the group’s work documenting the endangered belguas, whose numbers still hover below 350 animals.



Dave Eggers

  The Soldotna Public Library is starting a new series of community discussion about climate change, starting in September. Library clerk Reilly Selmser kicked off "Pushing the Limits" with an informational meeting recently.