Bethel records second-warmest year over last century

Bethel, Alaska (KTUU)
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BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Last year marked the second-warmest year in nearly a century of record keeping for a western Alaska city.

Alaska climate scientist Rick Thoman tells KYUK-AM that 2018 was the fifth year in a row that the average temperature in Bethel has been above freezing.

He says Bethel has never had a "five-year period with the average temperature above freezing in the past century until now."

The effects of warmer temperatures in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region are starting to be noticed as the Kuskokwim River is taking longer to freeze and tundra is beginning to erode faster.

Thoman says that while temperatures might fluctuate from month to month, the trend of warmer winters is not going away for the region.