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Will Alaska grow its own food as summer temperatures surpass 90 degrees?

| | December 3, 2019
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A farmer on his four-acre vegetable farm in southwestern Alaska. Image: NPR
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Alaska has been on a multi-year weather paroxysm as the Arctic heats twice as fast as the rest of our warming world. Some temperature records were smashed by five degrees this July, such as Anchorage which unbelievably burst through the 90˚ mark. This year alone had at least two remarkable weather patterns. The first [is] our globally unique cool spot in the middle of the US.

This is what spawned relentless rains for too many. But the second was something few of us paid attention to: Alaska baked all year. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) …. This is not a one-off occurrence. Alaska has been in the forefront of adapting to a warmer world.

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One big reason is the permafrost thaw …. It has created the phenomenon called drunken forests as trees lose their anchors. Those forests also now represent a massive fire hazard like California on steroids. Meanwhile Alaskans have been forced to reroute and even haul in snow for the famed Iditarod sled race.

Since the state imports 95% of its food …. there is strong incentive to gamble on new ag ventures. Alaska has tried for decades to develop more agriculture …. but there simply wasn’t a long enough growing season to take advantage. Until now.

Read full, original article: John’s World: Is Alaska the Next Big Player in American Agriculture?

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