September 24, 2012

What is happening???

I cracked!

I know I spent my last post talking about how much more tolerant I have become of the weather, but I lied. The weather this month is killing me. Those 3 sunny days I posted about last were the only 3 days I have seen the sun and not been rained on the entire month of September (for those that are bad at math, that's 21 days of, excuse the language, shit). It hasn't just been rain we are dealing with here, but extreme wind as well. I like to tell people I've been living in an extended hurricane. And just when you see a glimpse of sunlight, you wake up the next morning to a new storm full of more rain and more wind. Mediocre days have become awesome and horrible days mediocre. I have actually been lucky as I have not had to be evacuated because of flooding and I have not lost my power again and again as many of the people in South central AK have had. But it still hasn't been all that enjoyable, so much so that I started a desktop countdown, to the sec, of when I will arrive in Utah, where the sun always shines.

All I can say is the rest of the ski world better hope the weather is not bad at any races because they won't stand a chance against the APU Elite Team.

Being the geography major that I am, I was in tune with reading about the weather and putting some thought into that. No one ever takes pictures in the bad weather so this post will be word heavy, but hopefully share a thing or two about what is going on. It turns out that this month of ridiculous extreme weather is greatly coincidental with a new record low of sea ice in the Arctic, set at the beginning of the month. Or maybe this isn't so coincidental. Sea ice is reflective sending all that heat from the sun back where it belongs, but ocean water is dark and absorbs all that heat so, when the sea ice melts more heat is absorbed raising the temperature of the water and then the air and melting more ice and so on and so on...

This warming that has occurred simply creates more moisture available and more heat to more rapidly evaporate it making for more storms. There is debate as to whether or not this Arctic sea ice melt is cause of extreme weather events around the country. Some believe the warming has created a change, slowing, of the jet stream forcing weather events to stay in one place for extended periods of time. Regardless, it is believed that the Arctic, which I consider AK to be part of, is experiencing and will experience more extreme weather events as a result of the ice melting and this I most certainly do believe after the month I've had.

Here are 2 NY Times articles for more info:

Maybe most frightening is this statement from the above article:
"Now, some scientists think the Arctic Ocean could be largely free of summer ice as soon as 2020. But governments have not responded to the change with any greater urgency about limiting greenhouse emissions. To the contrary, their main response has been to plan for exploitation of newly accessible minerals in the Arctic, including drilling for more oil."

Which is, of course, often is in the headlines of the Anchorage Daily News as Shell most recently expanded oil drilling out into the Arctic Ocean, something never done before. All interesting things to think about. Look what I do when its no fun being outside....

Here we are, "taste the rainbow"
We, the APU Girls, have also been fulfilling our duties as chefs. At our 2 fundraisers, a dinner prepared and served by us is always auctioned off. We complete both dinners this month featuring all the fall favorites and extending as far as learning to cook duck (and eating it for the first time) all went well. 

My teammate Holly enjoying a wet ski (Courtesy of Holly)

We also took some time to volunteer at some running jamborees held for kids. Here we use some awesome dance moves to warm up the 5th/6th grade girls.