Currently — June 7th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Alaska’s short summer is starting off with a bang.

Very warm coastal waters are providing fuel for storms and warm weather in coastal areas of the state, raising the risk of widespread fires after a relatively dry start to the year.

Over the weekend, Alaska recorded almost 5,000 lightning strikes as thunderstorms moved across southern parts of the state. Anchorage has measured 10 days in a row with a high temperature above 70 deg F (21 deg C) — its longest-ever streak in the month of June.

In Southeast Alaska, the temperature has been even warmer, hot even. Several cities, including the capital Juneau, reached record highs above 80 deg F (26.7 deg C) — more than 20 deg F hotter than normal — prompting a very rare Red Flag Warning for wildfire risk.

— Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

It’s a big day for climate policy in America! For the first time, President Biden has declared climate change-related national emergencies.

President Biden called on the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate the production for clean energy, the White House announced Monday. Heat pumps, solar panel parts and equipment to make and use electricity-generated fuels building insulation and infrastructure for the power grid, are just a few things covered under DPA. All of which will work together to better regulate climate impacts in buildings.

The Biden administration wishes to increase solar energy to mitigate the effects of climate change. At the same time, it wants to use trade protectionism to avoid foreign competition and is pushing for things like solar panels to be produced in the United States.

So, the administration has ordered a two-year tariff exemption on solar panels imported from Southeast Asian countries to push Americans to consider green alternatives as energy as gas prices continue to rise.

Hopefully this federal support leads to more concrete steps to solve both the solar problem and in turn, the climate crisis.

— Aarohi Sheth