Every winter since 1917, people in Nenana, a village 55 miles southwest of Fairbanks, have wagered on the exact moment that the ice breaks up on the nearby Tanana River.
The Ice Classic has given them a rare, reliable climate history that has documented to the minute the onset of the annual thaw as it shifted across 91 years. By this measure, spring comes to central Alaska 10 days earlier than in 1960, said geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks — and that trend is accelerating. “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century,” Dr. Jeffries said.
Right now the ice is still in which makes this year a tie for the latest break-up ever. If the ice is in after midnight, it will be the latest breakup ever.