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3 February 2017

Lack of sea ice and Lower 48 weather

Unless you are now eating muktuk in Savoogna, it’s hard to pinpoint the effects of less sea ice floating on the northern oceans. But some researchers say the northern ocean — now absorbing so much more heat and reflecting so much less — is affecting weather far from the Arctic.


1 February 2017

Coal mine dust lowers spectral reflectance of Arctic snow by up to 84 percent, new study finds

Dust released by an active coal mine in Svalbard, Norway reduced the spectral reflectance of nearby snow and ice by up to 84 percent, according to new research.


24 January 2017

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

When spring comes to the Arctic, the breakup of the cold winter ice sheets starts at the surface with the formation of melt ponds. These pools of melted snow and ice darken the surface of the ice, increasing the amount of solar energy the ice sheet absorbs and accelerating melt. Now, researchers describe in a new study how these melt ponds form, solving a paradoxical mystery of how a pool of water actually sits atop highly porous ice.


19 January 2017

An open letter to deep Interior cold

But here you are, back in Fairbanks, far from the dulling effects of the (relatively) warm ocean. There’s no buffer between us and the Neptune-like top of the winter world but a mountain range, skimpy boreal forest and tundra plants covered with snow. And in you came.


18 January 2017

Ice-free summers in Arctic Ocean could thwart Paris Agreement objectives

A new study shows melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean could put at risk the objectives of the Paris Agreement to address climate change. The study’s authors conclude that, due to the future increase in the sea ice-albedo feedback, global carbon dioxide emission levels would need to reach zero five to 15 years earlier than expected to meet targets set by the agreement, substantially increasing mitigation costs.


6 January 2017

Collapsing Arctic coastlines

In a paper just published in Nature Climate Change, Michael Fritz and colleagues have highlighted the environmental impacts of collapsing Arctic coastlines.


5 January 2017

Bringing the world to a standstill

During an eruption that lasted three days in 1912, a vibrant landscape became the gray badlands known as the Valley of 10,000 Smokes.


15 December 2016

Tales of frozen water, from San Francisco

Dozens of the 22,000 scientists gathering here for the week are talking about ice, mostly about how much of it is disappearing, and how quickly that is happening.


21 November 2016

Between the Trees and the Tundra

In Alaska, trees growing at the very edge of their northern range may be influenced by warming climate. Will they eventually take over the tundra beyond?


18 November 2016

Alaska Taking Shape Near Yakutat

The relentless advance of Hubbard Glacier takes center stage in Yakutat, but the area surrounding the town is one of the world’s great examples of geology in action.


4 November 2016

Should birds stay, or should they go?

One of the many tools birds use to migrate — besides the metal bits in their heads that help them sense Earth’s magnetism — is their ability to use infrasound. Infrasound consists of frequencies too low for us to hear. The aurora, volcanoes, underground nuclear detonations, and stormy seas emit infrasound waves. “Birds flying over the Rockies can hear the surf of both the Atlantic and Pacific,” Sharbaugh said.


14 October 2016

Ghost towns scattered across Alaska map

During our 200-mile trip down the Porcupine’s length in Alaska, we saw no current villages, just the remains of a dozen former ones. That got me wondering about one of my favorite Alaska subjects. Do we have more than our share of ghost towns?


12 October 2016

Video: Sikuliaq expedition recap

It’s been an incredible 28 days, full of good science, collaboration, and wildlife and ice viewing. Special thanks to the National Science Foundation, the R/V Sikuliaq, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Oregon State University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for making this trip possible


10 October 2016

Ms. Callaghan’s Classroom: Walking on Ice

As the timing of our science projects got shifted from encountering ice and equipment that didn’t always perform as expected, we ended up with time to allow a side trip to go and walk around on a piece of sea ice.


Pondering the infinite in Yukon Flats

An observer once said Yukon Flats looks like a place where God forgot to put something.


4 October 2016

Earth’s expanding crust swallowed beneath Aleutians

Sometimes, a great idea arrives ahead of its time. A person squints at a raw landscape, thinks about it in his bunk on a heaving ship, dreams of it. He scribbles a diagram. He remains quiet years later as others rediscover the same thing.


30 September 2016

Sikuliaq week 3 recap: the home stretch

We’re on the home stretch! Much of the scientific equipment has already been packed and the mood has changed from a final scramble to squeeze every bit of data out of ship time as possible, to a subdued transit lull in which people are catching up on sleep, tying loose ends, and coming to terms with wrapping up this 28 day cruise.


29 September 2016

Questions From Students

Her students have questions, 6th grade science teacher Ms. Callaghan has answers from aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.


23 September 2016

Ms. Callaghan’s Classroom: The Underwater Flying Glider

What’s a glider? It is an underwater robot that “flies” around the sea going from the surface to the bottom of the seafloor collecting different types of science data.


Ms. Callaghan’s Classroom: The Underwater Flying Glider

What’s a glider? It is an underwater robot that “flies” around the sea going from the surface to the bottom of the seafloor collecting different types of science data.