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May 13, 2022
Alaska’s big river breaks up at Eagle
While most of the town was sleeping, the ice slipped out. Breakup happened on the Yukon River here at its first settlement in the United States at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2022. That’s when meltwater rushing from side creeks into the colossal groove of the Yukon lifted a winter-hardened sheet in front of the town.
May 12, 2022
Awaiting river breakup on the Yukon
Andy Bassich lives on the south bank of the Yukon River, about 12 miles downstream from Eagle, Alaska, the first community in America along the largest waterway in Alaska. Like all of the few-thousand people who live along the big river in Alaska, Bassich hopes that river ice formed by the cold air of winter will continue to disappear in a mushy fashion, one that does not cause flooding.
April 22, 2022
His 48th summer on top of the world
This June, George Divoky will refurbish a cabin that sits on a lonely gravel island north of Alaska. He was not planning a remodel this year. Sometime during the winter, a polar bear tore through a plywood wall of the cabin Divoky moved 20 years ago to Cooper Island.
January 31, 2022
Thirty years on semi-solid ground
At the end of this month, Vladimir Romanovsky will retire after 30 years as a professor and permafrost scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute. This comes at a time when people — finally — no longer squint at him with a puzzled look when he mentions what he studies.
March 1, 2021
Malaspina Glacier gets up and goes
Massive icefields near the Canada/Alaska border feed Malaspina ice through a slot in the mountains. Freed of mountain walls, Malaspina’s ice oozes over the coastal plain like batter on a hot griddle. Near the Gulf of Alaska about 30 miles northwest of Yakutat, the glacier is — on clear days — visible from a window seat on an Alaska Airlines flight from Southeast Alaska to Anchorage. But the dirty-white blob on the cheek of Alaska is not as large as it used to be, which is why glaciologist Martin Truffer and his colleagues are studying it.
February 19, 2021
‘Ghost forest’ got run over by a glacier
A “ghost forest” exposed as La Perouse Glacier in Southeast Alaska retreated. In the past, the glacier ran over the rainforest trees. Two people are also in the photo. Photo by Ben Gaglioti.
November 17, 2020
Some good news from the thin ice
A group of researchers have found that the ocean floor around Bering Strait still seems to be capturing billions of bits of carbon that might otherwise lead to an even warmer planet.
September 19, 2020
Postcards from a formerly frozen icebreaker: Part 60 — Last Ice
We are now in open water and have left the ice behind. In the last hours we cruised through the last remnants of ice. Little chunks floating alone, their hours numbered out here in the water that is now creeping slightly above the melting point.
September 18, 2020
Postcards from a formerly frozen icebreaker: Part 59
There are many reasons to go out and recover the various assets that we’ve placed out on the ice. And so this is now our mission with Tryoshnikov; to finish what we’ve started in the past days with Polarstern.
September 17, 2020
Postcards from a formerly frozen icebreaker: Part 58
Sometimes goodbyes are hard. Like this morning. Two ships together, then the lines are reeled in. Subtle movements and a slow parting. The railings of both vessels crowded with people, initially just a few feet apart. Waving. Photos. Crying.