The Arctic’s like an air conditioner or refrigerator for the global climate...And as the Arctic warms, partly because the sea ice is going away, it’s like you’re opening that refrigerator door.
"It was pretty crazy how much water just kind of showed up," said Michelle St. Martin, whose field season was cut short by melting sea ice.
In 2014, a warm water system — known as the Blob — wreaked havoc in the waters of the Gulf of Alaska. The relationship between extreme weather events and climate change is complicated. But scientists are getting closer to figuring out how the two are linked.
Biologists are investigating a surprising connection between two animals that aren’t exactly well loved in parts of Southeast. Gustavus locals suspect wolves are picking off deer at a popular hunting spot on an island near the mainland.
Ocean acidification threatens some of Alaska’s most lucrative crab fisheries. But there’s one ray of hope: it’s possible that crabs might be able to adapt to the changing oceans. The big question scientists are researching at Bob Foy’s lab in Kodiak is – will they have enough time?
"These ridges that we’re standing on, there would have been more of them, and they would have been bigger," ice researcher Andy Mahoney said. "The features that we now see, they’re something of a shadow from the past." Listen now
Scientists found an enriched uranium particle over the Aleutian Islands and don’t know where it came from.
What has eight arms, two tentacles and washed ashore on a beach in Unalaska Monday night? A more than six-foot long squid.
The novelty of seeing a jumbo squid in Unalaska is not wearing off: a second one washed ashore Monday night.
One important factor is the depth of the lake. But there are other variables too.
For the third year in a row, seabirds are washing up dead along the coastline in Alaska. Hundreds of birds have been discovered along a stretch of the Bering Sea, on the Pribilof Islands and as far north as Deering. Julia Parrish said the thin bodies of the dead fulmars and shearwaters washing up on shore suggest the birds are struggling to find enough to eat. So far, about 800 have been discovered along the coast of the Bering Sea. Parish said early lab results don’t point to disease. It looks like the birds are starving to death.
At a lab in Kodiak, researchers are working to understand whether crabs can adapt to ocean acidification.
How will climate change affect health in Alaska? Dangerous travel conditions could cause more accidents, warmer temperatures could spread new diseases and the topsy-turvy weather could worsen mental health. Those are some conclusions from a new state report released Monday. Listen now
"Currently we don't have any studies specifically looking at what factors are affecting those demographics," said Jason Caikoski, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Listen now
When the river takes the first houses, the village could start to scatter. And Newtok’s blend of the modern and traditional could erode away with the land.
A small eastern Aleutian community is now getting nearly all of its energy from renewable sources. With a second hydro facility that began producing power late this spring, the city of King Cove has dramatically reduced its dependence on diesel.
Typically, cholera is associated with tropical destinations. But recently, the bacteria that can cause the disease was found in subsistence herring eggs in British Columbia. As Southeast Alaska tribes get ready to gather herring eggs, it’s left some people wondering about the future.
One ecologist wonders, for the yellow cedar forests and the people who care about them, what comes after climate change and environmental loss in Southeast Alaska?
“It’s an area that I and some other colleagues have started thinking about: can you get methane forming in terrestrial environments? But it’s a very new area of science,” carbon scientist Katey Walter Anthony said.
This has become the new norm across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Late winters and sudden thawing have turned roads into slush and made rivers and sloughs, which are necessary for travel, less safe because they take longer to freeze.