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A dusting of gold in Norton Sound - The beaches of Nome were again awash with gold this month, the result of a huge pollen event that was observed all the way from the Yukon Delta to Norton Sound. But what kind of pollen was it? Gay Sheffield, the Marine Advisory Program Agent in Nome collected samples and sent them to Dean Stockwell at UAF for analysis and identification. The outcome - spruce pollen! Why the trees produced in such abundance, however, remains a mystery. It brings to mind another golden mystery from the Northwest Arctic. Back in 2011 we received a call from the tribal council in Kivalina, Alaska, after residents awoke to find a strange orange substance covering the village and nearby waters. At first scientists thought it was caused by crustacean eggs, but ultimately the mystery was attributed to a totally different source. You can read about the spruce pollen event in Nome and also read from our archive the original Associated Press article about the mystery of the golden goo, and the Scientific America article that cracked the case. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Nome, Alaska, United States
Gay Sheffield and Dean Stockwell / LEO Network / June 16, 2020

The yellow tinting in ocean water has been identified by the Tanana Valley Clinic as spruce pollen, but it remains to be seen why the pollen counts are so high this year.

Read post on the LEO Network



Kivalina, Alaska, United States
Rachel D'Oro / msnbc.com / August 9, 2011

Scientists have identified an orange-colored gunk that appeared along the shore of a remote Alaska village as millions of microscopic eggs filled with fatty droplets.

Read article on msnbc.com



Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Yvette Brend / CBC / June 14, 2020

Northern anchovy are becoming more comment perhaps due to warmer temperatures. A 10-centimetre-long fish represents an anchovy that's about a year old suggesting that the fish are spawned locally in the pelagic zone, or upper, warmer zone of the seawater.

Read article on CBC



Nahanni Butte, Northwest Territories, Canada
Lawrence Nayally / CBC / June 17, 2020

Spring melt combined with heavy rain over the weekend has driven up water levels near Nahanni Butte, which sits on the banks of the Nahanni River. The community is accessible only by boat or plane in the summer.

Read article on CBC



Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenetskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug, Russia
Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer / June 18, 2020

The world’s biggest reindeer population is up for big vaccination as regional authorities in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug act to stave off outbreaks of anthrax.

Read article on The Independent Barents Observer



Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News / June 19, 2020

Between the Seward Highway and Hillside neighborhoods, a pair of swans are raising five just-hatched cygnets. This is the first pair of swans to nest at Potter Marsh in the memory of Anchorage Coastal Refuge managers and local birders.

Read article on Anchorage Daily News



Gällivare, Norrbotten, Sweden
Thomas Nilson / The Independent Barents Observer / June 17, 2020

Regional authorities report about 55 new cases since yesterday, with major outbreaks reported from both local retirement homes and among workers at LKAB mining company.

Read article on The Independent Barents Observer



Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Sveriges Radio / Radio Sweden / June 17, 2020

Several wildfires are raging around the country and the state weather forecaster, SMHI, has issued forest fire warnings for nearly all of Sweden.

Read article on Radio Sweden



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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