Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Thule people had northern life figured out
About 1,000 years ago, Norse explorer Leif Ericson bumped into the New World at Newfoundland. The old world was filling up, with 300,000 people living in the Roman capital of Constantinople. Up here in Alaska, the ancestors of today's coastal Natives were quietly having one of the more successful runs in human history. The Thule people of Alaska's west and north coasts lived a good life for centuries, perfecting t...
Apr 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Broken ice makes for worst breakup floods
For half the year, Alaska’s big rivers provide a somewhat flat surface, allowing travel by snowmachine, dog team, ski, bike, snowshoe and foot. For a few weeks during their spring transition to liquid water, those useful ribbons of ice become a threat to river communities. Massive ice-jam floods happen every few years on Alaska rivers. Some of them are large enough to cause damage more than $80 million, when offic...
Mar 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Coyotes show up here, there, everywhere
Last Friday, an email popped up in all the mailboxes of people with the Geophysical Institute: Someone saw what might have been a wolf on the trails north of the UAF campus. “Please be cautious if skiing in the area.” A few people responded, saying they had seen one or two coyotes roaming the 1,000-plus acres of trails and frozen wetlands just north of campus buildings and roads. UAF ski trail groomer Jason Garron...
Mar 16, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Barrow’s extreme spring of one year ago
For a town of its size (4,300 people), Barrow receives more visits by scientists than anyplace in America. The northernmost community in the U.S. has hosted researchers since Army Lt. P. Henry Ray built a polar observatory there in 1882. This different-than-anywhere-else place with fewer people than a one-stoplight town in Texas has attracted scientists from all over the globe. Why? Because Barrow has housing, ele...
Mar 09, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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Many sources of change in northern realm
In anticipation of an arctic science conference happening next month in Fairbanks, an editor asked me to write a column on climate change in the north. I told her climate stability would be the bigger story, since basswood trees used to grow in Fairbanks and redwoods once dropped their cones into the Porcupine River. Climate is always changing. But we have gotten much better at measuring those changes. We people a...
Mar 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Country bird, city bird, all the same bird
The upper Colville River is one of the quietest places on the planet, a land of cliffs and tundra and tangles of willow. Fashion Island is one of the most human-altered landscapes in America, where developers long ago replaced the native vegetation with a Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s. A female peregrine falcon born in northern Alaska spent at least one of her winters on the 13th floor balcony of a hotel in ...
Feb 24, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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Ice worms: enigmas of the north
Recent research on the ice worm has shone some light on the tiny creature that appears when the sun sets on warmish glaciers. Few people have seen ice worms, but they are not mythical. Wispy and less than one inch long, ice worms live on glaciers, wriggling to the surface at night and sometimes lingering in meltwater pools during the day. They seem to be dormant during the winter. No one knows how long they live, ...
Feb 17, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Polar bears walk shrinking treadmill of ice
Polar bears walking a treadmill of ice Stronger winds and thinner ice are forcing Alaska polar bears to work harder to remain in Alaska, according to scientists who have studied increased movements of both sea ice and bears. “There’s an energetic cost to stay in Alaska,” said David Douglas of the U.S. Geological Survey Science Center. He and others compared wanderings of polar bears from two periods and found the ...
Feb 10, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Cook Inlet Basin amplifies earthquake shaking
Millions of people live in dimples on the Earth's surface — often near the ocean, in lowlands between mountain peaks too rugged and cold. One of these global indentations, Cook Inlet Basin, recently showed another characteristic of the planet's basins — they quiver like a bowl of jelly during an earthquake. Many people in Anchorage got rattled during the recent 7.1 earthquake on Jan. 24. Carl Tape did not feel the...
Feb 03, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A case for rallying around sea ice
The ice floating on top of the world covers pretty much the entire Arctic Ocean in midwinter. By late summer it shrinks to half that much. If trends continue, by mid-century the summer ice may take up less space than Japan. As the Arctic Ocean becomes more blue, it absorbs much of the sun’s heat that it once reflected with great efficiency. This warmer ocean would quicken the melt of the Greenland ice cap, which w...
Jan 27, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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