Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
Alaska Science Forum: Barrow — Spring is in the air and in the ice
On the 5-mile snowmachine ride to Point Barrow, we saw several fresh polar bear tracks the size of dinner plates, a pile of whalebones from last year, and a 3-foot-wide crack in the sea ice that could swallow a sled. The crack was created when an ice floe in the open water crashed into shore-fast ice. It was masked by a snowdrift, and our guide Brower Frantz nearly fell into it. Frantz’s job is to spot and avoid h...
May 22, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Predicting the future: where do climate projections come from? or Using climate data to predict snow in Alaska
In Alaska, our lives revolve around the weather. When it comes to predicting conditions like temperature, snow and rain, the best glimpse into the future comes from climate models. But standard climate models are very broad — looking at how global climate will be affected by things like escalating carbon dioxide emissions. In a land of permafrost, icefields, massive mountain ranges and rainforest, a more nuanced p...
May 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend
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Billions of cicadas will take over the East Coast
WASHINGTON (AP) — Any day now, billions of cicadas with bulging red eyes will crawl out of the earth after 17 years underground and overrun the East Coast. The insects will arrive in such numbers that people from North Carolina to Connecticut will be outnumbered roughly 600-to-1. Maybe more. Scientists even have a horror-movie name for the infestation: Brood II. But as ominous as that sounds, the insects are harml...
May 08, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Cook Inlet earthquake
Red and blue waves triggered by a magnitude 4.6 earthquake rippled outward from the Anchorage area and fizzled out after 45 seconds. Except in Cook Inlet basin, where the waves were trapped for another half-minute, bouncing back and forth, up and down, within the 7.5-kilometer-thick sedimentary basin. “It’s like throwing a rock in the pond. Except water is a homogeneous material. In the solid earth you have basins...
May 08, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Measuring the winds in space, UAF team prepares for 2014 launch
On a clear, cold night two winters ago in Fort Yukon, Carl Andersen watched a rocket he helped design pierce the upper atmosphere. He and three other scientists shot pictures as the rocket ejected bright puffs of chemicals in an inverted V formation more than 60 miles up. "They were the brightest things in the sky," Andersen said from his office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Other scientists watched the p...
May 01, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The year without a summer
An April snowstorm whirling outside my window today seems to be announcing the postponement of spring. As I sit here watching the show, it makes me think back to the shortest summer ever. In 1992, it snowed more than 9 inches on May 12th. A string of 70-degree days that followed ate that up in a hurry, but the snow returned in early fall. By September 13th, more than one foot of snow cushioned the ground, and leaf...
Apr 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Life endures in hidden, cold worlds
CHENA HOT SPRINGS — “This is your chance — maybe your only chance in a lifetime — to see vole poop in a tunnel,” said Mike Taras, an expert tracker and wildlife educator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Seven people kneel and then squint into a blue-white opening in the snow. We see tiny cigars, evidence that a red-backed or meadow vole had indeed paused there. Taras was correct — this was the first tim...
Apr 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend
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Amazing Nature: Ecosystems connect marine life forms
We all know what an ecosystem is. We use the term all the time. But how is the term defined? How big or small is an ecosystem? Where are the boundaries? What are the factors in an ecosystem and how are they connected? These are questions that Kodiak seventh-grade students are contemplating during our new Marine Ecosystem lesson. The definition of an ecosystem uses terms like “a network of interactions” or a “set o...
Mar 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The mystery of the dead caribou
Forty years ago, an Army helicopter pilot flying over a tundra plateau saw a group of caribou. Thinking something looked weird, he circled for a closer look. The animals, dozens of them, were dead. The pilot reported what he saw to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The caribou, 48 adults and five calves, were lying in a group. The way their carcasses rested showed no signs that the animals had been running f...
Mar 27, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Permafrost scientist snowmachining from Alaska to Atlantic
Kenji Yoshikawa will soon sleep on brilliant, blue-white landscape that has never felt the imprint of his boots. Beginning on spring equinox, the permafrost scientist and a partner will attempt to drive snowmachines from Prudhoe Bay to Canada’s Baffin Island. While traveling a distance equal to Seattle to Tokyo to Seattle over land and sea ice, Yoshikawa will camp outside villages in an Arctic Oven tent. Along the...
Mar 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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