Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
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Alaska Science Forum: Northwest passage traverses, winter and summer
A few months ago, I wrote about adventurer/permafrost scientist Kenji Yoshikawa’s attempt to drive a snowmachine 3,500 miles from Prudhoe Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. He planned to stop along the way to visit students in 13 villages. Near their schools, he wanted to drill holes in the ground and see how cold it is. In late April, after 43 days of travel, he and Ulli Neumann quietly executed that endeavor. From Deadh...
Jul 31, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Taking to the sky to better sniff the air
On a cool spring morning in the mountains of southwest Washington, 12-year old Cathy Cahill helped her dad plant scientific instruments around the base of trembling Mount St. Helens. A few days later, the volcano blew up, smothering two of his four ash collectors. When he gathered the surviving equipment, Cathy’s father found a downwind sampler overflowing with ash laced with chlorine. Tom Cahill of the University...
Jul 24, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Tiny, ancient life discovered in Southeast
In a world crawling with insects, those billions of tiny bodies fall into just 30 major descriptive groups, known as orders. That’s why Derek Sikes, curator of insects at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, was disappointed with a graduate student when she failed to identify a creature that was wandering her plots on Prince of Wales Island. “Every entomologist should be able to ID every insect to its ord...
Jul 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Even with lag, Alaska passing peak warm
You may not have noticed it as you were scooping fish out of the Copper River or riding your bike through the tawny light of 10 p.m., but Alaska just made a left turn toward winter. Much of the state will soon reach the average yearly date when the air won’t get any warmer. In Fairbanks, on July 19 the average daily temperature based on about a century of records drops from 63 to 62. Anchorage, because the ocean i...
Jul 10, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Tiny barbarians at the gate
Mosquitoes and black flies, now stirring after a long winter, have probably helped assure that most of Alaska remains unpopulated, says an expert on those creatures. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the far north — in Canada, Siberia, and Alaska,” said Peter Adler, a professor of entomology at Clemson University. “You can go down rivers for a month or two at a time and see no humans. Why is that? What’s keeping them o...
Jul 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Looking back in time at the world’s oceans: 
old satellite imagery provides new baseline data
A time capsule of satellite imagery of the earth will become available to scientists this month. On June 28, digital imagery from more than three decades ago will be released by the Alaska Satellite Facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, NASA’s processor and distributor for this type of data. The images reveal an unprecedented view of sea ice, waves, forests, glaciers and more. “It w...
Jun 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Mammoths and microblades: digging up ancient culture in Interior Alaska
On a small hill surrounded by boggy muskeg in the Tanana River Valley, prehistoric skin scrapers made of schist, polished slate tools and glass beads were uncovered in the last week. Based on the design of the tools and the way the animals were butchered, it appears to be an Athabascan campsite from the turn of the 20th century. “These are very typical Athabascan tools. But you usually think of polished stone tool...
Jun 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Measuring glacier wastage
Every summer, Alaska’s glaciers melt and send vast quantities of water gushing through silty gray rivers, past towns and villages and finally into the sea. Some glaciers calve directly into the ocean, instantly losing car-sized chunks of ice and wowing boats full of tourists. The world’s melting glaciers are boosting ocean levels 0.71 millimeters a year, accounting for roughly one-third of total sea level rise, ac...
Jun 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: When volcanoes awaken
“This morning the seismic tremor was down just a little bit from yesterday. We’re hoping it calms down before too long, but it might last for awhile.” Jeffrey Freymueller was on the phone last week with the electric utility in Cold Bay, a community about 40 miles from the Pavlof Volcano, which had been erupting for more than a week. The utility was wondering how much ash fall to expect and whether it would need to...
Jun 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: The art of ice coring
The trick to getting a good ice core is to drill straight down into the sea ice, continually clear the slush gurgling up from the ocean, correctly reassemble the core fragments on the tray, take its temperature every couple of inches before it melts or cools, and saw it into hockey-puck-sized chunks without dropping them in the snow. And, of course, not drop the heavy drill blade on your foot or frostbite your fin...
May 30, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend
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