Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Science
 
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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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 | 17 17 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 | 17 17 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 | 17 17 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 | 28 28 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 | 15 15 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 | 13 13 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 | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend
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