Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Alaska Science Forum: Climate change and the people of the Mesa
Alaska was once the setting for an environmental shift so dramatic it forced people to evacuate the entire North Slope, according to Michael Kunz, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management. About 10,000 years ago, a group of hunting people lived on the North Slope, the swath of mostly treeless tundra that extends north from the Brooks Range to the sea. These people, known as Paleoindians, used a chunky r...
Dec 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Dramatic report card for the Arctic in 2012
SAN FRANCISCO — Northern sea ice is at its lowest summer coverage since we’ve been able to see it from satellites. Greenland experienced its warmest summer in 170 years. Eight of 10 permafrost-monitoring sites in northern Alaska recorded their highest temperatures; the other two tied record highs. 2012 was a year of “astounding” change for much of the planet north of the Arctic Circle, said four experts at a press...
Dec 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Forty years of change on top of the world
SAN FRANCISCO — From a lecture hall within a land of warm breezes and flowering December plants comes a story of a creature 2,600 miles north, where the sun will not rise for another 50 days. At the 2012 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, biologist George Divoky had 15 minutes to present his lifetime of work with a bird that adapted to year-round life in the Arctic during the last ice age. Divoky led ...
Dec 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Yakutat time, correcting some errors, big meeting in San Francisco
A few people contacted me after a column I wrote on time zones a while back. Flip Todd of Anchorage called to say Yakutat clocks displayed a different time than those anywhere else in Alaska prior to 1983. Back then, before Alaska went to the current two-time-zone system, Yakutat followed Yukon time, one hour removed from both Juneau and Anchorage. Flip also corrected my misspelling, in a later column, of the Tako...
Dec 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Goodbye to a giant of glacier research
High-school dropout Austin Post’s career began in the 1950s, when colleagues made up the title “Senior Meteorologist” to include him in a funding proposal. Post later recalled with humor that he misspelled both of those words on his application. Despite objections from the secretary that processed his paperwork, Post then embarked on a decades-long adventure of capturing images of North America’s glaciers from the...
Nov 28, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Ancient skeletons of McGrath raise questions
The room smelled of a smoked moosehide covering a table that held birch-bark baskets and a white box rimmed with beadwork flowers. Inside the box were the smooth bones of an adult man, a teenager and a child dug up within sight of the McGrath School. The discovery, recently announced in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor’s Center in Fairbanks, is unique because bones don’t often last for hundreds of years wh...
Nov 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Doubling our daylight savings
Last week, Carl Benson accepted a lifetime achievement award from the place he has worked since Dwight Eisenhower was president. As the 85-year-old snow and ice scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s Geophysical Institute rose to applause from his friends and coworkers, memories rushed back to me. One was the frigid January day he invited me along in his car to a busy intersection...
Nov 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Snow researcher finds his Arctic
Imagine planning a dream journey across a landscape you have seen for years, if only in your mind’s eye. You get to choose the means of transportation, the never-before-done route, and your travel companions. These friends are invited because they can remove and replace a snowmachine clutch, they share your excitement at seeing what’s beyond the next river bend, and they make you laugh in the cook tent at dinnerti...
Nov 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: Lake stars and windshield cracks now forming over Alaska
As Alaska’s billion lakes become colder and harder, some of them will sport mysterious, spidery cracks extending from small holes in the ice. This phenomenon inspired a geophysicist to figure out what he calls “lake stars.” “I thought something so pretty and relatively commonly observed should be understandable, so I pursued it,” said Victor Tsai, who wrote perhaps the only paper in existence on lake stars. Tsai, ...
Oct 31, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alaska Science Forum: A far-off place, all for the birds
HALL ISLAND — On this windy, misty August day, there are perhaps one million birds clinging to the cliffs that buttress this Bering Sea island. These seabirds, crazy-eyed and with bodies both sleek and clumsy, need solid ground for just a few months to hold their eggs. When their summer mission is complete, the birds scatter to the vastness of the sea. The temporary human population on Hall Island is six — five bi...
Oct 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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