Arctic Report Card 2016 / NOAA

Cascading Effect – Arctic Report Card 2016

“We’ve seen a year in 2016 in the Arctic like we’ve never seen before,” reported Jeremy Mathis, Director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. Mathis presented the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic Report Card for 2016, the newest installment of an annual peer-reviewed report summarizing changing conditions in the Arctic. Mathis: “The report card this […]

Fast-growing trees like these willows pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while adding oxygen. / Photo by Ned Rozell

A green system of carbon-dioxide removal

Last week, I wrote about a thought experiment proposed by Fairbanks scientist Jim Beget. He suggests raining down crystals of a compound that captures carbon dioxide onto a frigid plateau in Antarctica. There, the greenhouse gas might remain locked for a few hundred thousand years. Beget will present his idea at the fall meeting of […]

Service members and Air Force One in Alaska / Image by Clark Mishler

Call to act on climate at Anchorage GLACIER conference

It’s impressive when President Obama visits your home base— Anchorage. And you know something important is happening when two cabinet members, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, top level white house officials, foreign dignitaries, Alaskan Republican senators, and rural Alaskan officials all converge. It’s CLIMATE CHANGE. The Department of […]

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Sockeye Fire Summer Solstice

June 21 2015 was this year’s Summer Solstice. But for much of Alaska the long hours of sunlight were obscured by smoke. The Sockeye Fire near Willow Alaska started Sunday and raged, burning over 7,000 acres, forcing evacuations, ravaging homes and other structures and interrupting traffic on the Parks Highway. An admirable firefighting effort involving […]

September 2014 sea ice extent

Continued Arctic changes, 2014

During high school when the day promised heat I used to spend a minute in the morning to put sunglasses on my car. They were ‘shutter shades’, louvered sunglasses printed in bold lines on folded white cardboard meant to be spread just under the windshield. The car may not have contained power anything, a reliably […]

atmosphere earth interactions

Precautions amidst uncertainty

“The question is not ‘do we know everything?’ it is ‘do we know enough?’ or ‘how can we best make a decision using what we do know?’ ~ Sense About Science publication: ‘Making Sense of Uncertainty’ In cities where heat waves are already becoming more frequent or more intense, the installation of heat watch warning […]

painted box turtle lillypads

What I learned this Earth Day, 2014

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – In the summer I drive to my favorite of many nearby glacial lakes, a deep down-turned gumdrop of cool water ringed in lillypads. I catch painted box turtles. After a frenetic chase and what feels like too long without air I surface gasping, and marveling at each turtle’s personality. […]

smoke layer temperature inversion

Atmospheric layers driving accelerated far North warming

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Recent research published in Nature Geoscience states that the largest contributors to warming in the Arctic are the region’s distinct surface temperatures coupled with the Arctic atmosphere’s prevailing vertical temperature structure. The research suggests that diminished snow and melting ice cover, previously thought to have the largest impact on […]

This image of Alaska's North Slope acquired August 15 2000 by NASA's Terra satellite shows a false color lake-dotted expanse of tundra, with the Beaufort Sea at the top and Lake Teshekpuk at the lower-left. The image covers an area of 36.5 by 55.8 miles [58.7 by 89.9 kilometers]. In 2006, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved oil and gas drilling on approximately 500,000 acres of land in and around Teshekpuk Lake. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer image centered near 70.4 degrees North latitude, 153 degrees West longitude shows vegetation as green and water as blue. / Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

A new interchange for scientific solutions to real world problems

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – The American Geophysical Union, a nonprofit organization of geophysicists –Earth and space scientists– has launched a new initiative to help communities solve modern-day problems. The Thriving Earth Exchange gives normal people the chance to ask pressing questions and benefit from scientific research and expertise. Communities enhance their readiness to […]

global deforestation 2000-2012 map

Learning our forests from space– mapping deforestation and regrowth

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – “Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information for land managers and policy makers to support wise decisions about our resources and environment in the places we live and work.” (NASA) Matthew Hansen, University of Maryland, and co-author Thomas Loveland, U.S. Geological Survey, released an unprecedented record of global deforestation […]