Alaska in the 2013 Arctic turmoil

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – “The Arctic is not like Vegas. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The major changes that we see in reduction in sea ice, reduction in spring snow cover extent, increasing vegetation that changes the radiation balance of the surface, potential changes in greenhouse gas fluxes, […]

cross country skiing Alaska

Trapped in a cracked snow globe

Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Snowball fights. Snow angels and lovely ice sculptures. You can truck across it or ski through it. Snow might be a heavy reality you shovel every day, or a glittering crystalline landscape far away. Or both. Whatever snow means to you, it means something much more complex to the […]

Cleveland Volcano air 2012

Monitoring volcanic activity at Mount Cleveland

On Saturday May 4th 2013 the Alaska Volcano Observatory detected a series of low-level explosions at Cleveland volcano. Three discrete explosions occurred at 5:00 am, 9:17 am, and 11:44 am Saturday, while subsequent less powerful rumbles on Sunday denoted an ongoing low-level eruption. The sequence of eruptions emitted ash, gas, and steam into local airspace. […]

VIIRS as an Arctic Nightlight

Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists – During winter in the Arctic it’s “night” almost all the time, but thanks to the new Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) we no longer have to be in the dark about what’s going on with the weather.  Here is a VIIRS/DNB image of the Alaska […]

Burned Alaska may cause more burned Alaska

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – The blackened scars that Alaska fires leave on the landscape may result in more lightning, more rain in some areas just downwind of the scars, and less rain farther away, according to two scientists. Nicole Mölders and Gerhard Kramm, both of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, […]

Permafrost scientist snowmachining from Alaska to Atlantic

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – 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 […]

Aurora Borealis purple red blue green Arctic

After a lifetime of study, aurora still a mystery

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – Sometimes, after idling in the sky for hours as a greenish glow, the aurora catches fire, erupting toward the magnetic north pole in magnificent chaos that can last for three hours. “Substorms,” as space physicists call them, can happen two or three times each night. The man who came up […]

Fairbanks winter day temperature smoke pollution Alaska

Alaska bucks the global temperature trend

Ned Rozell for UAFGI – This just in: 2012 was the coldest year of the new century in Fairbanks, and the second coldest here in the last 40 years. Fairbanks isn’t the only chilly place in Alaska. Average temperatures at 19 of 20 long-term National Weather Service stations displayed a cooling trend from 2000 to […]

New videos about Permafrost, a blog about the Dog Mushing Weather Dance, and a video description of FLOPs

January 31, 2012– Permafrost is an underground phenomena but three new videos, with beautiful footage and photos, allow you to see permafrost with your own eyes. University of Alaska-Fairbanks scientists Vladimir Romanovsky, Sergey Marchenko, and Ronald Daanen describe permafrost in videos “It’s a Bore Hole”, “The Permafrost Tilted House” and “Permafrost Patterns”. We should get […]

One Mean Dance Partner: How Mother Nature Twirls the Sport of Dog Mushing

Kristin Knight Pace for Frontier Scientists – The brittle cold of Dead Dog Flats is enough to make my parka crinkle as I ladle out the hot mixture of fat and tripe, chicken protein and kibble. One by one the dogs emerge from their houses and, by the time I have gone through the whole […]