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”.

permafrost tilted house

We should get to know more about permafrost; it will be with us for a while. “To completely kill permafrost even in interior Alaska will take hundreds and hundreds of years, yet active degradation of permafrost will have immediate impacts,” said Dr Romanovsky, professor with the Permafrost Lab in the Geophysical Institute.

A dramatic example of permafrost influence is revealed in “The Permafrost Tilted House”. This videos shows how practical solutions helped right the precarious situation for the home of Ruth Macchioni and her family living over permafrost.

About the Blog: “One Mean Dance Partner: How Mother Nature Twirls the Sport of Dog Mushing”

thermometer minus 60
Photo courtesy Jeff King

People throughout the states complain about their winter, but few can photograph a thermometer frozen at 60 degrees below Fahrenheit in their back yard like the one captured in Alaska by Jeff King, four-time Iditarod Champion.

In “One Mean Dance Partner: How Mother Nature Twirls the Sport of Dog Mushing”, Kristin Knight Pace writes how dog mushers respond to 100 degree temperature changes occuring in as little as 9 days.  Anchorage National Weather Service meteorologist, John Papineau explains the extreme weather detailed in the Blog.

Why FLOP’s may help us better understand permafrost and weather

faster than thought supercomputer

“Computational Science is a primary means of discovery in the world today.  It’s a way of making our manufacturing processes more efficient, of better understanding the world we live in and of doing all types of data analysis for all types of purposes,” said Greg Newby, director of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center.  In a new series of videos Newby and Per Nyberg, from Cray Inc., reveal how computational science uses a crucial tool, the supercomputer,  and  how FLOPS, (floating point operations) are a key measure of supercomputing speed.

Since the April 2011 web launch, Frontier Scientists continues to share first person accounts and real time insights from leading archaeologists, grizzly bear biologists, volcano researchers, climate change specialists and other scientists.

Fascinating video of current scientific discoveries in some of the Arctic’s most remote and dramatic landscapes are chronicled in short vodcasts, Twitter feeds, blogs and web reports.  The research covers these categories:

  • Grizzlies
  • Petroglyphs
  • Paleo-Eskimo
  • Cook Inlet Volcanoes
  • Alutiiq Weavers
  • Climate Change Watch
  • Arctic Winter Cruise 2011
  • Raven Bluff
  • Computational Science

“We want to let travelers, teachers, students, aspiring scientists, and anyone else interested in science feel as if they are with scientists as they track grizzlies or take the temperature of permafrost in a borehole,” explained Liz O’Connell, video director for Frontier Scientists.  Visitors to Frontier Scientists can ask questions to our scientists directly; follow some of them on Twitter and Facebook, and converse with scientists on their blogs.

Frontier Scientists is funded by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the National Park Service and 360 Degrees North. Follow us!

Liz O’Connell 2012

Frontier Scientists: presenting scientific discovery in the Arctic and beyond

Permafrost, Weather In Alaska, & Computational Science Supercomputers