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A warmer, dryer Alaska this summer

Warm and dry was the weather story this August across Alaska. Temperatures in Southeast averaged about a degree warmer than normal, while temperatures in the northwest were a balmy five degrees or more above average. In what is normally one of the wettest months of the year for many locations in state, rainfall fell short of normal almost everywhere, especially along the southern coast. Only a few locations scattered across the Interior saw rainfall totals that were slightly above average. Wildfire activity was below average for the summer of 2007, with less than 400,000 acres burned. Almost 500 fires were reported and these were about evenly split between lightning and human ignition. [Read it now]

| Posted 09.13.07 at 5:01 am

Researcher finds Alaska lake boiling with methane

This August, UAF researcher Katey Walter brought a National Public Radio crew to Alaska's North Slope, hoping to show them examples of what happens when methane is released when permafrost thaws beneath lakes. When they reached their destination, Walter and the crew found even more than they bargained for: a lake violently boiling with escaping methane. [Read it now]

| Posted 09.11.07 at 3:14 am

Research adds to knowledge about polar sea ice

The American Geophysical Union announced the publication of a paper that is helping climate change researchers better understand how to model and understand the role of polar sea ice. [Read it now]

| Posted 09.08.07 at 12:48 am

DNA Analysis Provides Dietary Clues

Scientists studying the diets of Steller sea lions have come up with an innovative use of DNA analysis to determine the relative proportions of prey in sea lion feces. A new study tests the accuracy of this novel technique, and assesses its potential use in sea lions and other animals. [Read it now]

| Posted 09.07.07 at 1:58 am

Photo by SONYA SENKOWSKY/ Copyright 2005 AlaskaWriter LLC
Aural Auroral Encounters
Common sense tells us that the phenomenon of colorful lights in the night skies, known as the aurora, should be seen and not heard. But 'earwitnesses' -- those who've heard the aurora crackle, whistle and squeal -- say otherwise.

Are they really hearing the aurora? Or could they be tuning in to something other than the light show overhead? Casey Grove spoke with University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and aurora expert Dirk Lummerzheim about hearing auroras.

In The Works | Do you have an Alaska science story to share?: Alaska Science Outreach is currently seeking submissions of firsthand narrative accounts of Alaska science from research team members who have worked on fieldwork in the state. Any discipline considered. If you have a story to share, please send a 250-word summary (a short note will do) to Final submissions will be honed with help of the editor.
Al-ASK-a Scientist

Why doesn’t Alaska’s temperature rise over 100 degrees?

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