The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 25, 2015 

What makes a person more tolerant of the cold?

This message came from the grandfather of 5-year old Ben, who lives near Inverness, Scotland: Even in winter he will rapidly strip off and often plays in a sleeveless vest while others still have a...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 18, 2015

Northern trails sponging up winter rainfall

As he contemplates another long snowmachine journey, Matthew Sturm might consider packing a raincoat. Rain fell in Interior Alaska a few weeks before his trip, glazing supercooled highways and...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 11, 2015

Life on ice at the top of the world

On a February day long ago, a family living in a sod hut near the Arctic Ocean saw blocks of sea ice bulldozing their way onto shore. Winds shoved more ice until the mass towered above them and...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 4, 2015

Denali air still pristine, with a few specks

Fairbanks's air turns bitter every winter as we fill it with wood smoke and other things, but just down the road Denali National Park has the clearest air measured among America's monitored national...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 25, 2015

The continued mystery of the Denali Gap

North America's highest mountain should be a volcano. Denali sits about 60 miles above where the Pacific Plate grinds beneath the North American plate, as do Iliamna, Redoubt and Augustine. If you...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 18, 2015

A yearly flood into the Gulf of Alaska

Satellite data has confirmed that the amount of freshwater released into the Gulf of Alaska from streams and rivers in Alaska and northern Canada is about 1.5 times what the Mississippi River dumps...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 11, 2015

Spectacled eider biology still a mystery

Like flecks of pepper on chowder, all of the spectacled eiders on the planet are now gathered amid sea ice and steaming open leads in the Bering Sea. "It's a mass of life in this desolate area," said...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    February 4, 2015

The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse

In spring of 1946, five men stationed at the Scotch Cap lighthouse had reasons to be happy. World War II was over. They had survived. Their lonely Coast Guard assignment on Unimak Island would be...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 28, 2015

Digging up Augustine's top-heavy legacy

Augustine Volcano sits alone, a 4,000-foot pyramid on its own island in Cook Inlet. Like many volcanoes, it has a tendency to become top heavy. When gravity acts on Augustine's over-steepened dome,...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 21, 2015

Tidal stresses and giant earthquakes

A scientist once noticed a connection between the stress that tides inflict on the planet and the number of small earthquakes that happen in some areas when that pressure is greatest. She saw a...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 14, 2015

Far-out science at giant gathering on Earth and space

Following a press conference at the enormous fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, an unusual sound was heard in a room of reporters: Applause. Writers and videographers...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    January 7, 2015

Two tales of dynamic Alaska tundra

As pungent eucalyptus trees soaked up inches of California rain, a few researchers inside San Francisco's Moscone Center spoke of the treeless third of Alaska at the 2014 fall meeting of the American...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    December 10, 2014

Mastodons long gone from the north

A long, long time ago, a hairy elephant stomped the northland, wrecking trees and shrubs as it fed of twigs, leaves and bark. These mastodons left a few scattered teeth and bones in Alaska and the...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    December 3, 2014

Alaska blackfish in a class of its own

Imagine a shallow lake north of Hughes, in the cold heart of Alaska. In frigid, sluggish water, dim blue light penetrates two feet of ice. The ice has a quarter-size hole, maintained by a stream of...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 26, 2014

Snow-starved Alaska not the normal state

During the first 21 days of November 2014, no recordable snow fell in Anchorage, Juneau or Fairbanks. Over an unusual swath of the state, the ground was frozen, dusty and brown. Even extreme parts of Alaska were in a snow drought. "No manual...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 12, 2014

Northern lab cranked out the quirky and creative

"Rectal Temperature of the Working Sled Dog." "Cleaning and Sterilization of Bunny Boots." "Comparative Sweat Rates of Eskimos and Caucasians Under Controlled Conditions." These are some of the...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    November 5, 2014

Twenty weeks through the heart of Alaska

"It is a very remarkable fact that a region under a civilized government for more than a century should remain so completely unknown as the vast territory drained by the Copper, Tanana and Koyukuk...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 29, 2014

A green way to deal with carbon dioxide

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...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 22, 2014

A cool idea for locking up carbon dioxide

Jim Beget spends much of his time digging for clues from long ago, like when a volcanic island might have collapsed into the sea, sending giant waves to distant shores. He will soon engage in debate on a contemporary question: before carbon dioxide...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 15, 2014

Northern Alaska joins the cryosphere

It's mid-October, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. Since I last wrote about my three-mile commute through the raindrops of August, the 1,100 acres of boreal forest between...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 8, 2014

Fire on the mountain near the Yukon River

A smoking mountain near the Yukon River not far from Eagle is, after further study, still a puzzle. People first noticed acrid smoke in September 2012. The mountain has been steaming ever since, even...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    October 1, 2014

Why was interior Alaska green during the last ice age?

During our planet's most recent cold period, a slab of ice smothered Manhattan. Canada looked like Antarctica but with no protruding mountains. When the last glacial maximum peaked about 20,000 years ago, most of the continent - from the Arctic...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 24, 2014

Minto earthquakes then, now and tomorrow

MINTO - Sarah Silas, 89, smiled as she remembered an earthquake that shook her village more than 60 years ago. The floor of her cabin swayed so that her young son staggered away from her. "My...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 17, 2014

Maverick red aspens in a world of gold leaf intrigue scientists

Will Lentz, a reader from Fairbanks, asks a question that flares every fall: why do some aspens turn red? A few scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado, pondered that subject in the late 1970s....

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    September 10, 2014

Land of Extremes: Arctic Circle a place like no other

Slicing through the top quarter of the Alaska map, the Arctic Circle marks the boundary of perpetual light. North of the line, the sun won't set on summer solstice. But somehow the breezy, treeless...

 

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