Yereth Rosen

After an odd Alaska winter of record-warm temperatures and pouring rain instead of snow, will summer be weird as well?

While scientists say more such winters can be expected in Alaska in the long term as the climate heats up, predicting what will happen in the short term is iffy. Still, resource managers are making some contingency plans for a challenging summer, and scientists have some advice in case the next few months are as unusual as the last few...

Yereth Rosen

Winter Arctic sea ice extent this year was the lowest in the satellite record, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said on Thursday , confirming a prediction it made two weeks ago.

Peak winter extent was reached on Feb. 25, with 5.61 million square miles of Arctic waters having at least 15 percent ice coverage, the center said. That maximum was about 7 percent smaller than the average winter maximum of 6.04 million square miles recorded from 1981 to 2010, the center said...

Yereth Rosen

As Arctic commerce heats up, more ships are expected to pass by the Aleutian Islands, through the Bering Strait and north into the Chukchi Sea. The U.S. Coast Guard, which is assessing a possible designated Arctic shipping route in those waters, has teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve navigational knowledge about that region.

For NOAA, that means using the Coast Guard’s help to update navigational charts that date back as far as a century ago...

Yereth Rosen

Alaska’s senators split on a controversial Republican letter to Iranian government leaders that cast doubt on any potential nuclear agreement with the Obama administration.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was among the seven Republican dissenters who declined to sign the letter, which was led by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and signed by 47 members, all Republicans.

Murkowski is supporting an effort by Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee that would give the Senate authority to review any agreement with Iran and approve or reject it...

Yereth Rosen

Arctic sea ice coverage appears headed for a record-low winter maximum this year, and the annual melt appears to be off to a very early start, according to information from the ...

Yereth Rosen

In the Arctic Ocean, first-year ice -- the thinner and flatter layer that freezes in the winter but melts each summer – is where much of the climate change action happens...

Yereth Rosen

Glacier Acoustics Project from Hilary Hudson on Vimeo

The noisiest places found yet in the world’s oceans are some of the most scenic -- saltwater fjords where glaciers drop chunks of blue-white ice, according to newly published research .

The noise was found mostly at Icy Bay, along the Gulf of Alaska coast, but also at two other sites where calving glaciers are depositing ice into marine waters...

Yereth Rosen

Coming soon to the U.S. Capitol is a new group of lawmakers: the Senate Arctic Caucus.

As of Tuesday, the group was just a nucleus of two -- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Maine Sen. Angus King , an independent who is part of the Senate’s Democratic minority.

But this week, Murkowski said, she and King are formally inviting other senators to join...

Yereth Rosen

A fresh new five-year plan for oil and gas leasing in the nation’s outer continental shelf features what federal officials hope will be a less controversial approach to oil exploration in Arctic waters, the Alaska director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Monday.

That means future lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, icy and remote frontiers that hold great oil potential but also important ecological resources, could span smaller areas than those in the past, said James Kendall, Alaska region director of the Interior Department agency that manages oil and gas development in federal waters...

Yereth Rosen

Cleanup work is scheduled to start this week on six of the legacy oil wells that were drilled and abandoned decades ago on federal land in Arctic Alaska but not properly secured before they were abandoned, the Bureau of Land Management said on Monday.

The wells are among 136 drilled between 1944 and 1982 in the vast land unit now known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska . The wells, intended to search for oil and gas and gather information about geologic conditions in general, were drilled by the U.S. Navy and other federal agencies...

Yereth Rosen

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