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Alaska Beat

AK Beat: Archaeologists recover early snowmachine

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published August 27, 2014

Archaeologists find early snowmachine: Archaeologists working in the Nunatsivut region, on the northern coast of Labrador in far eastern Canada, have found what they believe to be the region's first snowmachine, reports CBC. The vehicle is built from a Model T Ford nearly 100 years old and was modified by a team of Chicago-based researchers who used it during an expedition in the early 20th century. The machine was abandoned by 1928. The archaeologists towed the vehicle, which still has its original engine and transmission, back to Nain (using snowmachines of a more recent vintage), where there is talk of restoring it to working order, the CBC reports.

Anchorage's first purpose-built mosque gears up to open: A new mosque preparing to open in Anchorage will give Alaska's Muslims a stronger sense of identity, one of the congregation's members told PRI's The World. The mosque, being built by The Islamic Community Center of Anchorage Alaska will be the first building built specifically as a mosque in Anchorage, which makes it one of the last U.S. cities of significant size to get one, reported a recent Wall Street Journal article. The WSJ article takes the mosque as "perhaps the clearest sign yet that Islam in the U.S. is rapidly pushing beyond traditional population centers such as Detroit and Los Angeles," adding that as Islam grows "domes and minarets are sprouting in areas as varied as the eastern mountains of Kentucky and Louisiana's parishes." Because of snow, PRI reports, the mosque won't have a dome. Still, for congregants, it'll be a step up from the rented mall space they currently occupy.

MIT researchers find ocean currents could explain Arctic/Antarctic warming disparity: Scientists studying climate change have been perplexed at why the Arctic has warmed much faster than the rest of the planet, while Antarctica has not -- even cooling in places. Now a team from MIT may have found an explanation, reports science news site The answer has to do with ocean currents. While currents in the Southern Ocean, the band of sea that surrounds Antarctica shunt warmer waters northward toward the equator, no similar system exists in the Northern Hemisphere: "In the North Atlantic Ocean, a separate northward-flowing current system shunts the heat into the Arctic. So while Antarctica warms only mildly, the Arctic Ocean's temperature increases quickly, accelerating sea-ice loss and warming the Arctic atmosphere," wrote, summarizing the findings.

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