Alaska News Nightly: August 31, 2009

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Climate Could be Warming Even Faster Than Predicted
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The climate has been warming faster than computer models said it would. This could be because some important details have been left out of the models – particularly about feedbacks, where warming causes changes which then cause more warming.

Methane Being Tracked
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Katey Walter has spent a lot of time thinking about the complex dynamics of melting permafrost. The UAF professor camped out with a dozen other scientists on the Seward Peninsula last spring to study the amount of methane being released into the atmosphere.

More Troops Return to Ft. Wainwright
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Ft. Wainwright welcomed around 500 soldiers back from Iraq over the weekend.  The Stryker Brigade is returning to Fairbanks after a year long deployment.

Parnell Wants Better Relationship with Rural Alaskans
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Rural Alaskans have suffered in recent years from nature, the national economy and from what people there see as an unresponsive state government. The new Parnell Administration hopes to develop a better relationship in the bush with the Rural Action Sub-Cabinet.

Kenai Still Optimistic About Tourism
Marcia Lynn, KBBI – Homer
Tourism was the focus of this week’s discussion on Coffee Table, which brought together four members of the Kenai Peninsula Tourism industry.  Despite a drop in visitors to the region this summer, hopes for tourism in the future remain optimistic.

Giant Solar Hot Water Heater Comes Online
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Denali area education group is benefitting from an alternative energy project.  The largest solar hot water heater in the state went online this summer at the Denali Education Center in McKinley Village.

Salmon Processing Season Winding Down in Petersburg
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
As the salmon processing season winds down in Petersburg, visiting workers from the US and around the world will prepare to head home. For some it’s a one-year experience. Others come back summer after summer. Some decide to settle here.

Sitka Sound Swimmer Ignores the Cold
Chris Todd, KCAW – Sitka
Whether you call it “marathon,” “cold water,” or even “naked” swimming, immersing ourselves without any drysuit or wetsuit in the frigid Pacific ocean water is something most Alaskans generally try to avoid. Not the case, though, for visiting cold water swimmer Claudia Rose, who recently completed a challenging swim across Sitka Sound.