Environment

Yellow cedar trees grow from the top of California, all the way to Alaska, and according to a recent study, the Southeast part of the state could be the hardest hit with yellow cedar’s decline, due to the planet heating up. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned to put yellow cedar on the endangered species list. The wood is commercially valuable. It’s culturally valuable, too. Listen now

2016 was the warmest year in Alaska since the National Weather Service began keeping records in the state more than a century ago. Two weather-service climate specialists say that’s mainly because of extraordinarily warm ocean water, which in turn helped generate above-normal precipitation – especially in the Interior. Listen now

Urban Affairs

A new study from a state epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next. The data cannot be generalized to the whole state. Listen now

Energy

This week, we’re responding to a listener who asked whether it’s true that sea ice in Antarctic waters has been generally increasing, while Arctic sea ice has seen dramatic declines. Listen now

Every winter, a massive infrastructure project takes place on the North Slope — one that’s designed to disappear. Ice roads are built to minimize the oil industry’s footprint on the sensitive tundra, and melt away in spring. Many of the oil industry’s multi-million dollar projects on the North Slope can’t be built until the ice roads are finished each year. Listen now

A watchdog group is raising questions about whether new tugboats planned for Prince William Sound are up to the job of escorting oil tankers through the region. Listen now

Health Care

Donald Trump’s election as president is expected to lead to major changes in the individual health insurance market. While states don’t know what those changes will be, some policy experts suggested before the election that other states follow Alaska’s lead in addressing rising prices. Listen Now

Programs

In this episode we take a look back at the 2016 Iditarod, including: The Seavey dynasty, Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle's dangerous encounter with a snowmachine near Nulato, and Brent Sass withdraws from the 2017 Iditarod.