Climate Change

Articles about climate change from across the state of Alaska.

As polar bears encroach on this Alaska village, feds charge whaling captain with illegally shooting one

As Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are spending more time near the Alaska North Slope village of Kaktovik. Now, federal prosecutors have charging a whaling captain there with killing one in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

As gray whales die along the West Coast, Alaska scientists look for answers beneath blubber

Researchers are trying to determine the cause of a gray whale die-off along the West Coast, including Alaska. And they're looking at whether recent warming trends in the Arctic, and reduced sea ice, has affected their prey.

For decades, the government stood between the Unangan people and the seals they subsist on. Now, that’s changing.

The tribal government of St. Paul island, in the Bering Sea, has pushed the federal government for years to relax strict subsistence rules that have blocked access to seals and forced residents to buy expensive groceries. New rules could take effect soon, but they face opposition amid a decline in the seal population.

New Coast Guard cutter to be commissioned Wednesday in Juneau

The Bailey Barco will patrol the coast and features advanced equipment, including the ability to launch and recover standardized small boats from its stern. Sentinel-class cutters are lightly armed patrol vessels capable of traveling almost 3,000 nautical miles.

Study claims Exxon Valdez oil spill didn’t cause Prince William Sound fisheries crash

The study says wild red salmon are affected more by adult hatchery-raised pink salmon that compete with reds or eat them when they're small. And the research also says herring declines are more related to increased fresh water from melting glaciers, rather than oil inundation after the spill.

Ask a Climatologist: In Alaska, wildfire season can go from mild to severe in an instant

Wildfire season is off to a slow start in Alaska. But that could change very quickly. That’s because predicting how severe a wildfire season will be in the state is so tricky. Alaska’s Energy Desk is checking in with climatologist Brian Brettschneider each week as part of the segment, Ask a Climatologist. Brettschneider says over the entire season, which runs through the end of July, no wildfire forecast is useful for Alaska.

Indigenous communities in Russia say retreating sea ice pushes walruses away

As Arctic sea ice has retreated north during the last decade, walruses have adapted by changing their haul-outs to take advantage of better resources and food. That's good for the walruses... but it's a problem for some Russian indigenous communities on the Chokotkan coast. Download Audio
Alaska News Nightly Trail Lake Moose Pass Alaska

Scientists use ice wedges to chart climate change in the Arctic

For years scientist have known permafrost can act as reliable gauge to chart climate change in the north. A new study in the journal Nature Geoscience reveals the wide extent and speed in which ice wedges are degrading and altering the landscape. Download Audio

Arctic science summit gets underway at UAF

The first of dozens of events to be held as part of the 18th annual Arctic Science Summit Week gets under way Wednesday on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus. UAF Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman said this year’s summit is the first to be held on U.S. soil. And it’ll be the biggest yet. Download Audio

Obama: Oil states must prepare for cleaner future

Gov. Bill Walker asked President Obama today to allow more oil drilling on federal land. Obama told him and other governors that oil producing states should prepare for a shift to cleaner energy. Download Audio

UAF’s Walsh wins international science award

A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist is receiving the recognition of his peers. Dr. John Walsh recently garnered a medal from the International Arctic Science Committee. The prestigious award recognizes Walsh’s sustained work in far north. Download Audio

Scientists find prevalence of algal toxins in the Arctic

For the first time, scientists have documented the prevalence of two biotoxins in Alaska’s marine mammal population above the Arctic Circle. That’s according to a new study out Thursday in the Journal Harmful Algae. But it’s not clear if algal toxins have always existed in the Arctic, because scientist never looked before now. Download Audio

Crew maps polar bear dens on Alaska’s North Slope

Each winter, when the tundra freezes, the North Slope gets busy. It's the travel season, the time of year when oil producers can put in ice roads and move heavy vehicles over the frozen ground. But before any of that can happen, one task comes first: looking for polar bears. Download Audio

Record low snow totals for Fairbanks recorded in December, January

Fairbanks has been exceptionally dry over the last two months. A total of just 1.9 inches of snow fell at the airport in December and January, besting Fairbanks previous low mark for the two months set in the winter of 1952-53. Download Audio

On methane, Alaska tells feds to clean up their act first

The Interior Department has proposed new rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Download Audio

‘The Blob’… on winter vacation or gone for good?

Is 'The Blob' taking a winter breather? Or, is it fizzling out? After over two years, is The Blob finally dead? The giant, persistent mass of warm ocean water seems to have cooled over the last few months, possibly because of another warm ocean phenomenon that is now dominating the Pacific. Download Audio

Arctic air warming, but North Pole not turning to slush

The North Pole is melting according to many news outlets. But Walt Meier, a research scientist for NASA and a co-author of NOAA’s 2015 Arctic Report Card on Sea Ice, said that’s not quite accurate. Download Audio

Models show permafrost melting faster than thought

For years researchers studying permafrost in the Arctic have seen a warming trend. Now scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks say it is happening even faster than expected. Download Audio

Al Jazeera documentary highlights erosion in Kivalina, Newtok

On Sunday evening, the issue of Alaska coastal erosion will be featured on the Al Jazeera America program "Fault Lines." The correspondent for the story is former APRN reporter Libby Casey. She says they highlighted Newtok and Kivilina on the northwest Arctic coast. Download Audio

For Alaskans in Paris, climate talks hit home

Alaskans were among the thousands of people who gathered in Paris over the last two weeks for international climate change talks. APRN spoke with several about why they made the trip. Download Audio