May 16, 2013 – Alaska SeaLife Center scientists recently announced that they have reached a major milestone in efforts to learn more about Steller sea lion reproduction: female sea lions Eden and Tasu are pregnant! Last summer, breeding was facilitated by housing Eden, Tasu and Sitka, three of the [...]
By Heidi Zemach for SCN Old drums spill their contents, photo taken this weekend. The Alaska Department of Environmental...
Seward, AK – May 20, 2013 – A new exhibit will open on June 8 at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. The exhibit,...
Kenai Fjords National Park will be celebrating its sixth year of the successful Art for Parks program with an art show opening on Friday, May 3 at the Information Center, located in the small boat harbor. From 6pm to 8pm, you can learn about the animals, glaciers, plants, and weather of the park through student art work. This year’s theme is Did You Know? The Truth about Kenai Fjords National Park.
The art show is Kenai Fjords National Park’s way of celebrating National Park Week which occurs every year at the end of April, a little ahead of an ice free road to Exit Glacier. In the past, the park has paired artists with teachers in all of Seward’s classrooms. After five years of excellent art instruction, many teachers will be taking the lead in helping students research facts about the park and communicate them through art. Local artists, including Susan Swiderski, Cindy Capra, Dot Bardarson, and Fiona Ritter-Davis, will assist with projects this year. The show will have a wide variety of media from sculpture to ceramics, and watercolor to block printing.
If you want to see the work of Seward’s young artists and learn about Kenai Fjords National Park, come out for Seward’s First Friday event. The show will be available for viewing after May 3 from May 11 to May 16 in the Information Center.
By Heidi Zemach for SCN
Monday April 22nd, Earth Day # 43, was observed in a number of ways around Seward. People got outside and walked around in the warm sunshine. TYC kids picked up trash. A new group helped create cloth bags, launching awareness of the persistent pollution of plastic, and encouraging folks to reduce their use of plastic bags and other single-use plastic items.
Meanwhile the Alaska SeaLife Center hosted an event at the Bear Mountain Conference Room to showcase three new environmental initiatives; two state-wide citizen’s science monitoring efforts, and a major marine-debris art exhibit, documentary, and coffee table book. ASLC Conservation Director Howard Ferren a Seward-based biological oceanographer, and UAA School of Engineering professor Dr. Orson P. Smith, also of Seward, are the proponents of the science monitoring program, and Ferren was the brain and the brawn behind the ambitious marine debris effort. His wife Dyan also is an avid local marine debris artist.
Alaska Coastal Observers
Smith said he’s kicked around the idea of establishing an Alaska Corps of Observers program for the past decade. Smith has seen a resurgence of citizen’s science and observations. “As an engineer, you always get residents to tell you what they’re seeing, but it’s hard to get quantitative information,” Smith said. Ferren also knows the value of involving ordinary people, such as fishermen, or native Alaskans living in remote areas, to report what they’re seeing so that scientists can track events such as species declining, species moving to other areas, areas of marine debris, climate change, ice melting, and much more. The Alaska Corps of Coastal Observers, or AkCCO, is a citizen science monitoring program that ASLC and the University of Alaska Anchorage developed, with support from the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Coastal Impact Assistance Program.
A new website, www.akcoastalcorps.org, was recently established, and an AkCCO Advisory Board was selected last month to oversee the program’s direction, and figure out ways to sustain it without having to rely on grant funding. The new eight-member board will meet May 2nd in Anchorage for the first time. The board will select coastal test sites in the high priority communities, and then will help recruit and select a citizen-observer for each site.
Each observer will receive training in Seward, and will be given a kit of measurement instruments and record datasheets to take back home to their coastal communities. They will then start making beach observations on things such as wind speed, direction, wave height, direction, beach width, beach slope, beach material, air and water temperature, and anything else they observe. These observations, entered onto a website over time, will provide data about coastal processes and shoreline conditions which may subsequently be useful to local, regional and statewide managers of coastal resources. Only those selected individuals with the training will have access to put observed data onto the website, but anyone can go there and use the information being collected. Kira Hansen, an ASLC Technician, is Seward’s site observer at Lowell Point. There’s an automated observation tower there, gathering weather-related data.
On Saturday, April 27, Ferren and Smith will take advantage of low tides to bury a new cable to the tower, and to install an additional component to measure tides and waves.
Dr. Marybeth Murray, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Howard Ferren from ASLC are the principal investigators for another citizen-science website called BioMap, Alaska, which anyone can have access to if they wish to report observations. The project is sponsored by the Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The observations will be vetted by Ferren and Murray, BioMap team members, or other experienced scientists however, before being posted, in order to assure accuracy. Citizen observers also contribute up to four photographs of their observations, which also may help them identify or confirm what they are seeing. Although the mapping website may expand to other coastal Alaska areas, the initial focus of the website currently is the Arctic, and 11 “species of interest” that either live there, or may be observed there.
The species selected include Ring Seal, Bearded Seal, Spotted Seal, Pacific walrus, Alaska Skate, Red King Crab, Alaska King Crab, Walleye, Pollock, Bering Wolffish, Chinook Salmon and Pacific Sleeper Shark. The Arctic, or Northwest Alaska, including the Chuckchi and Beaufort Sea, is a hotspot for observers as it is subject to the effects of Global Climate Change on marine life, and an increase in global shipping traffic, which could speed up the transport of Invasive Species, Ferren said.
“GYRE: an expedition and exhibition”
For the past four years, Ferren has worked tirelessly on a big idea to use art to draw public attention to the global issue of marine debris, mostly plastic, swirling around in our seas in massive Gyres, polluting even the most remote beaches, and getting into our food chain by being eaten by birds, fish, and other marine animals. His aim is to integrate science and art, using art to communicate the issue to the public in an attention-grabbing, meaningful way.
Ferren has gathered together a group of well-respected and gifted documentary film makers, photographers, a science writer, marine scientists, and more than 30 artists worldwide to make it happen. The Anchorage Museum has agreed to collaborate on the project, and will host a major exhibit of marine debris beginning in February of 2014 for six months. It will then be taken to other states and countries. The 7,500 square foot exhibit of ocean-debris and the GYRE expedition, and marine debris art produced by 30 international artists to represent the global perspective of the marine debris tragedy. It also will contain 15 essays by scientists and artists on the issue. Meanwhile, the GYRE will travel to Seward for a week-long trip June 7th aboard the research vessel Norseman. Together with the Museum Curator Dr. Julie Decker, Dr. Kate Schafer, educator with the Harker School in San Jose, California, the crew will explore and collect debris they find on beaches and in the ocean waters of Resurrection Bay, Gore Point, Shuyak Island and Afognak Island near Kodiak, and Hallo Bay in a joint operation with Katmai National Park staff.
The trip will be the basis of a documentary, and writings about the issues surrounding plastic debris, ocean gyres, driftnet ghost fishing, derelict traps, and the ingestion of micro-plastics by fish, birds and marine mammals. On board will be JJ Kelley, a National Geographic filmmaker, Kip Evans of the Sylvia Earle Alliance in Monterey, California and science writer Carl Safina, Nicholas Mallos, a conservation biologist and marine debris specialist with Ocean Conservancy, which coordinates global cleanups; and Dr. Odile Madden, a research scientist with the Smithsonian Conservation Institute, who specializes in plastics and its degradation process, and four very well-known artists: Pam Longobardi, a professor at Georgia State; Andy Hughes from Cornwall; Mark Dion, from Columbia University; and Alaska artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs. The expedition will be led by Howard Ferren. ASLC biologist John Maniscalco will serve as Safety Officer.
Welcome to Bits of History! Lee has already taught us about the mountains on the western side of side of Seward. Now he takes us on a journey to the mountains east of Seward. Special thanks goes out to Harold Faust for assisting in the research of this “Bits” segment.
Monday, April 22, 2013 is Earth Day!
Join us for a seminar by our very own Conservation Department staff members.
Monday, April 22, 2013
12-1pm (Brown Bag Lunch)
Alaska SeaLife Center, Bear Mountain Conference Room
Learn about our brand new citizen science websites and June’s GYRE project:
We’ve just launched two new citizen science websites: Alaska Corps of Coastal Observers(AkCCO) and BioMap Alaska. They’re aimed at helping Alaska gather data about coastal processes and animal sightings in all corners of the state. Learn about how we’re involving citizens and what we hope the collected data can do for coastal communities and the environment.
The 4-years-in-the-making GYRE project involves a team of world-renowned artists and scientists traveling out of Seward on the R/V Norseman. They’ll be collecting, studying, and making art from marine debris found on remote Alaskan beaches. Hear more about the exciting group of individuals and organizations involved and the message this project will convey to the world.
For further information on GYRE: http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/galleries/gyre/
Please join us! Free seminar, all welcome.
March was generally characterized by cooler than normal temperatures and above normal precipitation that came and went in a cyclical nature. Throughout the month, pulses of one-to-two day precipitation events delivered approximately 8-12 inches of snow following several days of sunshine each week. This weekly weather pattern increased the snowpack despite the clear sunny spells and lengthening hours of daylight provided by the onset of spring. Seward gained 2 hours and 34 minutes of daylight over the course of the month.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 6.14 inches (139% of normal), 1.72 inches above the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month. The monthly average temperature for March was 30.2 degrees F; 1.9 degrees F below the 30-year average. March 25th was the windiest day of the month reported at the Seward airport with sustained winds of 21.8 mph and a 5-second wind gust of 45 mph.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s three month weather outlook (April-May-June) favors normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- The 2013 winter extent of the Bering Sea Ice reached the third all-time high coverage since record keeping began in 1979. Read more about it in the latest edition of theAlaska Climate Dispatch.
- Research published in the journal Nature indicates that regions of the Arctic Ocean that were previously inaccessible to ships without icebreaking hulls will be accessible by 2050, opening a new pathway to the spread of invasive species.
- The National Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the first nationwide strategy to help public and private decision makers address the impacts of climate change on natural resources, has been released.
- A new study published in Nature Climate Change reports evidence of climate change-induced vegetation shifts into the northern latitudes of North America “making Canada look more like the United States.”
- A negative phase in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) resulted in warmer temperatures in the Arctic and colder temperatures in the mid-latitudes in March. Learn more about the AO and its influence on temperature patterns at NASA’s Earth Observatory System‘s page.
- New research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters reports that by the end of the 21st century, 20% of Canada’s glacial ice will melt, adding 3.5 cm to global sea levels.
- NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA’s extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazineClimateWatch.
Read more to find out about the local climate for March 2013
ASLC Press Release
Seward, AK – April 15, 2013 –
A wondrous spectacle of nature began unfolding on March 6 in the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Denizens of the Deep exhibit. This exhibit is home to LuLu, a giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), who has been tenderly guarding and protecting her brood of eggs, which she began laying in March 2012. Now, over a year later, tiny hatchlings known as paralarvae have begun to emerge. Thousands of them. And the baby octopuses are captivating the interest of visitors and staff.
LuLu the octopus laid eggs throughout the spring of 2012 after an encounter the previous fall
with Felix, a male giant Pacific octopus. A female giant Pacific octopus will lay eggs only once
in her life and can lay over 30,000 eggs; which she will brood and guard until they hatch. A
male giant Pacific octopus may mate with several females but will expire following this
LuLu has proven to be a very attentive and active mother, and her lifespan will end as the last of
the eggs mature. “LuLu is not feeding at this time but continues to groom and fan the eggs as
attentive octopus mothers do in this final reproductive phase of their lives,” said Richard
Hocking, the Center’s aquarium curator.
While other octopus species are often raised from eggs in aquariums across the globe, it’s not so with the giant Pacific octopus. There is only one documented case of a giant Pacific octopusnbeing successfully reared from egg to maturity in an aquarium setting; this happened in the mid-1980s. Giant Pacific octopuses are difficult to rear due to the delicate nature of the paralarvae after they emerge from their eggs and the nutritional demands that need to be met for proper growth. These challenges mean aquarists at the Center have a steep road ahead in trying to raise the hatchlings to adulthood, but they are taking several steps to increase their chances of survival. Aquarium staff are harvesting both wild and cultured zooplankton to feed the paralarval octopuses and have also constructed special rearing tanks.
In the wild, hatching octopuses swim toward the surface and can spend several weeks or even months drifting in the plankton rich water until they reach a size where they can hunt effectively at deeper depths. Once they settle to the bottom, juveniles will take refuge in naturally occurring
crevices and under rocks, where they have protection from predators and can continue to feed and mature. Octopuses consume mostly crustaceans and mollusks along with other bivalves, snails, fish and smaller octopuses.
Visitors to the Center can see LuLu and her newly-hatched offspring swimming in the Denizens of the Deep tank, and some of the hatchlings can also be viewed in a special display near the Discovery Touch Pool. Besides LuLu and her offspring, six other octopuses currently call the
Alaska SeaLife Center home.
Plastic bags, forks, bottles, razors: These are all examples of common Single Use plastic items
o They account for roughly 4% of world oil production which is used as a feedstock to make plastics (a similar amount is used as energy in the process)
o They make up over 80% of all marine debris- including the pacific garbage patch- a mass of plastic trash roughly the size of Texas floating in the Pacific. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii you might have swam with parts of it, or laid on the beach with it, or seen evidence of the marine life that have died from swallowing it.
o Plastic never breaks down, but disintegrates to the molecular level and is inadvertently ingested by all organisms including humans, causing a variety of health problems.
Join Seward’s choice and take the plastic pledge!
Choose to reduce your own plastic consumption by bringing your own re-usable shopping bags to the store.
Tuesday April 23th Make your own shopping bag at Seward Library 3:30- 6:30
Learn more about the plastic problem worldwide.
Oh, Seward, how I miss thee! Especially when the sun is shining.
My love for your (my old!) quirky little town is featured in this week’s Anchorage Press headlamp section. I can’t display the whole story, due to copyright issues, but can include a little tidbit. The full story, Slowing down the pace in Seward, can be found through this link.
“There’s something magical about the Lost Lake Trail, something timeless and profound. The hemlock and spruce trees reached silently toward us as we ran past, their branches coated in snow, and everywhere there was only silence and snow and dark clusters of spruce so that after a while it was as if nothing existed but the two of us and the dog and our breaths and bodies running up and up and up.
Our mood was eventually broken by an approaching snow machine and the intrusion of noise and people, but no matter. We timed our run for late afternoon, when most of the snow machines are off the trail, and we were interrupted only twice. All the snow machiners were friendly, veering toward the side of the trail to give us passing room.
About a half mile from the cabin we emerged from the trees. The sun shone and the snow was so white it hurt our eyes. I said to my partner, “I would like to die here,” and he nodded because he knew that I didn’t mean then or even ever but simply that it would be worth it to die in such a place, on such a day.”
By Cinthia Ritchie.
Environmental Assessment on Herman Leirer Multi-Modal Trail Feasibility Available for Public Comment
An Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluating alternatives for the feasibility of an interagency multi-modal trail along the Herman Leirer Road is now available for public comment. A multi-use trail (bicycle, pedestrian and ski) is being considered along the Herman Leirer Road, starting from the Seward Highway and ending at the Exit Glacier Nature Center in Kenai Fjords National Park. The approximately 8.2 mile trail would pass through public lands and right-of-ways managed by the State of Alaska, United States Forest Service, and National Park Service. No private lands would be involved, but in some areas private lands would be adjacent to the trail corridor. This environmental assessment analyzes the impacts of different trail routing concept alternatives.
The purpose of the project is to increase the recreational opportunities and public safety along Herman Leirer Road. Project goals are to provide increased safety and a more enjoyable recreational experience for both trail users and road users by separating conflicting uses. Project alternatives would create a non-motorized, multi-modal trail along the Herman Leirer Road corridor for use either in short sections or in its entire length.
It is important to note that at this time there is not a funded project to construct any of the proposed alternatives. This EA will serve as a common vision for state, federal, and local agencies as well as organizations to pursue funding for such a project by any number of sources. Funding the entire trail through a single funded project may not be possible and each agency may need to seek funding for their respective segments over a period of several years. The goal of this multi-modal trail which traverses across a variety of public lands and right-of-ways is to offer an outstanding visitor experience while protecting the resources over which each agency has responsibility.
The environmental assessment analyzes a range of one no action alternative and three action alternatives for consideration:
Alternative A – No Action – No designated trail for non-motorized use
No designated trail exists and non-motorized travelers use the paved road or road edge for bicycling, skiing, mushing, and pedestrian travel.
Alternative B – Meandering Separated Trail (Preferred Alternative)
A non-motorized trail would be designed and constructed for use by pedestrians, mountain bikes (bicycles), skiers and mushers. A 10 to 12 foot wide soft surface pathway that meanders farther from the road would be constructed with a number of new trail bridges separated from the road.
Alternative C – Minimum Separation Roadside Trail
A 12 foot wide soft pathway would be added to the north side of Herman Leirer Road (using existing trails when feasible), separated from the road by a 5 foot vegetated buffer. Connections to existing trails would be improved.
Alternative D – No Separation Road Edge Trail and Upgrades to Existing Trails
For most of the length of the corridor, the existing road (currently with 12 foot wide driving lanes and 4 foot paved shoulders) would be reconfigured and restriped to 10 foot driving lanes and 6 foot paved shoulders marked as bicycle lanes. Existing hiking trails would be upgraded to soft surface trails suitable for pedestrians, hikers, off-road cyclists and non-motorized winter uses.
The National Park Service has published a draft EA entitled ” Herman Leirer Multi-Modal Trail Feasibility Study Environmental Assessment.” It is available at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The EA was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).
Comments on the EA may be submitted through Friday, June 7, 2013, preferably via the website, http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Comments may also be faxed to (907) 422-0571, or mailed to:
Kenai Fjords National Park
ATTN: Herman Leirer Trail EA
P.O. Box 1727
Seward, AK 99664
Little book about a young Beluga whale, named Betsy
This short & simple story is intended for people of all ages to introduce them to the Belugas of Cook Inlet.
Hopefully, it brings a smile to your face. You are able to view the entire book online either by clicking on the “read sample” or “preview” button.
There are some free Betsy Beluga coloring pages on the Whittier visitor guide website. Go to the www.WhittierAlaska.info site and look for Betsy Beluga.
To preview the book go to:
Art of Pollination is a project sponsored by the Chugach Arts Council
A beautiful book of art featuring pollinators of Alaska will be published early this summer in advance of National Pollinator Week June 17-23, 2013. Artists are encouraged to submit their work in any style or media. There is no fee for submission.
The goals of the project are to bring awareness to the importance of pollinators, awareness to the variety of art in Alaska and to benefit the Chugach Arts Council.
for more information and application visit
News from the public meeting
Posted with the permission of the Seward Schoolyard Habitat blog
Matt Gray, of the Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, led a community meeting Wednesday night at the High School to share the short- and long-term plans for the Seward Schoolyard Habitat Project. People packed into Carlyn Nichol’s science classroom to learn more about the project, filling every seat in the room. After Matt opened the meeting with a brief overview, Heather Fuller, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presented a PowerPoint to explain the nuts and bolts of the funding and requirements for such a project. She gave examples of other schools on the Peninsula that are pursuing schoolyard habitats, as well as examples of projects well underway in the Wasilla/Palmer area.
Jenn Haugh, a Kindergarten teacher, explained how teachers will build upon each other’s projects across all three school campuses. She also gave examples of how teachers might align the curriculum to the schoolyard habitats and use them as outdoor classrooms, giving teachers fantastic opportunities for place-based education.
Carlyn Nichols, a science teacher at both the middle and high schools, detailed the trail systems that exist around the three schools. She talked about how these should be maintained, enhanced, and connected. She envisions having a trail system that has interpretive signs to help both students and community members get the most out of walks, jogs, or skis through the old-growth forests. Thinking like a scientist, Carlyn pointed out how lucky we are to have such amazing habitats in our own back yards. Heather Fuller echoed that idea, and added that one of the goals of this project is to make these habitats accessible to everyone.
To present a vision for the native species garden planned for the elementary school, several of Bob Barnwell’s students gave a Prezi.com presentation. (Click for website article and their presentation)
Full-color, large and small maps were placed around the room for people to look at as ideas were discussed. For the last 20 minutes of the meeting, people met in small groups to brainstorm more ideas for the schoolyard habitats.
February was generally characterized by above normal temperatures and just slightly below normal precipitation. Although there was less monthly precipitation than the 30-year average, a trace or more of precipitation was recorded at the Seward airport 79% of days (22 out of 28 days). Winds were relatively calm with a monthly average wind speed of 7.3 mph. Over the course of the month, snowpack at Exit Glacier increased 20.1 inches; length of day increased by 2 hours and 16 minutes.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 5.67 inches (94% of normal), .38 inches below the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month. The monthly average temperature for February was 31.4 degrees F; 3.1 degrees F above the 30-year average. February 18th was the windiest day of the month reported at the Seward airport with sustained winds of 20.7 mph and a 5-second wind gust of 46 mph.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s three month weather outlook (March-April-May)favors below normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- The NWS Climate Prediction Center has a new interactive map that displays the 8-14 day outlook for Alaska and the continental U.S.
- An international team of scientists report that, between 2003 and 2012, arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36% in the autumn and 9% in the winter.
- New research published in Nature Climate Change discusses the impacts of lower sea-ice extent onmarine-atmosphere carbon dioxide exchange.
- NASA published a photograph of a research rocket shooting into the aurora in Fairbanks in February. Click here to see the photo and read more about aurora research being conducted through the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska.
- The Guardian provides a simple explanation about permafrost and the implications of climate change.
- Climate Central reports on research published in the journal Science that indicates that permafrost melting could begin sooner and be more widespread than previously believed.
- New research indicates that permafrost exposed to sunlight releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than previously thought.
- Nature Geoscience published research announcing the discovery of a long-searched for source of deep-ocean streams of cold water that help to regulate the Earth’s climate; their methods involved tracking elephant seals off Antarctica.
- Is there still hope that we can limit climate change? The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis says “yes”.
- The Federal Advisory Committee has released a Draft Climate Assessment Report for public review through April 12th and includes a chapter specifically addressing climate change in Alaska and the Arctic.
- The public comment period is also open for the EPA’s Draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
- NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA’s extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazine ClimateWatch.
Read more to find out about the local climate for February 2013
The New Year brought a change in winter weather as the cold, dry conditions experienced in early winter shifted to warmer, wetter conditions at the end of December and lasted throughout most of January. January’s slightly warmer than normal temperatures and precipitation combined to result in wet snow, sleet, and rain for most of the month. A short respite arrived with high pressure during the last week of the month when temperatures plummeted and precipitation ceased. Despite above average monthly precipitation, the warmer conditions in January prevented the accumulation of any fluffy snow and the month ended with Kenai Fjords blanketed in an average depth, wet snowpack. Snow Course measurements conducted at Exit Glacier at the end of January confirm this: the January 2013 snowpack was about average for the last four years although it was 22.5 inches shallower than the January 2012 snowpack (38.5 in and 61 in, respectively). The ratio of snow depth to water content resulted in an 8% denser snowpack this year than last (33% density on February 1, 2013 vs. 25% density on February 1, 2012). To learn more about how this winter’s snow depth and snow water equivalent at Exit Glacier compare to previous winters, see the charts at the end of this summary.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 8.88 inches (110% of normal), .81 inches above the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month. The monthly average temperature for January was 30.0 degrees F; 2.9 degrees F above the 30-year average. January 26th was the windiest day of the month reported at the Seward airport with sustained winds of 22.4 mph and a 5-second wind gust of 53 mph.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s three month weather outlook (February-March-April) favors below normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- A recent National Park Service study of vegetation patterns published in Ecological Monographs indicates that climate change may lead to an increase in abundance and distribution of white spruce in interior Alaska as the tree species expands into areas that are newly thawed.
- To find out which Alaska town has the most snow so far this year, check out the current edition of the Alaska Snow Survey Report and learn more about the 2012-2013 winter snowpack and how it compares to past winters.
- The variability of weather conditions in Alaska can make travel and outdoor recreation tricky to plan. Before you set out, you can see for yourself what the weather is doing by checking out one of the FAA Weather Cameras, distributed around the state and updated every ten minutes.
- NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory has a cool (or maybe it’s hot) running 30-day temperature anomaly map to show how current temperatures compare to the average.
- Speaking of anomalies, the Economist reports on the hottest places on Earth.
- The winter 2012-2013 issue of the Alaska Climate Dispatch provides a recap of “notable weather systems” of 2012 including the early-fall storms of September and the late-fall cold, dry spell experienced on the Kenai Peninsula and across Alaska.
- The Arctic Oscillation (AO) has switched to a negative state. Read more at the National Snow & Ice Data Center to learn about the AO and how it affects sea ice extent and weather.
- NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA’s extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazine ClimateWatch.
Read more to find out about the local climate for January 2013
The Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands Landscape Conservation Cooperative (ABSI LCC) is
a self-directed partnership with a focus on applied science products. The ABSI LCC is in
the process of developing a Strategic Science Plan to help guide its activities in the coming
years. The presentation will also provide an opportunity to share your perspectives on the
pressing management issues and applied science needs for the Aleutian and Bering Sea
Join Douglas Burn and Aaron Poe on:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Time: 3:00-4:00 pm
Bear Mountain Conference Room, Alaska SeaLife Center