News Archive

January 26, 2017
The second-largest earthquake on the planet in 1904 happened somewhere in Alaska. It could have been St. Michael, Rampart, Fairbanks, Coldfoot or a place called Sunrise on the Kenai Peninsula. People felt the magnitude 7.3 at each place.   If an earthquake happens today, within a few minutes Alaska Earthquake Center researchers post a map with its latitude/longitude (the epicenter) and the...
January 19, 2017
Hello old friend.   I thought you were dead. Sorry, but remember last year, when you didn't show up? It was the first recorded winter in Fairbanks when the thermometer at the airport didn't register minus 30 Fahrenheit. I didn't know what to think.   But here you are, a blob straight from the North Pole, squatting over middle Alaska. No records, but some impressive, dimly remembered...
December 22, 2016
T. Neil Davis has died at 84, in his Fairbanks home.   The scientist/author/doer was a graduate student and later director at UAF's Geophysical Institute. In the dynamic early days of the place where people study everything from the center of the Earth to the center of the sun, Davis was there: flying over Lituya Bay to see hillsides scarred to 1,700 feet by the tallest splash wave ever...
December 15, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO — On rare winter mornings here, a skim of ice forms on sidewalk puddles. But water's solid form is mostly an abstraction in this land of blooming flowers and the hummingbirds that visit them. Except for the week of the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.   Dozens of the 22,000 scientists gathering here for the week are talking about ice, mostly about how much of...
December 8, 2016
A lynx that roamed more than 200 miles from Kluane Lake in the Yukon Territory to near Chitina is still being tracked across the Alaska landscape, thanks to a curious couple living off the Edgerton Highway.   Ralph and Linda Lohse first met the animal Canada researchers call Max on an October night.   "My wife saw a lynx out there, sitting next to the chicken coop like a lion,...
December 1, 2016
Joanna Young does not seem to fear change very much. She first came to Fairbanks from Egypt, where her parents were teaching English and running a school. Raised in Toronto, she knew what cold was. But this was January 2010, a colder-than-average month. The temperature bottomed out at minus 41 F as she arrived.   "It was a good climate shock and a good culture shock," said Young, 32, who...
October 27, 2016
After Hurricane Ike in 2008 shoved six feet of water into downtown Galveston, Texas, people there had the attention of all America. But two days later, lawyers for Lehman Brothers filed the largest bankruptcy in America's history. The Federal Reserve bailed out insurance giant A.I.C. with an $85 billion payment, and Americans were paying attention to other things.   That was too bad for...
January 4, 2017
Glaciers and ice sheets move in unique and sometimes surprising patterns, as evidenced by a new capability that uses satellite images to map the speed of flowing ice in Greenland, Antarctica and mountain ranges around the world. With imagery and data from Landsat 8, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists are providing a near-real-time view of every large glacier and...
January 4, 2017
Improved satellite technology is allowing researchers to more accurately measure how glacier ice could affect global sea levels. A team of international scientists, including Mark Fahnestock of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, have studied thousands of satellite images taken since 2013 to gauge how rapidly glacier ice is being dumped into the ocean. The analysis, using...
January 4, 2017
A NASA-sponsored field experiment is providing new insight about the levels of methane escaping from Arctic lakes. Using satellite imagery, University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers have been measuring bubbles beneath the ice of lakes throughout Alaska. By analyzing data from numerous sites, the project aims to estimate the amount of methane being released to the atmosphere through thermokarst...