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Climate
Frozen methane bubbles in a thermokarst lake in Alaska. Miriam Jones / USGS

Fast-Melting Lakes Could Increase Permafrost Emissions 118 Percent

Scientists may need to more than double their assessment of how much carbon dioxide and methane thawing Arctic permafrost will release into the atmosphere this century, according to a study published this month.

The paper, published in Nature Communications Aug. 15, said that previous estimates for how greenhouse gasses released by thawing permafrost would contribute to global climate change focused on the slow thawing of permafrost near the surface.

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Animals
Black bear in Alaska. C Watts / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Father and Son Charged With Killing Mother Bear and 'Shrieking' Cubs in Den

Andrew Renner, 41, and his son Owen, 18 of Palmer, Alaska were charged this week with several felony and misdemeanor crimes after shooting and killing a mother black bear and her two "shrieking" newborn cubs in their den on Esther Island in Prince William in April.

The pair did not know the bears were part of an observation program by the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Their den was monitored by motion-activated camera, meaning the killings were caught on video and audio.

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Politics
Alaska Wilderness League

Grassroots Fighters for the Arctic Refuge Take the Case to DC

By Rebekah Ashley

Even though our day-to-day existence may be far removed from Arctic Alaska, we must stand for the protection of the Arctic Refuge and ask our representatives to do the same.

Most Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, a majority of us "strongly oppose it." This broad public concern echoed through the halls of Congress during Alaska Wilderness League's Wilderness Week, when more than 25 people from around the country (as far as Alaska and as young as six months) convened in Washington, DC, in late May to advocate for the protection of the Arctic Refuge. Collectively, our group met with more than 60 offices in just three days.

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Climate
Firefighters battle a blaze in a forest in western Sweden, the worst-hit country. Mats Andersson / Getty Images

The Arctic Is Burning: Wildfires Rage from Sweden to Alaska

There are currently 11 wildfires blazing in the Arctic circle, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

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Popular
E. Kahl / National Park Service

America’s Most Obscure Desert Is in Alaska

By Michael Engelhard

Time slipping, a tabula rasa. Footprints erased, slopes advanced, ripples unsculpted. A whole world recast by whims of weather. Besides snowfields and foreshores, few landscapes appear so clean-cut and subtle. Here, emptiness is the main attraction.

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Climate
The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Barrow, AK, with the Arctic Ocean in the background. NOAA

Oil Companies in Alaska Refreeze Melting Permafrost to Keep Drilling

A new industry is taking off in Alaska, as innovators help oil companies compensate for the irony that climate change is making oil exploration harder on the increasingly less frozen permafrost, NPR reported Monday.

Ed Yarmak, for example, heads a company called Arctic Foundations that makes metal tubes filled with a refrigerant called thermosyphons. These are then partly buried in permafrost, where they pull heat from the ground.

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Animals
Brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. NPS Photo / B. Plog

Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska, Conservation Groups Say

The Trump administration has proposed new regulations to overturn an Obama-era rule that protects iconic predators in Alaska's national preserves.

Wildlife protection organizations condemned the move, as it would allow hunters to go to den sites to shoot wolf pups and bear cubs, lure and kill bears over bait, hunt bears with dogs and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Such hunting methods were banned on federal lands in 2015 that are otherwise permitted by the state.

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Climate
The Native Alaskan village of Kivalina is especially vulnerable to climate change. ShoreZone / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Alaska Defies Partisan Climate Divide With Forthcoming Action Plan

Alaska has voted for a Republican for president in every U.S. election since 1964, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Given the growing partisan divide on climate change, one would not expect the state to take action on climate change, let alone acknowledge that it is a problem.

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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Steven Chase, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Investors Controlling $2.5 Trillion Stand With Indigenous People Against Trump Plan to Drill 'Sacred' Arctic Refuge

By Julia Conley

An indigenous group was joined by investors controlling trillions of dollars in assets on Monday as they called for fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them to end efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—making clear that harming the protected land is bad for business as well as destructive to indigenous groups' land and the environment.

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