Increase in sediments such as iron could change quality of water sources for local communities such as Kobuk and Kivalina. The impact on animals and plants are unknown and researchers are aware of potential changes in the food web in the future.
A typical December brings about 6 inches of rain to Unalaska. But the island has already received more than 10 inches this month. Michael Lawson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said an atmospheric river above the Eastern Aleutians acted as a funnel to allow warm and rainy weather to move from the south to the north, directly across the region.
Some 1,600 bats found a temporary home this week in the attic of a Houston Humane Society director, but it wasn’t because they made it their roost. It was a temporary recovery space for the flying mammals after they lost their grip and plunged to the pavement after going into hypothermic shock during the city’s recent cold snap .
Road crews say they’re still working to fully carve out the streets and haul snow away, after the city was hit with a trio of major storms this month. Some of Anchorage’s roads are maintained by the state of Alaska, and others by the city.
Nearly half of Canada's honeybee colonies didn't survive the winter, the largest rate of colony loss in the country in the last 20 years, according to preliminary data. The president of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists calls the finding "pretty disturbing."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 53 million birds across the U.S. have died from highly pathogenic avian influenza. The CDC’s count of 4,000-plus infected is far from reliable. The disease contracting to people is believed to be extremely rare.
Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough schools and state offices are closed Thursday as a third major winter storm this month coated the area with snow overnight Wednesday. “In the past 11 days, we’ve had 41.1 inches of snow which is a lot for Anchorage,” Baines said.
Last week a musk ox gored a 10-year-old Malamute outside of his family’s man camp near the Old Glacier Creek Road. A visiting veterinarian cared for the injured dog commenting on more frequent conflict between musk ox and dogs and an increase in musk ox population.
A week of several freeze and thaw cycles left Nome and the region with puddles on ice and scenes that look more like breakup in spring rather than the customary snowy landscape of December. The rain on ice interrupted normal life in Nome.
All schools in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough are closed Wednesday due to slick roads across the region, as snowfall continues. “This is the heaviest snowfall the Anchorage area has seen in over 20 years,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Shelby. “Our crews are keeping up as best they can.”
December should have sea ice development in Norton Sound. But no sign of ice yet this year. Several storms have moved northward across the western Bering Sea and brought strong winds and bouts of above freezing weather to the Teller area and all of the Bering Strait region.
More than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized in the state since early spring. Since the first case of a deadly strain of avian flu was detected in Alaska in May, more than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized.