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The lake that vanished On the morning of June 29th, Susan and Tim Tessier left their cabin for a day's outing. Their family's allotment is located a few miles north of Kotzebue on a coastal bluff near a tundra lake. They had been noticing erosion in the area since the rainy summer and fall of 2021. Nothing too dramatic yet, but that was about to change. When they returned home in the evening, they realized that something crazy had happened. The lake was gone!! A channel in the side had drained the entire area in a matter of hours, pouring thousands of gallons of water into the Chukchi Sea. The photographs that Susan took were striking, showing the drained lake bed, the bodies of dead shrimp at the bottom, and a channel through permafrost which acted like the drain in a bath tub. It was a loss of a special feature of their land, and a source for ice and drinking water in the cold months. Susan and her sister Jackie posted the observation to LEO Network. Since it was published, it has received a lot of attention from the permafrost science community. Ingmar Nitze from the Alfred Wegener Institute pulled infrared satellite imagery to show the lake change. His colleague Guido Grosse combed through aerial images taken last year from a DC-3 to analyze conditions before the event. Ben Jones from USGS made a site visit, captured drone imagery and performed sampling in the dry lake basin. All of these contributions and more have been captured in the post. It is a great example of the kind of constuctive dialogue and collaborations that can occur between local knowledge and topic experts around a specific event; dialogue that can help us to understand vulnerabilities, trends and the natural processes behind these changes. Interestingly, another lake draining event was described in an Anchorage Daily News article a week later, this time near Nuiqsut on the North Slope. There are still many questions about the event near Kotzebue. Why did the lake drain so suddenly? How did climate change, temperature and precipitation factor in? What does the event tell us about the future of this property and other lakes in the Northwest Arctic? With Susan Tessier's observation, we are one step closer to some answers. See also from the LEO Resilience Desk, a story from Iceland Review as another carbon capture facility is brought online. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Wales, Alaska, United States
The Nome Nugget / August 30, 2022

After alerting the region to very high levels of harmful algal blooms west of Kotzebue and Gambell two weeks ago, scientist onboard the research vessel Norseman II have found even higher numbers of Alexandrium catenella algae cells near Wales, Diomede and Shishmaref.

Read article on The Nome Nugget



Kotzebue, Alaska, United States
Susan Tessier, Bruce Forbes, Guido Grosse, Benjamin Jones, Ingmar Nitze, Vladimir Romanovsky and Jacqualine Schaeffer / LEO Network / June 29, 2022

"The event occurred on June 29th, on our native allotment near Kotzebue (Illivak). We left home in the morning and when we came back around 8:00 PM in the evening the whole lake had drained! It looked like it was blown up with dynamite."

Read post on the LEO Network



Rälla, Kalmar, Sweden
Sveriges Radio / Radio Sweden / August 29, 2022

Dry weather and poor feed harvests are to blame for the predicted increase as farmers are deciding to sent their livestock in earlier than planned.

Read article on Radio Sweden



Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland
RÚV / August 29, 2022

Suspended particulates' concentration in the capital area was high today due to a sandstorm on the desert sands of South Iceland, the city of Reykjavik warned at noon.

Read article on RÚV



Moscow, Russia
The Moscow Times / August 29, 2022

The fires affecting Moscow are concentrated in the Ryazan region, some 250 kilometers to the south. This is not the first time smog has appeared in Moscow in recent months, with local authorities advising residents to wear masks to protect themselves earlier this month.

Read article on The Moscow Times



Forillon National Park, Quebec, Canada
Carolyn Blushke / Healthy Wildlife / June 14, 2022

The bear was exhibiting strange behavior, wandered between vehicles, went down to the water in a fishing harbor, began to swim around in circles, came out and hit a wall.

Read article on Healthy Wildlife



Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Connecticut Public / August 23, 2022

Federal officials have declared a drought-related disaster in Rhode Island while New England’s second-largest city is restricting outdoor water use as the drought in the Northeast worsens.

Read article on Connecticut Public



Iceland Review / June 29, 2022

A new plant in Iceland will capture 36,000 tons of carbon dioxide directly out of the atmosphere, increasing the direct air carbon capture at Hellisheiði Power Station tenfold. Named Mammoth, the new facility adds to the existing 4,000 tons captured by the plant Orca, which commenced operations at the same location in 2021.

Read article on Iceland Review



The Northern Climate Observer is published by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events.

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