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Tagged : alaska


‘Chasing Ice’: Powerful film captures gorgeous, undeniably vanishing glaciers

October 18th, 2013

It was with some trepidation that I settled in to watch Chasing Ice, a movie about the rapidly vanishing glaciers that contain the majority of earth’s freshwater. But it didn’t leave me or my fellow viewers feeling helpless, and it didn’t harangue us with a fire hose of facts. Rather it did what great movies are supposed to do, and what the film’s protagonist has been working for years to do: It showed us that the earth’s warming temperatures and seas are melting arctic ice at a scary pace.


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Here’s how Shell’s errant arctic oil rig made it to safety

January 9th, 2013

The fate of Shell’s deep sea oil platform, the Kulluk, captured attention last week when it cut loose in choppy seas and ran aground on Kodiak Island in Alaska. Observers held their breath, waiting to hear if the rig had been damaged and was leaking oil. It wasn’t.


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Pebble mine could devastate Alaskan salmon, EPA report warns

May 21st, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that the proposed large-scale Pebble Mine development in the hills above Alaska’s Bristol Bay could cause devastating habitat loss for the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. In a draft rep…


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New web tool shows how climate change will worsen extreme heat, drought

August 4th, 2011

Climate change is expected to lead to worsening drought conditions and greater heat extremes, along with myriad health problems. And a new web tool created by the Natural Resources Defense Council lets you see read just how badly your state could be impacted by climate change.


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NASA space photos capture global warming’s dramatic impact

February 26th, 2010

Global warming skeptics have had a field day lampooning reported irregularities in data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — concluding that climate change is essentially a hoax. But NASA has just released dramatic images, some of which date back almost a decade, that stand as compelling evidence that the impact that humans have on our environment is having a profound impact on not only our weather patterns, but on the planet as well.

From floods and droughts to heat waves and ice melt, NASA says the impact of a warming world is being manifested ways that are clearly documented by its satellite cameras in space. These images are published with the permission of NASA. You can see a larger image on the NASA site by clicking the image:

wilkins_ice_shelf

Image taken on April 12, 2009 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. (Photo: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a thick slab of ice on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Since 2008, it has experienced several breakups. NASA says the ice began to rapidly retreat in February and in May another breakup occurred. Fresh cracks appeared on the shelf in late November 2008 and by the beginning of 2009, a narrow ice bridge was all that remained to connect the ice shelf to ice fragments fringing nearby Charcot Island. NASA reports that bridge gave way in early April 2009. This image was taken just days after the ice bridge rupture. “Since ice reflects light from the sun, as polar ice caps melt, less sunlight gets reflected into space,” NASA says. “It is instead absorbed by the ocean and land, increasing surface heat budgets and fueling further melting.”


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Alaska: It’s not all about oil; Kodiak wind co-op wins DOE award

February 15th, 2010

From Green Right Now Reports

This month the Kodiak Electric Association proved that there’s more to the Alaskan energy landscape than oil wells and pipelines.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association named the co-op the 2009 Wind Cooperative of the Year.

The award, announced the TechAdvantage Conference in Atlanta last week, recognizes the Alaskan cooperative’s Pillar Mountain Wind Project, which is the first utility-scale wind facility. The operation is expected to be a valuable pilot effort at integrating a large wind generation facility into an isolated grid system.


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We say we’re green, but…

July 20th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

This was a week of news that really illustrated the push and pull between green ideals and the realities of life here on Planet X.

The Obama Administration put logging jobs ahead of forest preservation with its decision to allow a road into an undisturbed forest in the Tongass National Forest outside of Ketchikan, Alaska. The forest, a watershed and recreation area, had been left alone under a Clinton-era rule that protects “roadless” forests.


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Palin, Biden: Where They Stand On Energy And The Environment

September 10th, 2008

By Shermakaye Bass

Republican presidential candidate Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has historically opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), has been uncharacteristically taciturn on the energy issue since he chose pro-drilling Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Green-energy proponents find that ominous.

“With the pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate, John McCain’s race towards the Bush administration’s failed energy policy is now complete,” Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said recently. “… No one is closer to the the oil industry than Governor Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. …She has been dismissive of alternative energy, saying ‘alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop’, when in reality it is the oil she would like to drill that would take a decade to bring to market.”

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) in Washington, D.C., showed a similar concern over Palin.

“Obviously, it’s a very disappointing pick for a (presidential) candidate who at one time made a priority of getting us away from the old fossil fuels of the past – Sen. McCain,” said David Sandretti, the League’s communications director.


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Vanishing Sea Ice

August 30th, 2008

By Barbara Kessler

Satellite pictures of the Arctic suggest that this year’s summer melt likely will be worse than last year’s, providing a dramatic demonstration of how global warming can snowball — no pun intended.

As the ice melts back farther and farther each summer, it loses its ability to reflect heat from the earth, becoming a contributor to, as well as a victim of, global warming. In addition, as the permafrost of the Arctic regions warms, it releases stored carbon, adding to greenhouse gases, and furthering the escalation of warming temperatures, scientists say. All this bad news, unfortunately doesn’t have any quick fixes, but will continue escalating until and unless global warming is stalled or reduced.


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