Author

Rick Thoman

Rick Thoman

Rick Thoman is an Alaska climate specialist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He lives in Fairbanks.

COMMENTARY

Typhoon Merbok was fueled by an unusually warm Pacific Ocean

By: - September 19, 2022

The powerful remnants of Typhoon Merbok pounded Alaska’s western coast on Sept. 17, 2022, pushing homes off their foundations and tearing apart protective berms as water flooded communities. Storms aren’t unusual here, but Merbok built up over unusually warm water. Its waves reached 50 feet over the Bering Sea, and its storm surge sent water […]

COMMENTARY
Fire burns on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta tundra near the village of St. Mary's on June 13. (Photo by John Kern/BLM Alaska Fire Service)

Alaska on fire

By: - July 8, 2022

Alaska is on pace for another historic wildfire year, with its fastest start to the fire season on record. By mid-June 2022, over 1 million acres had burned. By early July, that number was well over 2 million acres, more than twice the size of a typical Alaska fire season. The Conversation asked Rick Thoman, […]