Commentary

A mother polar bear with two cubs rests on the snowy shore of Kaktovik Lagoon on the North Slope on Sept. 23, 2018. The lagoon is connected to the Beaufort Sea and is part of the Arctic marine ecosystem that is the subject of a NOAA Fisheries climate research plan being developed to guide work through 2024. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

How Russian isolation due to its Ukraine invasion has halted Arctic co-operation

BY: and - October 6, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought about significant geopolitical shifts. Lines have been drawn and alliances solidified, leaving little space for ambiguity, especially among western states. The Arctic region was affected by these changes as western states imposed sanctions on Russia for its blatant violations of international law. The activities of the Arctic Council, […]

African psychologist hold hands of girl patient, close up. Teenage overcome break up, unrequited love. Abortion decision. Psychological therapy, survive personal crisis, individual counselling concept (Photo by Fizkes/Getty Images)

Increasing sexual assault response resources must be a priority in Alaska

BY: - October 5, 2022

Alaska has the highest rape rate in the entire United States. In 2020, Alaska reported 154.8 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants. The national average was 38.4.  While working as a scribe in the Providence emergency department and as a crisis line responder for Standing Together Against Rape Alaska (STAR), I discovered there are many barriers to […]

Hurricane Ian’s water vapor on Sept. 28, 2022, meant heavy rainfall for large parts of Florida. (NOAA image)

Here’s what’s known about how climate change fuels tropical cyclones

BY: and - October 3, 2022

When Hurricane Ian hit Florida, it was one of the United States’ most powerful hurricanes on record, and it followed a two-week string of massive, devastating storms around the world. A few days earlier in the Philippines, Typhoon Noru gave new meaning to rapid intensification when it blew up from a tropical storm with 50 […]

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 13: Baby formula is offered for sale at a big box store on January 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Baby formula has been is short supply in many stores around the country for several months. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Butter, garage doors and SUVs: Why shortages remain common 2½ years into the pandemic

BY: - September 30, 2022

Shortages of basic goods still plague the U.S. economy – 2½ years after the pandemic’s onset turned global supply chains upside down. Want a new car? You may have to wait as long as six months, depending on the model you order. Looking for a spicy condiment? Supplies of Sriracha hot sauce have been running […]

Registered Nurse Orlyn Grace (L) administers a COVID-19 booster vaccination to Jeanie Merriman (R) at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in this year in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When should you get the new COVID-19 booster and the flu shot? Now is the right time for both

BY: - September 29, 2022

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly everyone has experienced the panic and uncertainty that come with having mild COVID-like symptoms – such as a cough and sore throat – only to test negative day after day. With cold and flu season just around the corner, that state of frustrating uncertainty is likely to […]

A look into the heart of the glacier. CC BY-NC-ND

Listening to the song of melting glaciers

BY: - September 28, 2022

August 22, 2022. Kongsvegen glacier, 20 km west of Ny Ålesund, Svalbard archipelago, Norway. This is it, we have reached the bottom of the glacier. It is 327m under our feet. After drilling into the ice for six hours, our hot-water jet blasts into the sediment. The hose that connects it to the surface stops […]

Seasonal streams are a focus of an upcoming case before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo by Eric Vance, U.S. EPA)

Supreme Court will revisit a wetlands question it has struggled with in the past

BY: - September 27, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court opens its new session on Oct. 3, 2022, with a high-profile case that could fundamentally alter the federal government’s ability to address water pollution. Sackett v. EPA turns on a question that courts and regulators have struggled to answer for several decades: Which wetlands and bodies of water can the federal […]

A different world … inside the Stan Terg mine. (Photo by Bridget Storrie)

To reach net zero the world still needs mining

BY: - September 26, 2022

On the wooded hill above the Stan Terg lead and zinc mine in Kosovo, there is an old concrete diving platform looming over what was once an open-air swimming pool. Before the break-up of Yugoslavia, people who worked at the mine would bring their families here to swim, sunbathe on the wide terrace with its […]

(Photo by WIN-Initiative/Neleman/Getty Images)

On Losing My Best Childhood Friend to Gun Violence

BY: - September 24, 2022

On the early Saturday morning of Sept. 26, 1998, I woke up to my dad coming into my bedroom carrying the Anchorage Daily News. The front page headline was that my best childhood friend had been shot and murdered. I was 15 years old and still coming to terms with many things the wide world […]

(Getty Images)

Alaska Online Checkbook Act will shine a light on state government’s finances

BY: - September 22, 2022

The Alaska Online Checkbook Act (AOCA) became the law of the land earlier this month. The AOCA’s legislative intent is to promote transparency and to improve the disclosure of our Alaska government’s revenue and expenditures. The Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG) championed the legislation, known as Senate Bill 25 and sponsored by Sen. Bill […]

A kelp forest in the Sitka Sound is seen in this photo. (Alaska ShoreZone Program Photo/NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC; Courtesy of Mandy Lindeberg, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC)

Ever heard of ocean forests? They’re larger than the Amazon and more productive than we thought

BY: , and - September 20, 2022

Amazon, Borneo, Congo, Daintree. We know the names of many of the world’s largest or most famous rainforests. And many of us know about the world’s largest span of forests, the boreal forests stretching from Russia to Canada. But how many of us could name an underwater forest? Hidden underwater are huge kelp and seaweed […]

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 […]