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Tag: Alaska

Salmon graveyard gives rise to forest in Alaska

Salmon graveyard gives rise to forest in Alaska

Science
Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A 20-year salmon study has helped birth a forest on the banks of a small stream in southwest Alaska. It turns out, carcasses of sockeye salmon encourage tree growth. Every summer, thousands of sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay swim upstream, squeezing into the shallow upper reaches of Hansen Creek. They come to spawn and die. For two decades, researchers have been monitoring the salmon run -- one of the largest in the world -- and tallying the impact of bear predation on the population. Each summer, during the height of the run, scientists walk the river and collected dead salmon, counting the causalities. To ensure they don't double count any dead fish, researchers toss the carcasses onto the banks of the stream. In the hopes the work might produce a measurable impact on t...
Russian bombers intercepted off Alaska for second time this year

Russian bombers intercepted off Alaska for second time this year

World
Two Russian bombers were intercepted off the coast of Alaska recently -- the first flight by the country's bombers off the coast of Alaska since mid-May, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The Russian planes, two TU-95 "Bear" long-range bombers, were flying in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), south of the Aleutian Islands, around noon Saturday when they were intercepted by two F-22 fighters. "The two Russian TU-95 bomber aircraft were intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west," said the spokesperson. "At no time did the Russian bombers enter Canadian or United States sovereign airspace. Citing operational security, NORAD said it would not disclose how close the Rus...
Alaska dive fishermen plead for relief from sea otters

Alaska dive fishermen plead for relief from sea otters

Technology
Northern sea otters, once hunted to the brink of extinction along Alaska's Panhandle, have made a spectacular comeback by gobbling some of the state's finest seafood — and fishermen are not happy about the competition. Sea otters dive for red sea urchins, geoduck clams, sea cucumbers — delicacies in Asia markets — plus prized Dungeness crab. They then carry their meals to the surface and float on their backs as they eat, sometimes using rocks to crack open clams and crab. The furry marine mammals, which grow as large as 100 pounds (45 kilograms), eat the equivalent of a quarter of their weight each day. Phil Doherty, head of the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association, is working to save the livelihood of 200 southeast Alaska fishermen and a $ 10 million in...
Climate change could mean more wildfires in Alaska, northwest Canada

Climate change could mean more wildfires in Alaska, northwest Canada

Science
July 12 (UPI) -- Shortly after midnight on June 22, 2015, lightning struck along Alaska's Elliott Highway, 48km (30 miles) northwest of Fairbanks, igniting black spruce forests and tinder-dry grasses. The Aggie Creek Fire, as it was later called, would go on to burn for more than two months, scorching some 12,100 hectares (30,000 acres) and threatening the state's Alyeska oil pipeline. By the end of 2015, more than 2.06 million hectares (5.1 million acres) had burned in 770 fires across Alaska, an area roughly the size of Connecticut and second to only 2004's record-breaking 2.67 million hectares (6.6 million acres). In 2014, Northwest Territories saw the worst fire season since 1975, when 385 fires burned 3.4 million hectares (8.4 million acres) in the Canadian territory.The majority of f...