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Science & Environment

Science and environmental reporting on news and community topics. Science coverage is occasionally provided by community members.

T. Keith, U.S. Geological Survey

Bogoslof Volcano has exploded more than two dozen times since December, but not all eruptions are created equal.

On Friday, for instance, the Aleutian volcano spit ash about 20,000 feet into the air during a brief half-hour blast that dusted Bogoslof Island and not much else. It was a far cry from last Monday’s eruption.

That event lasted eight hours, spewing ash 35,000 feet high and coating Unalaska -- more than 50 miles away -- with a fine layer. 

Photo by Eric Keto/Alaska’s Energy Desk

 

Across Alaska there are monitoring instruments on 31 of the most active volcanoes, but there’s nothing on the one that’s erupting now.

Courtesy Paul Melovidov

For a long time, scientists thought reindeer would be big losers in climate change, but the reindeer on St. Paul Island are challenging that theory.

As their main winter food source has disappeared, the St. Paul herd has changed its diet so they can survive on the remote island. This adaptation could have global implications for reindeer facing a warming climate.

If there’s one fact everyone agrees on about reindeer, it’s this:

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Since Sunday’s blizzard, road crews have worked extra hours, trying to clear snow from roads across Unalaska.

Deputy Police Chief Jennifer Shockley said continuing snowfall has made that difficult and led to several road closures and car accidents, including three on Wednesday.

“We had a motor vehicle accident with some minor injuries on Airport Beach Road," she said. "We had an accident on Haystack Hill as well as another traffic disruption because of a disabled vehicle. We also had an accident in the Safeway parking lot.”

Northern fur seals at St. Paul Island's Reef rookery.
John Ryan/KUCB

 

Northern fur seal pup production on St. Paul Island has hit its lowest level since 1915.

Every other year members of Seattle’s Marine Mammal Laboratory travel to the Pribilof Islands to estimate how many pups are born. Scientist Rod Towell has been a part of the counts since 1992. He says the difference at the rookeries on St. Paul is striking.

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