Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Norton Sound Sea Ice

Bering Sea Norton Sound - Photo (c) Laurent Dick - Wild Alaska Travel That’s how barren Norton Sound looks like outside of Nome. I have never seen it so wind scoured at this time of the year. The windchill is driving the temperatures into the 20 below range. Needess to say that the conditions for the Iditarod mushers are very, very tough.

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Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Antarctic Conditions In Alaska's Arctic

Freeze up Arctic Ocean Kaktovik - Photo (c) Laurent Dick - Wild Alaska TravelThe early arrival of winter has caused a fast freeze up of the lagoon around Kaktovik. The ice conditions here are definitely reminiscent of what I have encountered in Antarctica. The boating is nothing short of epic, as we inch slowly forward  and break through new layers of ice.

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Monday, August 19th, 2013
Arctic Sea Ice – A Disappearing Habitat

Ice Pack Canadian Arctic - (c) Laurent Dick - Wild Alaska TravelAerial view of the Arctic sea ice on our flight back from Europe to Alaska. According to Canadian scientist Dr. Ian Sterling, the continuous loss of sea ice is changing the entire northern ecosystem, “The massive loss of sea ice in the Arctic (over 2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea ice since the end of the last century) is happening so fast that species there cannot evolve fast enough to adapt. Sea ice is a habitat in itself, sort of like the soil to the forest. If you take away the soil you don’t have a forest. If you take away the sea ice, you don’t have the whole ecosystem of animals and plants that depends on it.”

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Alaska Polar Bears And Climate Change

Polar bears have evolved for a life on the sea ice, which they rely on for reaching their seal prey that sustains them. But the Arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing due to a warming Earth, affecting the entire Arctic ecosystem, from copepods to seals to walruses and polar bears. Longer and longer ice-free seasons test the limits of the polar bears’ fat reserves. Who could have imagined such a scenario for these iconic and powerful predators just a few years ago?

 

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Abstract Beauty of Norton Sound

Aerial view of shore-fast sea ice, open leads and wind waves in Norton Sound near the Topkok Hills east of Nome. Wished we could have circled endlessly over these beautiful abstract patterns…

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Friday, May 13th, 2011
Circulating Ocean Currents And Climate Change

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The study of ocean currents is strikingly similar to meteorology, demonstrating the interconnectedness of oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Like air masses in the atmosphere, the movement of water masses shifts the heat balance for the Earth. Also like air movement in the atmosphere, we can see that the coriolis effect and density differences play the major roles in dictating the paths the water will travel, as in this aerial view of sea ice drifting off the southern Greenland coast. The coriolis effect makes ocean currents curve to the right (clockwise) in the northern hemisphere and to the left (counter-clockwise) in the southern hemisphere. This way it forms large circular ocean currents known as gyres. Scientists are concerned that melting water in the Arctic Ocean could change global ocean circulation patterns, alter climate and decimate marine fisheries. Freshwater is accumulating in the Arctic Ocean due to recent increases in melting ice, and scientists are concerned about the impacts this “massive, growing pool” of meltwater would have if it were to flow out into the North Atlantic Ocean. An influx of freshwater in the North Atlantic Ocean could change global ocean circulation patterns, alter climate and decimate marine fisheries. According to oceanographer …

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Norton Sound Sea Ice

Nome Sea Ice

I have been updating my archives, and although it’s a tedious process it also gives me the opportunity for a nostalgic walk down memory lane. A look at my Nome archive reminded me of the amazing sea ice formations, the incredible light of mid-winter and the sweeping vistas that are so much part of northwestern Alaska.

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Monday, May 23rd, 2005
Sea Ice

The endless labyrinth of jumbled ice outside of Nome is a great place to loose myself in the magic light of the Arctic. The sun sets later every day, and her magic warm evening glow illuminates the jungle of ice formations.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2005
Norton Sound Sunset

As spring progresses, the sun’s trajectory on the horizon becomes longer and longer. But this flood of light is deceiving, because much of the land fast ice may be here for weeks to come.

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