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Articles on Alaska

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Washington state was home to some of the nation’s first dispensaries for legalized marijuana. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Legalizing recreational pot may have spurred economic activity in first 4 states to do so

Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon all experienced big increases in both deposits and lending shortly after legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
The Denali Highway as it crosses the Susitna River. Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Infrastructure bill passed by Congress promises billions for bridge repair – rural Alaska shows the growing need as temperatures rise

Alaska is warming faster than any other U.S. state, and that’s causing problems, a team of bridge engineers and social scientists explains. The infrastructure bill in Congress would offer some help.
A helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Alaska. Michael Risinger/U.S. Army National Guard

As extreme fires transform Alaska’s boreal forest, deciduous trees put a brake on carbon loss and how fast the forest burns

A new study finds more deciduous trees like aspen are growing in after severe fires in the region, and that has some unexpected impacts.
Permafrost is thawing across the Arctic, releasing microbes and organic materials that have been trapped in the frozen ground for thousands of years. NOAA via Wikimedia Commons

Thawing permafrost is full of ice-forming particles that could get into atmosphere

New research shows that permafrost contains huge amounts of particles that make it easier for cloud moisture to freeze. Thawing permafrost is releasing these ice-nucleating particles.
A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming, photographed in 2008. Greg Goebel/Flickr

It’s time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what’s next

The pandemic recession has reduced US energy demand, roiling budgets in states that are major fossil fuel producers. But politics and culture can impede efforts to look beyond oil, gas and coal.
This Arctic heat wave has been unusually long-lived. The darkest reds on this map of the Arctic are areas that were more than 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer in the spring of 2020 compared to the recent 15-year average. Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

100 degrees in Siberia? 5 ways the extreme Arctic heat wave followed a disturbing pattern

The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the planet as a whole, with serious consequences. Scientists have been warning about this for decades.
The January 2019 collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, sent mining tailings and mud over the landscape for miles, destroying this bridge and killing 300 people. Andre Penner/AP

Mine waste dams threaten the environment, even when they don’t fail

Dams built to hold enormous quantities of toxic mining waste have a long history of spills. Decisions in the Pacific Northwest threaten three free-flowing rivers there.
Smoke from wildfires in Siberia drifts east toward Canada and the U.S. on July 30, 2019. NASA

Huge wildfires in the Arctic and far North send a planetary warning

A researcher based in Fairbanks, Alaska, links 2019’s record-breaking wildfires in far northern regions of the world to climate change, and describes what it’s like as zones near her city burn.

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