A scientist named Victor Hessler once made an aurora detector by driving two metal rods in the ground a few hundred feet apart and stringing a wire between them. When voltage changed along the wire, a bell rang.
If a lake drains on top of the world, will anyone hear it? Ben Jones and Chris Arp did. The Anchorage- and Fairbanks-based scientists placed sensors in a bathtub-shaped lake on Alaska's northern coast a few years ago.
As he contemplates another long snowmachine journey, Matthew Sturm might consider packing a raincoat. Rain fell in Interior Alaska a few weeks before his trip, glazing supercooled highways and forming a crust on the snowpack.
Fairbanks's air turns bitter every winter as we fill it with woodsmoke and other things, but just down the road Denali National Park has the clearest air measured among America's monitored national parks.
On a February day long ago, a family living in a sod hut near the Arctic Ocean saw blocks of sea ice bulldozing their way onto shore. Winds shoved more ice until the mass towered above them and started dripping water through a ventilation hole.