"The young, the elderly and the weakened in Fairbanks risk accelerated health problems every winter because of particulate. Much of it comes from wood smoke produced by homeowners trying to cut their fuel bills."
Alaska and Hawaii
"A photojournalist charters a flight to see just how close Shell's offshore rig is to the protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Turns out a photo is worth a lot more than a bunch of GPS coordinates."
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The group aiming to develop a giant copper and gold mine in the Bristol Bay area is vetting the scientific studies that underlay its work, turning to a Colorado-based non-profit with expertise in environmental conflict resolution. But critics of the proposed Pebble mine are having little of it."
"A team of biologists has just announced the first documented case of bird-to-bird malaria transmission in Alaska. Writing in the journal PLOS ONE, they've shown that this frequently fatal avian illness, which is normally associated with the tropics and temperate areas, may be expanding its range. Fortunately, avian malaria doesn't affect humans, co-author Ravinder Sehgal of San Francisco State University said, but the findings are particularly significant from a bird conservation as well as a climate change standpoint."
"ANCHORAGE -- More than four years after Royal Dutch Shell paid $2.8 billion to the federal government for petroleum leases in the Chukchi Sea, a company vessel on Sunday morning sent a drill bit into the ocean floor, beginning preliminary work on an exploratory well 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska."
"Alaska health officials, concerned about amateur miners seeking riches in a modern-day mini gold rush, plan to test prospectors in the town of Nome for mercury exposure for fear that archaic mining techniques may be inadvertently harming their bodies."
"The Department of Interior on Monday proposed a mixture of new oil and gas development and environmental protections in a vast swathe of Arctic land."
"As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks to explore for oil this summer in Alaska's northern waters, the Arctic sea ice is melting at a record pace, breaking the record low-ice levels set in 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The one big exception, however, is the Chukchi Sea, where Shell is hoping to explore for oil this summer."
"Two Canadian biologists have reported sighting a handful of grizzly bears and hybrid grizzly/polar bears at unusually high latitudes in the Arctic, indicating that the interbreeding of the two bear species is becoming more common as the climate warms and grizzlies venture farther north."
"Shell is scaling back plans to drill up to five wells in Arctic waters this summer amid a series of setbacks, including stubborn sea ice still clinging to Alaska’s shores and delays in construction of an emergency oil spill containment barge."