Muddy Landscapes Lead to Sticky Situations


Hi, my name is Kevin, and as a scientist with the ARCPSIN Expedition team, I've journeyed up to the northernmost region in the United States to sample the land, air and water. My fellow scientists (and one filmaker) are based in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, where we are trying to find what could get into the air from the frozen land (called permafrost) that is thawing.

Permafrost is thawing because the climate is warming. Some of the material from permafrost could affect how long clouds last and the overall weather and climate in the area. The difference between weather and climate can be confusing because you can’t see the climate changing over one day. If you look outside right now and it’s raining, that is called the weather and it changes all the time. Some days are hot, while some days are cold. Climate is how it typically feels outside, like how it is usually hot in the summer and snows during the winter. We are concerned with how the climate is changing in the Arctic.

We are sampling in the frozen Arctic environment to try and make climate predictions more accurate in the future. To get around the Arctic for our samples, we need a mix of many modes of transportation, including trucks, boats, and by foot!

How do people get around?:

Our team traveled to Utqiaġvik by airplane.