'Alaska scientists aim at
offering climate services'
By Pete Ellsworth
March 12, 2007
This is a response t the article 'Alaska scientists aim at offering
climate services'. These are my thoughts on this study and proposed
When I read the purpose of the program I was very impressed with
scientists using NOAA data to better help the needs of the people
in Alaska with information they want and need for climatic information
changes. Then I saw what I think may be a problem, possibly it
is just from my not understanding what these scientist would
be doing is the 3 pilot projects. The project outlined didn't
seem to mesh with the public needs or purpose of the proposed
When I read 'how climate change is interacting with other stresses
on Yukon Flats villages' I wondered what does other stresses
have to do with weather changes? Why was 'other stresses' put
into the project name? The need as outlined was for climatic
changes effecting these villages. The way this is written this
could become a study into the social structure, hunting for subsistance
or about anything else; rather than the purpose the original
purpose to give the people the needed information on what the
climatic condition changes will be that will effect their lives
and what they might do to counter these changes.
Next the effects of midwinter pumping of tundra ponds to make
ice roads on the North Slope. The need to study the effects of
pumping seem to be far from the identified purpose of what the
changing weather conditions and have on the people. It was not
a study on what effects the pumping has on the tundra or the
roads. Is it the purpose of this study plan to change or stop
the pumping or to give people living there knowledge of how the
changing weather will effect there travels and lives.
I totally agree with the purpose and need of the original project;
I just think these projects may get side-tracked on doing what
scientists choose rather than what the actual needs of the people
are. I have been through enough of these type projects, here
in Idaho, working with the US Forest Service to know this can
and often does happen. What seemed to be a good project to start
with ends up doing absolutely nothing for the need it was supposed
to help. What they can do is provide several of scientist/biologists
and others, money to work on a project and charge it off to someone
else and accomplish nothing for the purpose it was intended.
What might work better is the scientists to work on the project
and if they are able to come up with information that the people
need then they get paid; otherwise they have done it pro bono.
This might teach them to make sure what they are doing is what
the people need and want.
Just a thought from an outsider that has worked on several proposed
federal projects that were a total waste of money and time.
Received March 10, 2007 - Published March 12, 2007
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
Alaska scientists aim at offering climate
services By Ned Rozell
- Seasons are not what they once were in Alaska. Ice roads on
Alaska's North Slope have a shorter lifespan than they had 30
years ago. The extent of sea ice hugging the northern coastlines
gets smaller every year. These changes affect Alaskans and people
who work in Alaska, and a few scientists just received funding
to make climate science user-friendly for those people. - More...
Sunday - March 04, 2007
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