The ice that has cut off a remote Alaska town for months will connect it to the world again when crews build a path over it to carry fuel from a Russian tanker that was moored a half-mile from the town’s harbor Sunday morning….
…A Coast Guard cutter cleared a path through hundreds of miles of Bering Sea ice for the tanker….
…The tanker began its journey from Russia in mid-December and has slowly made its way toward Nome, stalled by thick ice, strong ocean currents and one Alaska’s snowiest winters in memory. It picked up diesel fuel in South Korea, then headed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where it took on unleaded gasoline. Late Thursday, the vessels stopped offshore and began planning the transfer to Nome, more than 500 miles from Anchorage on Alaska’s west coast….
Such a strange and wonderful thing for those of us who grew up in the ’40’s and ’50’s!
“This is a very interesting discovery for several reasons,” said Craig Smith, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. “First, it provides evidence that king crabs can now disperse across the Antarctic shelf, and reproduce in at least some Antarctic shelf waters. It also suggests that these predatory king crabs will cause a major reduction on seafloor biodiversity as they invade Antarctic habitats because they appear to be eating all the echinoderms in the Palmer Deep.”