2009, Oceanography 22(4):10–15, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.115
Cheryl Lyn Dybas, a contributing writer for Oceanography, is a marine scientist and policy analyst by training. She also writes about the seas for The Washington Post, BioScience, National Wildlife, The Scientist, Africa Geographic, and many other publications.
Dust, winds, and waters. Bears and humans. All swirl together on this late summer afternoon in 2008 in Bear Head Lake State Park, Minnesota. A dry spell has turned dirt roads into arid trackways. Hints of winter's cool breezes blow from the north. Stealing beneath jackets, they run chill fingers up spines.
The spotted owl of Russia, it's been called. Like the spotted owl, the endangered Blakiston's fish owl, Ketupa blakistoni, endemic to northeast Asia and the world's largest owl, relies on old-growth tree cavities for nesting and is threatened by logging operations.
North-northwest to Greenland, a bear faces a more immediate threat. Ursus maritimus, the "maritime bear" best known as the polar bear, is melting.
It was a storm even Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer couldn't find his way in. Rain-on-snow, it's called, this freezing rain that pockmarks a solid snowpack—and leads, at least in the Far North, to the deaths of tens of thousands of ungulates like musk oxen, caribou, and reindeer.
Dybas, C.L. 2009. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 22(4):10–15, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.115.