Beyond the Arctic Circle, teams of scientists measure widening slumps as ice melts beneath the tundra. They scuff through tussocks blackened by unexpected fires, and search for fish in drought-depleted streams.
The researchers are taking the pulse of a warming Earth in a landscape supremely adapted to cold, one that may be an early-warning zone for lands far south.
"It's not just an Alaska thing," said Syndonia "Donie" Bret-Harte, associate science director at Toolik Field Station. "What goes on here has a potential to influence the rest of the Lower 48."
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