Another beautiful, sunny day in the arctic today. Team Squirrel spent the morning at the Atigun River site near the Arctic National Wildlife refuge. There, we downloaded weather station and soil temperature data from permanent data logging probes installed in soil near ground squirrel burrows. This data helps to understand the environmental conditions experienced by the squirrel during the past year. Though the squirrel's body temperature drops to below the freezing point (-2.9 degrees), the surrounding soil gets much colder (-10).

 Jeanette Moore downloading
Jeanette Moore downloading the soil temperature data logger. The loggers maintain a record of soil and air temperature throughout the year.

Soil Temperature graph
Soil temperature data for two years showing both air temp and 1 meter below ground where squirrels hibernate.

The upper graph shows air temperature. Note that the first low point is the winter of 2013 with a low of -35 dec C. The winter of 2014 was slightly milder.
The second graph shows soil temperatures 1 meter below the surface near the depth of squirrel hibernacula. The lows are around -10 C; Again, it was warmer this past winter than in 2013.

Squirrel eating carrot
This squirrel kept raiding our trap, and eating all the carrots. His name is George (Clooney)

Golden Plover
This beauty is an American golden Plover.

There are a number of active pairs of American Golden Plovers in the area. These are one of the record holders for single non-stop migration distance over open ocean as they travel around 2500 miles from Labrador to the northern coast of South America each fall. From there, they continue over the Amazon to the Pampas grasslands of Patagonia.

Weather Summary
Sunny, no wind, warm!


Daniel Oro

Dear colleagues,

Just a simple question regarding the figure on airt T ºC: as far as I see, you recorded T up to 40 ºC, which look to me extremely high for such type of climatic region. Can you please confirm if I'm right and what would be the reason for such high temperatures? Was the device exposed to the sun and protected aginst wind or the like?

Thanks in advacne for your response