In her NY Times blog, Olivia Judson gives an ovation to Archaea. This domain of organisms gets none of the recognition of their more famous kin, Bacteria and Eukaryotes despite their unusual biology. As she describes, some members of the group Archaea have extreme tolerance to temperature and pH, thriving in the boiling acids found in hot springs and the bottom of ocean vents. All known methane producing microbes are found among the Archaea.
In August of 2008, I met a journalist in Alaska named Bob Reiss who was doing a story on Barrow, Alaska for Outside magazine. That article mostly covered why the Coast Guard is expanding its presence along the Arctic coast. In the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine, Bob has another nice article covering Barrow as “Ground Zero for Climate Change.” Here he focuses more on life in Barrow, both for scientists and residents.