Ravenna Koenig

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We're going way up north for our next story to a ship in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. The scientists aboard are there to do fieldwork, which is easier said than done, as Ravenna Koenig reports.

Arctic sea ice is one of the most dramatic indicators of the changing climate. Ice cover on the Arctic Ocean is in some months about half what it was decades ago, and its thickness has shrunk, by some estimates 40%.

High up in the Arctic Ocean close to the North Pole, a solitary ship floats in darkness, moored to an expansive piece of ice.

If all goes according to plan, the ship will remain with that ice for an entire year, so that scientists on board can study the Arctic system and how it's responding to climate change.

One of the most ambitious polar science expeditions in history just passed a critical hurdle.

After months of monitoring the ice by satellite and several days of surveying specific ice floes in the central Arctic Ocean, the scientists of the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) have selected the piece of ice they plan to freeze into for the next year.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The mission is known as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC. Its overarching goal is to collect a vast trove of data that can help improve how the Arctic is represented in climate models.

To do that, a group of scientists will try to freeze an icebreaker into the ice — for an entire year.

If you want to incorporate quality time with animals into your yoga practice, you have a lot of options these days. There's puppy yoga, cat yoga, and perhaps the most famous — goat yoga.

Now, in Fairbanks, Alaska, there's a new offering: a yoga class with fauna particular to the cold northern climes of the subarctic. Reindeer.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the northernmost town in the United States, the sun stops appearing above the horizon in November and doesn't make it back up until January.

That first sunrise of the new year is the pivot-point on which winter turns and begins to move toward spring, delivering people on the northern Arctic coast of Alaska from the long spell of darkness.

When the sun comes up in Utqiaġvik, it makes a dramatic entrance: a thumbnail of neon pink inching above the horizon. And people are so, so glad to see it.

A milestone oil development project in Alaska's Arctic waters is having to extend its construction timeline to accommodate the warming climate. The recently approved Liberty Project — poised to become the first oil production facility in federal Arctic waters — has altered its plans due to the shrinking sea ice season.

Winter in Fairbanks, Alaska can be brutal. Daylight dips below 4 hours, and temperatures regularly fall past -30F.

So spring, when it finally shows up, is a big deal. People can reel off a long list of the things that signal the season is underway.

One of them is a 93-year-old man in a custard-yellow truck.

Glenn Hackney has lived in Alaska since 1948. And every spring, he's irked by the same sight: trash that has piled up over the winter, and is slowly being uncovered by the melting snow.

How does a scientist become a principal timpanist at the Met?

Jason Haaheim gets that question all the time. The 38-year-old is a former nanotechnology researcher, with a master's degree in electrical engineering. But four years ago, he made a major life pivot: to play professionally with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Canadian singer-songwriter Simone Schmidt, who performs under the name Fiver, undertook an ambitious project with her latest album. Audible Songs From Rockwood is Schmidt's way of telling the stories of real people committed to Rockwood Asylum, a 19th-century institution near what's now Kingston, Ontario.

Leslie Feist's new album is her first in six years — and it sounds nothing like the polished alternative pop that got her nominated for Best New Artist at the 2008 Grammys, nor the big ensemble sound that won her a Polaris Prize for Metals in 2012. This one is gritty, spare.

With less than a month to go before Election Day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are focused on locking up key battleground states. One of them is North Carolina, a state that Barack Obama turned blue in 2008, but lost in 2012.

It's a pivotal moment in any young person's life — that point at which you turn from the home you've known all your life, breathe in deeply and leap into the vast unknown of the world beyond.

It's a moment that young adult authors know well, and not just because they write for these young readers. They've experienced it themselves, and they've come out the other side, pen in hand.