More Elves of Color? Methinks so
Countries/Cultures featured: Armenia, Sudan, Algeria (Ouled Naïl), Siberia (Sakha), Afghanistan (Pashtun), and Iran (Persian Jewish) <3
Dogor is the 18,000 year old pup that was found within the Siberian Permafrost, yet is not quite a dog nor a wolf, but a puzzling connection to both.
Dogor has been miraculously preserved within the permafrost, with its fur, teeth and even whiskers incredibly intact. Radiocarbon dating has placed the animal at 18,000 years old and researchers have suggested that the animal passed away at just 2 months old. The name Dogor means “Friend” in Yakut, a language spoken within Eastern Siberia.
Generally, genetic analysis can quite easily discern whether a discovered canine is a wolf or dog, but in this instance, the genetics suggest that it could be an ancestral link to both. Interestingly, Dogor lived at a time in canine evolutionary history when dogs and wolves began to branch off from each other.The general scientific consensus is that dogs and wolves split from a common ancestor, however, the process of how “dogs became dogs” is certainly contested, and Dogor could be a crucial piece in that puzzle.
If Dogor is determined to be a dog, it will be the oldest ever discovered. The next oldest, the Bonn-Oberkassel puppy, was discovered in Germany and was clearly determined to be a dog of around 14,000 years old, buried with a man and a woman.
The progression of climate change is melting the permafrost more rapidly, and discoveries like these are becoming more and more commonplace.
Images via Sergey Fedorov/The Siberian Times
Sakha woman, Russia
Kitulya - taiga weather station. Arrival of a transport plane. Photo by Mark Redkin (1970s).
This is beyond frightening. Extreme heat over the Pacific Northwest and in Siberia, Moscow and parts of Europe (Separate articles about Siberia, Moscow and Europe linked below.) Are the politicians paying attention? Nope, or if they are, they are ignoring it.
Excerpt from this story from Earther/Gizmodo:
The West hasn’t totally cooled off, but the region has gotten a slight reprieve from the heat that has dried up reservoirs, curtailed hydropower, and otherwise wrought havoc on the megadrought-afflicted region. Unfortunately, all good(ish) things must come to an end.
The National Weather Service is warning of a “Record-Breaking and Dangerous Heatwave” hitting this weekend and early next week. Weather models are also coalescing around blistering heat. If the forecasts come to fruition, we’re not just talking about a few daily records falling here and there. We’re talking about a heat wave for the ages that could absolutely destroy all-time records from Washington to California as well as parts of Canada.
In what’s becoming an all-too-familiar pattern for those in the western half of the U.S., high pressure is expected to move in and park itself over the region in the coming days. That will usher in sunny skies and allow heat to start to build. By Sunday, a region from the Yukon to Southern California could see temperatures well above normal. The bullseye of heat will center on the Pacific Northwest where temperatures could be an eye-watering 40 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) above normal.
The Euro and GFS weather models, essentially the two gold standards for forecasters, are in agreement that the magnitude of this event will be extreme. While there are some slight differences of a few degrees up or down, the overall alignment is generally a sign something very rare and serious is about to go down. Among the more disturbing numbers coming out of the models are Portland cracking 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), a threshold the city has never breached.
Because weather doesn’t just stop at the border, the record run of heat will continue in British Columbia. There, forecasters are already anticipating that the warmest-ever June temperature for the entire province of British Columbia will likely fall.
Overnight temperatures will also remain elevated throughout the region, and all-time hot low temperatures could also be toppled as well. That’s particularly worrisome since nighttime usually offers a reprieve. In a region where air conditioning isn’t as widespread as, say, Southern California, the relentlessness of the heat coupled with a lack of cooling options could unleash a wave of heat-related illnesses.
And then, Siberia, in this story with the caption, “Ground Temperatures Hit 118 Degrees in the Arctic Circle” from Earther/Gizmodo:
Newly published satellite imagery shows the ground temperature in at least one location in Siberia topped 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) going into the year’s longest day. It’s hot Siberia Earth summer, and it certainly won’t be the last.
While many heads swiveled to the American West as cities like Phoenix and Salt Lake City suffered shockingly hot temperatures this past week, a similar climatological aberrance unfolded on the opposite side of the world in the Arctic Circle. That’s not bizarre when you consider that the planet heating up is a global affair, one that isn’t picky about its targets. We’re all the target!
The 118-degree-Fahrenheit temperature was measured on the ground in Verkhojansk, in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites. Other ground temperatures in the region included 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in Govorovo and 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) in Saskylah, which had its highest temperatures since 1936. It’s important to note that the temperatures being discussed here are land surface temperatures, not air temperatures. The air temperature in Verkhojansk was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius)—still anomalously hot, but not Arizona hot.
Now Moscow and Europe, with this story with the caption, “Records crumble in Europe, Russia amid scorching heat wave” from the Washington Post:
As temperatures approach 115 degrees in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, a second regime of top-tier heat will scorch Europe amid a record-breaking heat wave. Monthly records have already fallen as highs climb to near 100 degrees in some areas, with temperatures in the Arctic Circle spiking close to 90.
Moscow and St. Petersburg soared to their highest June temperature on record Wednesday, reaching the mid-90s, while Estonia and Belarus established new all-time highs for the month this week. On Thursday, Hungary and Malta also set new June temperature records, hitting 104 degrees and 104.3 degrees.
Highs some 20 degrees or more above average currently wrap across central and Eastern Europe, with the greatest anomalies centered on Scandinavia and parts of western Russia. A second lobe of intense heat is parked over eastern Russia along the shores of the East Siberian Sea.
Exceptional heat waves, which are becoming disproportionately more significant and frequent due to human-induced climate change, are the leading cause of weather-related fatalities in most of Europe and Asia.
The Evenks are a Tungusic people who live primarily in Siberia and China, with a small population present in Mongolia, where they are called the Khamnigan. In Russia, they inhabit a vast territory, ranging from the Okhotsk Sea in the East, to the River Ob in the West, from the Arctic Ocean to the North, and Manchuria to the South.
Traditionally, as well as presently, the Evenki practiced a combination of hunter-gathering and pastoralism, centred around the domestication of reindeer for milk and transportation of their camp. Different populations of Evenks throughout North Asia skewed further towards a strict hunter-gathering or pastoralist culture. Generally, they roamed the Taiga in the warmer months, and camped in conical tents made of birch trees and reindeer skins. When they moved camp, they would leave the birch tree frameworks in place, and take the reindeer skins to their next destination. In winter, the hunting season, Evenks build one or two large tents in which the whole community resides for warmth and sharing of meals. Early in the spring season, winter camps broke up and moved to places more suitable for calving.
Evenks are masters of reindeer. Their skill at riding allowed them to travel through areas of dense Taiga which other groups could not reach. Using the reindeer as pack animals, they covered vast distances, traveling on handmade snow shoes and skis. Generally, each band would run around 25 reindeer, and utilise the animals for a variety of reasons. They would use leather from the animals to make saddles, baby cradles, and the thick winter clothing pictured above, all unique to the Evenks. Most importantly, the reindeer gave life and sustenance to the traveling band through their milk and other dairy products. The Evenks would not eat their domesticated reindeer.
The Evenks are also formidable and respectful hunters. Different bands hunted different species across varying geographical regions, including elk, wild reindeer, and fowl. For the Evenks who lived near the Okhotsk Sea, seal was a staple of their diet. Using handmade bows with a variety of arrow sizes, the Evenki skillfully sourced their own food to be shared amongst the band. Evenki hunters always carried with them a prized item called a pike - pictured in the second image with a reindeer antler sheath. The pike is a large knife on a long wooden handle, which serves multiple purposes such as slashing through thick Taiga foliage and hunting large animals such as bears. The Evenki forbade themselves from torturing any animal, defiling a dead animal, or killing an animal that was fleeing another predator or seeking safety. They would only kill animals they rightfully earned.
The Evenks deeply respect the natural world, and worship elemental gods as well as their ancestors. Their universe is divided into three realms, the Upper - spirit realm, Middle - Earth, and Lower - ancestral realm. Shamans are known to be capable of traveling between these realms. Traditionally, they practised a “wind burial”, where the bones of their loved ones were placed inside a hollow birch log, and suspended by posts of birch.
Today, in both China and Russia, they are an officially recognized ethnic group, numbering around 30,000 individuals in each country. Fortunately, many Evenks continue to practise the traditional lifestyle of their ancestors, such as within the Evenk Autonomous Okrug, where thousands of Evenks control a vast area of Siberia and still hunt, gather and domesticate reindeer.
📸 Alexander Khimushin
Which Landsat Image Do You Love?
Feeling competitive? We’ve got a game for you to play in! Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games is happening right now, and as we get to the final entries, the competition is heating up.
You can help us pick the winner by voting for one of the remaining four Landsat images of our home planet! Our competition started with 32 images, divided into categories by what they show: land, water, ice & snow, and human impact.
So, what do you think? Which one of these images is going for gold?
First up, we have an image of the Markha River and surrounding Central Siberian Plateau, acquired in 2020 by Landsat 8. The hypnotic undulations of striping across the landscape carried this image to victory over the rest of the Land images -- a particularly tough category, given that these images all come from Landsat.
It’s not all land, though! The bright blues and greens of this false-color image of the Atchafalaya Delta in Louisiana helped carry it to victory in the Water category. The image, taken in 2020 by Landsat 8, shows a region that’s subject to erosion of land by wind and rising sea levels.
Ice & Snow
Brrr! Did it get cold in here? That’s the finalist from the Ice and Snow category, an image of sea ice around Russia’s New Siberian Islands. The image, collected by Landsat 8 in June 2016, shows sea ice during its annual seasonal breakup.
Humans have been shaping the planet around us for hundreds of years. Some changes, like rice fields in the Sacramento Valley, are visible from space. Landsat 8 collected this false-color image of flooded rice fields in December 2018.
So, now it’s up to you! Which image is your favorite? There can only be one winner of Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games. Get your vote in, and then get ready to watch as we launch the next Landsat satellite, Landsat 9, in September.
The Landsat mission is a partnership between us at NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Together, we’ve been using Landsat satellites to collect nearly 50 years of images of our home planet.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space.
She has my sister’s face.
Ulchi girl, Russia, by Alexander Khimushin
Father with twin daughters. Samotlor oil field, Siberia. Photo by Vsevolod Tarasevich (1968).
The marble quarry, Baikal, Siberia