ALASKA N GAMBLING CONTEST PROVIDES A JACKPOT IN CLIMAT E CHANGE RECORDS A game of gambling in the Alaskan village of Nenana is yielding more than big winnings for those who enter. The celebrated betting pool, in which winners must predict the exact minute a specially con- structed wooden tripod will crash through the ice of the Tenana River, is providing researchers with a remarkably accurate record of global climate change. What began as a wintertime di- version for Nenana (population 500) has yielded an 84-year dataset Th e Nenana Ice Classic, a lottery based on guessing when the ice will on the timing of the river ice melt enough to move a log structure 100 feet downriver, takes place breakup. At $2 a ticket, last year's annually on the Tanana River in Alaska. Th e flag that is linked to the jackpot of $308,000 was divided tripod is visible in this photo, taken the evening before the breakup among eight winners who accu- in 2001. Along with playing a significant role in the lives of those who rately predicted the tripod would live near the river, the breaking up of th e ice is also providing research- fall
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 1, 2002
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