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Increased erosion in Shishmaref is caused by sea level rise, more intense storms, and permafrost melting. Photo taken by the Shishmaref Relocation Coalition.
Increased erosion in Shishmaref is caused by sea level rise, more intense storms, and permafrost melting. Photo taken by the Shishmaref Relocation Coalition.

Climate change changing the seasons for Native Alaskans

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Yesterday, we reported that Arctic sea ice is melting faster than scientists (already alarmed at its disappearance) had expected. The National Snow and Ice Data Center says the rate has accelerated to 11.7% per decade.

That is far too fast for Native Americans who live along the Artic ice, on permafrost that's also thawing rapidly. Environmental biologist Jon Rosales teaches at St. Lawrence University. He spent this past spring getting a first hand look at effects of climate change in northern Alaska. He visited three villages on the Seward Peninsula, the part of Alaska that reaches west toward Siberia. It is our end of what used to be the land bridge between the two continents. He told Martha Foley that even in late spring, he says, the snow was horizontal. But, still, everything is too warm.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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