Alaska

By: , and 
Edited by: J.M. MelilloTerese Richmond, and G.W. Yohe

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Key Messages

  1. Arctic summer sea ice is receding faster than previously projected and is expected to virtually disappear before mid-century. This is altering marine ecosystems and leading to greater ship access, offshore development opportunity, and increased community vulnerability to coastal erosion.
  2. Most glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia are shrinking substantially. This trend is expected to continue and has implications for hydropower production, ocean circulation patterns, fisheries, and global sea level rise.
  3. Permafrost temperatures in Alaska are rising, a thawing trend that is expected to continue, causing multiple vulnerabilities through drier landscapes, more wildfire, altered wildlife habitat, increased cost of maintaining infrastructure, and the release of heat-trapping gases that increase climate warming.
  4. Current and projected increases in Alaska’s ocean temperatures and changes in ocean chemistry are expected to alter the distribution and productivity of Alaska’s marine fisheries, which lead the U.S. in commercial value.
  5. The cumulative effects of climate change in Alaska strongly affect Native communities, which are highly vulnerable to these rapid changes but have a deep cultural history of adapting to change.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Alaska
Chapter 22
DOI 10.7930/J00Z7150
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Global Change Research Program
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Alaska Regional Director's Office
Description 23 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Report
Larger Work Title Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment
First page 514
Last page 536
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N