Climate Change Adaptation - Alaska

State Seal of Alaska

        Threat from Sea Level Rise     Threat from Intensified Storm Events     Threat to Natural Habitat and Wildlife          
        Action: Adaptation Planning Includes Wetlands                      

Climate Change History

Alaska faces dramatic current effects from climate change.  Entire communities along Alaska’s northwest shore require relocation inland as barrier ice melts and storm effects cause dramatic erosion which threatens them.  Wildlife migration, notably of salmon, has been effected as well.  Even engineered infrastructure in Alaska such as roadways, airfields, and petroleum pipes were designed with permafrost’s continued existence as an assumption.  Alaska’s climate change planning is overseen by the Governor’s Sub-Cabinet which is split into adaptation and mitigation advisory groups.  The mitigation component follows the Center for Climate Studies framework used in many other states.  The adaptation component produced its own planning document which identifies the likely effects of climate change including permafrost thaw, increased invasive species activity, and threats to water availability as precipitation shifts from snow to rain.  The overwhelming majority of recommendations from the Adaption Advisory Group focused on the need for more data about Alaska’s natural systems.

Current & Future Action

No information about current state actions is available.

Pilot Programs/Current Studies

The state does not, as yet, have any specific pilots or case studies dealing with wetlands and climate change.

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