Alaska Coast Melting- not just Ice!
Alaska’s coastline is breaking off into the Artic Ocean. This is reshaping Alaska’s coastline. The north part of Alaska’s shore was 80 feet where the land was broken in 2007. This occurred in the summer when the ice was a record low. This is usually caused by a storm creating erosion but not this time. Some scientists believe this happening due to global warming.
The warmer air and water temperature of the sea water is also making the shoreline melt. In 2002 to 2007 the coastline decreased 45 feet every year. Esook was once a trading post on this shoreline but is now underwater. Also a whaling boat was taken underwater a few months after its picture was taken. An oil well was lost in 2002 and there may be others lost or going to in the future.
Larry Hinzman, the director of the International Artic Research in Fairbanks, says there is a large amount of ice in the permafrost which can also distribute to the fast melting ice. He also says if there was a different type of soil then the ice wouldn’t melt as fast. The permafrost is not all major ice land but there are areas that have large portions of ice on them.
“These is usual in Canada, Alaska, and even Siberia but unusual in Greenland, Iceland, and maybe even the Norwegian Archipelago,” says Svalbard. A research team is tying to figure out how to stop the land from melting away and hopefully will soon. It is not that it is eroding. Researches believe this area has been eroding for a period of time but how fast it is eroding is what concerns them. Jones says eroding is a natural occurrence and can’t be stopped. Hopefully they will find the problem and hopefully stop it from melting away so fast.
February 20, 2009