New Report Released: Climate Change in the Bering Strait Region

May 22, 2015
By Jessica Rohde

"Growing up, the river used to always freeze by the first week in October. Now it does not freeze until November. ”

— Rita Buck, White Mountain

Shishmaref hunters employ snowmobiles, sleds and boats to navigate challenging sea conditions during spring hunting. Photo courtesy of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Climate Change in the Bering Strait documents climate change impacts as described by residents of seven communities in the Bering Strait Region of Northwest Alaska. In addition to community impacts, the book provides an overview on the state of the knowledge about climate change in the region, examples of adaptation efforts that have been applied, and recommendations for future planning and coordination efforts.

Some of the described impacts include broad changes in the timing of seasons, marine and aquatic waters, terrestrial environment, ice, snow, river and lake conditions and the availability and health of plants and wildlife. Some important effects include threat and loss of infrastructure to flooding and erosion, changes in the quality of community source water resources, and new challenges related to traditional subsistence practices.

This project was funded by the Western Alaska LCC and EPA, with collaboration between tribal governments, the Norton Sound Health Corporation, Kawerak Inc., and ANTHC’s Center for Climate and Health.

Download the report here.

Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Mike Brubaker, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

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