Global warming affects Alaska

Aug 23, 2006

Global warning is changing Alaska, eliminating tourist sights such as glaciers, and with melting ice causing rising waters to flood villages.

In short, Alaska is no longer a frigid land and CBS News said no place says "baked Alaska" as the Eskimo village of Shishmaref on the state's western coast.

Deborah Williams of Alaska Conservation Solutions told CBS: "I used to bring people to this spot to see the glacier. Now I bring people here to not see the glacier."

The town has been the winter home of Alaska's Inupiat people for 4,000 years, but melting sea ice is raising water levels and destroying homes and eroding the shoreline by about 10 feet a year.

The village of 600 residents must move or face destruction within 15 years, officials said. But scientists say there are nearly 200 more villages that must be moved or be destroyed -- and that price tag would run into the billions of dollars.

Williams told CBS, "Shishmaref demonstrates that the cost of not dealing with global warming can be greater than the cost of dealing with global warming."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding

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