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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Climate change raising concern in Alaska

Climate change is sending increasingly alarming messages. For instance, sea ice in Northern Alaska disappeared earlier than usual this spring, which has impacted wildlife and fish, too. The early melting was caused by exceptionally warm ocean waters.

On 24 June, Rick Thoman, a climatologist with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks tweeted alarming measurements showing that

the northern Bering and southern Chukchi seas were baking:
surface temperatures
reached 15 °C,
5 degrees Celsius above
the average for the period
1981 to 2010.

The process – which has a negative effect not only on the food web but also on local communities and commerce – is part of the feedback spiral caused by climate change: higher ocean temperatures reduce the quantity of sea ice, which makes the oceans even warmer in turn.

At the time of the warming, many seals died along the western and northern shores of Alaska, while many gray whales perished in the south. According to the expert, it is not known whether the warm water has contributed to that. “Certainly it’s all happening at the same time,” Thoman noted.

Sea ice in Northern Alaska disappeared earlier than usual this spring, which has impacted wildlife and fish, too Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: Anchorage Daily News

Record-breaking temperature in Alaska

According to official data, for the first time since measurements are recorded, temperature at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport has hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, that is 32.2 degrees Celsius.

Historic heatwave in Europe

The French National Meteorological Service issued its highest-level red alert for the first time ever on the 27 June as temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius were forecast. In Germany, temperature reached levels not seen in more than 70 years.

Almost a billion people are at significant climate-related risk

According to the Global Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Australia, 971 million people around the world live in areas facing high or very high exposure to climate hazards.

Canadian permafrost begins to melt seventy years early

During an expedition, a team of researchers from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks found that the unusually hot summer has quickly softened the upper layers of the massive underground ice blocks, which had been frozen for thousands of years.

One-sixth of all marine life could perish by the end of the century due to climate change

Warming may reduce marine life by 17 percent. The world’s oceans could lose one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century if climate change continues at the present rate – claim marine biologists.

Climate change could destroy mankind by 2050

We have known for a long time that global warming is jeopardising the future of humanity on planet Earth. However, a new study about the survival chances of the human species paints a bleaker picture than seen ever before: unless we do everything to avoid such a fate, we could be on the brink of extinction in 30 years.

Tourists flock to glaciers to see them before they disappear

Today, glaciers are in the public eye not only because their melting – along with the polar ice caps – plays a major role in the global rise of sea levels. According to tour operators in Alaska, climate change has resulted in increased interest in glaciers: many people would like to see them before most of them melt.

El Niño has not been this strong in centuries

Drought and forest fires, or on the contrary, massive storms and floods. The natural disasters caused by El Niño keep growing ever larger. The problem is already massive in Australia, Southeast Asia and America, but experts warn that the situation will get even worse in the future.

Southern Patagonia Ice Field split in two

The Southern Patagonia Ice Field which covers an area of 12 thousand square kilometres in Chile and Argentina, has split in two and is expected to fragment further as a result of climate change, Chilean researchers have warned.