Saturday, 26 May 2007

Climate Change Sinks a Village

The New York Times reports that the permafrost on which an Alaskan village was built is melting due to climate change.

Newtok, a native Alaskan village, is collapsing into the mud as rising temperatures melt the frozen soil. The village, home to a Government-recognised Indian tribe, could completely wash away within a decade.

"The earth beneath much of Alaska is not what it used to be. The permanently frozen subsoil, known as permafrost, upon which Newtok and so many other Native Alaskan villages rest is melting, yielding to warming air temperatures and a warming ocean. Sea ice that would normally protect coastal villages is forming later in the year, allowing fall storms to pound away at the shoreline."