Water

The Arctic is characterized by freezing conditions and ice. Warmer temperatures contribute a changing landscape and erosion along waterways.

Climate Change Issues

Response

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Concerns about water in Point Hope, Alaska include water shortages, water availability, water quality, increased cost for treatment of water. Potential adaptations as a result of a study include monitoring of the lake that serves as the source of drinking water and the development of an emergency water shortage plan.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
In Point Hope and Barrow, Alaska, traditional ice cellars are thawing and could lead to a poorer quality of stored subsistence foods. A study identifies adaptations to include keeping track of community diet, food storage and food distribution, and to change subsistence patterns.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
In Point Hope, Alaska, warmer temperatures are delaying ice formation and early thaw. The ice is also thinner and there is less snow. These conditions are leading to increased chances for injury, drowning, a weaker diet, less physical activity and mental health concerns. A study identifies adaptations to include keeping track of changing ice conditions and effects and to increase discussion of Arctic climate adaptation.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
In Point Hope, Alaska, a rise in sea level is leading to more erosion and more risk of flooding. As a result, residents are concerned about damage to buildings and roads, as well as safety in extreme conditions. A study identifies a flood study with climate predictions as a possible adaptation. Another possible adaptation is to include flood protection for buildings.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
In Point Hope, Alaska, delayed shore ice, thawing permafrost, and storms are causing more erosion. This could lead to more damage to buildings, roads, and cellars. A study identifies shore and river monitoring and erosion prevention as possible adaptations.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Warmer temperatures are leading to longer periods of unfrozen sloughs. In a study of villages on the lower Yukon River, an identified adaptation was to build bridges over unfrozen sloughs.
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Center for climate and Health. (October 2009). Draft Final: Climate change and health impacts Point Hope, Alaska. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Increased runoff causes flooding along rivers and stream bank erosion. Build or repair flood control, build erosion control, relocation, complete replacement at new site. website
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Larsen, P., Goldsmith, S., Smith, O., Wilson, M., Strzepek, K., Chinowsky, P., Saylor, B. (June 2007). Estimating future costs for Alaska public infrastructure at risk from climate change. Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage.