Global Warming Speeding Up Erosion in Alaska

alaska glacier coast photo

Photo: Flickr, CC
The Coast Used To Be There, Now It's Here, and Next Year It'll Be Over There...
So Arctic ice is slowly disappearing and glaciers are melting down. Not exactly good news for Alaska... But you can add severe erosion to that list of climate woes. Researchers from the US Geological Survey say that erosion rates have doubled along a stretch of the northern Alaska coast in the last 50 years, and that the past few years have shown an increased speed-up in that rate.
alaska  erosion photo

Photo: Ben Jones/Discovery News

From Discovery News:

Results showed that, between 2002 and 2007, an average of 13.6 meters (45 feet) of shoreline disappeared each year, compared to an average annual retreat of 6.8 meters (22 feet) between 1955 and 1979, and an annual loss of 8.7 meters (28.5 feet) between 1979 and 2002.

In the summer of 2007, an astounding 25 meters (82 feet) of land fell into the sea in one spot. The images showed that most of the coast is eroding now, compared to fewer isolated sections of just certain types of shoreline in the past.

This is a big problem, not only for Alaska, but for all nordic countries. These parts might not have very high human populations, but they tend to live near the shores, and the local plants and animals can be affected by these rapid changes.

Via Discovery News
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