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Science
Published: Apr 30, 2008
Alaska Hardest Hit By U.S. Climate Change
by Staff

Scientists say Alaska leads the rest of the United States in experiencing the effects of global warning.

Researchers from the universities of New Hampshire and Maine said small Alaskan villages are slipping into the sea due to coastal erosion and soggy permafrost is cracking buildings and trapping trucks.

In an effort to better understand how the Pacific Northwest fits into the larger climate-change picture, the scientists are heading to Denali National Park to recover ice cores from Alaskan glaciers.

Associate Professor Cameron Wake of the University of New Hampshire Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space and Karl Kreutz of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute are leading the expedition that's part of a decadelong goal to gather climate records from ice cores from around the entire Arctic region.

Just as any one meteorological station can't tell you about regional or hemispheric climate change, said Wake. A series of ice cores is needed to understand the regional climate variability in the Arctic.

He said scientists have long thought the North Atlantic drives global climate changes. However, there are now indications a change in the North Pacific might occur first and then be followed by a North Atlantic response. (c) UPI

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