Coasts and Inland
Some of Alaska’s coasts are threatened
The estuaries, river deltas, and lagoons along Alaska’s coastlines are among the most biologically rich areas in the state. They provide homes for millions of fish, birds, and other wildlife species, as well as for people. Many coastal areas are vulnerable to loss of protective sea ice, more intense storms, changing sea levels, and erosion.
Sea level rise, more precipitation, and thawing permafrost can alter the chemistry of estuary and nearshore habitats. The introduction of salty ocean water into permafrost areas further speeds thawing.
Some areas in Southeast Alaska are seeing rising land levels, as the land "rebounds" from decreasing weight of melting glacier ice.
Changes in inland areas
Wildfires and shifting forest growth patterns are affecting animal movements, behavior, and survival.
Many Alaska communities are experiencing greater flooding as a result of changes to precipitation patterns, ice dynamics, and warmer temperatures that cause high rates of seasonal thawing.
Changing streamflows impact migratory fish—as well as vessel traffic and transportation infrastructure—when waterways become shallow or channels change.