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Climate Change in pictures

Climate change will cause Alaskan village to vanish under water within 10 years

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the tiny village of Kivalina will disappear by 2025, turning its 400 Inupiat residents into America’s first climate change refugees.

The Arctic region is heating up twice as fast as mainland America, according to temperature records. Kivalina is one of three Inuit settlements facing destruction. Here, an abandoned house at the west end of Shishmaref, Alaska sits on the beach after sliding off during a fall storm in 2005. Waves pound against the sandbagged seawall in Kivalina, Alaska. A storm surge and pounding waves sheared off large segments of Kivalina
Kivalina is home to about 400 Inupiat people. Scientists say the tiny Alaskan village is falling prey to the effects of climate change - and might be uninhabitable within the next 10 years. Kivalina is currently facing a severe shortage of treated water. An important water pipeline was damaged during a storm last year, causing people to take sponge baths and collect rain or river water. The barrier island on which the village of Kivalina is located stretches along the edge of the Chukchi Sea as seen in 2008. The dump, airport and village are located on the narrow strip of land. The Native village in northwest Alaska is experiencing serious erosion problems from storm waves from the Chukchi Sea.
The Village of Shaktoolik, Alaska, shown in May 28, 2006, now faces the same erosion problem that caused the village to relocate in the 1960s. Melting permafrost, coastal erosion, increased flooding and a rise in sea level due to warming climate change will take a toll on buildings, ports, bridges and roads, according to scientists. Wave action in 2006 caused part of a sea wall to collapse into the water. Here, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens inspects the damage.  


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