Climate change is changing ice. Sometimes, like in Anchorage where there has been a pattern of warmer temperatures, there’s more ice instead of snow, changing the feel of winter, while in the Arctic, warmer temperatures slow the formation of sea ice and make river travel dangerous, changing how people hunt and travel. Ice impacts recreation, subsistence, transportation, tourism, even geopolitical relationships. This intermittent series “Watch the Ice,” tracks stories about people, ice and change in Alaska.
For the first time ever, the ice road on the frozen Kuskokwim River has been plowed to Sleetmute, a village north of Bethel.
Rick Thoman, a climatologist, called it "a big change from the last couple of years and good news for the region.”
Kotzebue has had a cold February, with little snow for insulation. That means some locals have had to contend with frozen water and sewer lines. That problem is also being faced by the city, which recently had to transfer several prisoners to Nome after the jail toilets became unusable.
A national expert on Arctic policy told state lawmakers on Thursday that Alaska will be at the front line of global competition over Arctic Ocean resources.
Selawik mayor Clyde Ramoth says frozen pipes are a chronic problem due to issues with the initial installation of the above-ground water system.
The cold snap helped the sea ice form in the Chukchi and Bering Seas, but the recent shift is slowing it down.
What’s your experience with ice and how is changing?