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Alaska Conservation Solutions

2008

The Greatest Threat

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity today.

Markku Niskala Secretary-General of the Red Cross January 2008

Photo The Age, Melbourne. All rights reserved

The Greatest Threat


Things are getting desperate enough now that we need to throw away our conservatism and just act.
Dr. Terry Chapin, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Amanda Byrd/Canadian Ice Service

Global Warming Basics

What do these pollutants do? Global Fever


Greenhouse gases make the earth too hot, just like:
> sleeping under a heavy blanket in the summertime > wearing a parka that is too thick

Our atmospheric blanket or parka is over 35% thicker than it used to be


Thinner blanket is just right.

Thicker blanket traps too much heat.

Weather vs. Climate


Weather: The short-term state of the atmosphere -- up to a few days Climate: Long-term averages, frequencies and extremes -- generally 3 to 5 decades

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

1950

2008

Choosing shorts or long underwear on a particular day is about weather; the ratio of shorts to long underwear in the drawer is about climate.
Charles Wohlforth ~ The Whale and the Supercomputer

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Weather vs. Climate

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

Anchorage, AK January 18, 2009


Photo courtesy of Parker Rittgers / ADN reader submission

Mark Twain

Global Warming Basics

Alaska is Ground Zero


Changes in physical and biological systems and Surface surface temperature 1970-2004 Air Temperature Trends 1942-2003

In past 50 years, Alaska:


Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Temperatures have increased

4oF overall
(National Assessment Synthesis Team)

Worldwide:
Temperatures have increased slightly more than 1oF
(IPCC, 2007) IPCC, 2007

Temperature Change oC 1970-2004


Chapman and Walsh, 2004 -1.0 -0.2 0.2 Chapman and Walsh, 2004 1.0 2.0 3.5

Future Temperatures in Alaska

Temperature Measurements
Impact of La Nina in Last 12 Months
Ocean temperature models predict a warm 2008-2009 winter in Alaska

NASA 2008

Global Warming Basics

Why has Alaska warmed the most?


The Albedo Effect
Snow and sea ice reflect 85-90% of suns energy Ocean surface and dark soil reflect only 10-20%
(ACIA, 2004)

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Increased melting of snow and sea ice More dark earth and ocean surface is exposed More of suns heat energy is absorbed

Land or water warms faster

Its like wearing a white shirt v. a black shirt

Global Warming Basics

Why has Alaska warmed the most?


Other Factors:
(ACIA 2004)

1) Albedo effect 2) More energy goes directly into warming than into evaporation 3) Atmosphere layer is thinner in the Arctic 4) Increased heat transfer from oceans as sea ice retreats

ACIA Graphic

5) Alterations in atmospheric and ocean circulation

Temperature Measurements
Impact of La Nina in Last 12 Months
Ocean temperature models predict a warm 2008-2009 winter in Alaska

NASA 2008

Impacts in Alaska

Impacts of Warming in Alaska


NOAA photo Tony Weyiouanna, Sr Columbia University photo

1. Melting ice, glaciers


and permafrost
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

2. Animals 3. Wetlands and forests 4. Weather and storms

5. People and culture

Impacts in Alaska

Melting Sea Ice


23% smaller than

1. Melting

previous minimum; 39% smaller than average


Ice 50% thinner
(D. A. Rothrock et al., 1999)
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Ice only 3 feet thick


in most locations
(NOAA FAQ, 2007)

Arctic Sea Ice Extent, 1978 - 2008

In September 2007 an area the


size of Florida (69,000 square miles) melted in six days (NSIDC 2007)

Humpback whales spotted in


Arctic Ocean for first time in 2007

Impacts in Alaska

The Ice Cap in September


New minimum:

1. Melting

1.59 million square miles (4.13 million square km)


September median ice edge 1979-2000

Previous minimum:
2.05 million square miles (2005)

Sea Ice edge Sep. 16, 2007

Average minimum:
2.60 million square miles (1979 2000)

1 million square miles is an area roughly the size of Alaska and Texas combined, or ten United Kingdoms (NSIDC, 2007)

Melting Sea Ice: Sept. 2008


Arctic sea ice extent reached annual low on September 12, 2008: The second-lowest level ever 33% less than average minimum from 1979-2000

Impacts in Alaska 1. Melting

NSIDC (2008)

Melting Sea Ice


Arctic winter ice 2008: Loss of older, thicker (12 15 ft) ice

Impacts in Alaska 1. Melting

Old ice (6+ years) has declined from over 20% to about 6%
Over 70% of ice is first-year

NSIDC (2008)

Impacts in Alaska

Melting Sea Ice


The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2040.
(U.S National Center for Atmospheric Research 2006)

1. Melting

Our research indicates that society can still minimize the impacts on Arctic ice.
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Dr. Marika Holland, National Center for Atmospheric Research

2000

2040

Impacts in Alaska

Glacial Retreat
McCall Glacier
The rapid retreat of Alaskas glaciers represents 50% of the estimated mass loss by glaciers through 2004 worldwide
(ACIA, 2004)

1. Melting

Loss of over 588 billion cubic yards from 1961 to 1998 (Climate Change, 11/05) Alaskas glaciers are responsible for at least 9% of the global sea level rise in the past century (ACIA, 2004) Bering Glacier, representing more than 15% of all the ice in Alaska, is melting twice as fast as previously believed, releasing approximately 8 trillion gallons of water per year into the ocean -- or the equivalent of two Colorado Rivers
(Michigan Tech Research Institute, 5/07)

1941 1958
USGS photo

2004 2003

Bruce Molnia photo

Matt Nolan photo

Austin Post photo

Impacts in Alaska

Glacial Retreat
Accelerated melting of glaciers and ice caps could add an additional 4 to 9.5 inches of sea level rise. (Science 7/07)

1. Melting

Alaskas Columbia Glacier has decreased by approximately 9 miles since 1980 and thinned by as much as 1,300 feet.. (Science 7/07)

Impacts in Alaska

Permafrost Thawing
All the Observatories show a substantial warming during the last 20 years, causing permafrost to melt at an unprecedented rate. (State of the
Arctic 2006)

1. Melting

Soil Temperature at 20m Depth Soil Temperatures at


-6C
0 DEPTH

Osterkamp and Romanovsky Osterkamp and Romanovsky Franklin Bluffs

1987
2003

2003
z

-8C

Average Deadhorse Deadhorse 1987-

West Dock West Dock

-10C

1m |

-8 -7 1980

-6

TEMPERATURE

-5 1988

-4

-3 -2 1996

-1oC

2004

NSIDC

Consequences: Damage to infrastructure, lakes, rivers, and forests Rising sea levels Release of stored carbon (methane and CO2)

Vladimir Romanovsky photo

Impacts in Alaska

Animals at Risk
Polar bears Walruses Ice seals Black guillemots Kittiwakes Salmon Caribou Arctic grayling

2. Animals

Rising temperatures
Shrinking habitat Food harder to get Expanding diseases Competition

Impacts in Alaska

Polar Bears in Peril


Numbers in western Hudson Bay have declined 22% in 17 years (U.S. Geological
Service & Canadian Wildlife Service, 2005)

2. Animals

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

87% on sea ice (19791991) vs. 33% on sea ice (1992-2004) (Monnett et al., 12/05) Alaska polar bear drownings in 2004: 4 documented, 27 estimated total
(U.S. Minerals Management Service, 2004)

Cannibalism in 2004
(Amstrup et al., 2006)

Photo environmentaldefense.org. All rights reserved

Impacts in Alaska

Polar Bear Cannibalism


Photos courtesy of Steven Amstrup, USGS

2. Animals

Amstrup et al., Polar Biology - accepted March 27, 2006 Springer-Verlag 2006

Impacts in Alaska

Polar Bears in Peril


Cubs perishing (61 cubs per 100 females between 196789; 25 cubs per 100 females between 1990-2006 ), smaller skulls and adult starvation
(Regehr & Amstrup, 2006)
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

2. Animals

Shifting denning sites: 62% on ice (1985-94); 37% on ice (1998-2004) (Fischbach et al., 2007) USGS predicts the extirpation of Alaskas polar bears by 2050, with an overall elimination of two-thirds of the global population (USGS, 2007) Secretary Kempthorne proposed listing the polar bear as threatened

Impacts in Alaska

Walrus Warning Signs

2. Animals

Female walruses depend on sea ice over the continental shelf for feeding and nursing platforms
Abandoned walrus calves: They were swimming around us crying (Aquatic Mammals 4/06) Haulout on Land: Thousands of walruses on shore in Alaska in 2007; 40,000 in one haulout in Russia (AP 10/07) Stampeding Deaths: 3,000 to 4,000 stampeding deaths in Russia in 2007 Other Concerns: More energy expended in foraging; depleted habitat; increased calf mortality

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Photo Viktor Nikiforov, WWF-Russia Photo: Corel Corp., Courtesy of www.exzooberance com

Impacts in Alaska

Brown Bears
Factors of Concern:
Hibernation disturbances for reproducing females (Jan-May) 2 months to implant Cub growth Flooding of dens (Sean Farley, ADF&G, 2007)
Reduction in productivity and survival rates following salmon decline in Kuskokwim; additional research underway
(Steve Kovach, FWS, 2007)

2. Animals

Diet impairment: fish and berries (Kenai Brown Bears fish 90% of diet vs. black bears 10%)

Impacts in Alaska

Caribou
The Western Arctic Caribou Herd shrank by 113,000 (more than 20%) between 2003 and 2007; mid-winter warm spells may have played a role
(AP 5/08)

2. Animals

Since 1989, the Porcupine Caribou Herd has declined at 3.5% per year to a low of 123,000 animals in 2001 (ACIA 2004) Freezing rain coats lichen Changing rivers Less tundra

Impacts in Alaska

Dall Sheep

2. Animals

were going to have declining Dall sheep. Were losing their habitat.
Dr. John Morton - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Dall sheep live exclusively in alpine tundra Due to warmer temperatures, the tree line in the Kenai Mountains has risen at a rate of about 1 meter/year over the past 50 years 20% of the tundra above 1,500 ft. has disappeared, is now shrub or open woodland
(Refuge Notebook, 6/07)

Photo: Tim Craig, Wildlife Biologist BLM

Impacts in Alaska

Muskoxen

2. Animals

Population in northern Alaska and Canada declined from approximately 700 to 400 (Pat Reynolds, FWS, 2007)
Risk Factors:

Icing events
Lower calf production Deeper snow Not highly mobile Increase in disease (e.g. nematode lungworm, able to complete life cycle in 1 year v. 2 years)
(Kutz et al., 2004)

Impacts in Alaska

Birds Threatened
Kittlitzs Murrelet
Declines in Kittlitzs Murrelet:
Prince William Sound: 97% from 1989 - 2001
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

2. Animals

Glacier Bay: 89% from 1991 - 2000


Kenai Peninsula: 83% since 1976
(BirdLife International, Kittlitzs Murrelet Species Fact Sheet, 2006)

Photo 2004 Gary Luhm. All rights reserved.

The fate of the Kittlitzs Murrelet may hinge on the fate of Alaskas glaciers, and therefore Kittlitzs may be among the worlds first avian species to succumb to the effects of rising

Subsistence observations:
Birds flying higher, farther away Lakes and rivers too low Fewer birds seen

global temperatures.
(John F. Piatt, USGS, and Kathy Kuletz, USFWS)

Impacts in Alaska

Alaska Waterfowl
Hatch dates have advanced 5 - 10 days since
1982 in all 5 species studied in Yukon Delta NWR

2. Animals

Cackling Hatchlings

Sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and


intensity, and wetland drying will likely cause dramatic changes in waterfowl communities
Julien Fischer, Scientist, USFWS (2007)

Aleutian Cackling Geese

White Front Goose on Nest

Brandt Geese

Impacts in Alaska

Waterfowl -- Scaup

2. Animals

Population appears to be in peril


(Consensus Report, 2006)

Declined from over 7 million (in 1970s) to 3.39 million (2005) (CR) Record low in 2006: 3.2 million
(Ducks Unlimited)

70% breed in western boreal forest; Fastest rate of decline there (94,000 birds per year from 1978 - 2005) Declines reflect breeding season events. (CR)

19% wetland loss in Yukon Flats


(1985 - 89 v. 2001 - 03)

Where ponds lose 20% or more surface, scaup food sources decline (i.e. amphipods, gastropods and chironomid larvae)
(Corcoran et al., 2007)

Impacts in Alaska

Yukon Chinook Diseased


Yukon River: Water Temperature

2. Animals

E.R.Keeley photo

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

E.R. Keeley photo

Courtesy of Dr. R. Kocan

Protozoan parasite Icthyophonus never found in Yukon salmon before 1985 Today, up to 45% of the Yukons Chinook salmon are infected
(Kocan et al., 2004)

R. Kocan photo R. Kocan photo

Infection is causing:
AFIP photo

Wastage Reduced returns to spawning grounds Mortality

Photo: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology

Impacts in Alaska

Kenai Salmon Streams Warming


Kenai Streams: Days Above Temperature Standard

2. Animals

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Temperatures in Kenai Peninsula streams now consistently exceed Alaskas standard to protect salmon spawning areas (13o C/ 55o F)

Source: Cook Inlet Keeper, August 2007

Impacts in Alaska

Smaller Fry in Silted Skilak Lake


Photo: NWS/APRFC, NOAA

2. Animals

Glacial melt has increased silt in Skilak Lake (major rearing area for Kenai River sockeye)
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Less light, plankton production and food for salmon fry

Fry in 2004 were about 50% smaller than average for the prior decade; fry in 2005 were 60% smaller
(AK Department of Fish & Game, 2005)

Photo Adams River Salmon Soc

Impacts in Alaska

Low Pink Salmon Harvests


ADFG 2006 SE purse seine Predicated: 52 million Actual: 11.6 million

2. Animals

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Low number was due in large part to the warmer temperatures of 2004, when the parents of this seasons mature fish would have been affected (ADFG, 2006)

Impacts in Alaska

Exotic Species Appearing


Juneau Empire
September 25, 2005

2. Animals

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Squid, sharks and barracuda are among species newly arrived in Alaska waters. Seiners and troll fishermen have sighted sardines, anchovies, jumbo squid, sharks, barracuda and large concentrations of brilliantly hued open-ocean fish such as pomfret and opah.

Photo courtesy of the Deep Blue Gallery.

2005 GOA water temperatures were 2-3o higher than average.


Juneau Empire, 9/25/05
Photo Ocean Research, Inc.

Impacts in Alaska

Bering Sea Ecosystem Changing


Change from arctic to subarctic conditions underway in the northern Bering Sea Prey base for benthic-feeding gray whales, walrus, and sea ducks is declining

2. Animals

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

North Pacific Fisheries Management Council cut 2007 catch quotas for pollock by 6% due to fish migrating northward into cooler waters
Gary Luhm

Image: NASA Earth Observatory

Photo courtesy of J. Overland

Scientists predict 40% loss of Bering Sea Ice by 2050 (USGS, 2007)

NOAA photo

NOAA Photo

Impacts in Alaska

Wetlands and Forests


Over the last 5 decades, in areas of the Kenai NWR:
Open areas decreased by 34% Wet areas decreased by 88% Water and lakes decreased by 14%
(Klein, Berg and Dial, 2004)

3. Wetlands and Forests

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

USFWS photo

8-14,000 year old sphagnum peat bogs are drying out and becoming shrub lands
(Ed Berg, Kenai Nat. Wildlife Refuge)

USFWS photo courtesy of Ed Berg

Impacts in Alaska

Disappearing & Shrinking Ponds


Disappearance of Ponds since 1950s
Study Area % Decrease in Number of Ponds 54 % 36 % 30 % 10 %

3. Wetlands and Forests

(Riordan et al., 2006)

% Decrease in Area of Ponds 28 % 25 % 31 % 18 %

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Copper River Basin Minto Flats SGR Innoko Flats NWR Yukon Flats NWR

Based on Inventory of 10,000 closed-basin ponds

Impacts in Alaska

Forest Decline: White Spruce

3. Wetlands and Forests

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

photo Barbara Logan 2005. dlogan@alaska.net

In 1950, critical temperature threshold crossed (16o C/60o F); since then, growth has declined Species could be eliminated from central Alaska by the end of this century (ACIA, 2004)

Impacts in Alaska

Forest Decline: Black Spruce

3. Wetlands and Forests

The dominant tree in about 55% of Alaskas boreal forest Warming temperatures result in strongly reduced growth Trees also disrupted by thawing ground
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

USFS photo

By 2100, predicted temperature scenarios would not allow black spruce to survive in Fairbanks area
(ACIA, 2004)

Impacts in Alaska

Forest Decline: Yellow Cedar


A dramatic decline has affected over 500,000 acres of yellow cedar in SE Alaska.
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

3. Wetlands and Forests

The suspected cause is spring freezing injury, due to: - Warmer winters
(premature dehardening in springtime)

(less insulation)
(Hennon/USFS 2004; Schaberg & Hennon 2005)
Paul Hennon photo

Paul Hennon photo

- Reduced snow cover

Impacts in Alaska

Spruce Bud Worm

3. Wetlands and Forests

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

With increased warming, all white spruce in Alaska will be vulnerable to outbreaks.

Before 1990, spruce budworm was not able to reproduce in central Alaska After warm summers in the 1990s, large infestations of budworms have occurred
(ACIA, 2004)

USDA Forest Service, Dave Powell photo

Impacts in Alaska

Spruce Bark Beetle

3. Wetlands and Forests

USFS photo

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

The worlds largest outbreak of spruce bark beetle has infested approximately 4 million acres on the Kenai Peninsula
(ACIA 2004)

Cause: Warmer summers One year life- cycles Warmer winters No kill-off
Columbia University photo http://www.columbia.edu/~jas194

Impacts in Alaska

Forest Fires
6.6 million acres burned in 2004
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

3. Wetlands and Forests

4.6 million acres burned in 2005

6.0
millions of acres 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0

Alaska Acres Burned 1956-2005


Bureau of Land Management John McColgan photo

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

Source: NOAA National Climate Data Center

Impacts in Alaska

Tundra Fires
Total Tundra Fire Area (Acres) Burned Reported thousands acres North of 68 deg. north1956-2007* o latitude burned North Lat of 68 from 1950-2007 Alaska Fire Service, 2007 250
*2007 fire still active as of 9/21/07

3. Wetlands and Forests

200

Thousands of Acres

150

Anaktuvuk River Fire, 2007


100

50

0
1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

North Slope Fire, 2004

Impacts in Alaska

Invasive Plant Species


EXAMPLE:

3. Wetlands and Forests

Purple Loosestrife

Requires warm temperatures for germination (15-20C)


(ADFG)

Now seen for the first time in Alaska, along Chester Creek

WI Dept Natural Resources

Northern limits of distribution may be strongly influenced by low growing season temperature. (USFS)

Canadian Dept of Agriculture

Aggressive invader of wetlands, serious threat to habitat and species diversity

Impacts in Alaska

Insect Pests
Woolly sawfly

3. Wetlands and Forests

Warmer conditions can allow or worsen a variety of pest infestations: European slugs: New to
Alaska, now flourishing from Kenai to Interior

Aphids: Growth increases


exponentially with temperature
Canadian Ministry of Forests

European black slug

Birch leaf roller, birch leaf miner, larch saw fly, aspen leaf miner (Glenn Juday, Professor of
Forest Ecology, UAF)

Woolly sawfly: Longer growing


season can allow two life cycles within one year
Ralph Berry OSU

Plants stressed by heat or drought are more susceptible


(Michael Rasy, IPM, UAF Coop. Ext.)

Impacts in Alaska

Infrastructure and Storms


September 2005: Storm surges 9 ft, waves 15 ft. 34 communities affected. Unalakleet lost 10-20 feet of beach.
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

4. Weather and Storms

Kotzebue Nome

Golovin Unalakleet

Newtok lost 10 ft of beach and a 1000 gallon fuel tank. Golovin homes were flooded for an unprecedented third year in a row.
(Anchorage Daily News 9/28/05)

Newtok
Bethel

Golovin, September 23, 2005.

photo courtesy of Toby Anungazuk, Jr.

Shishmaref, October 2002

Photo Gary Braasch

Impacts in Alaska

Infrastructure
Some shorelines have retreated more than 1500 feet over past few decades.
(National Assessment Synthesis Team)

4. Weather and Storms

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Newtok lost 2-3 miles in 40 years. In a single storm in 1997, Shishmaref lost 125 feet of beach. 184 communities are at risk from flooding and erosion
(GAO estimate).

12:37 PM October 8, 2002 2:32 PM

Coastal villages are becoming more susceptible to flooding and erosion caused in part by rising temperature.
(GAO 2004) Shishmaref
photos courtesy of the Nome Nugget, from arctic.noaa.gov

Impacts in Alaska

Infrastructure
Costs of Future Erosion Protection Kivalina Newtok Shishmaref Bethel Dillingham Kaktovik Unalakleet 15,000,000 90,000,000 16,000,000 $5,000,000 10,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 Cost to Relocate $ 95 125 million $ 80 130 million $100 200 million N/A N/A $ 20 40 million N/A

4. Weather and Storms

Army Corps of Engineers, April 2006 Report


How Long Does The Community Have 10 15 years 10 15 years 10 15 years > 100 years > 100 years > 100 years > 100 years

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photo

Impacts in Alaska

Infrastructure
A

4. Weather and Storms

warming climate will damage Alaskas infrastructure because it was designed for a cold climate. (Larsen and Goldsmith Institute of Social and Economic Research 6/07)
- Damage to infrastructure may add $3.6 to $6.1 billion (10% to 20%) to future costs for public infrastructure from now to 2030 and $5.6 to $7.6 billion (10% to 12%) from now to 2080. - Damage will be concentrated in areas of thawing permafrost, flooding, and eroding coastlines.

Impacts in Alaska

Alaskas Arctic Coast


USGS documented that in the last 50 years, a section of the Alaska North Slope coastline has eroded by as much as 3,000 ft (0.9 KM).
(Geology 07/07)

4. Weather and Storms

Erosion rates for the area increased from .48 km2/year (19551985) 1.08 km2/year (1985-2005).
(Geology 07/07)

Impacts in Alaska

National Security

4. Weather and Storms

NORAD AK Region

Three North American Aerospace Defense Command early-warning radar sites in Alaska to be shut down due, in part, to erosion caused by climate change; Point Lonely already closed
(New York Times, 12/07)

The Northwest Passage


Canadian Internal Waters or International Straits?

September 2008: Northwest Passage & Northern Sea Route both open (less than one-tenth surface ice) for first time since satellite observations began
(US National Ice Center)

Sept. 8, 2008

(NASA)

Maritime Jurisdiction & Boundaries


Staking Claims: The First Map (Aug. 2008)
Countries that control Arctic coastline:
United States Canada Russia Norway Denmark (Greenland) Each allowed 200-mile economic zone beyond shoreline or continental shelf, if geologically related

May 2008: 5 Arctic states agree that UN Commission will settle competing territorial claims

International Boundaries Research Unit, Durham University www.durham.ac.uk/ibru

The Lomonosov Ridge


No one owns the North Pole Yet
Potential claimants to North Pole ownership: Russia Canada Denmark (via Greenland) July 2008 USGS estimate: 13% of undiscovered oil & 30% of undiscovered gas lie under Arctic seabed Oil & gas recovery possible But at what environmental & human costs?
International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean
(geology.com)

Health Impacts
South Fairbanks smoke, June 2004

Oyster contamination in summer of 2004 (New England


Journal of Medicine, 2005)

Hazardous travel, hunting and fishing


Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Adverse dietary impacts Beaver range expanding

Health damage from fires -respiratory illnesses, especially in elderly, children


Water and sewer failures First yellowjacket sting deaths in Fairbanks in 2006; 50% increase in sting-related emergencies
(Dr. Jeffrey Demain, UAA)

Impacts in Alaska

Alaskas Uniqueness
Global warming threatens Alaskas very soul and special quality of life

5. Human Impacts

Race Cancelled 3 of last 8 years

Start Moved 6 of last 10 years

Impacts in Alaska

Subsistence Impacts
the Arctic is becoming an environment at risk Sea ice is less stable, unusual weather patterns are occurring, vegetation cover is changing, and particular animals are no longer found in traditional hunting areas during specific seasons.
Photo Alaska Division of Tourism

5. Human Impacts

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Local landscapes, seascapes, and icescapes are becoming unfamiliar, making people feel like strangers in their own land.
(ACIA, 2004)
NOAA photo Photo Alaska Division of Tourism

Impacts in Alaska

People and Culture


Climate change is occurring faster than people can adapt. [It] is strongly affecting people in many communities, in some cases threatening their cultural survival.
(ACIA 2004)

5. Human Impacts

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Photo courtesy of Alaska Conservation Foundation

Photo Alaska Division of Tourism

Photo Alaska Division of Tourism

Impacts in Alaska

Indigenous Peoples
For the Inuit, climate change is a matter of livelihood, food, health, and individual and cultural survival.

5. Human Impacts

The erosion and potential destruction of our way of life brought about by climate change resulting from emission of greenhouse gases amounts to a violation of the fundamental human rights of Inuit.

Sheila Watts-Cloutier Former Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference

Impacts in Alaska

Indigenous Peoples

5. Human Impacts

In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.


United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Impacts in Alaska

Human Impacts
All of these villages have lost people on the ice. When you have a small village of 300 or 400 people, losing three or four of their senior hunters, its a big loss. A lot of the elders will no longer go out on the sea ice because their knowledge will not work anymore. What theyve learned and passed on for 5,000 years is no longer functional.
Will Steger Founder, globalwarming101.org
Photo: Environment Canada

5. Human Impacts

Due to unusual ice conditions, one of our young local hunters lost his life, which has not occurred in our community in my lifetime.
Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photo

Fannie Weyiouanna, Shishmaref

Photo: Christoph Lpkes, Alfred Wegener Institute

Impacts in Alaska

If we do not Act: Worst Case


Average temperatures in many parts of northern North America will rise more than 25oF by 2100. Arctic tundra will decline from 8% to 1.8% of the worlds land area, and Alaska will lose almost all of its evergreen boreal forests. Extinctions and profound disruptions will ensue.
(Govindasamy and Caldeira, 2005)

5. Human Impacts

If we fail to act, and CO2 keeps rising at the current rate, then a new modeling study predicts that:

_ Predicted Temperature Increase _ _ _ _

+25oF +20
+15 +10 +5

Impacts in Alaska

Shishmaref & Elsewhere: We Must Help


Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photos

5. Human Impacts

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photo

The Options: Relocate entire village.

Pay villagers to disperse to Nome, Kotzebue, and Anchorage.


Do nothing.
Kelly Eningowuk photo

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr.

Adaptation

The Do Nothing Option


The no action option for Shishmaref is the annihilation of our community
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

1. Relocating Villages

Edwin Weyiouanna, AFE 2006

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photos

Robert Puschendorf

We are unique, and need to be valued as a national treasure by the people of the United States. We deserve the attention and help of the American people and the federal government.

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photo

Adaptation

Shishmarefs Request
We are worth saving.
[We request that] Shishmaref be used as a Federal demonstration project with maximum flexibility to determine what changes need to be made to lower the cost and impact of relocation, identify a Federal champion, and facilitate agency coordination.

1. Relocating Villages

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. photo

Edwin Weyiouanna, AFE 2006

Global Cataclysmic Concerns

Inundation
Inundation from Four Meter Sea Level Rise (or 1m rise + 3m storm surge)
Weiss and Overpeck, 2006

Global Cataclysmic Concerns

Inundation
Inundation from Four Meter Sea Level Rise (or 1m rise + 3m storm surge)
Weiss and Overpeck, 2006

Adaptation

Adaptation: Other Needs


Alaska Highways and Communities Susceptible to Permafrost Melting
Permafrost: -- continuous -- discontinuous -- sporadic -- <10%
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

2. Infrastructure

Adaptation is needed in many other areas:


Lands management Fish and wildlife management Water and waste management Archaeology

Map courtesy of Orson Smith

Highway repair

Alan Parkinson photo

Courtesy of Peter Larsen, UAA


ANTHC photo

USFWS photo

Adaptation

Adaptation: Not always possible


Adaptation is critical but not sufficient.
If global warming emissions continue to increase, irreplaceable elements of our natural and cultural heritage will be lost forever.

3. Extinctions

ADCED

NMML

What We Can Do

Individual Actions
1. Conserve
2. Consume efficiently 3. Use renewables
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

4. Be involved
www.alaskaconservationsolutions.com

What We Can Do

Measuring Your Carbon Footprint


Major Carbon Contributors:
Electric consumption Gas/heating oil consumption Car and miles driven Miles flown ORV use
www.alaskaconservationsolutions.com

Average Alaskan Carbon Footprint = 24,000 pounds

What We Can Do

Making a Difference as an Individual


Conservation Measures:
Walk, bike, ride public transit,
or carpool Make sure your tires are fully inflated and your car tuned up Lower your water heater and home thermostats Don't preheat your oven Only run your dishwasher with full loads Reduce your shower length and temperature Buy locally produced foodlook for the Alaska Grown Logo Unplug appliances not in use Turn off lights when leaving a room Use recycled paper Reuse or recycle as much as you can Cut down on consumerism

What We Can Do

Conservation: Three Examples


Unplug Appliances
Vampires! 43 billion kWH lost/year in U.S. Estimated savings = 1,000 lbs/year/person

Pump Up Tires
4 million gallon of gas wasted daily in U.S. Extends life of tires by 25% Estimated savings = 1,000 lbs/year/person

Lower Thermostat
2 degrees OR 6 degrees for 8 hours/day Estimated savings = 2000 lbs/year/person

What We Can Do

Making a Difference as an Individual


Energy Efficiency
Reduce your homes heat and energy loses Replace incandescent lights with fluorescents Replace your appliances with energy star rated appliances Buy a hybrid car

Renewables
Install renewable energy systems: wind, solar, geothermal, in-stream hydro Use biofuels

Carbon Neutral
Carbon offsets Denali Green Tags

Be Heard!

What We Can Do

Energy Efficiency: Two Examples


Compact Fluorescents
Four to six times more efficient Estimated savings = 100 lbs/year for each bulb converted

Hybrid Cars
Save money on fuel Tax credit Estimated savings = 5,600 lbs/year

Summary

Why Alaska Matters


in the Global Warming Crisis
Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

We are at ground zero. We are the Paul Revere of global warming. Alaska contributes in unique ways to the earths natural and cultural heritage, and this heritage is imperiled. Our leaders matter. If we do not act..

Photo 2002 Robert Glenn Ketchum Courtesy of Alaska Conservation Foundation

Deborah L. Williams Alaska Conservation Solutions dlwilliams@gci.net

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Thank You

www.alaskaconservationsolutions.com

JRA

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

For further information: Deborah L. Williams Alaska Conservation Solutions 308 G Street, Suite 219 Anchorage, AK 99501 dlwilliams@gci.net (907) 929-9370 www.alaskaconservationsolutions.com

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Presentation produced by Jennifer R. Allen Alaska Digital Graphics, Anchorage For technical assistance please contact: Jennifer Allen jrallen@ak.net (907) 360-2881 PO Box 212806 Anchorage, Alaska 99521

Scientific Contributors
We thank the following scientists and researchers for generous provision of data and figures presented here, and for valuable discussions and other assistance: Ed Berg Cook Inlet Keeper Paul Hennon Richard Kocan Peter Larsen Tom Osterkamp James Overland Jonathan Overpeck Vladimir Romanovsky Chris Rose Mark Willette Woods Hole Research Center

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Photographic Contributors
We gratefully acknowledge the photographs made available by:
Adams River Salmon Society http://www.salmonsociety.com/ Toby Anungazuk, Jr., Golovin Alaska Conservation Foundation http://www.akcf.org *Alaska Department of Community & Economic Development www.dced.state.ak.us/apl/home.cfm *Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.state.ak.us/ Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium http://www.anthc.org/index.cfm Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2004 http://www.amap.no/acia/ *Armed Forces Institute of Pathology http://www.afip.org/vetpath/WSC/WSC95/95wsc18.htm Gary Braasch http://www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/ *Bureau of Land Management http://www.nifc.gov/gallery/ Columbia University http://www.columbia.edu/~jas194 Deep Blue Dive Shop, Utila, Honduras http://www.deepblueutila.com/ Kelly Eningowuk, Shishmaref Environmental Defense http://www.environmentaldefense.org E.R. Keeley, University of British Columbia Robert Glenn Ketchum http://www.robertglennketchum.com/ Barbara Logan dlogan@alaska.net Gary Luhm http://www.garyluhm.com/ *NASA Earth Observatory http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ *National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Photographic Contributors (cont.)


*National Snow and Ice Data Center http://nsidc.org/ *National Weather Service Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/ Ocean Research, Inc., Honolulu http://www.ocean-research.com/ Alan Parkinson, CDC Anchorage Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.westnilevirus.gc.ca Robert Puschendorf The 7 Summits http://7summits.com/ The Age, Melbourne. http://www.theage.com.au The Nome Nugget http://www.nomenugget.com *USDA Forest Service http://www.forestryimages.org/ *US Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/ *US Geological Survey http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/photos.asp Web Portal of Bangladesh http://www.ourbangla.com Tony Weyiouanna, Sr., Shishmaref Richard Wilson, Harvard University

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

Copyright and intellectual property rights for all photographs, graphics, figures and maps in this presentation are retained by their respective creators or owners as indicated. Please contact them directly for permission to use their property and/or guidelines on permitted usage. *Public domain source exceptions are asterisked.

Global Warming: The Greatest Threat 2006 Deborah L. Williams

2006 Alaska Conservation Solutions. This presentation is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for the presentation to be freely shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission of the author. Please contact the author if you plan to deliver the presentation orally to a public audience.