Alaskan villagers become climate refugees as homeland melts
By Thin Lei Win
HANOI (AlertNet) – The 400-strong Eskimo community in Newtok in western Alaska is living on shaky ground. Literally.
The permafrost – the permanently frozen subsoil – on which the village is located is melting as temperatures warm.
Advanced erosion caused by the Ninglick River next to the village and seasonal flooding and storm surges are further threats to its existence.
The Arctic Sea ice which normally acts as a buffer to storm surges is also reducing, making the village vulnerable to future extreme weather events, said Robin Bronen from the University of Alaska who has been working with the community for five years.
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