January 9, 2017
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan was developed as a guide to polar bear conservation in the U. S. , and calls for decisive action to address Arctic warming and protect polar bears from the impacts of climate change. This plan outlines conservation and adaptation strategies for the USFWS and agency partners to support the recovery of polar bears, while articulating the need to lower greenhouse gas levels to ultimately protect the survival of the species.
Resource Category: Planning
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.
Resource Category: Solutions
Several tribal villages in Alaska are facing impending community-wide climate impacts of permafrost degradation, sea level rise, erosion, and flooding — which require immediate adaptation measures, including the potential of managed retreat. However, only one, the Village of Newtok, is in the process of actively relocating to a new site, Mertarvik, which was conveyed to Newtok through a federal land grant. The Newtok team — composed of federal, state, and local tribal representatives — is prioritizing the development of housing, roads, energy, and an evacuation center in the near-term. The project goal is to relocate everyone in Newtok to Mertarvik by 2023. The Newtok relocation has been funded by a patchwork of federal and state agencies for over 20 years. This case study can highlight one approach and ongoing lessons learned for state and local jurisdictions confronting larger-scale questions about managed retreat, and the process of transitioning entire communities to higher ground.
Resource Category: Solutions
The Alaska State Climate Center (ASCC) provides climatological information and and official weather data to the public. The Center is operated by the Alaska State Climatologist, Dr. Peter Olsson and the ASCC staff on the main campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). The Climate Center is a component of UAA's Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI) which conducts research in high-latitude bio- and geosciences. The ASCC works closely with the federal, state, regional and local agencies who are responsible for data collection/stewardship to provide their clients with the highest quality and most up-to-date data possible.
Adapt Alaska is a website which hosts information about climate impacts in Alaska, a set of steps for policymakers and planners to create monitoring, mitigation, and adaptation solutions, and various resources and case studies designed to guide the user in developing and funding their own adaptation projects. The website emerged from a collaborative research project—Promoting Coastal Resilience in Arctic Alaska— which included workshops and outreach efforts, during which coastal community resilience workshop participants identified issues they faced from rapidly changing environmental and climate conditions. This learning and planning tool provides both background information about the impacts of climate change on Alaska and resources to adapt to this change, while incorporating considerations of cultural values into strategies.
Resource Category: Adaptation Websites
Alaska's Immediate Action Workgroup (IAWG) of the Governor’s Executive Subcabinet on Climate Change was formed in 2007 to make and prioritize annual recommendations to address impacts to the state's communities from climate change. The Workgroup released its first report in 2008, addressing known climate threats to communities caused by coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, flooding, and fires. The climate impacts are assessed and recommendations are made for each of the Alaskan communities of Kivalina, Koyukuk, Newtok, Shaktoolik, Shismaref, and Unalakleet.
Resource Category: Planning
Alaska's IAWG 2008 Final Report: Recommendations Report to the Governor's Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change
Alaska's Immediate Action Workgroup (IAWG) was formed in 2007 to make and prioritize annual recommendations to address climate change threats to the State's communities. The IAWG examined the needs and priorities of a sub-set of communities under imminent threat from climate change impacts, including Kivalina, Koyukuk, Newtok, Shaktoolik, Shismaref, and Unalakleet. This is the first annual report, and it is applicable to recommended actions for 2008-2009. .
Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting
The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) web page for the water resources of Alaska aggregates all kinds of water-resource information, including information on Alaska's rivers and streams, ground water, water quality, and many other topics. The USGS operates the most extensive satellite network of stream-gaging stations in the state, many of which form the backbone of flood-warning systems. The USGS provides current ("real-time") stream stage and streamflow, water-quality, and ground-water levels for over 200 sites in Alaska.
Alaska Sea Grant supports marine and coastal research, provides education and extension services, distributes information about Alaska's seas and coasts, and provides funding to scientific researchers and graduate students. Their Marine Advisory Program is for fishermen, boat operators, coastal residents, tour guides, the seafood industry, and others who make a living from or enjoy the waters of Alaska. This program produces and distributes a variety of publications for the general public, K-12 educators, fishermen, and others.
December 9, 2016
President Obama’s Executive Order establishes the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in response to requests from the native coastal tribes in this region for the Federal Government to take action to protect the health of the marine ecosystems, while maintaining sustainable fishing and economic development opportunities. The subsistence practices of these communities, along with inter-related marine ecosystem stability are threatened by warming ocean temperatures, sea ice loss, sea level rise, increasing maritime traffic, and oil and gas leasing.
Resource Category: Law and Governance