Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hot Times in Alaska

Global climate change could cost Alaska $10 billion in road, bridge, and pipeline repairs in the next few decades.

Alaska's average temperature has risen by about three degrees in the last 50 years. If the trend continues, Alaska will see the warmest temperatures in 400 years.

Problem is, so much of Alaska's infrastructure is built on permafrost. As the higher temperatures cause it to melt, roads and bridges could buckle, pipelines collapse, buildings sink into the ground.

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as other parts of the world.

An analysis from the University of Alaska found 20 different kinds of public works -- from schools to city halls -- were threatened by flooding and damage.

And whole coastal villages like Shishmaref are sinking -- forcing a $100 million relocation. (Reuters)

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