Dramatic Ocean Warming Off Alaska Raises Concerns For Hunters, Wildlife

"Exceptionally warm ocean temperatures have melted sea ice off Alaska’s coasts far earlier than normal this year, alarming scientists and rural residents worried about the impacts to seals, seabirds and fish they hunt.

The early melting has been "crazy,” said Janet Mitchell of the village of Kivalina in Northwest Alaska.

In early June, a group of hunters from her family traveled more than 50 miles by boat to find bearded seals on the ice. The ice, and the seals that accompany it, should have been just outside the village. But the ice had receded far to the north.

“We didn’t know if we’d have our winter food," she said. “That was scary.""

Alex DeMarban reports for the Anchorage Daily News June 26, 2019.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 06/27/2019