Unleashed by Warming, Debris Threaten to ‘Crush’ Alaska Pipeline

"When the highway and pipeline were planned in the 1970s, the debris “lobes” were frozen solid. Now, they’re monsters devouring everything in their paths."

"When Alaska state engineer Jeff Currey heard about frozen debris lobes inching toward the Dalton Highway, the first thing that flashed in his mind’s eye was the campy 1958 horror movie “The Blob.”

This thing called a debris lobe sounded farfetched to Currey, who has worked 21 years for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

It didn’t seem plausible to him that a massive, underground mix of rocks, soil and trees was relentlessly inching toward the highway 200 miles north of Fairbanks near Coldfoot. The 414-mile thoroughfare begins in central Alaska north of Fairbanks and continues north to Prudhoe Bay on the Beaufort Sea."

David Hasemyer reports for Inside Climate News December 20, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/21/2021