The United States National Climate Assessment—Alaska Technical Regional Report
Climate warming in Alaska has potentially broad implications for human health and food security, especially in rural areas, as well as increased risk for injury with changing winter ice conditions. Additionally, such warming poses the potential for increasing damage to existing water and sanitation facilities and challenges for development of new facilities, especially in areas underlain by permafrost. Non-infectious and infectious diseases also are becoming an increasing concern. For example, from 1999 to 2006 there was a statistically significant increase in medical claims for insectbite reactions in five of six regions of Alaska, with the largest percentage increase occurring in the most northern areas. The availability and quality of subsistence foods, normally considered to be very healthy, may change due to changing access, changing habitats, and spoilage of meat in food storage cellars.
These and other trends and potential outcomes resulting from a changing climate are further described in this report. In addition, we describe new science leadership activities that have been initiated to address and provide guidance toward conducting research aimed at making available information for policy makers and land management agencies to better understand, address, and plan for changes to the local and regional environment.
This report cites data in both metric and standard units due to the contributions by numerous authors and the direct reference of their data.