Nature seems to be providing new job opportunities to the residents of Alaska. One would hope that not only more jobs, but with that, more selection in the stores. Senator Begich wants to further develop ports to accommodate more ships since there are more open waters. Begich warns that undersized ports won’t handle the increase in ship traffic.
Alaska’s climate change conditions mean new opportunities for shipping and a need to develop ports and harbors around the state, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich told a Homer group on Sunday.
“Oil and gas development means we will need a fleet of ships to service supplies. Our ports are undersized to handle it,” he said. Equipment like icebreakers and a greater Coast Guard presence further north are needed
There always seems to be some bad that comes with the good. These are just some of the issues Alaskans are facing as the climate changes:
- melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and flooding of coastal communities. Warming of oceans and melting of land-based ice increases the volume of ocean water. Loss of sea-ice cover changes habitat for arctic species and leaves coastal communities more exposed to larger waves generated by severe storms.
- thawing permafrost, increased storm severity, and related infrastructure damage to roads, utility infrastructure, pipelines and buildings. Extremes in weather patterns, precipitation and rising sea levels will affect safe water sources in villages, and contributes to increased erosion along Alaska coasts and rivers and undermines Alaska boreal forests.
- loss of the subsistence way of life as animal habitat and migration patterns shift and as hunting and fishing become more dangerous with changing sea and river ice. Warming streams and increased silt from melting glaciers affect fish habitat. Boreal forests advance northward and to higher elevations, displacing tundra. Invasive species compete with native vegetation. Humans, animals and plants may be exposed to new infectious diseases as habitat changes.
- forest fires and insect infestations increasing in frequency and intensity. In the past decade, Alaska has witnessed a record loss of forests to fires and spruce bark beetles.
Alaskans have always needed to be prepared for anything and everything in the long winters, but now it is important to prepare for more power outages, fire, floods, and storms. It also means that people who live off the land my not be able to continue to do things the way they always have. It will mean a change of culture. It means that now more than ever, Alaskans need to be preppers and ready to deal with situations they are not accustomed to managing.
“State of Alaska – Climate Change in Alaska.” State of Alaska – Climate Change in Alaska. 13 Feb. 2013
“Begich: Alaska needs to step up for leadership role in time of climate change | Homer Tribune.” Begich: Alaska needs to step up for leadership role in time of climate change | Homer Tribune. 13 Feb. 2013