The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community started planning for climate change a decade ago. Located on the southeastern peninsula of Fidalgo Island on Puget Sound in Washington, the reservation is surrounded by water and at high risk for sea-level rise. A destructive 100-year storm event in 2006 led tribal leaders to research and fund climate programs, and the Swinomish became the first tribal nation to adopt a climate adaptation plan. So, when President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement, the Swinomish reacted swiftly and, together with other tribes, publicly committed to uphold the accord.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation denied a climate change petition on Thursday submitted by a group of teens. The petition asked the state to reduce carbon emissions, monitor greenhouse gasses and come up with a long term climate change strategy.
Sea ice is sparse in Arctic waters off Alaska, and the implications for animals, upcoming winter weather and next year's ice pack are reported to be profound.
A lack of floating ice forced walruses to the shore of Alaska's Chukchi Sea earlier than any time on record. Perilous melt conditions forced biologists monitoring Alaska polar bears to cut short their spring field season. Other scientists sailing in the region marveled at the extraordinarily warm water temperatures. A ship, a Finnish icebreaker, made the earliest recorded vessel crossing of the once-impenetrable Northwest Passage, sailing from the Bering Strait to Greenland in July.