Alaska is experiencing a massive shift due to climate change faster than any other area. With this rapid acceleration due to climate change, area researchers and scientists across the country are studying how this might be a look into the future for the rest of the 48 states.
According to Discovery News, the current state of Alaska’s environment woes might be a look into the future for the rest of us. The unrest of the environment, due to changes brought on by the shifting climate, are happening more rapidly than anywhere else.
With wildfires raging, glaciers shifting, and animal behavior changing, this could possibly provide the perfect laboratory setting for the fate of the lower 48 states.
“The region is rapidly changing, and we’ve already seen a lot of that from field measurements and remote sensing,” according to Scott Goetz, deputy director at Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Mass., and science team leader of NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment, in a statement. “It’s an area that’s warming with climate change, and there’s a lot of potential for permafrost degradation, especially with these massive fires burning off the organic soil layer.”
The wildfires have already claimed more than 5 million acres in Alaska and due to the shifting temperature, greater amounts of thunderstorms are happening in areas that they haven’t appeared in before.
With higher amounts of lightning igniting areas that haven’t had such activity before, fires are blackening the ground, allowing for higher absorption of sunlight which, according to the scientists who have been scanning the area, help to further decimate the permafrost below the surface.
Glacier melting in the area also is disturbing the area, with the higher flow of water causing the Alaskan Current, which influences patterns of migration for salmon and other species, possibly leading to a disruption in the Alaskan fishing industry.
These changes are being watched and documented by various researchers and scientists across the country.