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Over the past 30 years Alaska has observed a more drastic change in temperatures than any other part of the world. Alaska in general witnesses a warming twice as strong as the rest of the world, with winters warming up more than summers. While reasons for this change are still a major focus of international research, the effects of this warming are seen all over Alaska. Coastal erosion, more frequent storms, melting permafrost and higher sea levels have an impact on natural habitats and human settlements. In addition, Alaska has witnessed majot ecological impacts such as species disturbance and the north- and upward migration of plant species, and widspread retreat of glaciers. Determining the effects of climate change on the local level has become one of the priorities of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and other national and international assessment efforts. ISSE scientists Linda O. Mearns, Shannon McNeeley, and Susi Moser are currently researching different aspects of climate change in Alaska.

Current ISSE projects are "Climate Variability in the Alaskan North Slope Coastal Region", "Circle of Knowledge: Climate, Weather and Environmental Change", and the proposed project "Exploring the Feasibility Limits of Adaptation Strategies to Sea-Level Rise".


      The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE), the Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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