Newest Issue - July 2006

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Feeling the Heat

In July 2002, the residents of Shishmaref, an Inuit hamlet on one of Alaska’s barrier islands just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, finally surrendered.

They were defeated by decades of implacable change in their local environment. Rising sea levels, melting ice, deteriorating permafrost and increasingly violent storms were rendering their village uninhabitable.

So they voted to pick up and go, says community leader Tony A. Weyiouanna Sr. “It was pretty clear that our island was going to wash away and that we needed to relocate,” he says.

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