Record temperatures have led to the deaths of five people in Alaska.
The state experienced the warmest March ever recorded. Many cities in northern Alaska averaged temperatures 30 or 40 degrees fahrenheit above normal.
The warm temperatures have weakened the ice roads built on frozen waterways. Two men died in March when their vehicle fell through the Kuskokwim River and a family of three was killed after crashing their snowmobiles through the ice.
The rapidly melting ice has also left shorelines exposed and vulnerable to erosion. The shoreline in the town of Shishmaref has eroded more than 100 feet. Its residents have voted to relocate more inland.
In 2017, Alaska experienced record low sea ice. This year, ice thickness was below average. Residents worry the thin ice will not be stable enough. Residents worry the thin ice will not be stable enough for seal and walrus hunting.
In 2018, the Alaska Climate Action Plan was developed to study the effects of climate change. It includes proposing a carbon tax, decreasing Alaska’s reliance on fossil fuels, and minimizing electricity generation 33% by 2030.