Thinning Sea Ice and Thawing Permafrost: Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Nome, Alaska

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Climate change is among the most critical challenges facing local government decision-makers in the north. Yet while
    risk is clear, with climate impacts occurring there more rapidly than many regions on Earth, integrated policy and
    planning for climate adaptation often remains a low priority for decision-makers. In an effort to extend the discussion
    and contribute to scholarship in this area, this paper explores climate change stressors and policy response in the
    coastal town Nome, Alaska. Through narratives of local government key actors and informed by strategic planning
    documents, this study sheds light on the decision dynamics around local climate change actions as well as preparedness
    for climate variability in general. In particular, this work highlights that thinning sea ice and thawing permafrost are
    both having an influence on life in Nome. Yet climate change adaptation remains a low priority for decision-makers,
    with the link to strategic policy often peripheral and not solutions orientated. As Nome is not unique in its need to
    adapt to climate change, findings from this work may provide communities experiencing similar climate stressors with
    awareness for the importance of incorporating adaptation thinking with long-term strategic policy and planning.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Birchall, SJ., Bonnett, N. (2020). Thinning sea ice and thawing permafrost: Climate change adaptation planning in Nome, Alaska. Environmental Hazards.19(2), 152-170.