By Dan Shapley
Half Mile Of Coast Gone As Ice Disappears And Sea Waves Wash Away Earth
About a half mile of Alaskan coast has disappeared in some areas, as interior lakes expand, coastal ice disappears and stronger waves pound the shore. The interaction of the three phenomena -- all linked in some ways to global climate change -- has made thin coastal land masses disappear, transforming lakes into bays of the Beaufort Sea. What's more, the half mile of coastal land has been lost in just 50 years. And the rate of erosion has increased from 120 acres per year to 270 acres per year. Alaska, and the rest of the Arctic, are experiencing the effects of climate change more acutely than any other part of the world. The average temperature in Alaska has already gone up as much as 5.4 degrees. The dwindling coast there should be seen as a sign of things to come in more densely inhabited places in the world, if more isn't done to stop runaway global warming.