Retreating sea ice allows powerful storms to pound the Alaskan coast, speeding erosion
Portions of the Arctic coast are eroding by more than 26 feet per year, a problem that is likely to worsen as climate change intensifies, according to a new study.
The problem is most severe along the shores of the Laptev, East Siberian and Beaufort seas, concludes the “State of the Arctic Coast 2010″ report, compiled by more than 30 researchers in 10 countries.
The analysis, which examined roughly a quarter of the Arctic’s coastline, found the region’s shores are eroding by an average of about 1.5 feet per year.
Driving the erosion is a potent cocktail of receding and thinning sea ice, warming seawater and stronger waves.