New Web Tool Helps Predict Local Climate Change

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A new tool is now available to show the effects of climate change on a local scale. The Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning or SNAP, has a website with a variety of tools for communities who want to see local climate change predictions.

Right now in Fairbanks our permafrost is thawing and will continue to thaw, according to research professor Nancy Fresco. "Because we're on very warm permafrost, discontinuous permafrost, so in a lot of places its thawing and when it thaws, that wet ground sinks down, and you see that, you see sinkholes, you see places where the road collapses, places where people's houses are under threat,” said Fresco. She said another significant threat to Fairbanks is an increase in fires. "Fires occur naturally here, it's a part of our ecosystem, however fires have been becoming more frequent, larger, and harder to control,” said Fresco

Although the climate change projections are mostly bad news, Fresco said it helps to know what to expect, so we can adapt. "For engineers building roads or houses, or for the borough planning where new subdivisions might go, knowing that permafrost is thawing, helps an enormous amount in saving time energy and money,” Fresco said.
Residents can go onto the website and see predictions for their community up to the year 2100.

you can find more information on Climate Change and the Project itself at www.snap.uaf.edu.