Warm ocean water delays sea ice for Alaska towns, wildlife

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska Climate change is reportedly taking a toll on sea ice off Alaska’s northwest coast.

Arctic scientists say that two decades ago, the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE) Sea would have been teeming with ice by early November. At the moment, it’s mostly ice-free.

In recent years, The Chukchi has seen sea ice appear later because of warmth stored in ocean water. As of last week, sea ice remained about 200 miles off shore.

University of Washington scientists onboard a research vessel are studying the changes and how less sea ice will affect coastlines, which already are vulnerable to erosion because increased waves delivered by storms. More erosion would increase the chance of winter flooding in villages and danger to hunters in small boats.