Many types of observations indicate that Alaska’s climate and landscape are entering a time of rapid change. Information provided here is about climate-related changes that are being observed in Alaska, ecological impacts of climate change on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Trust Species, and what actions are being taken to address those impacts. For more detailed information on climate change as a whole, visit the Links & Resources page.
Evidence of Change
Many areas in Alaska are already showing signs of a warming climate. Observed changes include increasing temperature, permafrost thaw, coastal erosion, wetland drying, glacial and sea ice recession, and an increase in fire frequency and intensity.
What are the Ecological Impacts?
Forest, tundra, marine and freshwater ecosystems are all vulnerable to a changing climate, which can influence Alaska’s biodiversity in a myriad of complex and unpredictable ways. These changes will likely transform Service trust resources and lands in ways we do not currently understand.
Conservation & Management
The greatest challenges facing Region 7 in the coming years are the complex and uncertain impacts anticipated from climate change. This over-arching conservation issue pays no heed to political or administrative boundaries and will demand a strategic, proactive, creative and collaborative approach.
Our strategic approach to climate change will emphasize strategies that support adaptation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, reduce our own carbon footprint through mitigation, and empower our employees, partners and public with the necessary information to take action in their day-to-day responsibilities.
How this site is Organized
Ecologically meaningful scales
With an area of more than 375 million acres spanning 2,000 miles from east to west and 1,100 miles north to south, 12 major rivers which drain two-thirds of the State, 5 important mountain ranges, and permafrost underlaying two-thirds of the state, It comes as no surprise that Alaska is characterized by a wide diversity of climates and associated wildlife habitats.
Alaska in 5 Ecological Regions
A better understanding of where and when changes could occur is needed to help decision makers identify how Alaska's ecosystems may respond in the future. The state has been divided into five regions for planning coordination: Arctic, Northwest Boreal, Western Alaska, North Pacific, and Aleutian & Bering Sea Islands. Click on a region on the map below for a description of regional projections and potential impacts in greater detail.
Clicking on a region in the map
To see regionally specific climate change information