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Profile: Rick Thoman Gives a Sea Ice Report

Scattered patches of thin sea ice as seen from the shoreline on a wintry day in a rural Alaska village.
Along the coast of Savoonga in March 2018, a strange sight: open water and scattered patches of thin ice. Normally, shore ice is solid enough to support extended hunting expeditions. Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM.

Western Alaska waters are warming, and with that comes changes in sea ice.

Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska–Fairbanks, gave a special “Strait Science” presentation in Nome on Thursday night at the UAF Northwest Campus. His talk included a sea ice forecast for the coming year.

KNOM sat down with Thoman on Wednesday, October 31, and he filled us in on his observations of the region’s warming waters, which are resulting in a very late start to sea ice formation.

Listen to KNOM’s profile on Thoman to hear more on what climate specialists like him have already noted, as well as how the lack of sea ice is affecting marine life and hunting practices.

Image at top: Along the coast of Savoonga in March 2018, a strange sight: open water and scattered patches of thin ice. Normally, shore ice is solid enough to support extended hunting expeditions. Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM.

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