The Impact of Climate Change on Kivalina, Alaska

Along Alaska’s west coast, about 80 miles above the Arctic circle, sits the village of Kivalina, situated on a narrow strip of land between a lagoon and the Chukchi Sea—one of several native coastal villages dealing with problems due to the warming of the Arctic. Joe Raedle, a photographer for Getty, recently flew to Kivalina to spend some time with the villagers and photograph their lives and surroundings. The warming climate has led to troubles such as the accelerated erosion of the land the village sits on, which used to be mitigated by sea ice (which is vanishing), and permafrost (which is melting). Fish and wildlife that villagers rely on for food have been forced to change their migration patterns—and poor hunting means more food must be bought from a store, further increasing the cost of living. Raedle: “The residents of Kivalina are hoping to stay on their ancestral lands, where they can preserve their culture, rather than dispersing due to their island being swallowed by the rising waters of the ocean.”

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Don Landwehrle / Shutterstock

    Vermont: Images of the Green Mountain State

    A few glimpses into the varied landscape of Vermont, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Dolores Ochoa / AP

    Photos of the Week: Shanghai Fog, Malta Moon, Storm Ciara

    Heavy rain in southeastern Australia, the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, the 92nd Oscar awards in Hollywood, coronavirus in China, Makha Bucha in Thailand, and much more

  • Sander Grefte / International Landscape Photographer of the Year

    Top Shots From the 2019 International Landscape Photographer of the Year

    Some of the top and winning images from this year’s landscape-photography competition

  • Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

    Documenting Penguin Decline in Antarctica

    Images from a recent Antarctic expedition during which scientists studied the dramatic drop in the population of chinstrap penguins