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Arctic Climate Change Impacts

Global warming threatens refuge polar bears with extinction. The Porcupine caribou herd’s migrations are changing. Protecting the Arctic Refuge is symbolic of our commitment to a bold, clean energy future.

Arctic Climate Change Impacts

Arctic Climate Change Impacts
Alaska is warming faster than anywhere on earth.  Wildlife and communities face mounting impacts as sea ice melts, lakes dry up, and coasts erode yet risky oil, gas, and coal mining further fuel the problem.  Alaska’s renewable energy solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a sustainable future.

Arctic Refuge
Threatened by extinction from melting sea ice, more polar bear mothers seek den sites on refuge lands.  Porcupine caribou’s migration routes are changing so Gwich’in hunters are at risk.  Glaciers are melting.  Arctic Refuge protection is an emblem of our bold turn to a clean energy future to arrest global warming.

Scientists have documented impacts in the Arctic Refuge and described management concerns related to caribou, bears, migratory birds and other species. 

National Wildlife Federation was on the vanguard 50-years ago when they played a key role in establishing the refuge, and now they are a leader linking the risks of climate change to refuge habitats.  The NAEC partnered with NWF to highlight these risks in the report, Double Trouble for Polar Bears.  

The importance of wilderness in a changing climate:

The special values of the Arctic Refuge's undisturbed ecosystems whose purpose is to protect the natural diversity of wildlife and their habitats play an important role in understanding the cumulative effects of human developments and climate change in the Arctic region. This “scientific control” concept was a major justification for establishment of the original Wildlife Range in 1960. The value of these wilderness quality lands as a scientific benchmark is even greater today due to the expanding development elsewhere across Alaska’s Arctic Slope and the increasing speed of climate change.   


National Wildlife Federation also teamed up with grammy winning artist Dan Wilson (from Semisonic) to create a video slideshow about the impacts of global warming on Alaskan wildlife.


“Alaska is harder hit by global change than anyplace on earth.”  Former Sen. Ted Stevens (From ACS brochure)

“Impacts of arctic climate change will have implications for biodiversity around the world because migratory species depend on breeding and feeding grounds in the Arctic.” ACIA.  2004.  Impacts of a warming arctic: Arctic Climate Change Impact Assessment.  Cambridge University Press. P. 10.


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