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Climate Change and Coastal Erosion in Alaska

Abt led a multi-institution, field-based study of coastal erosion along a permafrost coastline in northern Alaska. The project was funded by the Office of Naval Research as part of its efforts to understand changing environmental conditions in the Arctic.

This project included:

  • Coordination of field activities along the Beaufort Sea coast;
  • Installing instrumentation and time-lapse cameras to monitor changes in coastal position and permafrost temperatures; and
  • Developing models to describe the physical processes responsible for rapid coastline change on the Beaufort Sea coast.

This project improved our understanding of how sea surface temperatures and wave conditions interact to erode Alaska’s permafrost coastline, and how changing sea ice and temperature conditions are accelerating land loss in the Arctic. The study resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications, and coverage in national media outlets, including the New York Times. The project team also received an excellence award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program.

Read related publications:

North America