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One place that already feels the effects of the melting North Pole is Shishmaref, a small Alaskan village just south of the Arctic Circle. The Inupiak people have lived here for generations, but in the past 30 years, they've witnessed dramatic changes.

As illustrated in the documentary Everything's Cool, warming temperatures are causing the icy barriers that once protected Shishmaref to form later in the season. This leaves the village vulnerable to fierce waves that pummel and eat away at the coastline.

As a result, entire foundations of houses have been destroyed as the ground has receded into the sea. Already 18 houses have been relocated to higher ground and rising water could eventually engulf the entire island. The estimated cost to relocate the village is $100 million.

Shismaref isn't alone. Gore says there are 180 towns in Alaska that face similar threats from rising sea levels.
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FROM: Global Warming 101 with Al Gore
Published on December 05, 2006

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