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Climate change study targets problems in Alaska communities

JUNEAU, Alaska — A new study of environmental threats to Alaska Native communities has found the greatest challenges include erosion, flooding and thawing permafrost.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Sunday that the study results issued last month found the environmental hazards continue to worsen due to climate change.

The Army Corps of Engineers and researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks conducted the study for the Denali Commission’s Village Infrastructure Protection Program.

Officials say the three-year, $700,000 study examined 187 communities, primarily in Western Alaska areas located on or near the coast or a river.

The study provides a rating system that ranks the existing danger levels from flooding, erosion and permafrost degradation.

A Denali Commission official says the report may help residents determine the biggest threats facing their communities.

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Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

The Associated Press