Arctic Dispatches, part 1: The past winter was the warmest on record in the Arctic, putting a lifestyle that has endured for millennia at risk: ‘The magnitude of change is utterly unprecedented’

A few days before Christmas last year, Harry Brower, mayor of Alaska’s North Slope Borough, was at home when he heard a stunning noise – the sound of waves lapping at the shore.

The sound was as wrenching and misplaced as hearing hailstones thud into the Sahara. Until fairly recently, the Arctic ocean regularly froze up hard up against the far north coast of Alaska by October. In 2017, it wasn’t until the final few days of the year that the ice encased the waves.

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Read More What happened to winter? Vanishing ice convulses Alaskans’ way of life

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