In "When the Water Took the Land," "Fault Lines" travels to Alaska to examine the costs of climate change, as rising temperatures fuel the erosion of people's lands and lives. The film airs on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern time/6 p.m. Pacific on Al Jazeera America. | Click here to find Al Jazeera in your area.
The latest climate talks in Paris set a long-term goal of keeping global warming from raising temperatures around the world above an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But in some parts of the Arctic, temperatures are already up 5 degrees on average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (The region as a whole is up more than 2 degrees.)
As temperatures rise, they’re wreaking havoc on a way of life for small, coastal Alaska Native villages that rely on sea ice to protect their land from being swallowed up by surrounding water. Several have made the decision to relocate to higher ground as their traditional homes become increasingly uninhabitable.
The following photo essay looks at challenges facing people living in two Alaska Native villages: Kivalina, located 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle; and Newtok, a settlement in the southwestern part of the state, along the Bering Sea.