Although ice melt from Alaska contributes to global sea level rise, sea levels near Alaska have been decreasing because the land beneath the state is rising.1 | 2 Despite this, the state could see rising water in the future, as sea levels will eventually rise faster than the land. Alaska is still experiencing some of the effects of changing sea levels, like increased flooding and erosion, and some coastal villages are already relocating. The state will need to take action and plan for future sea level rise and flooding.
Measuring sea level rise
Since 1950, sea levels off Alaska’s coast have declined 32 inches.3 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.4
Sea level measurement from Juneau area tide gauge since 1950