It might be a good idea to sell that beachfront property and start shopping for property further north
I heard an interesting story on NPR
this afternoon about a village in Alaska that is being threatened by storms. Historically the village was safe because by this time of year the ocean near the shore had frozen. In recent years (past decade?) the oecan is not freezing before the severe storms hit. As a result, the erosion is removing the sand that the village is settled on.
The general trend appears to be supported by a report from the US Global Change Research Corportaion.
which states in part
All components of the cryosphere (the frozen portions of the Earth) in the Arctic are experiencing change, including snow cover, mountain and continental glaciers, permafrost, sea ice, and lake and river ice. For example, glaciers in Alaska, as throughout the Arctic, have retreated through most of the 20th century. Estimated losses in Alaskan glaciers are of the order of 30 feet in thickness over the past 40 years, even while some have gained thickness in their upper regions.
And don't cherry pick that "gained thickness in their upper regions" part. My guess (I'm not a glacial hydrologist) is that there is a small gain at the top due to increased precipitation -- possibly also caused by warming. Bottom line is the the ice mass is decreasing.
On the matter of erosion the USGRP report says
In fact, there are already numerous ecosystem changes observed due to permafrost thawing. They include: ... increased coastal and riverine (along the banks of rivers) erosion
Of course, being authored by an agency of the US goverment the report finds the silver
In the longer term, longer ice-free seasons are likely to bring substantial benefits to marine transport and offshore operations in the petroleum industry
Me. I think we've set in motion a huge experiment. We should do our best to minimize our impact, but being humans, we won't. The mass would rather swill another budwiser and flick the remote.