Climate change is thawing the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta’s permafrost, and it’s doing more than cracking foundations, sinking roads and accelerating erosion. In villages like Kong, communities have stopped burying their dead because, as the permafrost melts, the oldest part of their cemetery is sinking.
If you’re living in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta a hundred years from now, it’s going to be hot and wet, according to a new study by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center, an institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
It’s been eight years since a small team began excavating an ancient village outside of Quinhagak. Now, archaeologists and tribal leaders are saving what they can before the site washes away. This summer, volunteers worked to recover what they could.