Now, in a newly released fifth report examining looming threats to villages, the Center for Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium zeroes in on Selawik, a village of 830 about 70 miles southeast of Kotzebue that's said to be sinking as permafrost thaws.
The Inupiat village has been called the "Venice of Northwest Alaska" because of the settling ground. Stairs to some houses no longer reach the ground. Shifting water pipes break more easily. And some homes tilt so much toilet bowls can't fill with water for flushing, forcing families to return to the old-fashioned honeybucket.