As Alaska glaciers shrink, concerns turn to the rivers

For the first time in decades, federal officials allowed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this summer.

It wasn't for oil, though.

The drillers were targeting ice buried deep in a glacier high in the Brooks Range.

Their goal is to learn about the region's past climate and search for clues about the region's future.

One pressing question: If the few Brooks Range glaciers dry up -- and it seems likely that they will if the current warming trend persists -- what will happen to the coastal plain rivers they feed?

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