The ice in Alaska isn’t simply melting; it’s gotten to the point where some residents’ food and jobs are in jeopardy. Satellite data suggests that ocean temperatures in the Chukchi and North Bering seas are over 10 degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius) above normal. University of Alaska climate specialist Rick Thoman noted that there are immediate local and commercial repercussions along the state’s western and northern beaches. “The seas are extraordinarily warm. It is impacting the ability for Americans in the region to put food on the table right now.” Sea temperatures are warm enough to support algal blooms, which can make the waters hazardous to species, and birds and marine animals are turning up dead. “The northern Bering & southern Chukchi Seas are baking,” Thoman wrote on Twitter.

Several coastal Alaska towns that rely on fishing to support their economies and feed their residents are facing a growing issue. “Much of what the people eat there over the course of the year comes from food they harvest themselves,” said Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist at the International Arctic Research Center. “If people can’t get out on the ice to hunt seals or whales, that affects their food security. It is a human crisis of survivability.” Scientists warn that occurrences like this, in which weather patterns coincide to produce dramatic consequences, are proof of an escalating global dilemma.