Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesOther - United States · 1 decade ago

If Alaska drifted off The Northwest Territories where do you think it will be?

Also, what would life be like for everyone living in Alaska?

How would technology, agriculture, landscape, business, economy, residence, real estate, recreation, and lifestyle be like for people living in Alaska if Alaska were to drift off away from The Northwest Territories and arrived in the pacific?

The Atlantic?


Whoops I meant to type in drifted off Yukon and The Northwest Territories.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Geologically, this would never happen in a human lifetime - continental drift is about an inch a year. But if somehow it did:

    Although we're connected to North America at the AK-NWT border and there is the Alaskan Highway, not much commerce or infrastructure happens there. Some people drive back and forth but very few things get trucked up. Mostly goods come in by ship to port cities like Anchorage. And Prudhoe Bay oil goes out by tanker from Valdez. So none of that would change.

    If we drifted south a little bit (500 miles?), Fairbanks would become more important than Anchorage for cargo plane refueling and trans-shipment. If we drifted 1,500 miles south, down to Seattle's lattitude, we'd get less polar-route planes (those would go to Whitehorse, YT) and more trans-Pacific planes looking to refueling. Less stuff from China and more from the Phillipines and Indonesia.

    They'd have to repair the fiber-optic cables that run up the inside passage.

    If Alaska cut loose and drifted south, our climate would change a lot. Be more like Seattle (cloudy and rainy) and less like the sub-arctic. So more crops, more forests, more livestock would become possibilities. We have such a HUGE area (over twice the size of Texas), it could be a tremendous argicultural state if it was a bit warmer.

    Real estate would be more valuable because you could put more land in production and more people would be willing to move here if it were warmer.

    Recreation would change a lot. Fewer moose to hunt and salmon to fish. More deer and warmer water fish. Shorter winters would shift the focus from snowmobiling, skiing and ice fishing to summer sports like hiking, fishing, baseballs, etc. A lot more of our land would be temperate. Like in the 48 states where year-round snow and cool temps only exist on high mountains.

    I'm not sure how AK could get to the Atlantic unless we went all the way across the Arctic Ocean and slipped past Greenland somehow. It would be a nice location - equidistant to Europe and the US East Coast. It would totally change air travel because narrow body planes (like 737s or A320s could hop from Europe to the US. Any big landmass there would become a huge trading and shipping location between the two biggest ecomonies on the planet (US and Europe).

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