SHISHMAREF, AK - JUNE 10: Out late on a Friday night, teenage Inupiat Eskimos go ice-hoping on the Chukchi Sea at 1 am, one of the rare distractions in Shishmaref, June 10, 2005 in Shishmaref, Alaska, USA. Their future, however, lies elsewhere, as villagers will be force to evacuate Shishmaref in the next few years because of climate change. 'Most people don't want to move to a city', says elder Tony Weyiouanna, 'because we will loose our way of life'. 'But for the kids', he adds pensively, 'may be it will be a good thing'. Located on the small island of Sarichef off the coast of Alaska near the Artic circle, Shishmaref, population 591, is a century old Inupiat Eskimo village whose economy depends partly on subsistence fishing and hunting. Shishmaref will have to be evacuated within the next few years because of global warming. Climate change has caused the Chukchi sea, which surrounds the island, not to freeze before the arrival of the fierce fall storms, as it has for centuries, leaving the island unprotected. In the last ten years, hundreds of feet of shore as well as several houses have been lost to the storms. Eighteen houses also had to be moved away from the edge of the island, to which scientists have given another nine years. Poised to become the world's first global warming refugees, Shishmaref's Inupiat Eskimos are struggling for their survival: the government would like to move them to the suburbs of the city of Nome, where the Eskimos fear that their traditional lifestyle will be lost. Instead, Shishmaref's inhabitants want to setttle in Tin Creek, an isolated, undevelloped location some sixteen miles away, a more expensive endeavor, whose cost has been estimated at more than 180 milions. (Photo by Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images)