Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska -- population 560 -- voted this year to relocate because of climate change. The community is inhabited mostly by indigenous Inupiat people. The coast of their barrier island is thawing and falling into the sea, among other issues.
Shelton and Clara Kokeok are among the residents who say they won't leave the town, about 30 miles from the Arctic Circle. Their son, Norman, shown in the photograph, was killed when he fell through sea ice in 2007. They blame climate change for his death.
The Kokeoks live in a small blue house at the very edge of the barrier island, which is accessible only by plane much of the year. Most of their neighbors' homes were moved back from the coast because of warming. One home fell into the sea.
Seal is a staple of the local diet, and it's often dried and frozen outside for the winter.
Sealskin boots traditionally were used to keep feet warm and dry.
The Shishmaref Erosion and Relocation Coalition met in December 2016 to discuss plans for the move and other matters.
It's unclear to those on the relocation committee when -- or if -- the move will happen. The community has no substantial funding for the relocation effort, according to local coordinator Annie Weyiouanna.
Esau Sinnok and his adoptive mother, Bessi Sinnok, reluctantly say they want the village to move. The younger Sinnok says it's the only way to preserve the community's unique indigenous traditions. Climate change will force relocation if locals don't plan it, he said.
Susie Nayokpuk, left, and Hazel Fernandez complained about the heat in late December. "I miss that cold-cold weather," said Fernandez. "It's too weird. It's too warm." Thermometers that week showed temperatures in the 10s and 20s. The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the rest of the Earth.
Relocating the village would be too expensive, said Percy Nayokpuk, who owns a store in town. Shipping costs would increase if residents moved to the mainland. Still, he said, "I think to deny that there's climate change is wrong. Climate change is happening."
There are two stores in town, both stocked primarily by plane. Many local people live off the land by fishing and hunting. Traditional foods include seal, walrus, caribou and plants picked from the tundra.
Freakishly warm weather has thrown off hunting and fishing seasons, though, making locals somewhat more reliant on consumer goods. Some carry prices many times those found in the mainland United States.
On December 21, the shortest day of the year, the sun rose about 12:45 p.m. and set around 3:20 p.m. Life continues in the dark hours of the day.