Climate Change and the Inuit

This is a brief over view on the impact of climate change on the Inuit culture. It includes evidence, problems and how they are adapting.

  • Created by: Rosa
  • Created on: 23-03-12 16:48

Evidence for Climate Change

Autumn freeze-up occurs up to a month later than usual and the spring thaw seems earlier every year.

New species of birds such as barn swallows and robins are arriving on the island. In the nearby waters, salmon have been caught for the first time.

Canada‘s temperature has risen by 2.3 degrees.

An Inuit village, Ikummaq, showed how shifting winds were changing the shape of ice formations.

Temperatures at the north pole have risen at twice the rate of the rest of the world, and some scientists estimate that large areas of the Arctic will be completely ice-free by the end of the century.

Drowned polar bears have been found

Decrease in amount of sea ice

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In the autumn, storms have become frequent and severe, making boating difficult

The melting has already caused one inland lake to drain into the ocean, killing the freshwater fish.

It has also caused building foundations to shift the town of Sachs Harbour

The multi-year sea-ice is smaller and now drifts far from the community in the summer, taking with it the seals upon which the community relies for food.

In the winter the sea-ice is thin and broken, making travel dangerous for even the most experienced hunters.

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Adapting to Climate Change

•In 2009 a Scientist called James D Ford wrote an article called Dangerous climate change and the importance of adaptation for the Arctic's Inuit population addressing the adaptation of the Inuit for Climate Change.

Some lifestyle ways the Inuit are adapting to the changing climate is:

•Developing new hunting trail networks, which access different areas, and changing the nature of hunting at these key times of year (using boats more, for example). •Using new technology, such as GPS and satellite phones, could help to make hunting and travel safer.

Some ways the Inuit lifestyle could adapt are:

•Government policy managing the wildlife population in ways that assist Inuit harvesting in a changing climate •Some communities may need to relocate due to sea level rise and permafrost thaw •It is thought that the traditional Inuit way of life will be lost when adapting to climate change

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