Saturday, June 30, 2007

Inuit activist honoured by the United Nations for climate change work.

An Inuit activist is honoured by the United Nations Developmet Program for highlighting the harmful effects of greenhouse gases on Arctic communities.

Summary of arctic impacts.

From the arctic peoples website:

The impacts of change

Evidence of climate change is being seen right now in indigenous communities in the Arctic. Some people outside of the Arctic assume that climate change would be a good thing for Arctic peoples, if it means that the weather will get warmer. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to be the case. Arctic peoples are well adapted to their environment, and to using the plants and animals that are adapted to the cold northern weather. As the weather gets warmer, people, plants and animals are becoming stressed.

Saami are seeing their reindeer grazing pastures change, Inuit are watching polar bears waste away because of a lack of sea ice, and peoples across the Arctic are reporting new species, particularly insects. Some communities are having to sand-bag their shorelines to try to slow down an increase in coastal erosion, while in others, buildings, pipes, and roads are slumping because the permafrost is thawing. Vital travel routes linking communities to each other and to harvesting sites are becoming dangerously unpredictable. Routes across the ice become dangerous when the ice thins, or thaws at times different from the past, and water routes can also become dangerous as water flows change.

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