Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Record-breaking temperatures 'have robbed the Arctic of its winter'


Suzanne Goldenberg
Mar. 15, 2016

This year’s record-breaking temperatures have robbed the Arctic of its winter, sending snowmobilers plunging through thin ice into freezing rivers and forcing deliveries of snow to the starting line of Alaska’s legendary Iditarod dogsledding race.

Last month’s high temperatures – up to 16C (29F) above normal in some parts of the Arctic – flummoxed scientists, and are redefining life in the Arctic, especially for the indigenous people who live close to the land.

In Fort Yukon, an indigenous Gwich’in community eight miles inside the Arctic Circle, the freakishly warm weather is forcing people off the rivers that are their main transport corridors in the winter time.

“You can’t trust the ice,” said Ed Alexander, Yukon Flats centre coordinator for the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. “This is the warmest winter that we have ever seen up here. We have had less snow. We have had real thin ice. We have had an explosion of growth in the brush clogging up trails and that kind of thing. It makes everything dangerous.”


No comments:

Post a Comment