Weekend Reads Living in Iqaluit, I Can Literally See Climate Change in My Own Backyard

20:06  08 november  2017
20:06  08 november  2017 Source:   flare.com

Canada needs to step up climate goals: UN

  Canada needs to step up climate goals: UN OTTAWA - The United Nations is sounding the alarm about the world's plan to keep global temperatures from rising too much due to climate change. UN Environment's eighth annual emissions gap report says the targets set under the 2015 Paris climate change agreement are only one-third of what is needed to reach the goal. Canada is among the countries that needs to step it up, says the report, released today. The Paris agreement was a pledge signed by 196 countries setting national emissions reduction targets aiming to keep the global average temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial times.

Climate change is real. And if you don’t believe us, take it from one young Inuk woman who is seeing the effects of global warming IRL.

In Iqaluit , two litres of milk can cost around C.50. A one- litre bottle of Coca-Cola goes for . “We need everyone to really understand that climate change is more than changing ice conditions and polar Home to just 30,000 people, Nunavut sees more than 1,000 suicide attempts each year .

Jennifer Kilabuk looks out at water covered in chunks of ice while standing on a rocky mossy surface and wearing all black thermal wear: (Photo: Caleb Little)© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2017. (Photo: Caleb Little)

The signs of climate change are undeniable. In Canada, it’s across our northern borders that we’re seeing some of the most dramatic effects first. Inuk cultural interpreter Jennifer Kilabuk was born and raised in Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut, and she says the impact of climate change in the North has already begun affecting her family—and her job.

The Nunavut Climate Change Centre has reported glacier retreat, sea-ice and lake-ice thinning, permafrost thawing, coastal erosion from wave action, changes in ocean currents, and shifting ranges of plant and animal species—all as a direct result of climate change. Permafrost is the thick layer of sediment on the ground that freezes in the Northern hemisphere. However, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, permafrost—or permanently frozen ground in northern regions—has now decreased by 10 percent.

Canada needs to step up climate goals: UN

  Canada needs to step up climate goals: UN OTTAWA - The United Nations is sounding the alarm about the world's plan to keep global temperatures from rising too much due to climate change. UN Environment's eighth annual emissions gap report says the targets set under the 2015 Paris climate change agreement are only one-third of what is needed to reach the goal. Canada is among the countries that needs to step it up, says the report, released today. The Paris agreement was a pledge signed by 196 countries setting national emissions reduction targets aiming to keep the global average temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial times.

Lucky for us, Justin has a really good friend who grew up and still lives in Iqaluit who was able to give us a lot of insider tips that you can only get from Iqalummiut. At this point, I had shipped Justin off to the arctic and was starting to plot my own northern migration.

Climate Change Signs Can Be Found in Your Backyard . (Photo by Caleb Little, as seen on flare.com). The signs of climate change are undeniable. Inuk cultural interpreter Jennifer Kilabuk was born and raised in Iqaluit , the capital city of Nunavut, and she says the impact of climate

The reduction in that thick layer of frozen sediment can cause landslides and even affect surrounding buildings in the area. Case in point: the floor of Iqaluit’s Arctic Winter Games arena began sinking soon after the arena was opened in 2001. It cost $2.2 million to repair. For Kilabuk and her family, the effects of climate change are hitting even closer to home.

“My mother’s home is slowing sinking due to permafrost thaw,” she says, “One of the pylons holding her house up is sinking and making the whole house uneven, leaving a crack in her wall that leads up to the ceiling.”

Rather than passively watching these changes to her community and her home, the 24-year-old is making changes of her own. Kilabuk did an internship in Nunavut’s Department of Environment followed by months working in the Climate Change Secretariat, where she encouraged all Nunavummiut to take action, to be involved in ongoing conversations and to be conscious of their environmental footprints. She shared energy-efficient tips and environmentally friendly alternatives, like doing laundry in cold water, that could be adopted in daily life through a recent Energy Wise campaign.

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Thousands more lost their livelihoods. As a climate policy researcher, I was seeing the consequences of climate inaction in my own backyard . Climate change helped put my community in chaos for weeks. Climate change paved the way for lost lives next door.

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Now, working as a cultural interpreter for Adventure Canada, an expedition travel company that allows visitors to explore the North on small cruise ships, Kilabuk educate passengers about the customs and heritage of her Inuk community, as well as the everyday impacts of climate change in the North.

Jennifer Kilabuk demonstrating Inuit traditions on Adventure Canada tours: Jennifer Kilabuk lighting a qulliq, a traditional oil lamp, used in a Inuit Welcome Ceremony on board the Adventure Canada cruise (Photo: Michelle Valberg)© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2017. Jennifer Kilabuk lighting a qulliq, a traditional oil lamp, used in a Inuit Welcome Ceremony on board the Adventure Canada cruise (Photo: Michelle Valberg)

However, while Kilabuk works to educate newcomers to the North, traditional learning within her own community is slowly being eroded because of climate change. Climate change affects the way traditional Inuk knowledge is passed down through generations. Kilabuk’s late grandfather, a well-known wildlife officer and hunter in the community, often told stories about his favourite hunting spots. But the beautiful spots that he once spoke about can no longer be accessed because the sea ice does not freeze in the same way that it used to. Not only does this affect the community’s ability to hunt, but thin ice has been cited as the reason for cancelling Iqaluit’s annual New Year’s Eve Ski-Doo parade in recent years.

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Living in Iqaluit , I Can Literally See Climate Change in My Own Backyard . Climate change is real. And if you don’t believe us, take it from one young Inuk woman who is seeing the effects of global warming IRL.

And while you may hear the statistics and see some effects of climate change in your own backyard , sometimes pictures really are worth a thousand words. When ocean water is too warm, coral will expel the algae living in its tissues, which blanches the appearance of the coral, according to NOAA.

“In order to teach someone about the traditional knowledge of that area they must be able to go there,” says Kilabuk, explaining that some areas near to Frobisher Bay, where her community used to hunt and where many stories and customs are based, are no longer accessible. “Unfortunately, the traditional knowledge of that particular area was lost when my grandfather had passed.”

Local warming trends in Nunavut have recorded significant change in temperature averaging around of 1.5°C (and regionally up to 3 degrees). As reported by Live Science, the melting in the North has caused a dramatic reduction of sea ice, hitting record lows in the winter of 2015 and 2016.

“The scientific consensus in this area is that climate change is affecting Canada’s North more acutely and will continue have these greater impacts in the coming decades,” says Madhur Anand, professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario and author of Climate Change Biology. “While it is very hard to turn the climate change ship around, there are things that can be done to mitigate its impact such as reducing GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions. More importantly, we need to consider adaptation measures such as how to change lifestyle and behaviour to deal with changes affecting local communities.”

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Living in Iqaluit , I Can Literally See Climate Change in My Own Backyard . Send me promotions and info from Flare and other Rogers brands. I understand that I can withdraw my consent at any time.

The present tense of climate change — the destruction we’ve already baked into our future — is horrifying enough. been responsible for the death of the Anasazi civilization. Remember, we do not live in a world without hunger as it is. Literally unbreathable.

In addition to her job as a cultural interpreter, Kilabuk also acts as the president of the Baffin Regional Youth Council and she started a youth camp called Traditional Roots. The program helps young Inuit learn about history and culture while spending a few days on the land learning traditional skills from elders. However, Traditional Roots was also designed to help youth better adapt and understand the changes their community may face in the future.

“I think its important for my generation and future generations to stay connected to their Inuit culture and heritage because there is so much strength and pride to be gained in their teachings,” says Kilabuk.If we want to continue to survive in this fast-changing world we must learn to be as brave and as strong and as adaptable as our ancestors were.”

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