NEWSEVENTSDIRECTORIESSEARCH UBCUBC CopyrightmyUBC LOGIN
Home
About Us
People
Global Focus
Research
Visiting Scholars
Postdoctoral Fellows
PhD Students
Networks & Groups
Master of Public Policy
IR Program
Lind Initiative
Room Booking
Lobby Gallery
Events
Canada must seek deal with U.S.
Description: "Where has all the ice gone?" Joe Immaroitok asked me on Tuesday. "It never used to be like this." The 43 year-old member of the hamlet council of Igloolik, Nunavut, was staring at Foxe Basin. A shallow expanse of ocean the size of Lake Superior,
Date: 26 October 2006
Author: Michael Byers
Source: Toronto Star
"Where has all the ice gone?" Joe Immaroitok asked me on Tuesday. "It never used to be like this."

The 43 year-old member of the hamlet council of Igloolik, Nunavut, was staring at Foxe Basin. A shallow expanse of ocean the size of Lake Superior, the Basin usually freezes over by early October, enabling Inuit hunters to travel across to Baffin Island in pursuit of caribou.

On Monday, I'd sailed through Bellot Strait on board the Amundsen, Canada's research icebreaker. We were 2,500 kilometres north of Winnipeg and there was absolutely no ice.

The next morning, we passed through Fury and Hecla Straits. All we saw were some chunks of "multiyear ice" — ice that has survived at least one melt season — that had floated down from higher latitudes and were easily avoided.

The scientists on board the Amundsen are acutely aware of climate change, which is having a profound effect on the ecosystems they study. They're disturbed by the near absence of sea-ice because it suggests the changes are accelerating.

Even the disappearing ice constitutes a "feedback loop," because the water it exposes absorbs more solar energy than ice, and the warming water then melts more ice, and so on.

The disappearing ice also has consequences for sovereignty.

Click here to read the complete article

Print Version
Log in
All Rights Reserved© 2007, Liu Institute for Global Issues
Banner Photos by Lindsay Mackenzie
Design by BlendMedia