In a small Arctic town, food is becoming harder to come by

It is easy to assume that sea ice will not only affect the oceans, but there is a lot of energy exchange between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. For example, seabirds nest on an island, graze in the water, and then return to land, where their guano trees are fertilized. The tundra, as a low productivity area, relies on energy input from the marine environment. This means that when the mobility of sea ice changes, not only seafood resources but also terrestrial resources change. And since humans rely on terrestrial resources, pick eggs or eat caribou, what happens to sea ice also affects the human population. Everything is interconnected.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to predict the future effects of climate on this system without precise future studies. “At the moment it’s pretty hard to make predictions based on all those complex relationships that are being described right now,” he said.

Lemming is one of the main species being affected by climate change in the tundra. Lemings are small rats that live in winter, under snowpacks, where they are warm enough to survive and reproduce. Snowpacks protect them from predators in addition to their food containers.

Climate change destroys this delicate balance. When the melting and freezing cycles change, the lemings that rely on the snowpack become less predictable. In the event of snowfall in the rain, water circulates through the ice and the vegetation at the bottom freezes, making the food supply of lemmings inaccessible. Many Arctic predators eat or select their breeding grounds based on the abundance of lemmings, and the same predators also eat birds and bird eggs. In Iglolic, when there are more lemmings, Mary-Andre finds that Arctic foxes and avian predators (such as long-tailed jaggers, parasitic jaggers, cheeks, crows, snow owls, and other raptor species) are more numerous. While climate change affects lemming, it indirectly affects other species in ways that are not yet fully understood.

Marie-Andre is most encouraged by climate solutions that take into account the needs and interests of the various groups involved. Snow geese for breeding in the Arctic region from the United States and Canada have grown over the past four decades in the winter and on their migration routes, where the amount of farmland has increased. “They have grown to a level where they are harmful to the Arctic ecosystem. When they come here to reproduce, they uproot the plants,” said Marie-Andre. It destroys habitat, and forces hunters to eat other birds at higher levels.

One approach to this problem is to implement a snow goose collection program – not just through a spring hunt in the south, but to encourage adults in the north to collect eggs and harvest crops at their breeding grounds.

“If we can work to support harvesting programs that are beneficial for conservation at the same time, I think it’s really good,” he said.

Sasquatch Sightings

The vast majority of Canada’s population, two out of three, live within a hundred kilometers of the U.S. border. In Nunavut, a region with a population of just under 40,000, anyone living south of the Arctic Circle is considered “Southern.” I met Hunter McClean, one of these southerners, on the streets of Montreal.

Hunter is from a small town in northern British Columbia, near the Hudson Bay Glacier. The glacier, which was visible in the mountains, has almost disappeared in summer and spring. “Those who live outside the country are compatible with asons and we have noticed changes in wildlife,” he said. “Wildlife is going a little crazy.”

One year, the bears did not hibernate because they could not find enough food. “In the winter all the juvenile bears were running around the city looking for food. You could see them losing their hair and they looked very thin, ”Hunter said. “I’ve never seen a really skinny bear before, but when you see a skinny bear standing around, you really realize it’s a saskatchewan.” The bear on their hind legs looked like a legendary monster. Hunter was frightened, and equally “strange by the people living in the area who deny climate change.” To him, the connection with climate change was undeniable.

Adapted from 1,001 voices on climate change, By the goddess Lockwood. Copyright © 2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Team Press, Simon & Schuster Inc.

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