Thursday, November 25

Thanksgiving Day, the Global Warming Edition

Saw this a couple of days ago, possibly on the BBC site IIRC, and it's a scary demonstration of the rapidity of change in the arctic due to Global Warming. One of these days the bush administration will be all over this story, likly replete with positive bromides. Imagine for a moment that you are an indiginent inhabitant of the arctic, where your culture and language has developed in a relatively static environment.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuters) - What are the words used by indigenous peoples in the Arctic for "hornet," "robin," "elk," "barn owl" or "salmon?" If you don't know, you're not alone.
Many indigenous languages have no words for legions of new animals, insects and plants advancing north as global warming thaws the polar ice and lets forests creep over tundra.

"We can't even describe what we're seeing," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (news - web sites) which says it represents 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

In the Inuit language Inuktitut, robins are known just as the "bird with the red breast," she said. Inuit hunters in north Canada recently saw some ducks but have not figured out what species they were, in Inuktitut or any other language.
Animal migration patterns trending northward as changes in climate extend their territory, is a terrifying trend indeed, likely the most tangible evidence to dat of the accelleration of the problem.
An eight-nation report this month says the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and that the North Pole could be ice-free in northern hemisphere summer by 2100, threatening indigenous cultures and perhaps wiping out creatures like polar bears.

The report, by 250 scientists and funded by the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, puts most of the blame on a build-up of heat-trapping gases from human use of fossil fuels like coal and oil.

The thaw may have some positive spin-offs for people, for instance by making chill Arctic seas more habitable for cod or herring or by shifting agricultural lands and forestry north.

But on land, more and more species will be cramming into an ever-narrowing strip bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, threatening to destroy fragile Arctic ecosystems from mosses to Arctic foxes or snowy owls.
I note the presentation of an upside (ha ha), as well as some of the negative side effects. What I don't see anything about, is the impact of a rather dramatic rise in sea level that would occur if we end up with an ice-free North Pole by the summer of 2100. Meanwhile in Lapland The Elk is a mysterious invader.
In Arctic Europe, birch trees are gaining ground and Saami reindeer herders are seeing roe deer or even elk, a forest-dwelling cousin of moose, on former lichen pastures.

"I know about 1,200 words for reindeer -- we classify them by age, sex, color, antlers," said Nils Isak Eira, who manages a herd of 2,000 reindeer in north Norway.

"I know just one word for elk -- 'sarvva'," said 50-year-old Eira. "But the animals are so unusual that many Saami use the Norwegian word 'elg.' When I was a child it was like a mythical creature."

Thrushes have been spotted in Saami areas of the Arctic in winter, apparently too lazy to bother migrating south.
Buddy, it's time for you to fucking join the real world. Quit screwing with those reindeer, get a real freakin job and contribute something to society. Who cares if your kids will grow up appreciating your useless culture. Jeez allready, and now your telling me that Polar Bears are screwed? Hell the earth is a competitive market place, if you cant adapt you die. Get with te program Polar Bears.
n some more southerly areas of the Arctic, like Canada's Hudson Bay, receding ice means polar bears are already struggling. The bears' main trick is to pounce when seals surface to breathe through holes in the ice.

The Arctic report says polar bears "are unlikely to survive as a species if there is a complete loss of summer-ice cover." Restricted to land, polar bears would have to compete with better-adapted grizzly or brown bears.

"The outlook for polar bears is stark. My grandson will lose the culture I had as a child," said Watt-Cloutier, referring to Inuit hunting cultures based on catching seals, bears or whales.
Boo Freakin Hooo, buddy, the earth is under the Dominion of Man. Got that? White, Christian, American, Man, if you gotta be specific.