In this presentation of Climate Matters.TV ~ Part 2, at COP 22, Marrakech, Stuart Scott (UPFSI) talks with Prof. Peter Wadhams (Emeritus Prof. of Ocean Physics, Cambridge University) and Ms Maria Pia Casarini Wadhams (Dir. Italian Institute of Polar Geography / Editor of IL POLO Journal), about indigenous Arctic communities loss of lifestyle, Arctic Council, Oil exploitation and loss of food production as a result of global impacts and feedback effects like greater heating and sea level rise on the planet.
After a brief introduction of the topic under discussion, ‘The Arctic Crisis’, with various slides on methane plumes, annual Arctic Sea ice volumes (Arctic Death Spiral), Arctic Sea Ice Extent tracking (2012-2016), etc., Scott introduces an Arctic Council presentation : ‘The Inuit and Climate Change’ by Pia Casarini in which she expands on the ‘dangers’ in which the lives of the Inuit have been (circa 1950’s) and still are being threatened today, due mainly to climate change factors like thinning sea ice, shorter seasons, etc. which directly affects the traditional lifestyles in terms of general hunting and gathering, ice-fishing, whale hunting, transportation, etc. of these people. In summary, the local/indigenous communities utilise sea ice in almost all aspects of their lives, and with ice forming later and melting earlier they are subjected to the impacts thereof, i.e. * Loss of traditional way of life, * Economies changing, * Pressures from industry and Political pressures. There is, however, some relief for the local communities in the form of community-based observing initiatives (ice-arc.eu/), involving equal partnership between scientists and northern residents, e.g. autonomous measuring of ice thickness from their sleds whilst out hunting or visiting other communities, etc, which benefits both sides in terms of local knowledge, breaking down barriers, youth employment opportunities and the accumulation and sharing of mutual information.
Casarini mentions the Arctic Council, a leading intergovernmental forum, founded 20 years ago (1996), with 8 circumpolar Member States including six indigenous Permanent Participant organisations (PPs), which focuses mainly on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
The work of the council is primarily carried out by six Working Groups and three Task Forces for specific projects including an Expert Group in support of the implementation of the Framework for Action on Black Carbon and Methane, and the Observer Countries roles. (Read more: arctic-council.org/index.php/en/)
Wadhams further expanded on Casarini’s comments on rising sea levels affecting the Mediterranean, e.g. Venice and states that this problem is affecting the world in a very serious way because the sea level rise rate has actually accelerated, with recent estimates being way higher than those of the 2007 IPCC predictions, which cited very low values of between 20-40 cm rise by the year 2100, due to them ignoring the melt of the Greenland ice sheet. As the Greenland ice sheet melts and with ongoing studies in the field which show higher results and estimates every time, due to new processes going on in the ice sheets, this clearly indicates that even fairly small changes in global sea rise can have catastrophic implications for the frequency of disastrous floods, if you cannot afford to raise the height of your flood defenses, especially in poor countries, e.g. Bangladesh, where millions of people live right down at sea level with no flood defenses, would result in a much greater flooding, destruction and loss of survival means.
Wadhams also addresses the likely link between Climate change in the Arctic and Loss of Food production on the planet, i.e. the sea ice retreat in the Arctic is causing the easterly flowing Arctic jet stream to flow more slowly, becoming unstable and causing fluctuations in the air mixes, i.e. polar air (falling to lower latitudes) and the tropical air (going up to higher latitudes), therefore each longitude region will have either have extreme heat or extreme cold, resulting in crop yield losses mainly in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere globally, with a multitude of negative impacts to follow like food price hikes, food unavailability and political unrest, etc.
For more related videos watch:
* ‘Conspiracy of Complacency’!….What Ice Sheet loss?, What Accelerated Heating?
* “Catastrophic Outcomes” – Less: Ice, Food, Water, Resources – More: Population, Heat, Sea Rise!
Climate Change Impact on Nunavut (Inuit)
The Guardian ~ Sea levels set to rise far more rapidly
The Canadian Encyclopaedia