Rambler's Top100





8
Why is this a concern?
The rapid rise in greenhouse gases is a problem because it is changing
the climate faster than some living things may be able to adapt. Now, with
concentrations of greenhouse gases rising, Earth's remaining ice sheets (such
as Greenland and Antarctica) are starting to melt too. The extra water could
potentially raise sea levels significantly. As the mercury rises, the climate can
change in unexpected ways. In addition to sea levels rising, weather can be-
come more extreme. This means more intense major storms, more rain fol-
lowed by longer and drier droughts (a challenge for growing crops), changes
in the ranges in which plants and animals can live, and loss of water supplies
that have historically come from glaciers. Scientists are already seeing some
of these changes occurring more quickly than they had expected.
Text 2
Global Warming Changing Inuit Lands, Lives,
Arctic Expedition Shows
Jon Bowermaster
An arduous expedition to highlight how rising temperatures, melting sea
ice, changing wildlife, and other effects of global warming are altering life
for the native peoples of the Arctic has finally reached its conclusion.
After 78 days of trekking across sub-Arctic Baffin Island in the Cana-
dian province of Nunavut, veteran polar explorer Will Steger and his team
pulled into the town of Iglulik. The 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) journey was
the first in a series of planned expeditions called Global Warming 101 de-
signed to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change in the polar re-
gions. The expedition was funded in part by National Geographic Society
Mission Programs. This journey was about the remote Inuit population living
on the edge of the Arctic. "We really wanted to hear from the people on the
front line about how the Arctic is changing," Steger said. "And we did, eve-
rywhere we went."
Changing Land
At every stop team members engaged the Inuit in conversation about
climate change. There has been a large increase in animals not previously
seen this far north, including robins, finches, and dolphins, the adventurers
learned. And faster-melting ice is causing a decrease in hunting days each
year, while igloos, which native hunters prefer to tents when they are on the
trail, are much harder to build with less snow and ice.
Three Inuit hunters Theo Ikummaq, 53, born in an igloo near Iglulik;
hunting guide Simon Qamanirq, 53, an internationally known carver; and
Lukie Airut, 65 a veteran hunter, dog musher, and Canadian ranger who
speaks only Inukitut also traveled with the team to help point out changes.