Sunday, 13 December 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE: Scientists Turn to Inuit for Clues

CLIMATE CHANGE: Scientists Turn to Inuit for Clues

RT @UBCIC: CLIMATE CHANGE: Scientists Turn to #Inuit for Clues #indigenous #COP15


By Claudia Ciobanu - IPS/TerraViva*

COPENHAGEN, Dec 13 (IPS) - The Inuit people who live in and around the
Arctic are among the worst victims of global warming, and scientists are
now turning to their experience and indigenous knowledge to understand the
staggering effects of climate change. "The Arctic is at the epicentre of
climate change. Inuit traditions and subsistence practices have already
been assaulted," stated the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) in a call for
action at the 15th Conference of Parties (CoP15) to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, underway in the Danish capital.

"Government leaders at CoP15 must take the strongest possible measures to
protect our Arctic homeland," read the call for action from the ICC, which
represents approximately 160,000 Inuit living in Greenland, Russia, Canada
and the United States.

Not only are political leaders around the world not doing enough to limit
global warming, but also the best of mainstream science still cannot
properly predict the impact of climate change in the Arctic.

This is one reason why researchers are turning to the experience of the
Inuit themselves to read the signs of global warming. ICC researchers and
veteran polar explorers like Will Steger, among others, have started
interviewing Inuit hunters, fishermen and farmers in an attempt to mix
mainstream science with traditional knowledge to better understand nature.

The Inuit, who know the weather and relief patterns and see the
alterations brought about by global warming with their own eyes, are also
being included in mapping exercises to precisely gain local effects of
climate change.

The involvement of the Inuit is crucial also because alterations brought
on by climate change increase the chances of intervention in their
lifestyle - impossible a decade ago.


Find out more about the forces behind climate change - but also about the
growing citizen awareness and new climate policies towards sustainable

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