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The Arctic

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  • Life in the Arctic is changing. In the past 50 years, temperatures have increased by twice the world average, transforming the landscape by melting glaciers and opening seaways. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 1.1 MB
  • The melting ice in the Arctic is of the utmost concern because the north and south poles play a key role in cooling the world’s climate. If rising temperatures continue at the predicted rate it will have profound consequences for all of us. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 980.7 KB
  • In 2007, the extent of summer sea ice was less than half the volume it was in 2003. Older, thicker and more stable sea ice is disappearing, and the delicate network of Arctic ecosystems has already been affected. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 336.6 KB
  • Dines Mikaelsen from Tasilaaq, a village on the island of Amassalik on Greenland’s east coast has noticed signs of warming. “Five years ago, there weren’t any flies in the North of Greenland. Now they have them. Here the flies arrive a month earlier than they used to,” says Dines. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 1.2 MB
  • Another result of the changing ecosystems has been the threat to the practice of sea animal hunting, central to the indigenous Inuit culture in Greenland. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 998.0 KB
  • Dines says that in Tasilaaq the number of hunters has fallen by more than half in recent years. He feels it’s partly due to the unpredictability of the winter ice, as well as to shifts in seal population and, with globalisation, people finding new ways of earning their living. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 946.0 KB
  • Dines is an Inuit hunter who’s had to diversify. He now takes groups of tourists with him when he goes out hunting. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 977.8 KB
  • On his third shot, Dines kills a seal. The tourists are a little shocked, although this is what they came to see. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 1.1 MB
  • The Inuit don’t shoot for pleasure. All of the seal is used: the skins for clothing, the blubber for cooking oil and lubricants, and the meat is eaten by people and dogs. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 899.6 KB
  • The opening up of seaways means more cruise ships are appearing each year. Tourists come for accompanied hunting trips in the spring and summer, and in the autumn and winter months local people take them dog-sledding and ice-fishing. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 1.1 MB
  • It’s likely that many other economic activities in the Arctic will increase as the ice retreats. People will be able to fish further north, oil and gas resources will be exploited, and intercontinental transport of goods will be possible with more open water and thinner ice. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 834.0 KB
  • The indigenous peoples of the Arctic are some of the first on earth to experience the real impacts of climate change, and to adapt their lifestyle and culture. Balancing the economic benefits of a warmer Arctic against the environmental risks will be a significant challenge. © Image: John McConnico Click to view full-size image… 1.0 MB

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Tasiilaq
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100