Human Ecology Climate Change in Arctic Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Arctic Climate Change and Its Effects on Inuit

The Arctic is located on the middle of the North Pole. The Arctic Ocean, the northern parts of Alaska, Canada, Norway, Russia, and most of Iceland, Greenland and the Bering Sea are included in the Arctic regions. The climate of the Arctic is categorized as polar. It means that there are long and cold winters in the region but short and cool summers. Due to the extreme climatic conditions, the Arctic is one of the world's most thinly inhabited areas ("Arctic, The," 2009).

The ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) has presented some key findings regarding the climate in the Arctic. Firstly, there is rapid warming in the region which could result in worldwide climatic changes. At the same time, there could be an increase in the marine transport and resources could be easily accesses as a result of reduced sea ice. However, the melting and softening of ground would not only disrupt transportation but also damage the buildings and other infrastructure in the region (Fenge, 2006).

Climate Change in Arctic and Its Influence

Recently, the Catlin Arctic Survey and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have collected latest data regarding the climate change in the Arctic region. This data has presented convincing and undeniable facts that the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is thinning. This confirmation supports the rising belief that within a decade, the Arctic Ocean will be largely ice-free throughout summer ("Melting Arctic Ice Threatens to Speed up Climate Change," 2010, p. 4).

The Earth's climate system positions Arctic sea in centre. Thus, its removal definitely means that there would be a rise in the global temperature. According to Dr. Martin Sommerkorn (WWF), "Such a loss of Arctic sea ice cover has recently been assessed to set in motion powerful climate feedbacks which will have an impact far beyond the Arctic itself - self perpetuating cycles, amplifying and accelerating the consequences of global warming" (as qtd. In "Melting Arctic Ice Threatens to Speed Up Climate Change," 2010, p. 4). The melting of ice could lead to a severe flooding with the potential of influencing 1/4 of the world's population. Moreover, the world would likely to experience extreme weather changes and significant increases in greenhouse gas discharges ("Melting Arctic Ice Threatens to Speed Up Climate Change," 2010, p. 4).

The climate change in Arctic can also shift the vegetation zones and this can cause extensive impacts such as amplification of global warming with forests' expansion, insect outbreaks, forest fires, and increase in the range of crops. It has also been predicted that the Arctic climate shift will change the diversity of animal species along with their ranges and distribution in the Arctic region. Animals including polar bears, seals, walruses, and seabirds that are solely dependent on the biological productivity of the sea and on the sea ice could be in danger with climatic shifts. Moreover, the animals could also be affected by the decline in certain types of vegetation they feed on and this would consequently affect the food chain ("Scientific facts on," 2012).

Climatic Change Effects on Inuit

There are numerous native Arctic communities that are faced with new challenges due to the climate change in the area. The climate change is not the only factor that is causing problems for them. They are already facing social, economic, and political problems at the moment. Thus, at the same time, the unstable and predictable weather intensifies the problems of their daily lives.

Arctic is that huge region on the surface of the Earth that is almost unknown to many. However, this large marine environment experiences such a severe climate change that is most noticeably changing environmental and biological relationships, cultures and economies of the inhabitants of this region, especially that of Inuit. By going through the facts and figures, one can easily understand that the region is going through the most significant change. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a prominent Inuit leader, has invited the leaders and opinion-makers from all over the world to come to Arctic and take a look at what's going on in there (Fenge, 2006).

The increasing unpredictability of temperature and precipitation and the strange look and feel of the Arctic land have made it difficult for the Inuit to spend their daily lives safely and properly. They have become unfamiliar with the land and the seasons due to the climatic harshness. The Inuit have constantly reported about the environmental change. The Inuit hunters too are already impacted by the massive depletion of summer sea ice. The Inuit communities are also facing increased exposure to storms specifically those who reside by the coast. The Inuit are also affected by the elevated ultraviolet radiation just like other Arctic communities (Fenge, 2006).

There are about 155,000 Inuit who inhabit the Arctic region. For them, hunting is not a hobby but a way of life that strengthens them socially, culturally, economically and communally. The Inuit hunters are increasingly faced with difficulties. However, regrettably, problems of climatic change may become the norm for Inuit. Their heavy dependence on the local environment to support small hunting and fishing settlements has been disturbed by the considerable climatic changes in the Arctic region. These include late freezing and earlier break-up of the sea ice, irregular weather as well as stronger and more frequent winds. Moreover, they also have to endure extreme temperature, increased precipitation during summer as well as low seal catch as their number and range is continuously declining (Ford, 2005).

However, the accessibility of the hunting areas for Inuit is getting really affected due to the continuous changing climatic conditions. During October-July (the colder months), the access of Inuit to open water for fishing, snowy caribou runs and the ice edge is totally reliant on the sea ice and snow conditions. The freeze-up during the in the fall impedes the time for harvesting because the harpoon seal hunters and ice fishers have to wait for a long time before they can be sure of the safe travel on the ice. The longer freeze-ups is especially frustrating and irritating for the Inuit from Igloolik because this particular village is located on a small island. Therefore, the hunters belonging to this village cannot venture into the hunting areas and have to wait for ice to become thick (Ford, 2005).

The Inuit communities are also challenged by inadequate health services, near to the ground socio-economic status, high joblessness, swarming accommodations, poor drinking water, and non-educational environment. The life expectancy of the Inuit men is low as compared to the other men living in the same region. Moreover, there have been sweeping socio-cultural economic changes experienced by Inuit in the 20th century including the "industrialization of the Arctic, the sedentarization of former semi-nomadic hunting groups to permanent settlements, and, more recently, integration into the globalized economy" (Ford, 2009).


In spite of the new confrontations, Inuit communities are coping well with the environmental changes in ways that are both innovative and effective. Many of them now are in a habit of making extra preparations before going out and all this is done due to the potential dangers of weather. The hunters, too, keep small boats in order to keep away from being stranded on drifting ice. Most of them avoid traveling on the land or water just because they follow their instincts that the weather would become bad. Some of them choose to stop going out and be home altogether at difficult times of the year. They change the timing and location of their activities. The GPS (Global Positioning Systems) is being used by many hunters to detect the movement of the ice. They also keep VHF radios so that they can contact others in times of emergency. Moreover, they consult satellite images of the sea for…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:


Cite This Term Paper:

"Human Ecology Climate Change In Arctic" (2012, May 11) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from

"Human Ecology Climate Change In Arctic" 11 May 2012. Web.10 December. 2016. <>

"Human Ecology Climate Change In Arctic", 11 May 2012, Accessed.10 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Political Ecology

    Apolitical Ecology What is apolitical ecology? Logically it would seem that anything apolitical would be non-political. Ecology without politics would then be an approach to environmental and conservation concerns without any ideology attached to that approach. To wit, an example of apolitical ecology would seem to be those who objectively review the empirical data for climate change objectively. Over 190 scientists have been working on data related to the overheated planet

  • Environmental Changes the Physical Environmental

    The growing population has a great impact on the extent of global warming and its consequences for society, economy and the environment. This means that there is rising in greenhouse emission, more people means more industry. Scientists worry about the emission from developing countries which may contribute to global environment problems even sooner than expected. But not only the developing countries contributes to the emission but also rich industrialized

  • Canadian Foreign Policy A Policy

    These climatic changes in turn impact negatively on the economy and the people within the region. There is need hence for the environmental protection for sustainable development. Though there have been significant measures like the formulation of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA) which was geared towards protection of the marine environment especially tackling pollution and shipping safety laws to be in place (Justice Laws Website, 2013), there

  • Weathering Is a Process That Happens to

    Weathering is a process that happens to surface rocks based on the particular environment in which the rock is located. The two types of weathering are physical and chemical. Chemical weather is a process in which the internal crystals of rocks undergo chemical changes based on environmental conditions. If rock is exposed to water over a long period of time, for instance, it breaks down and often sand and clay

  • Statistical Analysis of Flowers in a Year

    ability of plants to respond to environmental factors such as soil temperatures. This paper examines the effects of arti-cially warmed environment using open-top chambers (OTCs). It investigates the effect of temperature changes on the growth of Dryas integrifolia. This is in light of the growing concern of the changing climatic weather condition more so in the cold climatic regions of the world. It hypothesizes the difference in growth of

  • Endangered Species Biodiversity Case Study

    The polar bears' most frequent spot is the area where ice meets the water as it makes it easier for them to hunt seals from the water in Arctic ice. Hence, Polar bears are particularly specialized for the life at the Arctic and he spends most of his time on ice till he dies. The ice sheets at Arctic contain certain areas of water that disappear when the weather changes

  • Global Warming Fact Rather Than Fiction the

    Global Warming: Fact Rather Than Fiction The focus of this paper is on global warming and its causes. In the introduction phase, we have given a brief overview of the problem alongside a brief look at the details of the problem itself. It is mentioned here that how much change has actually recorded in the previous decades and what the future might hold on for the planet if the trend keeps

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved