Bridging perspectives from remote sensing and Inuit communities on changing sea-ice cover in the Baffin Bay region
Abstract:Passive microwave imagery indicates a decreasing trend in Arctic summer sea-ice extent since 1979. The summers of 2002–05 have exhibited particularly reduced extent and have reinforced the downward trend. Even the winter periods have now shown decreasing trends. At the local level, Arctic residents are also noticing changes in sea ice. In particular, indigenous elders and hunters report changes such as earlier break-up, later freeze-up and thinner ice. The changing conditions have profound implications for Arctic-wide climate, but there is also regional variability in the extent trends. These can have important ramifications for wildlife and indigenous communities in the affected regions. Here we bring together observations from remote sensing with observations and knowledge of Inuit who live in the Baffin Bay region. Weaving the complementary perspectives of science and Inuit knowledge, we investigate the processes driving changes in Baffin Bay sea-ice extent and discuss the present and potential future effects of changing sea ice on local activities.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-11-01
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