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Bridging perspectives from remote sensing and Inuit communities on changing sea-ice cover in the Baffin Bay region

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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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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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