Inuit complain that the sun is changing - global warming blamed

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Inuit complain that the sun is changing - global warming blamed

The Inuit are worried about changing actions of the sun, it appears to be rising earlier and faster than usual. Scientists see this as an optical effect owing to rising temperatures in the north.

Its interesting to see that so called 'primitive' people are aware that something is not right with the weather and the climate as well as 'educated' scientists.

Some Inuit say they hope scientists coming to Nunavut for research as part of International Polar Year can help shed light on changes they're seeing in the sun — particularly, how it's been showing up more often in the usually always-dark winters.

For the past several years, residents in the High Arctic have observed that the winter dark season is ending earlier than usual, with the sun coming up at a different place than what people are used to seeing.

"The people [are] talking about earlier sunrise, more light in the dark season, instead of being more total darkness than before," Grise Fiord resident Larry Audlaluk said Thursday, adding that he has heard similar observations from people in other Far North communities.

"There are notices of more daylight earlier, and the dark season is not the real dark season that we used to know."

A bit further south, Igloolik Mayor Paul Quassa said hunters have noticed the same phenomenon.

"This year, the sun started coming up so fast that it's almost like April when it's mid-February," he said.

Both Audlaluk and Quassa were part of an International Polar Year planning workshop Thursday in Iqaluit.

Wayne Davidson, who is the resident meteorologist in Resolute Bay, said the likely cause of this "rising sun" mystery is a temperature difference between the very cold air over the snow and the air above, which has been warmer than usual.

Glaciologist Dr. Roy Koerner, with the Geological Survey of Canada, agreed, comparing it to sticking a fork into a glass of water: the fork appears to bend where it enters the water, he said.

"So you get the same effect: you get this bent effect. Except in this case, the sun, which is just below the horizon, looks as if it's above the horizon, just a bit of it," he said.

Both Koerner and Davidson said they believe a warming climate is responsible. They said they hope Inuit and scientists working during International Polar Year can work together on more in-depth analysis of the observations.
By netchicken: posted on 20-3-2007

Actually I know an person who is Innuit and they pretty much have told me what the article says. A lot of settlements are facing danger due to the receding ice cover. Never in their history have they had to face such problems apparently.
By IAF: posted on 20-3-2007

I am an Alaskan and I can personally vouch for that. Our winter was very warm with little snow. However, we have had the coldest March since the 70's. Yet the glaciers, arctic ice cap, and tundra are over all melting and as a result emitting more carbon monoxide. Our temperatures have been about 7 degrees over normal, except for March.

Go figure !

By TUTUTKAMEN: posted on 20-3-2007

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