Climate change and the evident signs of global warming in the Arctic is nothing new to the public but there are some warnings that are a great cause for alarm.
Why is Climate Change Important to Canada?
Canada is slowly melting away which is a real threat to the Icecaps which makes up 40% of their landscape and is home to over 100,000 people who live there. Nearly half of Canada, in fact, is covered in some kind of permafrost such as the patches that travel north along the areas of Ontario and Prairie provinces. A number of places such as the surrounding area in Inuvik, NWT, region, the land are made up of 90% of freezing water and the remaining small 10% is specs of dirt, rocks, and other organic matter.
As the ice softens like butter, the buildings that are grounded in Inuvik have been progressively sinking lower with each passing year, something that has been happening for some time.For certain structures in Inuvik, the land is already becoming dangerously unstable where building, even ones that have been standing strong since the 1980s are sliding off their foundation and no longer deemed as being safe to enter. The hot seasons leave behind large crater from where the land collapsed not far off from the edge of town. Homes and great parts of Canadian history have started to crumble.
The ice is thawing at a dramatically rate then what was originally anticipated due to the rise of temperatures between 2005 and today which has elevated above 0.5 degrees Celsius and 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit. 2016 is the hottest temperature ever to be recorded in our history.
What does this mean for Canada’s Arctic?
A study that was published in the Nature Climate Change, states that for every degree Celsius that increases, about four million square kilometers of permafrost disappear. In a positive climate situation, if the temperature was to remain at 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, Chadburn approximate that 4.8 million square kilometers would be completely gone. However, the worst-case scenario is 5 C, which would only leave 1.5 million square kilometers to remain. That is the equivalent of the size of Mongolia.
A geomorphologist, Hugues Lantuit stated that this is an urgent matter that could mean disaster for the landscape since the ice is what holds the coast together. Additionally, to the melting of land, there is yet another issue that has many Canadians concerned with global warming. The methane in which has been previously trapped in the ice is now releasing streams of the gas into the atmosphere.
Another crucial matter resides in Europe where Sentinel 5P satellite is set to launch by the Space Agency. This ecological probe was created to monitor traces of gasses within the atmosphere. A second model of a similar make is ready planned to be launch sometime next year, in 2018.
Both of Russia’s satellites are to be launched using Soviet dated rockets that are powered by hydrazine fuel, which is an unstable liquid that is so extremely toxic and dangerous that nearly every space program worldwide, including Russia has stopped using it all together.
Why is Canada involved?
The second phase of the probe launch involves the rocket containing massive amounts of remaining hydrazine to crash in severely environmentally delicate water of Canada’s Arctic. It is suspected to leak some of the 1,000 kilograms of residual unburned pollutants into the water upon impact. That specific area falls under Canada territory and is protected by Canada regulation of the Arctic Water Pollution Prevention Act.
Canada set those laws environmental in place to protect the marine ecosystem and a great number of species such as whales, polar bears, seals, seabirds, walrus, narwhals that live there. The risk of fuel contaminating is said to be low based on previous launches done in Russia but Nunavut still has concerns and continue to protest that it shouldn’t be there, to begin with.
The Arctic is currently in a progressively vulnerable state and it’s evident that the Canadian people depend on the marine ecosystem to support their families, communities, and their way of life.