Greenland’s Polar Bear Hunters Face a Climate of Change
September 28, 2018 9:20 AM   Subscribe

To understand how climate change is affecting Greenland’s polar bears, scientists turn to the hunters who know them best.

The polar bear hunter sits at his kitchen table in Tasiilaq, East Greenland. Jagged white peaks tower behind the small wooden house as he describes the bad storms he’s seen more and more often over a decade traversing the region by dogsled. “They only had piteraq in the old days, but now they also have naqqajaq,” he says.

He and his fellow Inuit subsistence hunters are used to piteraq: cold winds roaring down the glaciers. But naqqajaq—warmer, wetter storms blowing in from the northeast—are new, and both are on the rise—a sign of the climatic changes that are making it increasingly hard for them to hunt.

posted by poffin boffin (1 comment total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
"There’s so much we can learn from people who live on the ground with polar bears, who are out there in the landscape, who are naturalists in their own right," says Laidre, who has studied Greenland’s polar bears for 20 years ...

How nice that someone finally thought to ask them. Sheesh.

The challenge, however, is that "very few of the holders of traditional knowledge are involved in the next management step."

Double sheesh.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:47 AM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

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