Northern Canada has unique environmental issues. Climate change is disproportionately impacting northern communities. The rise in the mean annual temperature causes multiple issues like the melting permafrost, degraded sea ice, flooding, and changes to traditional food sources.
The melting permafrost is a major concern in northern ecosystems. Climate change is causing permafrost soils to thaw and to release stored carbon back into the atmosphere. This includes methane, a greenhouse gas 21x more potent than carbon dioxide. This is disrupting the northern peatlands as well as causing major infrastructure issues due to unstable geological conditions. Ice roads are also threatened due to degraded sea ice conditions.
The north is also disproportionately impacted by persistent organic chemicals. These long-lasting toxins migrate to the north and pose a threat to wildlife and human health because they bioaccumulate in the food chain. For example, the flame retardant polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) is found in whales (fireproof killer whale). These toxins are of major concern because they disrupt the endocrine system and have lasting negative impacts on reproductive health, the immune system, and development.
Do you live in NWT and Nunavut and are concerned about a local issue? Reach out and let us know how we can help.