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Geography Lecture #8 - November 28 - December 5 2013.docx

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Geography 1400F/G
Anthony Weis

-first 200m of ocean circulation is responsible for making places with higher latitudes warmer (than what they otherwise would have been). Like BC. Circulation is big part of climate story -big unknown – deep water circulation of world (big majority of oceans mass). It takes 1000 years to make a full world circulation -accordion like picture creates a chemical change and a pressure change in the deep water circulation -ice that freezes is a fresh water and sea water is therefore very salty (and much denser and colder) -accordion is like a density pump when it expands and contracts -weakening – as the accordion shrinks the annual pump gets weaker…what are the long term implications in regards to the ocean itself -crystalized freshwater has a lighter density than the salt water below it. How melting of ice sheets/shelves will affect global ocean circulation -another question is sea level rise? Sea ice doesn’t affect ocean level (rise or fall). The big threat is contained in the glaciers sitting on top of continents and ice shelves -Greenland has 40% responsibility of all sea level rise in last half century (has gotten much warmer in north than Antarctica) -sea level rises are also contributed to the fact that warmer water takes up more volume – less dense therefore it expands -islands are being vacated as sea levels rise and island in south pacific and south east asia are preparing exit strategies -big group advocating for action on climate change for about 2 decades – Small Island Development States NEXT TOPIC -Inuit cultures and livelihood knows their harsh environment very well. A culture that survival relies on intimate knowledge of the environment, climate and weather -artic has very little edible vegetation (they are past the treeline) and growing season is extremely short, therefore they need to know the environment, seasonality and mammalian life (for everything in their life, for subsistence and shelter). Animal blubber for heat, and skin for clothing, bones for tools, shelter food. -why is living environment so difficult – mammalian life moves with the ice. Periods of freeze and thaw, the ice can be very treacherous (as it freezes and thaws rapidly). They have to be able to read patterns in ice and climate is fundamental to survival and culture -Inuit’s are saying there are more polar bear than there used to be (goes against what scientists say). They are appearing in places and times that people aren’t used to -their climate is important to their spirituality (as the ice melts their culture is closer and closer to collapse) -TEK (traditional ecological knowledge) – it knowledge that is needed for the livelihood for the people on land. It is passed on knowledge from experience, learning/observation, and evolving to changes and also accumulation and communicating orally (passed on from generation to generation) -late 80-90 Inuit’s began to speak out about how their climate was changing (elders especially) -Indigenous knowledge focuses heavily on elders – there is a divide happening through the generations (especially now since livelihoods and culture is changing) -they have filed a petition to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights – saying that climate changing is challenging their right to being (it’s not fair to human rights) – SHEILA WATT- CLOUTIER – big supporter of this and advocate on climate change -loss of ice in artic is far from the only problem – in past two generation it has radically changed what it means to be Inuit. Inuit colonial experience is very recent – Watt-Cloutier grew up on predominantly land based culture, but its transforming. It’s not as land based any more -suicide rate is 6x higher than national average (almost highest in world). This speaks of the depth of the social problems. It’s a very recent colonial encounter -Inuit are distinct culturally from aboriginal people (the rest of Abo’s in Canada…they have much more in common with Scandinavia, Greenland and Siberian aboriginals than what they do with Canadian aboriginals…there are cultural and linguistic similarities) -Inuit circumpolar conference – recognition that Inuit are transnational people. -Aboriginals in Canada are 3% of population (and Inuit’s are only 8% of that population). They have little contact with inland aboriginals historically...they are classed as aboriginal but they are so culturally different -Inuit history (much less known about them) – they are different in regards to the fact that they are part of different historical migration compared to aboriginals (they came at very different time and points and history compared to inland aboriginals). Inland aboriginals came much earlier than Inuit’s .There is uncertainty of how long people have been in Canada and Greenland. They do know that the Inuit’s came many centuries after the aboriginals -people go to
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