GPHY 314 Quiz: Week 10

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29 Dec 2020
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WEEK 10: Northern Impacts
Understanding Vulnerability
Relatively global homogeneous changes across temperatures
o Expect same pattern to accelerate in the future, with most areas above average
Southeastern Asia -> SLR risk, degradation of coral reefs for those who rely on fisheries
Lower latitudes -> Drought risks for those who rely on agriculture
Western Europe/North America -> Risks mostly associated with infrastructure
Not just observed changes that make populations vulnerable, but other SES factors
o Especially in low latitude areas, tend to come up high up in vulnerability i.e. food
systems, inequalities in access to resources to deal with changes
o Larger economy = more resources to respond and adapt in ways to reduce impacts
Climate change exacerbates inequalities
o Those with least resources to deal with change are often the least responsible for it
Need to be wary of how indices are being constructed when deciding what does/doesn’t
constitute risk, and differences in definitions of the “North”
o Big difference in western Europe northern peoples and Canadian northern peoples
at risk, and types of vulnerabilities they’re exposed to
Northern Communities
Even under more modest scenarios, northern Canada experiences fair amount of change
compared to northwestern Europe that doesn’t get the same degree of change until a
really extreme (RCP 8.5) scenario
Quite a number of Arctic nations and large communities in high latitudes throughout
circumpolar region
o Some of largest in northern Russia, Norway (Tromso city), Sweden
o Different sets of risks and vulnerabilities in Tromso, which could have more
resources, than remote community
o Inuvik, Northwest Territories +3k population, mostly Indigenous
o Whitehorse, Yukon +30k population, not as huge of an Indigenous community
o ^Two Canadian cities both with green spaces and infrastructure
o Salluit, Quebec more prototypical of what people picture of northern communities
in Canada -> Remote, located on continuous permafrost, sparsely vegetated
despite being at a similar latitude as Whitehorse
o Hopedale, Newfoundland -> No plowed roads in winter so travel on snowmobile
Regions may appear to be as equally vulnerable on the map, but considering resource
availability and infrastructure, recognize differences in remoteness and local climate
Huge variety of Indigenous people in the North, heterogeneity between groups
Don’t like to consider complexity -> Need to move to smaller scales when considering
vulnerability to understand levels of change we expect to see
In Canadian context, image to right usually how we subdivide the Arctic
and the people who occupy those areas
o Some programs use a North of 60° line, unfair to peoples living
south of what should really be considered the Arctic
Much of area considered to be Arctic occupied by Inuit people
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Inuit Nunangat has four settled Inuit regions -> Inuvialuit (4.8%), Nunavut (46.4%),
Nunavik (18.1%) and Nunatsiavut (3.5%)
o 27.2% of Inuit peoples live outside of Inuit Nunangat, total population 65,0245
o All fairly remote, mostly distributed along the coast, Iqaluit has largest city center
o Inuit known historically as people being of the sea ice, relying heavily on sea-
borne resources for subsistence and travel
o Most people still live lifestyle that relies heavily on the land, most still maintain
very strong cultural ties to families
Northern Community Vulnerability
From infrastructure perspective, lots of challenges for First Nation and Inuit communities
Rail network across Canada -> Not a lot of coverage, especially moving toward the North
o Not a viable option for shipping of goods and people
Distribution of national highways and airports
o Some airports in the North (Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Goose Bay)
o Highway system extends a bit more into North but a lot of northern roads don’t
meet typical standards
o Roads in purple are northern/remote roads, only green roads
considered highways, while feeder roads in red (decent standard in
between remote and highways)
In North, northern and remote routes go as far as Whitehorse,
Inuvik (Dempster Highway made of gravel)
Towards La Grande hydroelectric system in Quebec, remote road
Now a loop connecting to Labrador since 2009, with some paved sections
o Much of Canadian North doesn’t have road access, depiction matching with
mobile/cellular patterns indicating technology, internet service
For many northern/Indigenous peoples amidst COVID-19, lots of
problems with issues with satellite Internet and technology restrictions
Strong spatial agreement with surface availability and whether community
has access to other important resources
Moving into Inuit Nunangat, lose access by anything other than air travel
o Nutrition North meant to subsidize food for remote communities
Note on document of eligible communities that a community was removed
because it got road access, despite it still being remote
Communities the government of Canada has determined as most remote
and least access to nutritional food
Challenges with money being filtered to owners of stores, opposed to
communities themselves
But highlights areas considered to be most remote by government
o Highlights both risks associated living in the north, as well as importance of air
transportation so if lacking those resources, limit availability of livelihood staples
Lots of airstrips short and made of gravel, so unable to land if weather bad
o Highlights how lack of infrastructure can bring additional potential climate
change vulnerabilities, directly linked to how remote the area is
Correlation matrix -> More remote, less access to health, social, legal, retail services
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