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10/11/2007

Climate Change and Entire Landscapes on the Move


BROOKLIN, Canada - The hot breath of global warming has now touched some of the coldest northern regions of world, turning the frozen landscape into mush as temperatures soar 15 degrees C. above normal.

Entire hillsides, sometimes more than a kilometre long, simply let go and slid like a vast green carpet into valleys and rivers on Melville Island in Canada’s northwest Arctic region of Nunavut this summer, says Scott Lamoureux of Queens University in Canada and leader of one the of International Polar Year projects.

“The entire landscape is on the move, it was very difficult to find any slopes that were unaltered,” said Lamoureux, who led a scientific expedition to the remote and uninhabited island.

The topography and ecology of Melville Island is rapidly being rearranged by climate change.

“Every day it looked different,” he told IPS. “This is a permanent change.”

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