Global Warming from the Seat of a Kayak (Dispatch from Greenland) | Olaf’s Corner

Olaf Malver September 1, 2009 1

Hi adventurers!

This Evening I just came off a fantastic sea kayaking trip in Eastern Greenland – and everything just synthesized into a great adventure: Good international group with a common lets-do spirit, lots of adventure, and unexpected wonders – and what can I say – Greenland at its best, with sunny skies, ice bergs galore and BIG nature!

But to whomever doubts the effects of global warming and whether it really affects the Polar Region – I invite them along next time on a trip up North. It is happening for sure! Yesterday when we passed by a huge 12-mile long tabular iceberg out in the fast flowing Polar Current that runs southwards along the Greenland East Coast, our Inuit go-guide mentioned to me that this was the first time in his 55-year life that he had ever seen that kind of iceberg. And trust me – he has seen a lot in his lifetime as a hunter. The simple explanation is that large tabular ice fields pieces like this break off the glaciers of Northern Canada and Greenland in the midst of the Arctic and float freely into the Polar Sea and gets spit out by the current to continue the journey southwards – only possible because the northern Polar Sea has large areas of open waters for the first time!

Another more practical indicator for us Arctic campers was that many of the usual fresh waters pools from the summer melts – places where we collect fresh drinking waters are dry – it was hard to find fresh water on some of our usual camp sites – a clear change after 15 summers paddling here in Eastern Greenland.

And – our Inuit friends and mushers tell us that their dogs are now beginning to suffer from heat and thirst in the summer – they are used to drinking from these pools as well. Several of my Greenland Hunter friend Tobias’ dogs died from thirst last year…

So if you have doubt in Al Gore’s complicated graphs and scientific (but very logical) explanations about the acceleration of the heating of the Polar Regions – just put yourself in a kayak seat, admire the glaciers while they last (many have receded a lot the last 10 years in the Ammassalik Region) and experience yourself the climate changes of our precious planet…Powerful and also scary stuff!

One Comment »

  1. Howard Jensen September 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm - Reply


    I just returned from a fishing trip on Ontario, Canada’s Sutton River that ended up in Hudson Bay at the Provincial Polar Bear Park. The fishing for sea run trout was fantastic, but that is another story. About a mile off the coast was huge ice flow that stretched about 5 to 6 miles into Hudson Bay. This was the first time locals (Indian guides and the float plane operators) had ever seen ice flows off the coast in the Hudson Bay. They report the past summer was the coldest and wettest they had ever seen. They also reported more polar bears in the area than ever before. Global warming is not hitting the Hudson Bay area.


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