Forces of Change

Zacharias Aqqiaruq, an elder in Arctic Canada, recently described the weather as uggianaqtuq — an Inuit word that can suggest strange, unexpected behavior, like a friend acting strangely. 

People of the Arctic have always lived with year-to-year fluctuations in weather and ice conditions. But in recent decades, they have witnessed dramatic and worrisome changes. Most troubling, the climate has become unpredictable, the land and sea unfamiliar.

Only recently has the full extent of changes in the Arctic come to light as polar residents and scientists have begun to compare their observations. They have reached the same conclusion: the Arctic is warming — and doing so rapidly.

What is Uggianaqtuq?

“Say I wasn’t feeling myself one day . . . As soon as I walk in the room, or say something, one would know right away that something was wrong (with me) . . . one would say I was uggianaqtuq. I was not myself, acting unexpectedly or in unfamiliar way.”
The Earth Is Faster Now (2002)

About the Arctic

Recent climate change is more pronounced in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world.

Arctic Meltdown

The Arctic may seem like a far-away place, but its snow and ice help regulate our global climate.

Slip Sliding Away?

Erosion from melting ice threatens many communities that hug the Arctic coast.

Caribou: Arctic Lifeline

Caribou form the foundation of the economy and culture for many Arctic indigenous people.

Climate Rollercoaster

Climb aboard and explore the Arctic’s changing climate during the past 20,000 years.