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The Arctic Suicides: It's Not The Dark That Kills You

The Arctic Suicides: It's Not The Dark That Kills You | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Greenland has the world's highest suicide rate. And teen boys are at the highest risk.

 

Like native people all around the Arctic — and all over the world — Greenlanders were seeing the deadly effects of rapid modernization and unprecedented cultural interference. American Indians and Alaska Natives (many of whom share Inuit roots with Greenlanders) had already seen many of their communities buckle under the same pressures.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly tragic story; if I could add one word to the sub-title, it would read, "It's not JUST the dark the kills you."  I'm not an environmental determinist, but we can't pretend that the climate/darkness don't play some role in Greenland having 6x the suicide rates of the United States.  See also this article/photo gallery about a similar suicide problem in the indigenous far north of Canada.    

 

Tags: Greenland, Arctic, genderpodcast, indigenous.

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Lakes On A Glacier

"How deep is that icy blue water on Greenland's ice sheet? Dr. Allen Pope, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite to find out. In this video, Dr. Pope shares what he sees when he looks at a Landsat image of the Greenland ice sheet just south of the Jakobshavn Glacier.

Because the lakes are darker than the ice around them, they absorb more energy from the sun. A little bit of melt concentrates in one place, and then melts more, establishing a feedback mechanism accelerating the growth of the lake. When the lakes get big enough they can force open fractures that then drill all the way down to the bed of the glacier, transporting this water to the base where it can temporarily speed up the flow of the ice."


Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, erosion, climate change, Greenland, remote sensing, geospatial.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 8, 2015 1:06 PM

unit 1 and summer read

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Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland

Why Vikings Abandoned Colony in Greenland | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As the climate began to cool the diet of the Greenland settlers changed dramatically.  Originally their diets consisted of about 20-30% seafood, but as farming became nearly impossible on this increasingly marginal land, it jumped up to about 80%.  The economic livelihood of the settlements was in danger and the solution lay in a cultural transition, but one that they didn't want to make.  "They saw themselves as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters...[and were] worried about the increasing loss of their Scandinavian identity."  In essence they abandoned Greenland in part because they chose not abandon their Viking heritage to embrace a culture that would have be more like that of the Inuits.  Cultural factors may have mattered more than economic limitations.

 

Tags: Greenland, folk culture, historical.

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James Good's comment, April 19, 2013 6:33 PM
It would make sense that the Vikings abandoned Greenland because they felt isolated from their mother country. There must have been a strong Scandanavian folk culture that the people of Greenland valued enough to make such a drastic movement. It is very likely that the people of Greenland cherished their home land and its culture. This culture was probably more exciting to them then the dismal life in the far north.

Once the demand for walrus tusks and seal skins decreased, there was really no need for the Vikings to stay in Greenland anyways. If they did not want to become farmers and take advantage of the potential farming land that Greenland had to offer, then there would be no benefit to staying there anyway.
Conor McCloskey's comment, April 30, 2013 10:25 AM
Humans have been exploring our planet for thousands of years. Settlements are established, and deemed successful or unsuccessful. The successful ones are still around today, however the unsuccessful one’s usually fall to the wayside and are forgotten. Many things can make a colony of human exploration unsuccessful, much like Viking colonies in Greenland. These colonies were abandoned and archeologists have search for the reasons why. Questions of the fertility of the land and available animals to hunt have been reasons that archeologists use to explain the colonial abandonment.
The push and pull factors of ancient Viking life are apparent through their migratory patterns. There are many possible reasons for the Vikings to have left this colony though archeologists are struggling to find just one. Food source seems to be a major reason why other colonies were abandoned, though seal meat does not seem to be at a shortage in this area. Ancient reason of migrating is similar to modern ones, however they are also very different. Globalization has changed the way humans live, the interconnectedness of the world has made living in places that could support life in ancient times possible.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 5:11 PM
Of course they left, who would want to be basically stranded on Greenland away from any other civilization? Not me for sure. Plus, the lack of supplied they were receiving and tools it would have been near impossible to live and thrive in Greenland. They were also losing their identity; they were thinking of themselves more as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters, their original identity as Scandinavians. Nonetheless it was imperative that they leave and head home because the colony in Greenland surely would have run dry and died out. If not for the overkilling of seals for food or the bone-chilling winters, I might theorize that they might stay in Greenland however that is not how history unfolded and it doesn’t surprise me that they left. Like James said, once their trade had virtually ceased, the outpost in Greenland was useless because they could be just living back home where you weren’t in extreme weather conditions and living off of seal meat.
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Satellites Reveal Sudden Greenland Ice Melt

Satellites Reveal Sudden Greenland Ice Melt | Geography Education | Scoop.it
NASA researchers are expressing concern about something they've never seen before: the melting of ice across nearly the entire surface of Greenland earlier this month.

 

Climate changes are afoot in the Arctic and the Greenland ice sheet.  For more on the Arctic. In related news, Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change. Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to give climate change skeptics a place in the classroom.

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Sarah Curtis's comment, September 3, 2012 3:33 PM
I didn't know how bad global warming was until I read this article and I don't think many people realize it either. We need to start changing our ways if we want to live in a safe and healthy environment. I think more people need to see images and read articles like this so they have a better knowledge on how little time we have.
Morgan Halsey's comment, September 10, 2012 11:30 PM
Some people still don't believe in global warming, but now with new technology, there is great evidence. New technology has allowed us to explore our world in ways that we have not been able to before. We are now able see things about our world and fix problems before they become worse.
Michael Grant's comment, September 12, 2012 4:12 PM
I am surprised about how the polar ice caps are melting and that global warming is very real, but on the other hand it's just part of the Earth maturing
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Glaciology in Greenland

Glaciology in Greenland | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Sharyn Alfonsi goes to the top of the world to report on scientists trying to get to the bottom of climate change and sea level rise by studying one of the largest glaciers in the Arctic Circle."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The 13 minute video clip from the show "60 Minutes" is a good introduction to the importance and difficulty of studying glacial melt, climate change, and the impacts of a receding ice sheet.  

 

Tags: physical, erosion, climate change, Greenland.

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Largest glacier calving ever filmed

"On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water."


Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, erosion, climate change, Greenland.

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Flaviu Fesnic's comment, April 12, 2014 3:31 PM
impressive !
Ms. Harrington's curator insight, April 13, 2014 10:37 AM

More information at www.chasingice.com

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, April 13, 2014 2:15 PM

Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland

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Dramatic Greenland Ice Melt

Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours Scientists have captured dramatic footage of massive lakes in the Arctic melting away...

 

An amazingly extreme place that is far removed from inhabited regions of our planet, but still heavily impacted by people nonetheless.  

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Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 10:10 PM
It shows us how humanity impacts the planet wherever we are