The Canadian Arctic is melting, and two new gold mines are booming.
James Kalluk spent much of his childhood inside an igloo in Canada’s far north, close to the Arctic Circle. Building that kind of home requires temperatures low enough to freeze the region’s countless lakes, a particular consistency of snow and a long-bladed knife the Inuit call a pana.
“Today, there’s not much snow and it’s harder to make an igloo,” said Kalluk, now in his early 70s. “You may find a spot here or there that’s good, but the snow is very difficult now. It’s different.”
The loss of snow and ice are causing Canada to heat up much faster than the rest of the world—more than twice the global rate of warming, according to a national scientific assessment published in April. The farther north you go, the more accelerated the warming.
The Canadian Arctic is one of the fastest-warming places, heating up at about three times the global average. That makes Canada’s northernmost Nunavut territory, a region the size of Mexico, a bellwether for the unexpected ways an altered climate transform lives and livelihoods.
In Baker Lake, Nunavut, the town of about 2,000 where Kalluk lives, almost everyone’s income is tied directly or indirectly to a nearby gold mine operated by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. As global warming increases access to the region’s rich natural resources, he believes the local economy will change. “In the years to come, there are going to be more houses, more development here,” Kalluk said. “More people will be able to work.”
For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-09-17/in-planet-s-fastest-warming-region-jobs-come-with-thaw