The U.S. Geological Survey had a novel idea about how to better understand climate change and its impacts: ask the people most likely to be experiencing it. These researchers asked a group of people from Alaska's indigenous communities what their observations of climate change had been. Their basic response: Everything's all messed up. More specifically, they noticed more variability in temperatures …
"Those old people noticed it first. … They used to tell me, 'What’s going on with this weather?' They noticed, sometimes it’s too hot, sometimes it’s too cold."
… changes in weather patterns …
“[August is the] month that it should be raining all the time and [now] either it comes earlier or it happens later on."
… warmer winters …
“Let’s see, maybe in the 80s, late 70s, 80s there was this gradual change started, and it seemed like the winters were getting a little warmer, less snow, rain in December and January. It seems like there’s hardly any snow, frozen tundra, ice.”
… and thinner ice in rivers.
"[I] used to spend the whole day chipping through ice to check fish nets. Now it only takes an hour.”
These guys are used to living in cold weather, so when the temperature is 25 or 30 degrees below freezing, instead of 40 degrees below freezing, they notice. Eat your heart out, Jim Inhofe.
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