Accepted paper:

Melting waters in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada

Authors:

Franz Krause (University of Cologne)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation describes the water- and ice-related means of transport in the Delta, and expands on some of the uncertainties for its inhabitants that a changing climate has introduced into this pattern.

Paper long abstract:

Water connects people and places throughout the Mackenzie Delta in the Canadian Arctic. For part of the year, this water is liquid, and for another frozen. While both states afford fairly safe travel, it is in the phases of freezing and thawing that travel and transport get more complicated. During freeze-up and break-up, people stay put and transport networks are disrupted. This presentation describes the water- and ice-related means of transport in the Delta, and expands on some of the uncertainties for its inhabitants that a changing climate has introduced into this pattern. Summers are said to be stormier, and winters warmer. Delta inhabitants worry about unreliable ice conditions, increased erosion and low water levels. Will the winters be melting away into an open-ended freeze-up and break-up? Will the warmer waters spread diseases and unwelcome animals? And will these water futures lead to a further marginalization of the Delta inhabitants, who already feel culturally, politically and economically disenfranchised?

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Water futures: making a living in times of environmental uncertainty