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Arctic communities are living in a future nobody wants by Ryan Strother May 31,2020   |  Source: engadget

The main stem of the Mackenzie River flows wild and uninterrupted by dams across Canada, as it has since the recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Draining the eastern end of the Great Slave Lake, the river meanders for more than 1,600 northwesterly kilometers through gnarled stands of black spruce before fanning out across the treeless arctic tundra, depositing sediment in a delta stretching from the Yukon territories in the west to the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk on its east branch. At its terminus, the Mackenzie finally discharges more than 325 cubic kilometers of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean each year, accounting for roughly 11 percent of the world's total river flow into the Arctic Ocean.

This fixed line between sea and shore is merely seasonal, however. On May 18th, the sun will rise above the horizon and circle the coastal hamlet continuously until finally setting for a brief hour on July 25th. Under the midnight sun, the sea ice will melt, and the Arctic Ocean will beat relentlessly against the permafrost bluffs along the Western Arctic coast, and the increasingly warm summer air will thaw ancient ice, causing cliffs to erode and massive swaths of land to slump into mudflows. For residents of Tuktoyaktuk, longer, warmer summers have been making life more difficult for

 

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