Scientists have proven that human activities are responsible for global warming in both the North Pole and the South Pole. Human-caused carbon dioxide emissions in the Arctic are better understood and recorded than the causes of global warming in Antarctica.
For the past 10 years I have visited a small community near the arctic circle on the Mackenzie RIver in Canada’s NWT. I visit there every 2 years or so. The Dene and Metis people who live there tell about all the things they see happening in their lands and on the river. Increasingly they tell of places where the river bank has slipped into the river. Winter is less predicitably long and not as cold so exposed lands are frozen for shorter periods. This allows more permafrost to thaw and this leads to slippage of the exposed river banks. On some trips I have had areas of slippage pointed out to me. So much of the north of North America (also Europe, Russia, etc.) has an underlayer of permafrost that if it melts, will result in dramatic geographic and envrionmental changes.
Whether the north or south pole is more affected is not, to me, the important question. I don’t believe it matters. Both regions are being profoundly –possibly irrevocably– altered by climate change in ways that may forever redefine what ‘arctic’ or ‘antarctic’ mean.
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