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Ode to Arctic Char A decade ago while visiting the village of Kivalina in Northwest Alaska, I was surprised to learn that it was the humble Arctic char, not the sheefish or salmon, that was the traditional favorite. Referred to locally as simply, "trout," Salvelinus alpinus is not really a trout or a salmon, but it is a member of the same family, Salmonidae. Regardless of name, they are as pretty a fish as you will find in any river plus they are dependable, plentiful, fun to catch on a line, and delicious with a mild, sweet flavor. But in 2009 residents in Kivalina recognized that char was in trouble, a consequence of the Wulik River becoming warmer and muddier. As Mida Swan explained, “It probably won’t even be long before we have to adapt from trout to salmon. I would like to know which fish has a chance of survival in warmer temperatures.” So I was interested to read the story in Nunatsiaq News about the study, “Thermal limits to the cardiorespiratory performance of Arctic char in a rapidly warming North.” The implications of which span a million rivers all across the north. Find the ones running cold and clear, and the Arctic char will certainly be there. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Canada
Nunatsiaq News / Nunatsiaq News / September 24, 2020

When Arctic fish are too hot, they can get lethargic, slow down, and possibly turn back during their migration to seek cooler water. When the water gets really warm they can even lose their ability to stay upright.

Read article on Nunatsiaq News



Kokemäki, Satakunta, Finland
Yle Uutiset / September 27, 2020

An exceptionally warm air current from the southeast has kept days and nights unseasonably mild in southern and central Finland since last week. Meanwhile the north of the country has been shivering with rain and temperatures in the single digits. The highest reading in decades was recorded in Kokemäki, southwest Finland.

Read article on Yle Uutiset



Portland, Maine, United States
Matt Byrne / Press Herald / September 27, 2020

Exterminators are fielding more calls about rodent activity. Rat-related calls are up 20 percent from last year; include mice and calls are up 57 percent.

Read article on Press Herald



Yakutsk, Sakha, Russia
Siberian Times / September 25, 2020

The lengthy wildfire season follows a record-hot Arctic summer. People living in Yakutsk are waking up to heavy smog brought from the wildfires raging to the west, east and north; struggling to breathe and with head, eye and throat aches.

Read article on Siberian Times



Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Mike Rudyk / CBC / September 22, 2020

The Yukon First Nations Education Directorate gave away 30,000 pounds of free fish as part of its nutritional program in Whitehorse this week. People were particularly happy to receive the donation because salmon are well below the historical average this year.

Read article on CBC



село Гыда, Тазовский район, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Russia
Siberia Times / September 17, 2020

A 200 metres wide thermocirque is discovered only weeks after scientists find funnel in the Yamal peninsula, caused by build up of methane.

Read article on Siberia Times



Ryrkaypiy, Chukotka, Russia
Siberia Times / September 14, 2020

The Bear Patrol in is on high alert as predators are gathering by a walrus rookery. At least nine polar bears were noticed by residents of Ryrkaipiy, a village in the easternmost region of Chukotka.

Read article on Siberia Times



Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Teagon Hanlon / Alaska Public Media / September 26, 2020

The repeated run-ins with the bear were part of the reason that one children's camp decided to move out of Russian Jack to another park.

Read article on Alaska Public Media



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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