College pitches global warming research centre

The Yukon is warming three times faster than most other regions on the planet. This means Northerners will be the first to have to adapt.

The Yukon is warming three times faster than most other regions on the planet.

This means Northerners will be the first to have to adapt.

On Tuesday, climate change experts converged at Yukon College to discuss the benefits of creating a Yukon Research Centre of Excellence.

It would focus on adaptation to climate change.

“I was excited by it,” said John Streiker, who attended the symposium and has been pushing for the research centre for four years.

“Ever since I was running the Northern Climate ExChange, we recognized the need for having more research based up here in the North.”

The centre will pursue solutions relevant to northern communities.

Most climate change research has concentrated on its causes and effects and how to mitigate them.

“We will have to have both,” said Streiker.

“It’s far too late to think that we can mitigate and not have to adapt,” he said.

“But obviously, if all you do is adapt, then you’ll have to do that forever because adaptation just deals with the symptoms.”

There are still many challenges, not the least of which is funding.

The centre’s focus would be research throughout the entire North, said Community Services Minister Glenn Hart when asked about funding.

Hart attended for Environment Minister Dennis Fentie, who is in Ottawa to discuss First Nation’s treaties issues.

“It’s important to remember that we need other jurisdictions to operate as partners in the North,” said Hart.

“Once we know where we’re going and what the vision is going to be, then it’ll be up to them to come forward.”

Northern climate change research is nothing new.

In the International Polar Year, a large scientific program focused on the Arctic and Antarctic (from March 2007 to March 2009), 90 per cent of the projects concern climate change.

The Yukon Research Centre of Excellence would focus that research and provide opportunities for synergy, said Streiker.

“We would like to create an environment here for research to happen in the North and an exchange of ideas that will stay here more,” he said.

“Right now there’s not as much opportunity to get all the co-benefits that come out of that type of research.”

On average, the Circumpolar North is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, according to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment released in 2004.

This is because snow and ice tend to reflect sunlight.

As the snow and Arctic ice melt away, you end up with bare forests and oceans, which tend to absorb the heat faster.

And if the Circumpolar North is warming twice as fast, the Yukon is probably warming three times as fast, said Streiker.

“Typically what happens is that you get more warming over land than you do over oceans,” he said.

“The two most rapidly warming areas on the planet happen to be central Siberia and from the Mackenzie Delta, across the Yukon and up to Inuvik.”

Yukoners are already starting to feel the effects of global climate change.

The flooding that occurred last summer in the Marsh Lake area is a good example of some of the challenges to come.

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs nine new COVID-19 cases, 54 active cases

More CEMA enforcement officers have been recruited, officials say

Yukon paleontologists Grant Zazula (left) and Elizabeth Hall (right) examine mammoth fossils in Whitehorse on June 10. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mammoth bones discovered at Dawson mine site

“So this is just a start, hopefully, we’re going to be learning a lot.”

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker plead guilty to offences under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Couple who broke isolation rules to get vaccines in Beaver Creek fined $2,300

Crown and defence agreed on no jail time for Rod and Ekaterina Baker


Wyatt’s World for June 16, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
COVID-19 outbreak surges to 50 active cases in the Yukon

Officials urge Yukoners to continue following guidelines, get vaccinated

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

For the second year running, the Yukon Quest will not have 1,000 mile race. Crystal Schick/Yukon News
The Yukon Quest will be two shorter distance events instead of a 1,000 mile race

After receiving musher feeback, the Yukon Quest Joint Board of Directors to hold two shorter distances races instead of going forward with the 1,000 mile distance

It’s been a long time since most Yukoners have seen downtown Skagway. (Andrew Seal/Yukon News file)
What Canada-U.S. border changes could mean for Alaska travel

The federal government is expected to make an announcement on Monday

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
City building plans move forward

Council approves procurement going ahead

Most Read