I’ve been visiting global cold weather spots for many years and there is no question in my mind that climate change is occurring. From melting permafrost to retreating glaciers, I see this every time I venture north.
I am not taking sides on how much is human-induced and how much is naturally occurring. From the data I have seen so far, I am convinced that human activity has accelerated this process. But I also believe that more research is needed on this vital issue that will affect humanity and our natural world for perhaps thousands of years.
An article on melting permafrost in today’s New York Times triggered a memory for me of my most recent visit to the Yukon Territory in Canada’s northern regions. Driving on the famed Dempster Highway I noticed for the first time immense tree slides occurring on mountainsides.
In fact, I stopped at one point to take a quick snapshot of a relatively small one.
These slides are occurring with increasing frequency throughout the polar region, as the permafrost melts and shallow-rooted trees on hillsides give way, especially after summer rains. It’s a real pity to see such devastation and scarring happening in such pristine and fragile environments.