Even in one of the remotest, coldest and most inhospitable parts of Canada’s High Arctic, you cannot escape the signs of global warming.

Polar bears hang around on land longer than they used to, waiting for ice to freeze. The eternal night which blankets the region for three months is less dark, thanks to warmer air reflecting more sunlight from the south. Animal species that the local Inuit aboriginal population had never heard of are now appearing.

"Last year someone saw a mosquito," said a bemused Paul Attagootak, a hunter living in the hamlet of Resolute Bay some 2,100 miles northwest of Ottawa and 555 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
"Things getting warmer is not good for the animals, which are our food. We still eat them. We worry about them," he told Reuters as temperatures hovered around zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 18 degrees Celsius) well above the seasonal average.

The entire life of the Inuit — formerly called Eskimos — is based on the cold. A rapid increase in temperatures could be cataclysmic as prey disappears and ice becomes treacherous.

By David Ljunggren