Did You Know.....Yukon Winters are getting milder....

December 11, 2017

A lot of things have and are changing up here in the Yukon….some things for the better and other changes give you pause. Living in the bush one is always aware of the weather…the impact it has on daily chores of hauling water…bringing it firewood…can I get out of the driveway!!!

For 10 days now we have been having chinook weather with temperatures above freezing. Melting a lot of the snow that was on the ground and lakes are clear with 1-2 inches of water on top of the ice!

Tashi is wondering where his nice soft bed of snow has gone!!!

When our family first moved up to the Yukon in 1978 you could count on getting two cold snaps in the winter of -30 to -40 for up to two weeks. Summers were clear blue skies with very little precipitation. Now…our winters are substantially warmer and our summers of blue skies are more likely to be overcast.


Colder, frosty winter days are disappearing...


These changes in weather has meant that glaciers and snow patches in the north are melting, exposing a treasure trove of artifacts for archeologists working in northern parts of the world. I recently watched a Canadian documentary; “Secrets From The Ice” that was done here in the Yukon.

Nature of Things: "Secrets From The Ice" tells the story of how, over the last 20 years, Canada and other Arctic countries have become the frontier of a new science related to climate change. Ice patches are melting faster than ever and are revealing ancient human artifacts, wildlife and human remains, telling us more than we’ve ever known about human history in the sub-Arctic and at altitude in the mountains. 

For those living in Canada you can watch it here:

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes//secrets-from-the-ice

Or read a wonderful article with great photos at the link below published by Yukon Tourism:

http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/publications/The_Frozen_Past_the_Yukon_Ice_Patches_2011.pdf



Archaeologists Survey the Friday Ice Patch, Yukon Territory.
(Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Yukon Cultural Services Branch) 


Artifacts found in melting ice patch. (Photo credit: Mike Thomas)

In Norway, scientists are finding artifacts that date back to the Viking era and in other countries mysteries are being solved. A couple went missing in the Swiss Alps in 1942 and their remains were found in 2016 on a melting glacier.


(Photo Credit: Swiss police)

As archeologists relish and study their finds….I trade my snowshoes for ice cleeks to take Tashi for his daily walks!!!



All the best,

Jacqueline and Tashi



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