Sea Ice

> Sea Ice Introduction

The interactive sea ice diagram allows you to explore sea ice features, uses, hazards, changes, and other relevant background information by hovering (holding your mouse over) the labels, or clicking on the labels to learn more about the topic. The information here has been compiled based on contributions from the local experts in the communities of Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and Pangnirtung and shared in a summarized way in order to provide an introduction to sea ice based on Inuit knowledge and experience. This will help to understand community-specific sea ice maps or local implications of change, found in the other sections of the Atlas.

When you click on a label you will be taken to a new page, with more description about the topic. Here, and in other parts of the atlas, blue and green links are used to highlight that there is additional information or audio or video files available. This helps to reduce the length of the pages, improve page load speeds, and to enable people to explore different topics based on their interests. When you are done looking at the information, you may close it and continue by clicking the X on pop-up media or the heading for the drop-down content. Links will turn purple if you have already explored them.

Use the main “Sea ice” heading to get back to the main page, or use the drop-down menu from “Features & Uses” to another specific topic page.

Sea Ice Features Map Terminology Inuit Knowledge Working Together Floe Edge Service Changes Floe Edge Shoreline Animals Camps Hazards Land Landfast ice Areas that melt early Moving/MYI Polynya Tidal crack Travel

Inuit identity, knowledge, livelihoods, and health are still strongly linked to the seasonal cycles of sea ice and wildlife harvesting. This connection remains strong, despite many cultural, social, economic, political, and environmental changes experienced over past fifty years. Specialized skills such as reading the ocean ice or recognizing changing weather conditions are still highly valued by those relying on the marine environment for subsistence or commercial harvesting. Hunting and harvesting continues to contribute economically and socially to northern households and social networks, as well as to health and cultural identity.

Inuit elders and other active hunters are typically the community members who know the most about sea ice conditions, as successful hunting and travel relies on an understanding of the safety of sea ice conditions. This includes being able to interpret how the direction and strength of winds and ocean currents affect ice freezing, melting, or movement. This is also the reason why elders and hunters make up most of the local experts who shared their knowledge and insights as part of this project. They wanted to share their extensive experience with youth, especially on issues regarding sea ice safety. One of the reasons for this Atlas is to communicate their knowledge in a way that can be used in northern schools or other education programs.

Elders and hunters have also expressed their interest to share their local expertise with scientists, to highlight the importance and value of long term use and knowledge of the sea ice. Scientists have a great deal to learn from the comprehensive environmental knowledge of Inuit.

This section of the Atlas provides some general background, context, and terminology relating to sea ice features, uses, hazards, and changes. The information here has been compiled based on contributions from the local experts in the communities of Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and Pangnirtung, and shared in a summarized way in order to provide an introduction to sea ice based on Inuit knowledge and experience. This will help to understand community-specific sea ice maps or local implications of change, found in the other sections of the Atlas.