Coal miners used to take canaries in cages down into the pit with them. If the birds expired, they would know that oxygen was short and it was time to return to the surface. Alaska seems to be the place in the US that is the global warming canary in the coal mine, because the signs of warming weather are showing up there first.
Kate Bissell writes in bbcnews.com that climatologists have discovered oral history weather records from native peoples that go back decades. For instance, 92-year-old Bertha Leavitt, the oldest inhabitant of Barrow, the most northerly town in the US, says that winters there used to be much colder.
Fisherman Percy Nusunginya says that going out on the frozen water to fish through holes in the ice has become dangerous, since the ice is now so much thinner.
Ice scientist Richard Glenn is a native Alaskan and a member of the Inupiat people. He's gathering information from the native people and finds that most of them realized the weather was changing for a very long time?long before any scientists noticed it.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
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