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First Robin Seen in Far North

In Spring, many of us look for signs that the weather is warming, and one of these is the first sighting of a robin. Recently Inuits living in Northern Canada had the same experience?for the first time ever. Are robins in the far north a sign of global warming?

Martin Mittelstaedt writes for the Canada Globe & Mail that the Inuits (also known as Eskimos) don't even have a name for the robin. In the summer of 1993, Inuits showed John Babaluk of the federal fisheries a fish they'd never seen before, which turned out to be a sockeye salmon. "We actually saw, recorded, took pictures and did some measurements on some sockeye salmon that had shown up in Sachs Harbor," Babaluk says, "That was the first time that any of the locals that we talked to had seen them."

Yereth Rosen writes in planetark.com that Alaska shows major signs of warming as well. Aleut tribal leaders say salmon are getting warm-water parasites and show strange behavior. Salmon and moose meat now have odd tastes and the marrow in moose bones is strangely runny.

Beavers are moving north, damming up rivers and affecting water flow and salmon eggs. Alaskans are frustrated that people in the lower 48 aren't noticing the symptoms of global warming that they see all around them. Orville Huntington, of the Alaska Native Science Commission, says, "It looks like winter out there, but if you've really been around a long time like me, it's not winter. If you travel that ice, it's not the ice that we traveled 40 years ago."

Don't miss this week?s Dreamland, when, in Part II of her interview, Dr. Lynne reveals what she did that caused the Phoenix Lights to start coming back. How can we call them? Maybe we need to use the language of the birds.

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