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Nunavut Climate Change Centre (NC3) Media Backgrounder

The NC3: Sharing Knowledge about Climate Change in Nunavut

The Nunavut Climate Change Centre (NC3) provides current climate change information relevant to Nunavummiut, and offers a wide range of resources to anyone interested in climate change in the north. The NC3 will further increase national and global awareness of climate change impacts on Nunavut.

The NC3 provides access to climate change data, educational resources, adaptation toolkits, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (traditional knowledge) on climate change, research tools, and news on climate change adaptation activities occurring across the Territory. It also serves to assist with implementing the objectives set out by the Upagiaqtavut: Setting the Course climate change framework document (available here as a pdf).

This website was developed by the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) Department of Environment in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, the Nunavut Research Institute and ArcticNet, with contributions from various non-government and Inuit organizations, and launched in the spring of 2012.


The Impact of Climate Change in Nunavut

Local observations and scientific studies suggest that climate change will have major consequences for Nunavut. Impacts ranging from changes in sea ice distribution and abundance to melting permafrost will affect the future of our people in many ways.

Some of the more significant impacts we are already experiencing in Nunavut as a result of climate change include:

  • Decreasing sea ice thickness and distribution, which is changing wildlife habitat and affecting impacting hunters’ ability to harvest wildlife.
  • Permafrost degradation, changes in ice conditions, rainfall and snow quantity, drainage patterns, temperatures, and extreme weather events will all have implications for existing infrastructure (such as roads and buildings); all of which was designed around a permanently frozen soil regime.
  • The increased length of the ice-free season, which may allow for increased shipping through our waterways, including the Northwest Passage. While this may result in economic benefits, it will also increase the risk of waterway contamination through oil spills and other pollution events.
  • Arrival of new insects, birds, fish and mammals previously unknown or rare in Nunavut, and change sin the abundance and distribution of familiar animals.

Climate change is happening to our land. The NC3 seeks to help Nunavummiut become more aware of its impact and learn how to engage and adapt.