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Monday, October 26, 2020

Weekly Post, GREENLAND, LABRADOR, and BAFFIN ISLAND: A Climate Change Research Expedition in the North Atlantic

GREENLAND, LABRADOR, and BAFFIN ISLAND:  A Climate Change Research Expedition in the North Atlantic 

 by Robert Glenn Ketchum


 
In 2006, I was invited to participate in a Zegrahm expedition sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund. I was to lecture aboard the ship, and to participate onshore, when visiting Inuit communities to discuss the effects of climate change on their lives. The trip would travel along the coast of southeastern Greenland, crossing the Labrador Sea, to the northwest coast of Labrador, and the southwest coast of Baffin Island.
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Monday, October 26, 2020 

GREENLAND, LABRADOR, and BAFFIN ISLAND:  A Climate Change Research Expedition in the North Atlantic, #3
GLB #3:  
In spite of the swarms of mosquitoes, the day of hiking in Ikamiut Fjord consisted of a spectacular setting, full of surging rivers connecting numerous large lakes, and all surrounded by some seriously rugged mountains, many of which hosted descending glaciers. This picture made late in the day, before returning to our boat, shows exactly that. Towering above one of the uppermost lakes on our hike, this sheer face, streaming glaciers, is typical of the mountains surrounding us, and above the summits to the east, everything is buried beneath the vast Greenland icecap that spans the entire island from coast to coast.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd   #LittleBearProd

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Monday, October 19, 2020 

GREENLAND, LABRADOR, and BAFFIN ISLAND:  A Climate Change Research Expedition in the North Atlantic, #2
GLB #2:  
After a second night at the lodge, our Zeagrahm boat was finally prepped and provisioned, so early in the morning of July 14, we all boarded, and began our trip. Sondre Stromfjord is quite lengthy, and it took a good part of the day to reach the North Atlantic, after which we traveled several miles south along the Greenland coast, and then turned into Ikamiut Fjord, where we would go ashore to hike in the morning. There is no anchoring in the open North Atlantic because of the swell, so on this trip we will always seek refuge in a fjord, or a village harbor. At the head of Ikamiut Fjord, where we would spend this night, the numerous Zodiacs we had aboard, were put into the water. They would ferry guests ashore the next day, so we could spend several hours wandering in the landscape of Greenland. As you can see, our surroundings were quite dramatic, but the downside of the day was that the mosquito population was INSANE, and you had to keep moving constantly, because, if you stopped, you were swarmed. It made taking pictures a risky business.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd   #LittleBearProd

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Monday, October 12, 2020 

GREENLAND, LABRADOR, and BAFFIN ISLAND:  A Climate Change Research Expedition in the North Atlantic, #1
GLB #1:  
For two weeks in July of 2006, I was invited to join a prestigious group of researchers and speakers aboard a Zegrahm Expeditions boat that would visit Greenland, Labrador, and Baffin Island. Organized by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy, we were there to witness evidence of the Greenland icecap retreat, and to visit numerous Inuit communities where we would have interviews with residents about their personal observations on the impacts of climate change. The starting point of this adventure was to be Sondre Stromfjord on the southwest coast of Greenland, which meant a long flight for me from Los Angeles, through New York, and on to Greenland. Interestingly, when I completed the crossing of the Northwest Passage as one of William Simon’s guests, aboard his luxurious research vessel, Itasca, we finished that trip in Sondre Stromfjord, where we disembarked the boat, and flew back to Long Island. The fjord hosts an Inuit village, Kangerlussuag, several lodges, a military base, and a simple airport. On the Simon trip we saw little of those places, however, as we arrived in the evening, after dark, and departed by jet the next morning. On this trip, though, my flight arrived late in the day, and our boat was not due until the following one, so I had a room in one of the lodges. When the Zegrahm boat anchored the next day, it still had to unload passengers, buy provisions, clean cabins, and reload our luggage, so I spent another day in the fjord, being driven around by a guide from the lodge where I was staying. He knew what our trip was about, and he wanted me to see this view in particular, because he grew up in the Kangerlussuag, and when he was younger, that distant glacial cap in this picture, filled the valley where you see water now. The green hills coming in from the right were under glacial ice and not visible.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd   #LittleBearProd

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