Antony Jinman has been working on Baffin Island for the past three years, looking at how climate change is affecting the landscape in Auyuittuq National Park. Ironically, “auyuittuq” is Inuktituk for “the land that never melts”, and it is exactly this that Antony and his team witnessed occurring this summer.
Whilst previously Antony had only visited the park during the winter months, this year he chose to also travel through the 96km Akshayuk Pass in the summer in order to document the difference between the two seasons for schools. To extend his “education through expeditions” ethos further, he took two students on expedition with him this summer; Louise Biddle (19) who studies Earth Sciences at Oxford University, and Josephine Beynon (22) who has just graduated from Edinburgh University reading Zoology.
What they discovered were glaciers that were melting in front of their eyes and extensive damage to moraines due to major floods caused by higher than average levels of meltwater last summer. On Baffin Island, it is all too apparent that the climate is indeed warming at an alarming rate. This summer, the team only had a couple of wet days, and yet the rivers were high with meltwater coming off the glaciers and ice cap. This is water that has been locked up as ice for thousands of years; it is not being replaced.