The demise of Greenland's indigenous fishing villages should be a warning to us all, says a Kiwi who has seen the devastating impact of global warming.
by STACEY WOOD - The Dominion Post
Otago University student Susan Smirk spent five days in Greenland filming footage for a documentary about the impact of climate change, after her high school film-making team won the Freemasons Big Science Adventures film competition, run by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
She and her team visited the abandoned village of Ikateq and saw the toll that government policy and global warming have taken on Greenland's indigenous population.
Coastal fishing villages such as Ikateq used to be home to families who relied on regular catches of Arctic char, a fish closely related to salmon. But warmer ocean temperatures in recent years have forced the char to migrate north to cooler waters, ending a way of life.
Traditional villages are now ghost towns, with dogsleds and fish-drying racks lying unused outside abandoned houses.
With no way to support themselves, villagers have been forced to move to urban centres the largest city and capital, Nuuk, has a population of about 15,000. Ms Smirk says most of the displaced have no other way to earn a living and rely on social welfare.