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QAANAAQ, GREENLAND AT THE FRONTLINE FOR THE BATTLE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Qaanaaq is situated in North Greenland and is the world’s northernmost naturally inhabited town with 656 citizens. It was build in the 1950’s, without consideration of climate change and has found itself among the first casualties in the battle against climate change. Many of the locals live in permafrost areas and their homes and other key infrastructures, such as roads and bridges, are built on frozen ground. As the permafrost thaws, the ground becomes weaker, and less able to support these structures. This can cause buildings to collapse, roads and pipelines to fail and the moisture is getting inside the houses, creating unhealthy living conditions. Inhabitants resort to taping the cracks in their homes in an attempt to keep out adverse temperature and the damp condition. It is one of the last towns in Greenland that still survives predominantly from hunting. In this part of the world delivery of goods happens only twice a year, once when the ice brakes in June and again before the sea ice forms in September. Each year the hunting season get shorter and people lose their lives because of unstable conditions on the sea ice, as climate change disrupts long-held hunting traditions and travel routes.