Climate Change, Public Health and Violence in Arctic Canada

Presented by Professor and Graduate Vice Chair Miriam Golden, Political Science and IoES

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

La Kretz Hall, Suite 300

Large conference room

Exploiting the differential impact of climate change on the 25 Inuit villages in the territory of Nunavut, Canada whose location spans a north-south distance of 3,000 kilometers allows a natural experiment of the effects of changes in the ice melt on human communities. Using data from quarterly police incident reports from 2005 to 2009 in conjunction with 30 years of passive microwave data available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, we study whether public disturbances and serious crime increase in the spring quarter where the impact of climate change has been more severe. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that where climate change has had the greatest effect in reducing sea ice concentration, spring quarter rates of public disturbances and violent activities are relatively higher. We interpret this to show that when Inuit men are not able to travel reliably on the ice to hunt, the public health of their communities deteriorates.

Lunch will be provided.