Ecosystems
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Indicators #10 - 17

In the Lower Kolyma area of Sakha-Yakutia, the local Chukchi and Yukaghir reindeer herders have reported that the permafrost is melting and this is causing, among other things, the disappearance of whole lakes as well as changes to the water system. Alexey Nikolajevich Kemlil, a Chukchi reindeer herder of the community Turvaurgin, describes this process on the western side of the Kolyma River:

“There have been changes to the permafrost. In the past ten years, several lakes have disappeared both from the taiga and tundra area where we have our reindeer migration. Lakes have become rivers and drained out. You can see this in the tundra, but even more on the forest zone. This impacts on the fishing for sure. One of the lakes disappeared, but the fish got stuck in the bottom and died of course. Wetlands and marshes are as well more, how to say, deeper or not so solid. Close to the rivers like Chukatsha there are depression faults and holes on the ground. The marshlands cannot be used anymore for reindeer travelling”

Mustonen, T. 2009. Karhun väen ajast-aikojen avartuva avara. Tutkimus kolmen euraasialaisen luontaistalousyhteisön paikallisesta tiedosta pohjoisen ilmastonmuutoksen kehyksessä. University of Joensuu Press. pp. 246.