Publication Date November 8, 2017

The most extreme effects of climate change people are seeing in the Arctic


Inuit elders are reporting a strange sight in the Arctic: The moon and stars appear to be in the wrong place, and the sun is rising in a different location.

Elders believe the earth’s tilt has changed, but western scientists say what they are seeing is an illusion created by a warming atmosphere.

Nunavut resident Louis Andalik, born in 1938, said through a translator he has noticed the sun’s position change dramatically since his childhood.

When he was a child, on the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21, he remembers the sun would rise in the south. “You would see it but it would continue to stay red because it was so close to the horizon, and just disappear without ever fully showing up.”

But in recent years, on Dec. 21, the sun rises in the south/southeast and stays in the sky, giving at least six hours of daylight, “and it shows up pretty clearly.”

Longer hours of sunlight, and the sun seemingly rising in a different location, are among the unique visual illusions scientists say are caused by a warming atmosphere.