Canadian Geographic
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INSIDE: Crossing the lines Go now!

How will a receding tree line and melting permafrost affect life and land in the North?

You may recognize Canada’s North by the intricate coastlines and political borders drawn on a map, but much of this region’s extraordinary landscape is defined by two other important boundaries: the tree line and the permafrost line.

International Polar Year (2007 – 2008) marks the largest-ever international program of scientific research on the Arctic and Antarctic. It has drawn together more than 10,000 researchers from 63 countries, fueled by the urgent need to learn more about the impacts of a changing climate. International networks spanned many disciplines in the physical, health, and social sciences.

Here in the Canadian Arctic, while working in partnership with Northerners, scientists examined all components of the ecosystem, ranging from the oceans and atmosphere to snow, permafrost, sea ice, vegetation and wildlife. And for the first time, the most recent IPY included studies of the people and communities that call the Canadian Arctic home.

The information gathered will prove to be a treasure trove for future researchers and all Canadians, offering a detailed picture of some of the most isolated and significant areas of our planet.


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Quiz :

What percentage of the Northern hemisphere's permafrost is in Canada?

About 30%
About 10%
About 60%