Climate change may finally be making headlines, but it is far from news. Addressing an overflow crowd at “The Land and the Waters Are Speaking: Indigenous Views on Climate Change” at Andover Hall on Thursday evening, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Eskimo Kalaallit elder and storyteller, recalled hearing of the first warning signs back in 1963.
The occasion was a traditional ceremony in which hunters in Greenland go inland to the glacier — the “big ice” — to give thanks.“ And they looked up there and water was trickling down,” said Angakkorsuaq. “The big ice was dripping water.” This was in January, when the temperature averaged 35 degrees below zero Celsius, a hard freeze that would typically last for three months. When a group of elders repeated the ceremony that March, they found the same stream. What they would eventually learn was that rising temperatures were creating lakes on top of the glacier, and that water was seeping down through cracks, accelerating further melting.