Matt Jacques

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Matt Jacques is a journalist, photographer and social scientist living in Canada’s Yukon Territory. With a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Ottawa, he has an in-depth understanding of the behavioural economics and evidence-based decision-making behind much of our public discourse climate, the economy and sustainability. His photography has won international awards, and his written work regularly appears in Vancouver-based MONTECRISTO Magazine.

View Jacques’ photos on Instagram.

Famous Canadian Ice Road Melts for the Last Time

Northwest Territories Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road, Matt Jacques|DeSmog Canada

Each winter in Canada’s far north, a series of ice roads take form, providing people and supply trucks temporary access to the region’s otherwise isolated towns. But rapid changes to Canada’s north means this spring marks the final melt of one of the north’s famed ice highways, the ‘Road to the Top of the World,’ stretching across 187 kilometres of frozen Mackenzie Delta and Arctic Ocean in the Northwest Territories, linking Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk.

It’s taking longer for everything to freeze up, and the ice isn’t as thick,” Wally Schumann, the minister of infrastructure for the Northwest Territories, told the New York Times in April. The Northwest Territories is warming at four to five times the global rate.

Under construction right now is a new permanent $300-million all-weather road — but its long-term stability is also challenged by the unpredictable, warming landscape says Phil Marsh, professor and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science at Wilfred Laurier University.

This area is continuous permafrost with massive amounts of ground ice,” Marsh explained.

In the spring, melting water can carve sizeable channels through the ground ice, “which can rapidly drain a lake in less than twenty four hours.”

What Will Trump’s Oil Drilling Ambitions Mean for the Arctic’s Threatened Caribou?

As snowcover recedes from the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska each spring, thousands of Porcupine Caribou arrive to graze on new plant growth and calve the next generation of this herd that is the ecological and cultural backbone of the region.

Following ancient trails through the Brooks, Ogilvie and Richardson mountain ranges on both sides of the Alaska/Yukon border, the herd's migratory path to this sanctuary is one of the longest of any land mammal.

Tweet: Promises of hydrocarbon development in the #Arctic threaten this iconic #caribou herd’s migratory way of life http://bit.ly/2k0UD4RYet with a new President in power that promises to open hydrocarbon development in the Arctic, this iconic herd’s migratory way of life could be threatened.