Ellesmere Island By: Reeves Schraner
Background Knowledge • Ellesmere Island is Canada’s third largest island its area is 196,236km sq. • The population of the island is under 200 people, though occasionally people scientists or students may travel there to study • There is a thick layer of permafrost which is soil that is permanently frozen which prevents many plants from growing
Where is it? • Ellesmere island is part of Nunavut and is located off of the Northwest coast of Greenland • Ellesmere island is the most Northern point in Canada • To the right is a map showing the location of the island http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ellesmere_Island
Climate “Baby it’s cold outside!” • The average temperature in winter is approximately -34 Degrees Celsius (DC) • However, the average summer temperatures range from 3-12 DC which is one main reason that this frozen island can support life • The typical amount of precipitation is between 50 and 200mm of precipitation yearly http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/clip/brrrrrr.html
High Arctic Flower Plants • Despite the freezing cold temperatures and thick permafrost, there is lots of life on Ellesmere Island • There are many types of plants such as: shrubs, mosses, grasses, and even flowers! • The plants are small because their roots cannot grow through the permafrost that has formed beneath the ground http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/northern/image.php?ID=20353&imagesize=medium&ln Arctic Poppies http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/northern/image.php?ID=18068&imagesize=medium&ln
Land Animals • Most of the animal species that now live on Ellesmere Island have had to adapt over the years due to the colder than average temperatures • Some examples of things that have changed in animals are: extra fur for added warmth, white coats (for camouflage), and faster breeding in the summer months • Some of the land animals that live on the island are: lemmings, hares, squirrels, caribou, foxes, wolves, polar bears, ravens, falcons, and loons • There are also insects like arctic bumblebees and grasshoppers
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/reindeer/ http://www.labspaces.net/102475/To_Arctic_animals__time_of_day_really_doesn_t_matter http://www.animalstwist.com/page/11 /
Marine Life • Animals that live their lives in Arctic waters must be able to withstand freezing cold water temperatures • There are many different species of animals living in the ocean off the shore of Ellesmere island, animals like the beluga whales, narwhals, harp seals, walrus, and even some land animals spend much of their time in the water • Polar bears are a great example of an animal that is just about as comfortable in the water as they are on land
http://www.animalspix.com/tag/arctic http://www.animalspix.com/tag/arctic http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/narwhal.htm/printable
What Have We Done! We take too much of everything. It’s as simple as that, everything that the Earth has provided for us is being overused and now is when it’s coming back to haunt us. The human race has burned the Earth’s supply of fossil fuels almost to the point of none being left. We are now facing what is commonly known as Global Warming. Fossil fuels that burn cause pollution, and pollution breaks down our shield, the atmosphere. As the atmosphere’s protection diminishes, we become more and more defenceless. The Sun’s rays are heating the Earth, and the hotter and hotter it gets the more everything melts. Ellesmere Island is a very cold place with lots of snow and ice which is now being melted by the sun. Many animals that are now adapted to the cold temperatures are at risk of dying. The animals that use ice for hunting or mating will no longer be able to do so. Animals like seals won’t have any place to rest after catching their fish and even with their amazing swimming will no longer be able to rest and could potentially drown. It’s not their fault that glaciers are melting. It’s ours. We are killing our own wildlife because we take too much.
What’s Being Done? • Governments are now advertising many ways to help restore the planet’s natural resources • Things like: Building “Greener Houses”, placing recycling bins everywhere that a garbage is present, they even pay people for the electricity that they generate • Treaties have been made by many countries who are working together to stop the melting of the polar ice caps on places like Ellesmere Island
How YOU can Help • There are many ways that WE as individuals can help, just by taking the extra two seconds to walk to the recycling bin to put that small piece of paper in the garbage helps, if everyone in the world put that paper in the recycling, think about how much it could save • We can also help by encouraging our friends and family not to litter, or to also throw that little piece of paper in the recycling • When it comes to saving the planet, every little bit counts! Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of saving the planet? Do you really want to see these guys to die?
Sources • Flower picture 2: • http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/northern/image.php?ID=20353&imagesize=medium&ln • Flower picture 3: • http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/northern/image.php?ID=18068&imagesize=medium&ln • Cold thermometer: • http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/clip/brrrrrr.html • http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ellesmere_Island • Island map: • http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ellesmere_Island • Fox picture: • http://www.animalstwist.com/page/11/ • Polar Bear picture: • http://www.labspaces.net/102475/To_Arctic_animals__time_of_day_really_doesn_t_matter • Reindeer picture: • http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/antenna/reindeer/ • Narwhal picture: • http://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/narwhal.htm/printable • beluga picture: • http://www.animalspix.com/tag/arctic • walrus picture: • http://www.animalspix.com/tag/arctic • harp seal picture: • http://www.war-online.org/Alert_Seals07.htm • Earth picture: • http://geeks.pirillo.com/profiles/blogs/make-your-resolution-green • http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/tundra.php • http://chalk.richmond.edu/education/projects/webunits/biomes/tunanimals.html • http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biomes/arctictundra.html • http://www.bivouac.com/ArxPg.asp?ArxId=1095 • http://go.grolier.com/