On Thin Ice
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Photo by Nikołaj Kozakow
Nature

On Thin Ice

The Changing Climate in Yakutia
Michał Książek
Reading
time 3 minutes

“Very warm, only minus five degrees. No snowfall,” writes my friend from Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia, complaining about the lack of winter. I ask other Yakut friends whether anyone remembers late October being so warm. Suoch, they answer unanimously, with the Yakut word for ‘no’. This time last year, it was -20°C. Everywhere is getting warmer, even Yakutsk; far into the mainland, covered in permafrost.

It was business as usual at first. In September, the frost set in. But then at the beginning of October, temperatures went up. There were puddles everywhere and the snow almost totally disappeared. A thaw set in, as never seen before in Yakutia. And then frost again, followed by more warming up. It used to be that once winter came, it was here to

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Understanding the Chukchi
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“The Whale From Lorino”, directed by Maciej Cuske
Nature

Understanding the Chukchi

An Interview with Maciej Cuske
Mateusz Demski

“Initially, whale hunting raised many ethical questions. After all, as a species they are at a higher risk of extinction than birds or land mammals. To cause them suffering is inhumane and incompatible with the idea of protecting the natural environment. However, I understood fairly quickly that in order to get closer to these people, one has to rid themselves of all prejudices and even personal beliefs and try to understand the Chukchi culture,” says Maciej Cuske, director of the documentary The Whale From Lorino, the result of his journey to the Chukchi Peninsula – a land at the end of the world.

Mateusz Demski: More than a decade ago, you travelled the route of the famous Moscow suburban train. More recently, you were drawn to Chukotka, the last republic of the former USSR and one of the most inaccessible and uninhabitable places on Earth, at the edge of the Bering Strait. You are clearly drawn to the East.

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