The hair at Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs in Canada’s Yukon Territory isn’t as spiky as it used to be, the Washington Post reports. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is making the -4°F (-20°C) cold required for the hot spring’s annual hair-freezing competition less frequent. But as temperatures climb, the number of contestants has fallen to just 85 this year, “and it was due to lack of cold weather, not lack of enthusiasm,” Andrew Unbrich of Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs told the Post.
The struggling contest illustrates the toll climate change is taking on unique cultural traditions, along with the more dire death, destruction, and health harms left in its wake. It also highlights the disproportionate Arctic warming, itself setting off a vicious cycle of methane released by melting permafrost, Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Center on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, told The Post. “It’s a positive feedback loop where the more snow and ice you lose, the warmer it gets, and the warmer it gets, the more snow and ice that melts.” (Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Arctic amplification)