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Adam Minter

How a Warming Yukon Forced Its Farmers to Adapt

As weather extremes ravage the world’s food heartlands, this Arctic region is learning to become more resilient and self-sufficient.

Changing with the weather in the Yukon Territories.

Changing with the weather in the Yukon Territories.

Photographer: Adam Minter/Bloomberg

As the climate warms, Canada's farmers are flourishing, even in remote regions like the Yukon Territory. Crops that previously didn't make sense to grow so far north are sprouting as croplands expand. Steve Mackenzie-Grieve, co-owner of Yukon Grain Farm, one of the territory's biggest food producers, farms 400 miles south of the Arctic Circle. "We can grow every bit of grain up here as you can in southern Alberta," he explained to me recently as we toured his 450-acre farm.

It's a tantalizing harvest. Yet climate change doesn't have silver linings. Take Egypt, host of this year's UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). The once-fertile Nile Delta is increasingly barren thanks to the same warming trends, driving expensive, desperate food shortages, made worse by the war in Ukraine. Global leaders have noticed: Bolstering global food security for climate change is a key item on the COP27 agenda.