Late Dorset

Spectacular longhouse features have been found at several Late Dorset sites on Victoria Island, the Arctic Islands south of Ellesmere Island, around Smith Sound, and along Hudson Strait (Damkjar, 2000). These communal structures, up to 40 m long and approximately 5 m wide, were built of stones and boulders or else with gravel and sod walls (Plumet, 1985). Sometimes the communal houselike structures feature slab-lined pits and hearths arranged along the walls and long axis of the interior. Near...

Buntings And Longspurs

The Arctic buntings (snow and McKay's) and longspurs (Lapland and Smith's) breed exclusively on the tundra and taiga of North America, Europe, and Asia, where they are usually the earliest birds to return in spring, their melodious songs heralding the end of a long, cold, dark winter. Lapland longspurs and snow buntings are particularly common in circumpolar tundra habitats McKay's bunting (P hyperboreus). Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service during the summer months and are readily...

Cartography

In the Middle Ages, cartography only produced world maps and no regional or local maps. These maps represented a rather contemporary conception than a real picture of the world. This changed in the Renaissance when charts and maps in general became pictures of exploration, products of observation during voyages of discovery. Nowadays, charts and maps are real representations of the world, essential equipment for travelers and researchers. The first picture of the North was based on a voyage to...

Habitats Landforms Water and

In areas that are more or less completely vegetated, the treeless tundra, the characteristic landforms are well-developed stone and soil polygons (see Patterned and Polygonal Ground). These vary in size, but are generally several meters across. Low-centered polygons are characterized by marshy centers and raised borders. Sedges dominate the centers and grasses, avens, and willows are common plants of the edges. These polygons are circumscribed by cracks at the surface. Beneath the cracks are...

Colonization Of The Arctic

Colonization is a term that describes the oppression of one distinct people by another, usually separated by a significant spatial distance. Colonization can occur in the political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of human experience. The term metropolis or center is used to describe a colonial power, while colony or periphery is used to describe the colonized. Colonizers have tended to look for one of two things from their colonies space, to settle surplus populations, or resources,...

Buryat Republic Buryatiya

The Buryat Republic is situated in the southern part of East Siberia, along the eastern shore of Lake Baikal and bordering Mongolia to the south. The republic's area is 351,300 km2. There are four main landscape units East-Sayan upland (height up to 3491 m, Mt Mynky Sarduk) the Baikal mountain area with ridges Khamar-Daban, Ulan-Burgasu, Barguzinskiy Selenginsky midland with mountain ridges Zagan-Daban, Zagan-Hurtei, Zaganskiy and the Vitim plateau. Within the limits of these mountain systems...

Christianizing the Arctic

The role of churches in processes of social change is well documented in the Arctic. Missionaries exerted powerful intellectual influences on indigenous communities and parishioners the dissemination of the Biblical Scriptures combined with the education of children served as the backbone of evangelism. Speaking Inuktitut, missionaries developed effective communication strategies. Isolated in their mission, some Christian missionaries competed openly alongside shamans, diverging when necessary...

Castrn Alexandr Mathias

Alexandr Mathias Castr n, a Finnish linguist and ethnologist, was born into the family of a Lutheran pastor in the village of Tervola near the Arctic Circle (the county of Oulu in northern Finland) in 1813. He went to the University of Helsinki in 1830 with the aim of studying classical and oriental languages, adding Finnish language to his program in 1834. After the appearance of the epic Kalevala (1835) compiled by the Finnish linguist E. Lonnrot, Castr n devoted himself more completely to...

Disko Island

Disko Island (Qeqertarsuaq, in Greenlandic meaning big island) (70 N, 54 W) is a large irregularly triangular island (about 100 km or 60 miles maximum length) lying off the central west coast of Greenland. The high flat-topped area of the island, rising to over 1500 m, is dominated by permanent glaciers, the largest of which, Sermersuaq (Storbraen, in Swedish meaning great glacier), occupies the central area, but with several glacial tongues or smaller glaciers radiating outward toward the...

Freshwater Sources Storage and Export in the Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is the most river-affected ocean and is the only ocean with a contributing land area greater than its surface area. The delivery of fresh water from a continental landmass is of special importance to the Arctic Ocean because the Arctic Ocean receives about 10 of the fresh water discharged globally by rivers, but it occupies only 1 of the global ocean volume. Annual freshwater inflow contributes as much as 10 of the fresh water in the upper 100 m of the water column in the...

The History of Greenland

In Greenland, written records have been produced regularly and abundantly since the second European colonization of the island in 1721. Missionaries, government administrators, and later increasingly Greenlanders themselves authored such documents. In the 1960s, Finn Gad made extensive use of these sources for his three-volume History of Greenland (1970-1982). Since the 1970s, Hans Christian Gull0v has made explicit reference to ethnohistory as defined in North America in his studies of the...

Akureyri

The town of Akureyri is situated in northeast Iceland, on the longest fjord in the country, Eyjafjor5ur. It is surrounded by mountains reaching a height of 1000-1500 m. The mountain closest to the town is called Hli9arfjall, where there is a ski resort. The river Glera runs through the town, and by its mouth there is a sandbank, Oddeyri. The northerly position of Akureyri has had considerable influence on the community that has sprung up there. Akureyri is about 40 km south of the Arctic...

Finland Land and Resources

Finland is a sovereign Nordic, but not Scandinavian, country in the northeast of continental Europe. With almost a quarter of its territory north of the Arctic Circle, Finland is one of the most northerly countries of the world. A 1200 km land border separates Finland from its neighbor to the east (Russia), while the coastline of the Baltic Sea forms its natural boundary to the south and halfway up its western edge. Moving further north, the Gulf of Bothnia ends and the Tornio River serves as...

Lifestyle and Subsistence

The Chuvans are traditionally nomadic reindeer breeders, hunters (hunting mainly wild reindeer, but also mountain sheep, wolf, and brown bear) and trappers (trapping squirrel, hare, fox, red fox, and Arctic fox), fishers (mainly salmon), and dog breeders. They also had small stocks of domestic reindeer for transportation. Prior to colonization, they also worked as traders and dog-drivers for the Chukchi, bartering trade with the population at the Sea of Okhotsk. They lived in Siberian chums,...

Aleutian Tradition

Approximately 5000 years ago, a regional shift to village life occurred in the Aleutian archipelago. Villages existed before that time, as data from the well-documented village of Anangula 8500 years ago would indicate, but such settlements were small, localized, and perhaps unique. However, sometime between 5500 and 4500 years ago a massive reorganization of ancient Aleut society appears to have transpired. Islands that were previously unoccupied were now inhabited, the westward expansion of...

Contemporary Period

At the turn of the 21st century, artists across the North, while maintaining their ethnic distinctiveness, are adjusting to a set of circumstances different from those faced by previous generations. Perhaps the most far-reaching change is that whether they make functional aesthetic art (more exactly replicas of functional aesthetic art) or embrace conventional fine-art media and techniques, almost all indigenous art from the Arctic today is created for consumption in a culture economically and...

Archaeology Of The Arctic Alaska And Beringia

The late Pleistocene reality of Beringia was first recognized from floral distributions as including both Alaska and Chukotka as well as the one-time land connection between them, now the Bering Strait. Some broad definitions would extend its limits to the Lena River in the west and the Mackenzie in the east. Even before the development of the formal conceptualization, the earliest researchers into the archaeology and native culture expected to uncover significant human contact between America...

Aleutian Islands

The Aleutians are a chain of over 200 islands that arc from the Alaska Peninsula (163 W) east for 1700 miles across the International Date Line toward the Kamchatka Peninsula (172 E). With an area of 6821 square miles, the chain is composed of volcanic islands, called the Aleutian Ridge, that have been active for at least 55 million years. With over 80 major volcanic vents resulting from the tectonic collision of the southern Pacific and the North American plates, just south of the ridge is the...

Boreal Forest Ecology

The term boreal forest or taiga is applied to coniferous forests of the Paleo-Arctic and Neo-Arctic Regions (the latter emphasized here) also included are Rocky Mountain Forest and the Temperate Rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. To the north, the boreal coniferous forest merges sinuously with both Arctic and alpine tundra. To the south, the boreal forest merges with the northern deciduous forest in some places and in other places with the plains and steppes of North America and Eurasia....

Fram Strait

The Fram Strait is located between Greenland and Svalbard at about 79 80 N. About 500 km wide, it separates the Arctic Ocean to the north from the Greenland Sea to the south. With a sill depth of about 2200 m, it is the only deep passage between the Mediterranean Arctic Ocean and its surrounding oceans, thereby providing the most important exchange in terms of volume and energy. A major fraction of Arctic sea ice about 3000 km3 per year is advected into the North Atlantic through this passage....

Population and Government

By spring 2000, Finland had a population of 5,171,302, an average population density of 17 inhabitants per km2. However, the south of the country is considerably more densely populated than the north. There are nearly 26,000 inhabitants of the Aland (Ahvenanmaa) Islands, who live on only 1 of the 6500 or so islands of the archipelago. About 93 of the population speak Finnish as their mother tongue, 6 , mainly in the southern coastal regions (including the Aland Islands), speak Swedish, and less...

Atlantic Layer

The Atlantic layer is a stratum of relatively warm and saline water of Atlantic origin observed across the entire Arctic Basin and even upwelled onto Arctic shelves. The Atlantic layer is, perhaps, the most important feature of the Arctic Ocean vertical structure, which consists of four principal layers (1) Arctic surface water (cold, low-salinity), (2) halocline (a layer in which salinity and temperature sharply increase with depth), (3) Atlantic water (warm, high-salinity), and (4) bottom...

Amund Ringnes Island

Amund Ringnes Island, located in the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut (formerly Canadian Northwest Territories), is roughly 2230 square miles (about the size of the state of Delaware) with the northern tip, Cape Sverre, at about 79 N latitude and about 77 30' N at the southernmost cape. The island is situated along the 96 W meridian between Axel Heiberg Island and Ellef Ringnes Island. Most of the surface of Amund Ringnes Island is below 500 feet with little relief and low coastlines....

Capelin

Capelin are small, elongated, and silvery marine fishes of the genus Mallotus (family Osmeridae, order Salmoniformes). Capelin play a key role in the North Atlantic Subarctic ecosystem as a food source for cod, haddock, redfishes, plaice, seabirds, and marine mammals. There is one species with two subspecies Mallotus villosus villosus of the North Atlantic Ocean and Mallotus villosus catervarius of the North Pacific Ocean, both distributed in cool temperate and Subarctic waters. Capelin are...

Arctic Peoples Conference

On November 22-25,1973, representatives of the Arctic Peoples of Canada (Inuit, Indians, M tis, and NonStatus Indians), Greenland (Greenlandic Inuit), and Europe (the Saami) met at an international conference. This was the first time Arctic indigenous peoples organized a conference by themselves and for themselves. The initiative was taken by James Wah-Shee, the president of the Federation of Natives North of 60 and the Indian Brotherhood of the Northwest Territories, together with Joe...

Caribou Hunting

Antler artifacts and cave etchings suggest that Arctic people hunted caribou at least 40,000 years ago in Eurasia and 25,000 years ago in North America. Those early people also hunted steppe bison and mammoths. But it was caribou that survived the megafaunal extinctions about 10,000 years ago perhaps through caribou adaptability and migratory behavior. Subsequently, many Arctic and Subarctic cultures became based on caribou (or, in Eurasia, wild reindeer) hunting. In North America, ancestors of...

Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant

Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant in Russia's Far North is the world's northernmost nuclear power plant, and the only one in a permafrost region. (The Kola Power Station is also above the Arctic Circle, but has a milder climate.) Constructed from 1974 to 1976, the plant provides energy for the intensive industrial development of territories in the northern part of Magadan Oblast' and of the western part of Chukotka. These territories are rich in various mineral resources, but are remote from coal,...

Fish

Fish encompass a diverse assemblage of aquatic vertebrates that have fins (if any) rather than limbs, and gills for breathing throughout life. In Greenlandic, aalisakkat is the word for fish in Russian, the word is Pti6a. In Alutiiq and in the north Baffin Island dialect of Inuktitut, the word for fish, iqalluk, also refers to salmon or trout in the Central Yup'ik language, neqa or neqet refers both to fish and food, emphasizing the importance of salmon as fish and fish as food. Indigenous...

Amphibians

Amphibians (Amphibia) is the class of poikilothermic (also known as cold-blooded) terrestrial vertebrates that usually retain the aquatic larval stage hence, proximity to fresh water is typical for a majority of the species. Breeding takes place in water (or wet soil), and the aquatic larvae (which breathe through the gills) metamorphose and subsequently live on land. The food of adults and some larvae (in salamanders) consists of small invertebrates otherwise, adults eat invertebrates, whereas...

Beaufort Gyre

The Beaufort Gyre is a large (approximately 1000-1500 km across) quasistationary anticyclonic (clockwise) circulation that encompasses the entire Canada Basin, a part of the Arctic Ocean between Alaska and Canada in the south and the Mendeleyev and Alpha ridges in the north. The Beaufort Gyre is most intense along its southern limb, in the Beaufort Sea, the latter named after Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), a British admiral. The Beaufort Gyre is almost completely covered by sea ice year...

Bear Island

Bear Island is the English name for Bj0rn0ya (74 30' N 19 E), the southernmost island in the Norwegian High Arctic Svalbard archipelago. This 178 km2 (69 sq mi) island is 20 km (12 mi) north-south with a maximum width of 15 km. It is the most isolated of Svalbard's islands, lying approximately mid-way between mainland Norway and the rest of the archipelago. Almost the entire coastline consists of steep cliffs, and there are no good harbors. The northern part is a flat, lake-covered, lowland....

Distant Early Warning Dew Line

The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line was built during the Cold War to protect North America from Soviet aircraft that might invade the continent via the North Pole. An early warning system, the DEW Line was initiated on February 15, 1954, when US President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill approving its construction. The concept of the DEW Line was based upon two fundamental principles (i) that Arctic radar systems would be the primary detection system via data collected and processed at the...

Religion and Folklore

Christianization of the Evenki began in the 17th century, although adoption of Christianity was mainly a formal performance of rituals during the priest's visit. Spirit cults, shamanism, and totemic elements were retained. The Evenki had animistic beliefs that spirits occupied all animals, rocks, and natural objects and also believed in the existence of an Upper World (in the sky) and Lower World (in the ground) connected by the shaman river Engdekit, along which spirits and the shaman could...

Pleistocene Mammals of Beringia

The dominant vegetation that covered the Beringian lowlands during the Pleistocene is called steppe-tundra by paleontologists. As the name implies, this vegetation was a mixture of plants that are found today in steppe (dry grassland) regions, such as the steppes of Central Asia, and tundra plants that grow today in Arctic regions. The nature of Pleistocene steppe-tundra is a controversial topic among paleontologists (see Polar Steppe). One thing that is certain about this ancient ecosystem is...

Erosion Constraints and Processes on Arctic Coasts

Shoreline exposure on many parts of the Arctic coast is limited by seasonal or multiyear sea ice. The duration and extent of open water determine the proportionate time exposure and may limit wave energy during that time. In the extreme, as on some islands of the northwestern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, year-round ice cover leads to near-complete elimination of wave activity. Sediment redistribution is severely limited and mostly effected by ice push on the resulting low-energy shorelines. The...

Fisher Alexander

The British explorer Alexander Fisher is best known for publishing the journals that he kept during the 1818 John Ross and the 1819-1920 Edward Parry expeditions in search of the North West Passage. Very little is known about Fisher's life. An assistant surgeon in the British Royal Navy, he served on the Alexander under the command of Parry while expedition leader Ross took charge of the larger Isabella. Greenland and Davis Strait whalers had indicated that the Arctic seas had less ice than in...

Pollutants

In response to a massive outbreak of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) in northern Maine, the Maine Forest Service contracted for aerial application of DDT (one pound per acre) over vast acreages in 1958. Quantitative pretreatment surveys of the benthic insect fauna of several fast-flowing streams, both inside and outside of the proposed treatment area, revealed robust populations of aquatic stages of midges, black flies, mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis-flies, all important as food...

Conservation

Conservation can be defined as planned management and protection of a natural resource to prevent exploitation or destruction by human activities. A related term is preservation, which means to literally stop something from changing. With regard to the environment, preservation refers to the maintenance of individual organisms, populations or species by planned management a preservationist is one that advocates preservation, as of a biological species. A third term, environmentalism, entails...

Eenoolooapik

In the 1830s, Inuit in Cumberland Sound, Baffin Island, lived a traditional lifestyle as yet untouched by the incursions of Scottish and English whalers. During that decade, the whaling industry suffered a series of devastating disasters, and many whaling captains argued that new strategies were required to allow the business to thrive again. William Penny, a Scottish whaling master with considerable Arctic experience, felt that Cumberland Sound, explored by John Davis in 1585 and 1587 but not...

Beringia

During the Pleistocene, a series of ice ages, or glaciations, affected most of the high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere. When these glaciations occurred, enormous quantities of water became frozen into continental-sized ice sheets, causing the global sea level to drop significantly. For instance, during the last glaciation, the global sea level dropped by about 120 m (almost 400 ft). The continental shelf regions of the Bering and Chukchi seas between Siberia and Alaska are...

Fin Whale

Second only to the blue whale in size, the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) can reach a maximum length of 80 ft, and a reported weight of 75 tons. Finners are less robust than blues, and they are considerably faster and more graceful. The fin whale is a rorqual (i.e., a member of the Balaenopteridae family) and gets its common name from its falcate dorsal fin, which may be 2 ft high, and is much larger and further forward than that of the blue whale. (The name rorqual is derived from the...

Land and Resources

Chukotka's climate is severe, with annual average temperatures ranging from -4.1 C to -14.0 C, and winter temperatures reaching -45 C in coastal areas and -60 C inland. Located on the edge of the Eurasian landmass and on the Pacific Ocean, weather conditions are highly changeable. Chukotka's eastern coast on the Bering Sea is the windiest region in Russia, with average winds above 15 ms-1 for 5.5 months a year. Annual storms bring sustained winds over 40 m s-1 in coastal areas, and the highest...

Baffin Island

Located in eastern Nunavut, Baffin Island is the largest in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the fifth largest island in the world with an area of 507,451 sq km (195,927 sq mi). Almost connected to the Melville Peninsula, the island is separated from the continent by the Foxe Channel and the Gulf of Boothia, from northern Qu bec by the Hudson Strait, and from Greenland by Baffin Bay. Baffin Island is part of the Canadian Shield, an old erosion surface of Precambrian rocks. The southwest...

Common Property Management

In theory a commons is a shared geographic space that is used by a well-defined multi user group. An important defining characteristic of common property is that it is physically, biologically, and culturally bounded. A second characteristic is that the conduct and access of users is based on well-understood rules, for example, expressed as property rights. Property rights are usually one of two types individual (corporate or private) or collective (aboriginal or state). Property is a modern...

Elders

Historically and culturally speaking, no abstract or generalized milestones existed as a way to decide who assumed the role of an elder in Arctic societies. A person was considered an elder when he behaved in a manner similar to and following the cultural conventions of other elders and when he achieved sufficient experiences (such as having grandchildren). In the last decades of the 20th century, this situation has changed. In Nunavut, any Inuit born in 1948 or earlier (50 years or older in...

Arctic Char

The most northern freshwater fish Salvelinus alpinus is variously known as Arctic char and Arctic charr (English), omble chevalier (French), eqaluk (Greenlandic), iqaluppik (Inuktitut), bleikja (Icelandic), tarr (Gaelic), r0ye (Norwegian), ravdo, rauta, and rautu (Saami), roding (Swedish), nieria (Finnish), golets, paliya, and arkticheskii golets (Russian), and khivko and noratkan (Evenki). It belongs to the Salmonidae family, and is related to salmon and trout. Char are typically troutlike in...

Future Climates

The future climate of the Arctic may be strongly affected by the greenhouse effect, produced by industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The Earth's greenhouse effect is produced by naturally occurring constituents of the atmosphere such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, and also increasingly by the worldwide combustion of fossil fuels. Numerous general circulation models (GCMs) have attempted to simulate the expected global warming due to the greenhouse effect. Global temperatures will continue...

East Siberian

The East Siberian Sea, 913,000 sq km (352,510 sq mi) in area, is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean located north of the Sahka Republic and Chukchi Autonomous Okrug along the northeast coast of Russia. The sea is bounded by the New Siberian Islands in the west and the International Dateline (180 E) and Wrangel Island to the east. The sea has a wide continental shelf and is open to the Arctic Ocean in the north. It has an average depth of 54 m and very shallow depths along the southern coast...

Canada as a Northern Nation

More than one-third of Canada's area is composed of the forested Subarctic region, which includes the northern regions of eight of Canada's ten provinces as well as much of the Yukon and the Mackenzie region of the Northwest Territories. For example, the province of Qu bec has the largest northern area of all individual provinces, making up more than 80 of its territory. The Arctic and Subarctic regions have a sparse population, amounting to just over 1,400,000 in total in 2001 (Bone, 2003 84),...

Biography

Ingmar Egede, Greenlandic psychologist, educator, and advocate for indigenous rights, was born in Qeqertarsuaq on September 21, 1930. His early years were spent in the communities of Upernavik Kujalleq, Oqaatsut, and Akunnaaq before he left Greenland for further education in Denmark. From 1955 to 1961, Egede served as school principal in Qaanaaq, and after further study in Denmark returned to Greenland to resume teaching in schools in Aasiaat and Maniitsoq from 1962-1968. Egede returned to...

Arctic Midocean Ridge

Within the deep basin of the Arctic Ocean, several submarine ridges and plateaus rise above the ocean floor (see the bathymetric map in Arctic Ocean). The largest of these, the Gakkel Ridge, is related to the global system of mid-ocean ridges, formed from the rifting and growth of oceanic crust at a plate tectonic boundary. Exploration of the Arctic Ocean in the 1950s and 1960s by the Russian drifting ice stations and air expeditions led to the discovery of the Lomonosov Ridge in 1951, soon...

Arctic Ground Squirrel

The Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryi, Spermophilus means seed loving) is a large rodent belonging to the squirrel family (Sciuridae), rodent order (Rodentia). Known as a gopher to most Yukoners and a tsik-tsik by the Inupiat Eskimos in Alaska, it is the largest and most northern of New World ground squirrels. The Arctic ground squirrel inhabits meadow-steppe, tundra, and mountain-tundra landscapes in the Northeastern Palearctic (from the Verkhoyansk Ridge in the east and to the south...

Dancea Danish Cooperation For Environment In The Arctic

In 1993, Denmark followed up on the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro that same year by establishing a financial facility for Danish environmental assistance. It was decided that the total budget should gradually increase until by 2005 it reaches the target of 0.5 of the Danish GDP. Denmark provides environmental assistance to a broad range of countries and project types throughout the world, including the Arctic. DANCEA manages the environmental funds to the...

Biodiversity in the Low Arctic and Subarctic

In the Subarctic, the more or less closed canopy of the boreal forest disperses into small stands of often stunted conifers. The term forest-tundra describes the circumpolar transition zone between boreal forest and the tundra of the Low Arctic (or southern tundra). It includes two important subzones the forest subzone (southern forest-tundra) and the shrub subzone (northern forest-tundra). The northern limits of the forest-tundra are represented by the treeline, which is the northern limit of...

Comer George

During the period 1860-1915, American and British ships made about 200 voyages into Hudson Bay in search of Greenland (bowhead) whales, and they exerted a powerful influence on Inuit life. Among the many whaling captains who operated in the bay, George Comer stands out for his profound interest in Inuit culture. His researches were of inestimable value to the anthropologist Franz Boas, author of the first significant studies of the native inhabitants of the Canadian Arctic. Comer's association...

Byrd Richard

The United States' most prominent polar explorer was motivated by a strong desire for achievement and adventure. This drove Richard Byrd toward the nascent field of naval aviation and then toward the North and South Poles. Aviation was an important component of his polar expeditions, especially those in the Arctic. In contrast with his more numerous Antarctic expeditions, his earlier Arctic adventures were fewer, characterized by disappointment, limited success, and controversy. In September...

Empetrum Heaths

Empetrum heath is a circumpolar Arctic-alpine vegetation type dominated by species of the genus Empetrum (crowberry). Empetrum heaths are a wideranging vegetation type in the Sub- and Low Arctic. They occur in small to mid-sized patches on well-drained soils of plains and upland areas. The word Empetrum is from the Greek en petros, meaning on rock, referring to the common Arctic and alpine habitat. Plants of the genus Empetrum can be found growing on moist, acidic peat, gravel, or sand, often...

Bruce Ws

In the realms of polar history, the name of William Speirs Bruce stands alongside the greatest explorers. In the space of 28 years (from 1892 to 1920), William S. Bruce took part in 13 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. It was his father's intention that his son should follow in his footsteps and Bruce entered University College, London, to study medicine. However, during the summer of 1887, he visited Edinburgh, where he was influenced by the great educator Patrick Geddes. His tutor's...

Association Of World Reindeer Herders

Reindeer-herding peoples inhabit a number of areas in the Northern Hemisphere, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, China, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Scotland. Most of these peoples are indigenous and have long traditions as reindeer herders. The Association of World Reindeer Herders was founded recognizing the similarities in reindeer husbandry both as industry and as a cultural, environmental, and economical phenomenon. The idea to form an association with this purpose...

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Anilca

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), passed into US law in 1980, sets aside land for national parks and wildlife refuges, while making Alaska-specific provisions for traditional use. While the environmental protection afforded to the lands from timber, mineral, and hydrocarbons development was groundbreaking, controversy over restricted economic development and use by sports enthusiasts, subsistence hunters, and fishers has continued. US expansion into Alaska was...

Alaska Native Review Commission

The Alaska Native Review Commission was established at a meeting of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in July 1983. The Commission was asked to analyze and report on five broad areas the social and economic conditions of Alaska Natives the history and intentions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) the place of ANCSA in the history of claims agreements by the US government the capability and performance of the regional and village corporations in carrying out the spirit of the...

Food Chains

A food chain, or trophic chain, is a group of organisms in an ecosystem connected consecutively with each other by the consumer-food principle. The food chain concept relates to the position of a group of organisms in an ecosystem but not to their taxa, since a species may occupy different trophic levels at different parts of its life cycle, or eat from more than one trophic level. Food chains begin with primary producers or autotrophs that obtain their energy directly from the sun (plants,...

Contemporary Church Organization

Throughout the Arctic, although Christianity has assimilated with Inuit traditions, the contemporary situation and organization of Christian churches remains complex and based on Western structures. In Greenland, the native church is part of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, but has functioned as an independent diocese with its own bishop since 1993. The church is divided into three main deaneries (South Greenland Mid-Greenland, Thule, and East Greenland and North Greenland) with five to...

Beechey Frederick

When Parry's expedition returned to England in November 1820, it had achieved the first successful Arctic wintering by a naval expedition, as well as the discovery and naming of many islands, inlets, and headlands. Beechey played a major role as navigator, observer, and especially artist, and 26 of his drawings illustrated Parry's published account of the voyage. In 1825, Beechey was appointed to command the sloop-of-war HMS Blossom, which left Spithead on May 19 with instructions to conduct...

Albedo

In general, the term albedo denotes the fraction of incident radiation reflected by a particle or surface. The shortwave (i.e., in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum where the Sun's radiation is concentrated) albedo of the Earth as a whole, and temporal and spatial variations in this quantity, are of fundamental importance in the global climate system. The planetary albedo is defined as the ratio of the total shortwave radiation reflected back into space to the total incident...

Fens

Wetlands are considered to be one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Wetlands provide important habitats and perform ecological functions that are vital to the health and sustainability of landscapes. Wetlands are regulators of water they capture and retain surface and ground water and slowly release it into the landscape. Wetlands also restore groundwater, regulate local humidity, and ensure that the base flow of small and large streams is maintained. Natural mechanical and biological...

Drifting Stations

From the beginnings of exploration and shipping within Arctic sea ice, the main problems encountered were related to poor knowledge of the ice and ocean's natural conditions. The use of Arctic sea routes, and exploration and development of the region's natural resources were impossible without understanding the typical spatial and temporal (seasonal and annual) variations in the atmosphere, ice cover, and oceanic water column. Thus, it was necessary to organize systematic observations of...

North America

By the 17th century, furbearers were becoming scarce in Europe. Luxury furs still flowed from parts of Russia, but the opening of North America to the fur trade was timely. Depletion of many Northern European fur stocks coincided with the rise of a new fashion in beaver for felt hats. North America had plenty of beaver, and many English and French adventurers were eager to seek the soft gold. Most northern furs were traded through the Hudson's Bay Company, chartered in 1670, or the North West...

Amundsen Basin

Amundsen Basin lies in the Arctic Ocean between Lomonosov and Gakkel ridges (see the bathymetric map in Arctic Ocean). Named in honor of Norwegian polar traveler and investigator Roald Amundsen, it is also called Fram Basin according to some sources. The Amundsen and Nansen basins, separated by the Gakkel Ridge, together are often referred to as the Eurasian Basin. Knowledge about the basin structure and about the deep structure of the whole of the Arctic Basin is based on observations from...

Food Webs Marine

Marine food webs refer to the combinations of feeding relationships that exist in marine ecosystems. They describe the pathways along which energy and materials are transferred as organisms feed upon each other. An understanding of food webs is critical to gaining an insight into how species interact or how natural communities of species are organized. Species can be grouped into two general categories with respect to their feeding strategy. Those organisms that can produce their own food are...

Amedeo Luigi Duke Of Abruzzi

Luigi Amedeo Giuseppe Maria Ferdinando Francesco, Prince of Savoy, Duke of Abruzzi, was a member of the Italian navy whose cruises around the world developed in him an interest in climbing peaks in the Himalayas and ascending Mount St Elias in Alaska. After securing financial support from his uncle, King Umberto, in 1897, the Duke organized and led his expedition to Alaska. The expedition members included fellow naval officer Umberto Cagni, photographer Vittorio Sella, Dr. Filippo De Filippi,...

Air Routes

Early attempts to fly nonstop across the North Atlantic are described in the entry Trans-Arctic Air Route. By the start of World War II, most flights across the Atlantic were military, but these were of enormous importance for the mapping of the Arctic. The flying, especially in Greenland, and the establishment of weather stations revolutionized the reliability of weather forecasts over the Arctic seas. The idea of a northern air route remained vivid, but in 1939 it was concluded that it would...

Arctic

The Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) occurs in two color morphs white and blue. White foxes have a pure white winter coat, which turns brownish-gray on the back and white on the belly in summer. The blue morph is usually brownish-blue in winter and uniform blue-black in summer. Arctic foxes have long been prized for their winter fur for clothing by Greenlandic and Canadian Inuit, Saami, and Russian indigenous peoples, and early traders encouraged native peoples to trap foxes for the luxury European...

Little Auk Alle Alle

The little auk is also known as dovekie (American), alkekonge (Norwegian), and lyurik (Russian). It is a small, short-necked auk with a weight of about 160 g and a wingspan of 32 cm. The black and white coloration lacks any decoration. The little auk is the only true Arctic auk species endemic to the Arctic Basin. The breeding range stretches through the archipelagos chain from Baffin Island to Severnaya Zemlya and it has recently been reported to nest in north Bering Sea. Some birds winter...

Arctic Leaders Summit

Arctic Leaders' Summit III was the last of three top meetings between the Arctic indigenous leaders, and was hosted by the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) in the capital of the Russian Federation, Moscow, on September 14-16, 1999. The process of cooperation between the Arctic indigenous peoples was formalized at the First Arctic Leaders' Summit, which took place on June 17-20, 1991 in H0rsholm north of Copenhagen in Denmark. This first meeting was hosted by the...

The Indian New Deal

In 1928, the Meriam Report, initially titled Problems of Indian Administration, was published. It exposed Indian poverty, social problems regarding housing, the Indians' failure to adjust to the education system, health problems such as lack of hygiene and malnutrition, the high rate of child mortality, etc. This report underlined the inadequacy of the BIA's programs and revealed systemic corruption. Because of the Meriam Report, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed in 1933 the Secretary...

Alphabets And Writing North America And Greenland

Eskimos (Inupik and Yup'ik speakers) in North America and Greenland had no traditional writing systems. Early explorers often compiled word lists, but made no attempts to develop writing systems. After European contact, missionaries made the first attempts to reduce the Eskimo languages to written form. The earliest attempts to develop an orthography for the language were those by Lutheran missionaries to create a written language for Greenlandic. Poul Egede, son of Hans Egede, the first...

A

The town of Aasiaat is the municipal center of Aasiaat municipality, the most southern of the municipalities in the Disko Bay region in West Greenland. It is situated between two productive marine areas the Disko Bay and the banks along the west coast of Greenland in the open water district. The Greenlandic name Aasiaat means the spiders. Historically, abundant sea mammals gave a productive basis for Greenlanders in the area, and the region was also a major attraction for Danish colonists....

Contaminants

Much of the contamination in the polar region originates from human activities in southern latitudes. A broad range of organic and metal pollutants, acidifying compounds, and radioactive contaminants is carried north by winds, rivers and ocean currents. A second major source of contaminants is from localized areas that are severely contaminated as a direct result of activities within the Arctic. The first comprehensive program to examine levels of anthropogenic pollutants and assess their...

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Asrc

Pursuant to the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) was formed in 1972. An Alaskan Native-owned for-profit company, the ASRC repre sents eight villages above the Alaskan Arctic Circle Pt Hope, Pt Lay, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Barrow, Nuiqsut, Kakotvik, and Anaktuvak Pass. In 1972, representatives from these villages came together to form the ASRC and claim ownership of approximately 5 million acres on Alaska's North Slope. These lands...

Geology and Oceanography

The average depth of Baffin Bay is approximately 725 m (2379 ft), reaching a maximum depth of over 2700 m (8858 ft) in the Baffin Basin. The slope on the Canadian side is particularly steep. Communication to other ocean areas is limited by a shallow sill across Davis Strait of about 600 m (1969 ft) depth and even shallower sills across Nares Strait, Jones Sound, and Lancaster Sound of 150-200 m (492-656 ft) depth. The Baffin Basin is a remnant of the formation of the bay during the early...

Archaeology Of The Arctic Scandinavian Settlement Of The North Atlantic

In the 7th century AD a remarkable emphasis on coastal settlement is noted over wide parts of northwest Europe. Some of the settlements are rather small and display few traces of various activities, while others can be regarded as urban centers. These sites reflect a Carolingian rise in expansion, development of settlement, in productivity and commerce, and in political, military, and ecclesiastic organization. At the close of the 8th century, a link was established through the Baltic with...

Russia

The Republic of Sakha has 81 of Russia's diamond reserves, 99 of Russia's diamond production, and approximately 20 of world output. Although the first officially registered diamond in Russia was found in the Urals in 1829, by a 14-year-old serf Pavel Popov when panning alluvial gold deposits in the Perm region, systematic exploration beginning in 1936 showed that there were no large deposits of diamonds in the Urals. A number of diamond-bearing fields were discovered in the basin of the lower...

The Forgotten North

The Subarctic, the boreal forest region of Canada, is often referred to as The Forgotten North (Coates and Morrison, 1992) since it has received far less developmental interest than Canada's three territories north of the 60th parallel. Canada owes its national heritage to previous generations of the peoples of the Boreal Region, now referred to as Mid-Canada. Mid-Canada stretches all across the country from British Columbia and the Yukon to Qu bec and Newfoundland and Labrador and up into the...

Association Inuksiutiit Katimajiit

Inuksiutiit Katimajiit (the group of those who have to do with Inuit) is a private nonprofit Canadian corporation founded in Qu bec City in 1974 by two professors from the Universit Laval, Bernard Saladin d'Anglure and Louis-Jacques Dorais, and a researcher from the same university, Jimmy Innaarulik Mark. The objective of the association is to promote research and contribute to the dissemination of knowledge about the culture, language, society, and history of the Inuit and Yupiit peoples, from...

Coniferous Forests

Immediately south of the Arctic tundra lies a circumpolar band of forest variously termed the northern coniferous forest biome or the boreal forest or the taiga. Taiga is broadly defined here, but it should be noted that some ecologists would consider taiga to be only that band of conifers that lies roughly between 50 and 60 N latitude in both hemispheres where the growing season lasts about 130 days, total annual precipitation ranges from 40 to 100 cm (15.7-39.4 in), and the treeline...

Alootook Ipellie

Alootook Ipellie is the most widely published Inuk author in English, who has written numerous essays, poems, and short stories. His literary and visual works are reflections of Inuit life at a time of social and cultural upheaval in Canada's Arctic during the late 20th century. A leading contributor to Inuit culture over the past three decades, Ipellie was born in a hunting camp on Baffin Island in 1951. He lived through a time when the traditional nomadic lifestyle of his ancestors was being...

Franklin Sir John

As an officer in one and leader of three Arctic expeditions between 1818 and 1845, Sir John Franklin was directly responsible for mapping a considerable amount of the northern coastline of North America. Although he died prior to the completion of his final expedition (1845-1848 ), the search for his whereabouts, which consumed the years 1849-1859, removed from the map nearly all the remaining blanks in the long-sought North West Passage. The mysteries attending the disappearance of his last...

Andre Salomon August

Salomon August Andr e, a Swedish engineer, led the first aerial expedition in search of the North Pole. With two other Swedes, Andr e lifted off in a hydrogen-filled balloon from Virgohamna (Virgo Harbor), on Dansk0ya (Danes Island), in the Svalbard archipelago, on the afternoon of July 11, 1897. The three men were never seen alive again, and their bodies were not discovered until the late summer of 1930. In the spring of 1876, Andr e visited the US Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where...

Axel Heiberg Island

The uninhabited Axel Heiberg Island is located in the High Arctic within the Canadian territory of Nunavut. With an area of approximately 37,185 km2 (14,357 square miles), it is the fourth largest island in the Queen Elizabeth Islands. Axel Heiberg Island extends from 78 08' N to 81 21' N and from 85 00' W to 96 00' W and is the second most northerly island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The island measures 380 by 220 km and is roughly oval-shaped and deeply indented by several long...

Billings Joseph

As an astronomer, Joseph Billings took part in James Cook's last expedition by sailing in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and in the Chukchi Sea. In the early 1880s on the recommendation of S.P. Vorontsov, a Russian envoy in London, Billings was engaged in Russian service as a warrant officer (1783), a lieutenant (1784), and a captain-lieutenant (1785). In 1785, he was appointed as chief of the Northeast Expedition (1785-1794) that Empress Catherine II sent to seize the coast between the...

Department Of Northern Affairs Act 1953

Since 1867, responsibility for Canada's Northern regions and indigenous peoples living there fell to several governmental departments guided by a variety of legislations. These included the Departments of the Interior, Mines, and Indian Affairs up until 1936 their responsibilities toward indigenous peoples were then consolidated under the Department of Mines and Resources until 1949. Responsibilities were then dispersed among the departments of Resources and Development, Citizenship and...

Eskimoaleut Languages

Languages of the Eskaleut or Eskimo-Aleut family are spoken by the Inuit, Yup'ik, and Aleut populations of the North American Arctic (and eastern most Russian Chukotka). The exact number of their speakers is difficult to establish, but it may be estimated at approximately 91,000 in the year 2000, out of a total population of 150,000 people of Inuit, Yup'ik, and Aleut ancestry. The bulk of these speakers (c.79,500 or 68 of all Inuit) use an Inuit Inupiaq dialect, while 11,200 of them (37 of all...

Carbon Cycling

Carbon cycling is a general term that covers the flux of carbon from inorganic forms to organic compounds and back to inorganic molecular states. The term may cover very different processes dependent on the time scale. Carbon cycling in the form of gas exchange, photosynthesis, and biochemical transformations takes place in seconds while it takes millions of years from formation to weathering of carbonate rocks representing the longest time scale of carbon cycling. In recent decades, the term...

Altakautokeino Demonstrations

On August 27, 1970, some 400 Saami in the small community of Masi in Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway, carried banners protesting the Norwegian authorities' announcement for a new and vast hydroelectric development project of the Alta Kautokeino River plans which at that stage also involved the flooding of the entire settlement of Masi. In the demonstrations to prevent the Norwegian government from damming the river, large numbers of political activists of different convictions...

Unesco Man and Biosphere MaB 1971 wwwunescoorgmab wwwunescoorgmab brim

The UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MaB) program started in 1971 as an outcome of a Biosphere conference that was held in Paris in 1968. The MaB program developed the basis, within the natural and social sciences, for the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity and for the improvement of the relationship between people and their environment globally. MaB activity is devoted to the research and monitoring of abiotic, biotic, and social aspects of biosphere reserves in an integrated...

Concentric Spheres And Polar Voids Theory Of

The theory of concentric spheres and polar voids was conceived by John Cleves Symmes (1780-1829) and best described in his own words I declare that the earth is hollow and habitable within containing a number of solid concentric spheres, one within the other, and that it is open at the poles twelve or sixteen degrees. I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in my undertaking (from Circular Number 1, April 10, 1818)....

Bearded Seal

Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), also known as square-flipper and udjuk (Inuit), are the largest of the northern phocid (true seals, family Phocidae) seals. Adults measure 2-2.5 m long and are gray-brown in color. Some individuals have irregular light-colored patches. The weight of bearded seals varies dramatically on an annual cycle, but the average weight is 250-300 kg. Females, which are somewhat larger than males in this species, can weigh in excess of 425 kg in the spring. The sexes...

Flora and Fauna

Finland is the most densely forested country in Europe pine and spruce cover 69 of the country and much of the native forest can be regarded as a western extension of the Siberian taiga. Northern birch, alder, mountain ash, and willow are also common throughout Finland, but beech tree and oak are confined to small pockets of deciduous forests in the southwest and on the Aland Islands. A collection of maple species, lime, larch, and fruit trees (e.g., apples) are cultivated in gardens and parks....

Alpha Ridge

The submarine Alpha Ridge is situated in the central Arctic Ocean, separating the Canada and Makarov basins, and terminating at Ellesmere Island (see the bathymetric map in Arctic Ocean). Discovery of the ridge was a consequence of intensive research of the Arctic Basin, first of all by the USSR from the late 1940s from drifting ice stations and air expeditions following discovery of the Lomonosov Ridge in 1951. Subsequent investigations established that other than Lomonosov Ridge there are two...