Anchorage

Alaska's largest city lies between Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains at 61 N and 150 W. Anchorage's growth from an Alaska Railroad staging area in 1915 to a city of 259,391 people owes much to its location. It lies in the Anchorage bowl, undulating terrain between the two arms of Cook Inlet, Knik Arm to the north and Turnagain Arm to the south. British explorer James Cook named its ice-free port when he explored Cook Inlet in the 18th century. Native Alaskans lived here long before European...

Biography

Tagak Curley was born in Coral Harbour, Canada in 1944. His father raised him to know the traditions and lifestyle of the Inuit, while at the same time stressing an education in English and nonaboriginal life. From 1966 to 1970, Curley worked as a community development officer with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development which allowed him to help organize the Inuit and develop their leadership. He served as the Repulse Bay settlement manager from 1970 to 1971 and also acted as...

Languages

Native Alaskan languages can be divided into two families Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene. The Eskimo-Aleut family has two branches, Eskimo and Aleut, spoken in southwest, west, and north coastal Alaska. Alaskan Eskimo languages, closely related to Inuktitut in Canada as well as Greenlandic, are further divided into two subfamilies Inupiaq is spoken in the eastern region while Yup'ik is spoken in the west. The Aleut language is spoken in the Aleutian Islands and in the Pribilof Islands. Alaskan...

Barents Regional Council

The aim of the Barents Regional Council (BRC) is to increase regional cooperation in a broad field of activities in the Barents Region. The council was established on January 11, 1993 as the regional pillar to the Barents Region, the Barents Euro Arctic Council being the central pillar. The founding members of the BRC included the regional leaders in the Barents Region (Lappland l n, Finland, Nordland, Troms and Finnmark county, Norway, Arkhangel'sk and Murmansk Oblast', Russia, and Norrbotten...

Arctic Council

In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev in his Murmansk speech proposed greater cooperation among Arctic countries. This encouraged Finland to pursue such cooperation on a formal level as a means of addressing, along with other issues, environmental problems caused by Soviet mining operations close to Finnish Lapland. The result was the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), adopted by declaration in 1991 at a ministerial conference of the eight Arctic countries held in Rovaniemi, Finland. (The...

Bang Jette

Jette Bang was a Danish photographer who documented Greenlandic culture in film and photography. Initially hired by the Danish state in 1936 to document all aspects of Greenlandic life, she traveled throughout Greenland in six long journeys beginning in 1936. Bang published her travel experiences in several books of her photography, including Gr0nland (1940), 30,000 Kilometer med Sneglefart' 30,000 kilometers at a snail's pace (1941), Gr0nlwnderb0rn Children of the Greenlanders (1944), and...

Arctic Council wwwarcticcouncilorg

The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic. The main activities of the Council focus on the protection of the Arctic environment and sustainable development as a means of improving the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the north (see Arctic Council). Programs of the Arctic Council relating to climate include the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP, see...

Baffin William

During England's protracted 16th-century war with Spain, no effort was made to follow up John Davis's Arctic discoveries of 1585-1587 until 1602, when companies of London merchants launched a renewed search for the North West Passage. In 1612, four merchants of the North West Company sponsored James Hall's voyage to pursue trade, rumored silver deposits, and the ever-elusive North West Passage. William Baffin first appeared in records as chief pilot aboard Patience, which was dispatched from...

Barents Council

The Barents Euro Arctic Council (BEAC) aims to ensure stability and prosperity in the Barents Region through intergovernmental cooperation. The formation of the council was stimulated in the late 1980s and early 1990s when contacts and cooperation between the people in the northern parts of Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden increased. Norway's foreign minister Thorvald Stoltenberg initiated the formalization of the cooperation in the Barents Region. The Kirkenes Declaration, signed on January...

Bilibino

Bilibino (166 E 68 N) is a district administrative center of the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug. The town is located on the shore of Bol'shoy Keperveem River a tributary of Malyi Anyuy River in the Kolyma Basin. At first it was a settlement of geologists and miners named Karalveyem, which in Chukchi means reindeer corral. In 1956, at the wish of residents, it was renamed after the geologist Yuri Bilibin who had studied gold deposits in Kolyma Basin and predicted a rich gold-bearing province there....

Aurora

An aurora is a luminous glow in the sky, most frequently found in the polar regions. It varies in brightness from a faint glow at quiet times to approaching that of the full moon during active periods. The aurora is a permanent optical feature of the upper atmosphere, and appears as an oval encircling the Earth at a height of about 100 km or more. Its position varies with geomagnetic activity. During moderate activity, the aurora is located about 23 from the magnetic pole on the nightside of...

Banks Island

Banks Island is the westernmost island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The fifth largest island in Canada, the island's area covers over 70,000 km2. In late summer, the southern coasts are accessible by sea, although McClure Strait on the north is usually blocked by thick ice. At the south end of Banks Island is a small plateau of sedimentary and volcanic rocks, from which the bold cliffs of Nelson Head rise to 425 m. In the north, a larger plateau rises sharply from the northeast coast as...

Arnasson Ingolfur

According to the first historian to write in Icelandic, Ari fr 5i (Ari the Learned, 1067-1148), Iceland was settled around 870. This chronology fits well, if not exactly, with archaeological evidence that suggests that the settlement of Iceland began shortly before 871, when a volcanic eruption produced the so-called settlement layer. Ari further states that the first settler of Iceland was a man called Ing lfr (Ingolfur Arnasson) who came from Norway. Ingolfr is also mentioned briefly by...

Chemnitz Lars

Lars Chemnitz, a Greenlandic politician, was leader of the Greenland council at a time when Home Rule was negotiated with Denmark (1979). He was first elected to the Landsrad (the Provincial Council of Greenland) in 1967, and was its elected chairperson from 1971 to 1979, when Jonathan Motzfeldt was elected as first Prime Minister of the Home Rule Parliament. Chemnitz was a member of the Home Rule Parliament, Landstinget, from 1979 to 1984 and again from 1988 to 1995, in which he served as its...

Canada

The first finds of diamonds in Canada were registered in 1920, when a stone with 33 carats weight was found during the building of a railroad between Ottawa and Toronto near Peterborough. However, the quality of the stone turned out to be poor. It was not until the 1960s that serious diamond exploration began in Canada, and the first kimberlites were discovered, although the potential had long been suspected. At present, several districts of kimberlite development are known in Canada eastern...

Dolgan

They live in the south and east of the Taymyr (Dolgan-Nenets) Autonomous Okrug of Krasnoyarsk Kray, mainly in the Khatanga District but also in Dudinka District, with a small number in the Anabar District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). On the Taymyr peninsula, they are the most numerous ethnic group (about 10 of the total population). In the 1989 (most recent) Soviet census, the total population of Dolgans within the Russian Federation was 6584, of whom...

Clothing

More than ten kinds of national Dolgan clothes are known, which had specific names, distinguished by small details. Before the Russian revolution, clothes were hand-made, sewn from purchased fabrics. In winter and summer, Dolgans wore shirts made of cloth sontap. In winter, they wore these beneath coats made from Arctic fox and hare fur. Instead of cloth shirts, men wore unfastened reindeer fur shirts reaching below the knee dochi with a muffler and a fur hood sokui. In wet weather in summer,...

Capacity Building and the Arctic

While the eight circumpolar states Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the United States are comparatively prosperous and resource-rich countries, the concept of capacity building is finding currency in the context of the Arctic regions of some of these countries. In some situations in the Arctic, the development challenges are analogous to challenges in developing countries. Changing lifestyles and the shift away from traditional hunting, trapping,...

Climate and Ice Cover

Lying entirely north of the Arctic Circle, Baffin Bay has a cold and dry polar climate. Annual average temperatures range from -12 C (10 F) in the northwest to -5 C (23 F) in the southeast. Precipitation is low however, fog is a common occurrence in coastal areas and near openings in the ice cover. Along the Greenland coast, offshore katabatic winds (cold air flowing off inland mountains or icefields) are frequent. The usual track for cyclones is from west to east just south of Davis Strait...

Climate

Given its northern location, the Finnish climate is surprisingly mild. The winters are, of course, long and dark and the Finnish summers are short and bright. In northern Finland, the polar night, known as kaamos, lasts 52 days and winter temperatures can fall to -40 C and even -50 C. The aurora or northern lights, known locally as revontulet, are visible on most clear winter nights. The brief summer, on the other hand, can produce occasional temperatures in excess of +30 C and the sun does not...

Divers Or Loons

The five species of divers that now inhabit the Northern Hemisphere are among the most primitive of birds, with a fossil record stretching back 65 million years. Survival over such an enormous time scale implies ecological success. Their sleek thick necks, gracefully streamlined bodies, and dagger bills, common to all species, give away their almost totally aquatic nature. Divers are known to dive down to 70 m. Their decreased heart rate and the ability of many of their major organs to function...

Economic Policy

Economic policy in relation to the Arctic includes both a territorial and a constitutional dimension. With regard to land, it encompasses Alaska the Yukon and Northwest Territories, Northern Qu bec, Labrador Greenland Iceland and the northern counties of Norway, Sweden, and Finland plus Russia and Siberia. Seen in relation to the constitutional dimension and sovereignty, it includes the eight Arctic states Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. Only...

Early Endeavors 1880s1930s

The foundations of Arctic science, and meteorology in particular, were laid by the first International Polar Year (IPY). This program was the outcome of a suggestion by Karl Weyprecht of Austria for an International Polar Expedition. Planning began at a conference in Hamburg in 1879, with 11 nations pledging support. Weyprecht died in 1881, but the first International Polar Year (IPY) was mounted in 1882-1883. Twelve principal stations were established in the North Polar Region, although the...

Early Years as Territory of the United States

Russian America was sold to the United States in 1867 due partly to Russia's setback in the Crimean War. Before the congressional appropriations debate, the United States sent a Coast Survey party to survey the region USCS Assistant George Davidson identified the Aleutian Islands as an agricultural frontier, citing its luxuriant foliage and its mild winter climate. Davidson's map functioned as an important visual aid in the ensuing congressional debate with it, Senator Charles Sumner...

Energy Balance

Alterations of the global radiation budget exert the most direct influence on global climate. In addition to the solar elevation angle and the duration of sunlight, the radiation budget is controlled by atmospheric scattering and absorption, clouds and haze, atmospheric (trace gas) chemistry, and the surface albedo. These factors are intricately linked with each other through various feedback loops and represent major uncertainties in an assessment of the Arctic's role in global climate (AMAP,...

Economy

In many respects Alaska still has a frontier economy, little changed from colonial and territorial days. The non-Native Alaska economy has historically been characterized by a series of resource booms. Earliest among these was Russian colonial exploitation of sea otter furs. Extraction of this resource led to limited settlement only in coastal Alaska near regions of sea otter habitat. Alaska's second major resource boom was the series of gold rushes from the 1880s to the 1900s, some of which...

Europe

Early European traders venturing North were eager to secure furs from Fynnes, the Saami of the far North. Casual trade turned into forced tribute to Norse chieftains in the 9th century in the form of pelts of marten, sable, fox, and other luxury furs. By the 10th century, Danes, Norsemen, and Swedes competed for trade in these furs as well as sealskins from coastal Scandinavia and Iceland. Russian traders were interested in obtaining silver and other European goods in exchange for furs....

Eriksson Leif

Leif Eriksson (Leifr Eir ksson), the son of Eir kr raui3 orvaldsson (Eir k Thorvaldsson or Eir k the Red), was a Norwegian explorer and subject of sagas about the Old Norse. Much of what historians know about Eriksson derives from sagas written in Iceland in the early 13th century. He is best known as an explorer of Vinland, an area of North America found and traveled by the Greenland Norse. Many scholars believe that the Old Norse were the first Europeans to have visited the continent of...

Ecology And Environment

Ecology is the study of the diversity, abundance, and activities of life. Similarly, it is the study of life and its interactions with its physical and biotic environment. These interactions dictate where life forms (diversity) occur, how many (abundance) are present, and what they do (activities). It is generally agreed that the most important component of the environment that impinges on ecology is the availability of heat and light. The availability of light and solar heat is rather...

Economic Policy in the Years Around 2000

Arctic economic policies are under change. There are two major trends. Firstly, people living in the Arctic have increasing influence on decision making. As a consequence, there are more players in Arctic policies, which creates a new structural frame for Arctic policy. Secondly, Arctic economies and societies are becoming more involved in international and global development. Especially globalism, characterized by simultaneity, pluralism, mobility and bypassing of rules, and institutions, has...

Ecology

As is typical of Arctic marine environments, the Baffin Bay ecosystem is characterized by low productivity, low populations, and few trophic levels. Plankton are the primary producers, while primary consumers include crustaceans, molluscs, fish (char, turbot, Arctic cod), and bowhead whales. Secondary consumers include ringed seals, harp seals, walrus, narwhal, killer whales, and beluga whales. The Baffin Bay whale population remains very low as a result of excessive harvesting before 1900....

Further Reading

Boyd, A., The Thyra flora toward an understanding of the climate and vegetation during the Early Tertiary in the High Arctic. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 62 (1990) 189-203 Boulter, M.C. & H.C. Fisher, Cenozoic Plants and Climates of the Arctic. NATO ASI Series 1 Global Environmental Change, Volume 27, Berlin Springer, 1994 Christie, R.L. & N.J. McMillan, The fossil forests of Tertiary age in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 403, 1991...

Environmental History Of The Arctic

Modern Arctic ecosystems began to take shape about two to three million years ago, as Earth's climate began to cool significantly. Most Arctic regions, including eastern and Central Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and western Russia, were buried repeatedly by glacial ice during the 17 or more glacial periods of the last two million years (the Quaternary Period). Presumably biological communities invaded the regions of the Arctic that became ice-free during the warmer interglacial periods, but...

Frost Cracking

Frost cracking is a widespread process operating in regions underlain by permafrost, and occurs where thermal stresses exceed the tensile strength of ice-rich soils and regolith. (Mackay, 1986 Thorn, 1992). The lowering of the temperature of ice-rich sediments and soils leads to thermal contraction of the ground and the development of cracks. The cracks develop because pure ice has a coefficient of linear expansion that is higher at 0 C than at -30 C and the rates of expansion and concentration...

Freshwater Ecosystems

The freshwater ecosystems described here are found in the tundra and boreal forest (taiga) biomes of the Palearctic and Nearctic Regions (the latter emphasized here). Since the substrata of most of the tundra and much of the taiga consist of permafrost, most of the water that reaches the surface as precipitation (rain, sleet, and snow) stays close to the surface (in some places, the subsurface soils may permit some penetration and underground flow of water in summer). This accounts in large...

General Factors Affecting Coastal Erosion

In general, coastal erosion is a function of shoreline exposure, atmospheric and ocean climate, and resistance to erosion. Exposure is determined by coastal topography, which defines the maximum extent of open water in various directions from a given point on the coast (in the absence of sea ice), and by bathymet-ric features affecting coastal currents and wave transformation across the shoreface. In the long term, it may also be affected by changing mean sea level. Climatic factors include...

Greenland

The Greenlandic economy is based half on the catches of prawns and halibut and half on income transfer from the Danish state. The average disposable income level has become close to the Danish level via high economic average growth rates since 1950, but the relative economic dependency to income transfer from the Danish state has not diminished. The economy needs diversification, but although it has been a main strategic goal in the last 10-15 years (targeting mining, secondary production, and...

Indirect and Cumulative Impacts

In addition to direct disturbances of the ground surface, other, less visible, impacts can accumulate over time. These may occur independently of each other, or may be exacerbated through synergy among various proximal effects. These indirect or cumulative impacts are now well documented and, while they were formerly unforeseen, scientists can predict them in many cases. In vehicle tracks, for example, plant and soil nutrients can become significantly different than in undisturbed areas, with...

History

The first settlers may have been Irish monks, probably in the middle of the 7th century. Norwegian colonization, beginning about AD 825 and developing throughout the Viking Age, is well documented and the Faroes form a central part of the Viking settlements along the coasts of the North Atlantic and the Irish Sea. The Viking settlers established their own local parliaments (things) in different parts of the islands and the main parliament (the Althing, now L0gting) on Tinganes in Torshavn....

Impacts of the

In many ways the ANCSA settlement was quite straightforward. However, three special features of ANCSA were highly unconventional, with potentially serious implications for the success of the regional corporations. First, shareholders could not sell their stock for at least 20 years. This prohibition removed the threat of takeover as a powerful discipline mechanism and eliminated the actual takeover as a corrective mechanism. With no takeover threat and no information feedback from a market in...

Language

Modern Chuvans speak the Chukchi language and or Russian. The original Chuvan language, which became extinct during the 19th century, was closely related to the Yukagir language and probably closest to modern tundra Yukagir. Some authors assign it to a dialect of the Yukagir language, while others prefer to consider it a distinct language of a so-called Yukagir-Chuvan group. Views among linguists also diverge when it comes to defining the parent language family the Yukagir-Chuvan languages are...

Fresh Water

It is difficult to segregate terrestrial from aquatic habitats, especially in the Arctic where the most biologically productive areas tend to be wet meadows. Freshwater bodies in the Arctic range from small pools to large and deep lakes, to small rills to major rivers. Arctic rivers and streams fall into three major categories those that drain from lakes, those that flow from glaciers and ice caps, and those that flow from snowmelt. Some of the world's longest and largest rivers flow from...

International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change IHDP http wwwunibonndeihdp

IHDP is an international, nongovernmental, interdisciplinary science program dedicated to promoting and coordinating research to describe, analyze, and understand the human dimensions of global environmental change. IHDP's major international projects are designed around three main objectives research, capacity building, and networking. IHDP works with the international social science community and other global environmental change science programs to identify emerging research opportunities....

History of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Throughout its history the BIA implemented radical changes to its Indian policy. The attitude of the BIA towards Indians was complex and often ambiguous. Nonetheless, it is possible to distinguish two major orientations protection and assimilation. Initially, one of the bureau's responsibilities was the protection of Indian people, including their culture and lands. For example, in February 1829 the BIA head Thomas McKenney instructed Major Edward Du Val (an Indian agent in Little Rock,...

Political Changes

The creation, operation, and oversight of schools is an inherently political process. The business of schools is socialization of the young to society's roles and rules, and the political process remains the least violent way to decide whose rules will be followed. The history of increased control of educational policy and institutions by indigenous peoples is inextricably linked with the growth of political power in other areas, including economic and governmental. In the United States,...

Recent Climate Variations and Possible Anthropogenic Causes

After having considered long-term variations in the Earth's climate, we will now turn to more recent changes of climatic parameters. However, before addressing these issues, we will briefly review the factors controlling climate at high northern latitudes. Climate variability in general is primarily driven by changes in the energy balance, the trace gas balance, and the hydrological cycle. As far as the Arctic is concerned, the energy balance in the Arctic is strongly influenced by the extreme...

Regional Extent of Steppe Tundra

Steppe-tundra environments were not restricted to Beringia during the Pleistocene glaciations. They spread to the southwest in Eurasia, forming a band south of the ice sheets that reached the middle of Europe and southern Britain and Ireland. Thus, the Pleistocene steppe-tundra was one of the largest ecosystems (in terms of geographic area) of the last few million years. There are indications that the Bering Strait region formed an ecological barrier between eastern and western steppe-tundra...

IPCC Assessment of Anthropogenically Driven Climate Change

A major goal of the Third Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been to identify the possible role of humans in influencing the recent variations in global climate. In order to address this question, two central terms have to be clarified first (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001). Detection is the process of demonstrating that an observed change is significantly different (in a statistical sense) than can be explained by natural variability, and...

Population

In 2003, there were approximately 65,000 registered residents in Chukotka however, the population has fluctuated dramatically since World War II. At the time of the 1989 Soviet census, the civilian population reached a peak of 164,700, not including large numbers of military personnel. Since then, Chukotka has experienced the highest rate of outmigration of any subject in the Russian Federation. In 2003, the population density was roughly 0.085 per square kilometer and falling. Official...

Provisions of the

ANCSA transferred 44 million acres of land and 962.5 million in cash to business corporations owned exclusively by Alaska Natives. The Act established 12 regional corporations (plus one additional corporation for nonresident Native Alaskans) and approximately 200 village corporations. The regional corporations are Ahtna, Aleut, Arctic Slope, Bering Straits, Bristol Bay, Calista, Chugach Natives, Cook Inlet (CIRI), Doyon, Koniag, Nana, and Sealaska. Each Alaska Native (of at least one-quarter...

Middle Dorset

During Middle Dorset the settlement of the High Arctic Canadian Archipelago severely diminished, and probably no humans lived permanently in the High Arctic during this period (Maxwell, 1985). Middle Dorset culture is also absent from Greenland, which appears to have been depopulated for several centuries between 1800 BP and 1300 BP when Late Dorset peoples crossed the Smith Sound and settled in northern Greenland (Appelt and Gull0v, 1999). As the High Arctic was abandoned, dense Dorset...

Recent Dietary Change of Arctic Peoples

As noted above, contemporary Arctic residents have diets that contain both traditional wildlife food and market food purchased in food stores. In some areas of Greenland and the European Arctic, wildlife food is also sold in food stores. However, for the purposes of comparison, it is possible to consider wildlife food in contrast to purchased food derived from agricultural production and imported into the Arctic. Studies that investigate the personal consumption of Arctic foods generally depend...

Religion

Chukchi practice a so-called familial shamanism, in which the shaman does not play a key role as a specialist. Seasonal rituals assure the safety of the herds and success in hunting. Shamanism is then built on a mutual and symmetrical relationship of exchange between humankind and the spirits of nature. Traditional ceremonies, today often abandoned in coastal villages, are still alive in many herding regions. The first campaigns to convert the people to Christianity began in 1815. Orthodoxy had...

Trace Gas Budget

The greenhouse effect, that is, the warming of the troposphere and the Earth's surface through the absorption of infrared radiation by greenhouse gases, plays a major role in climate variability and change. Exchange processes in the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic significantly influence global greenhouse gas concentrations. Perturbations in Arctic climate will influence these processes and may lead to regime shifts with respect to the role of the Arctic as a source or a sink...

Orthographies

Scandinavian orthographies comprise some letters in addition to the 26 characters of English. Mainland Scandinavian features three extra vowel characters all of them have (as aw in law), and Swedish has a (as a in man) and o (as the same character in German). Finnish has taken over a and o, while Danish, Norwegian, and Faroese use , which corresponds to a, and 0, which corresponds to o. Faroese and Icelandic also feature a series of accented vowel characters that denote separate vowel or...

Use of Plants

Plants have been used for food, medicine, fuel, and the wicks of oil lamps by the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The underground stems and roots of some species are gathered and eaten (Eskimo potato, Hedysarum boreale Alpine bistort, Persicaria vivipara). The fresh leaves of mountain sorrel (Oxyria digyna) are deliciously fresh and today are often eaten in salads. The flowers of the purple saxifrage, one of the first species to bloom, are relished after a winter without fresh food. The heath...

The Demands

While there had existed competition and rivalry among the First Nations of the region up until then, the 1970s marked a desire for cultural renewal and the realization on the part of the Dene of the need for unity and cooperation. In 1970, the 16 Dene clan chiefs created the Northwest Territories Indian Brotherhood with the intention of defending their rights and developing their communities. New leaders such as Georges Erasmus, Steve Kakfwi, Jim Antoine, Frank T'Seleie, and Nellie Cournoyea...

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Ancsa

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, commonly known as ANCSA, was a piece of historic legislation passed by the United States Congress in 1971. The Act settled all outstanding Native land claims in the state of Alaska by extinguishing Native title and granting selected lands, as well as providing cash compensation to indigenous Alaskans. ANCSA was the first modern treaty in North America, providing a model and inspiration for future settlements, especially in Canada. The Act created 12...

Specifically Finnish

Finnish society is an egalitarian society. On the basis of a 1995 OECD study, it has been said that Finland has the world's most even income distribution. An average family of four with two providers paid 38 tax in 1998 and spent an average of 2 h per day in front of the TV. Slightly less time is spent in the sauna, but still virtually every Finnish home has a sauna and most Finns regularly enjoy sauna at least once or twice a week. Vappu on the first of May heralds the arrival of spring and is...

Social Organization and Kinship Systems

In most areas, the northern Athapaskans traditionally lived in autonomous bands with their own hunting, fishing, and gathering grounds. However, there exist variations in the social organization of these groups. In the West, we find varied systems of social framework traditionally based on the division of clans into two exogamous moieties or phratries (e.g., Raven or the Wolf in Tlingit society). Marriage within the moiety was forbidden. The clans were mostly made of groups traced from a common...

The

The Arctic Ocean remains frozen for much of the year. The pack ice breaks up each summer, and much of it melts. Some remains floating, only to refreeze the next winter. Annual thawing and freezing creates multiyear pack ice that is thick, hard, and made up of almost fresh water. Sea ice that has frozen only once still tastes salty. As the pack ice cracks in winter by the action of tides, wind, and currents, it can become piled into pressure ridges and broken pack. The annual pack ice is...

The Recent Present Climate of the Arctic

Compared to the climate variability of the distant past, present changes appear to be of a different quality. Firstly, the rate of change of climate parameters (less so their magnitude) seen today seems extremely high and is the underlying cause of major disturbances of natural and human systems. Secondly, while previous climate variability was entirely caused by shifts and feedback within the global climate system, the present development is apparently influenced by anthropogenic factors and...

Back River

Extending 974 km from the outlet of Muskox Lake to Chantrey Inlet on the Arctic Ocean, Back River is the longest river in Canada located entirely within the Barrenlands of the Canadian Arctic. British explorer Sir George Back, the first European to descend the river in 1834, gave the Back its name. The actual headwaters are at Sussex Lake in the Northwest Territories, approximately 380 km northeast of Yellowknife and 580 km east of the Inuit community of Baker Lake (Qamani'tuaq). The three most...

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Overexploitation and exploration of natural resources and industrial pollution are major threads to the natural state of Arctic biodiversity. Over millennia, biodiversity had always been subject to changes in species diversity with the occasional extinction of local populations. Yet, most of the environmental changes that we see today cannot be described as the natural fluctuations of a dynamic environment. Instead they are short-term consequences triggered by human industrial impact and have...

Bureau Of Indian Affairs

At the time of the adoption of the United States constitution at the end of the 18th century, the federal government obtained from the states the responsibility of Indian Affairs. In 1824, John C. Calhoun (US Secretary of War) created the first Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thomas L. McKenney was the first appointed head of the bureau, but he had neither any official title or any real authority. In 1832, the Congress passed the Act of July 9 establishing the official position (and title) of...

Early Human Environment Relationships

Humans migrating across the Bering Strait have occupied the Aleutian Islands for over 8000 years. The first stage of occupation by the Aleuts began in 6000 BP. Much debate exists on whether the Aleut civilization developed in relative isolation, or in contact with communities from the larger Bering Sea region. The Aleuts, however, became a sophisticated marine civilization, creating the bidarka, a kayak-like vessel suited to long hunting trips. The numbers and distribution of these early Aleuts...

Davis Strait

Davis Strait is a bay of the northern Atlantic Ocean lying between southeastern Baffin Island (Canada) and southwestern Greenland. The strait separates Baffin Bay in the north from Labrador Sea in the south. It is approximately 400 miles (650 km) in length from north to south and 300-400 miles in width. There is a striking variation in the temperature of Davis Strait waters the relatively warm West Greenland Current carries water northward, while the Labrador Current transports cold water and...

Early Dorset

Early Dorset is believed to have developed from Pre-Dorset without immigration of new peoples however, opposing views exist on this matter and the complex process does not need to be similar from one region to another (Hood, 1998). The emergence of Groswater in Labrador and Newfoundland around 2800 years BP, and the appearance of Independence II at the same time in northern Greenland are regional manifestations of a cultural change, which in other areas is termed Transitional Pre-Dorset to...

Fjords

Fjords are spectacular examples of glacial erosion by ice flowing through major rock channels and thereby producing landscapes of selective linear erosion. A fjord is essentially a glaciated valley that is now flooded by the sea, to form a long, narrow, steep-sided coastal inlet. Since fjords are essentially drowned troughs, the literature on trough formation is relevant to fjord evolution and so this review does not isolate the two forms. The cross-sectional profiles of troughs and fjords are...

From the Cold War to the Modern

While during World War II the Aleutians were considered a bridge to Japan, during the Cold War the Aleutians were instead perceived as a bridge to Russia or, more frequently, a dead end that allowed the military to conduct nuclear testing on Amchitka Island. The US Atomic Energy Commission needed a place more isolated than either the Nevada Test Site or Point Hope, Alaska (where the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) attempted to carry out Project Chariot), to conduct some of the largest...

Indigenous Education Elsewhere in the Arctic World

The Small Peoples of the Russian North include 31 groups with a total population of over 200,000. While the 1992 Education Act decentralized education in the Russian Federation, education for the indigenous peoples of the North remains a federal responsibility. The Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees rights to preserve, study, and develop indigenous languages, including the right to receive basic education in mother tongues however, political, financial, and administrative...

Fronts

The Bering Sea oceanographic structure is characterized by a series of fronts, sharp boundaries between different stratification types associated with enhanced horizontal gradients of water properties such as temperature, salinity, density, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, etc. These fronts are especially well documented in the southeastern Bering Sea that features three prominent fronts, inner, middle, and outer, that correspond roughly to the 50, 100, and 170 m (shelf break) isobaths,...

Postglacial Development of Modern Arctic Ecosystems

The margins of the ice sheets of the last glaciation began to retreat northward, beginning about 14,000 13,000 years ago. The process of glacial retreat was interrupted in the North Atlantic region by a climatic reversal that began about 12,000 years ago. This cooling event is called the Younger Dryas interval, and it lasted approximately 1000 years. During the Younger Dryas, the ice advanced again in Europe, as far south as southern Scandinavia. Following the Younger Dryas interval, the ice...

Relationships with Neighboring People

The neighboring populations to the north and the east of the Athapaskan territory are Inuit. In certain cases their hunting grounds can overlap, especially with the interior Inuit whose primary means of support is also caribou. Ethnography has often recorded the hostile relations between the Inuit of the western Hudson Bay and the Dene. The great frequency of these testimonies of conflict can no doubt be explained by the fact that they reflect particularly striking events in the collective...

Oil Spills and Contaminants

From 1974 to 1977, when the trans-Alaska pipeline was first built and operated, more than 16,000 hydrocarbon spills, totaling more than 265,000 l, occurred along the pipeline route. During 1985-1986, 952 spills were reported on the North Slope, totaling 731,8001. Most of these spills consisted of refined petroleum products and occurred on water or in gravel pads, although some occurred on terrestrial vegetation. Oil does not penetrate deeply into saturated soils, but spills on dry sites are...

Past Climates

The climate of the Arctic is known to have undergone great variations in the past. PAGES, the Past Global Changes project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP, 1992), addresses two major time scales or time streams (1) the last 1000-2000 years, the period of human impact on the planet, which includes climatic features like the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Interval, and (2) the last few glacial interglacial cycles that cover several hundreds of thousands of years, when...

Red Throated Diver

Gavia stellata, the red-throated diver (Europe), is also known as red-throated loon (North America), Qarsaaq (Greenlandic), Lomur (Icelandic), and Smalom (Norwegian). It is the smallest, most sleek diver, conspicuous because the upward slant of the lower mandible gives the impression of a slender upturned bill. Outside the breeding season, the birds are dullish brown above speckled light, but the summer garb is finely marked on the upper parts of the back, the rear neck and nape striped black...

Population and Government

Alaska's population numbered 629,932 in the 2000 census, a 14.0 increase from 1990 (compared with a 13.1 increase nationwide). The population is young, with 30.4 under the age of 18 and only 5.7 over the age of 65. The US census gathers information on the population's race and ethnicity. In 2000, 67.6 was classified as white non-Hispanic, 4.1 as Hispanic, 3.5 as Black, 15.6 as Alaska Native (compared with 0.9 Native American nationwide), 4.0 as Asian, 0.5 as Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 1.6 as...

Role of the Arctic in Climate Variability

With respect to the first question, a number of explanations have been invoked, including in the case of colder periods (glacials) the generally higher albedo due to increased snow and ice covers (Hansen et al., 1984 see Albedo), a larger concentration of aerosols as a result of increased aridity or higher wind speeds (Harvey, 1988), and lower concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (Barnola et al., 1987 Raynaud et al., 1993). All of these factors contribute to a less positive radiation...

The Arctic Fisheries Regions

The Barents Sea and the Northern Norwegian Sea The Barents Sea is a shallow (150-250 m), Mediterranean semienclosed area bordered to the north by the Svalbard and Franz Josef archipelagos, in the east by the large island of Novaya Zemlya, and in the south by the north coasts of Russia and Norway. The Barents Sea is open to the west, allowing the entrance of warm Atlantic water without which the whole area would be covered by Arctic waters. The Polar Front (the boundary between Atlantic and...

Underlying Causes of Climate Variability and the Role of the Arctic

While variability of even longer duration than discussed above (i.e., on time scales of millions of years) is largely controlled by long-term changes in solar luminosity and shifts in the land-ocean distribution on the surface of the Earth as a result of plate tectonics, the 100,000-10,000-year variations in the Earth's climate described above appear to be driven by periodic changes in solar insolation (the amount of incoming solar radiation over a unit area of the Earth's surface) at high...

Adaptations

Plants that are successful in the Arctic have developed ways to survive the winter and the often very dry desertlike climate. Many of the grasses have root systems that may extend 5-7 times further below ground than the plant is high. Some members of the rose and legume families have significant underground stem development, with much more of the plant below ground level than above. Several members of the daisy family have long tap roots with only a crown of leaves that lie close to the tundra....

Alaska

Early Alaskan Inupiaq caribou or reindeer parkas were pullover and hooded with wolf and or wolverine ruffs. Men's parkas were hip length with nearly straight hems women's parkas fell to the knee or slightly below, with curving front and back flaps. Triangular gussets of contrasting colored skins extended from the sides of the hood into the front of the garment. These hood roots looked like walrus tusks and were also common in Canadian Inuit parkas. Yup'ik Eskimo parkas from the Yukon-Kuskokwim...

Arkhangelsk

Arkhangel'sk is the economic and cultural center of North European Russia, and since 1937 the center of Arkhangel'sk Oblast'. It is located 1133 km from Moscow on the banks of the Severnaya Dvina River and on its delta reaching into the White Sea. It is an important sea and river port, rail center, and airport, with a population of 362,700 (January 2000). The climate of the city is Subarctic, moderated by marine influences, with a January mean temperature of -13 C and a July mean of +17 C....

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment ACIA 20002004 wwwaciauafedu

In 2000, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) started. It is a collaborative project of the Arctic Council (CAFF and AMAP) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The goal of ACIA is to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation and their consequences. The aim is to provide useful and reliable information to the governments, organizations, and peoples of the Arctic on policy options to meet such...

Atlasov Vladimir

The Russian explorer Vladimir Vladimirovich Atlasov made the first exploration and description of the Kamchatka Peninsula in 1697. Atlasov's first tour resulted in a new line of geographical discoveries in the Pacific Ocean and joined vast areas of the Far East to the Russian state. A Cossack in the czarist army from the 1680s to the 1690s, Atlasov served in the southern borders of the Yakutia military establishment near the rivers of Maya, Uchur, Tugir, Gonama, and Ul'ya, where he collected...

Barents

The Barents Sea, named after Dutch navigator Willem Barents, is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, and is bounded by the Kola Peninsula of Murmanskaya Oblast', the northern coast of Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the island of Novaya Zemlya, and loosely to the north by Franz Josef Land and Svalbard. Its marine borders are with the Kara Sea to the east and the Norwegian Sea to the west (see the map in Barents Region). The sea overlies the north Russian continental shelf and is thus relatively shallow...

Auk

Auk is a common name for any member of the auk family (Alcidae). Auks are compact, duck-shaped birds with very dense plumage. Coloring is austere, either two-colored with black upperparts and white underparts, or dark. The most colorful and bright are the bare parts such as the bill, mouth, and legs. The male and female species are alike. Recent species vary in size between 100 g and 1.3 kg. Auks are true seabirds, inhabiting oceanic and coastal waters of the Arctic, boreal, and temperate...

Between Anthropology and History

In the 1940s, the term ethnohistory came into frequent use as a reference to the writings of anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians on the history of North American Indians. Ethnohistory developed at a time when anthropologists as well as historians were increasingly interested in what the other discipline had to offer. The French Annales School of history (that coalesced around the scholarly journal Annales d'histoire conomique et sociale in the early 20th century) brought...

Beechey Frederick

Frederick Beechey's entry into the Royal Navy was sponsored by Lord St Vincent, and although Beechey saw little action during the Napoleonic Wars, family connections, combined with his skill with pen and brush, secured his appointment to David Buchan's 1818 Arctic expedition as second-in-command and chief draftsman to Sir John Franklin aboard HMS Trent. Beechey's capable performance and Franklin's recommendation led to an appointment in 1819 as second-in-command of the Hecla on Sir William...

Arkhangelskaya Oblast

Arkhangel'skaya Oblast' of the Russian Federation was created on September 23, 1937. Situated in the northeast of the country, it occupies the northern part of the East European Plain and also includes several islands in the Arctic Ocean Seas (Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Solovetskiye Islands, and some others). The administrative center is Arkhangel'sk. The total area of the Oblast' is 587,400 km2, which incorporates the Nenets Autonomous Okrug having an area of 176,700 km2 and its capital...

Biodiversity in the Arctic Marine Environment

The Arctic marine environment is of extreme importance for many ecological processes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. The marine system functions as a base for many Arctic food webs. Arctic ocean currents also have a major impact on the Earth's climate, due to the high-energy exchange between polar and tropical areas. The marine region of the Arctic includes the Arctic Ocean and 13 adjacent seas and water bodies, and features a permanent ice cover of 5-8 million km2 during summer and...

Caribou

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus, a member of the deer family Cervidae) are found throughout the Arctic and are known as reindeer in Eurasia. Caribou apparently originated in alpine habitats in the New World during the late Pliocene (4.2-2.5 million years ago). As climates cooled during the Pleistocene (about 2 million years ago), caribou adapted to cold dry climates followed by the spread of tundra habitats across the north and into Eurasia via the Bering land bridge. Together, the caribou of North...

Birketsmith

Danish ethnographer and geographer Kaj Birket-Smith worked at the Ethnographic Collections at the National Museum in Copenhagen from 1929 to 1963, where he influenced the fields of anthropology, ethnology, and Eskimology. During his leadership, the ethnographic displays at the National Museum, particularly the Inuit section, were extensively expanded and modernized. Birket-Smith published widely on ethnography and anthropology, extending his initial empirical focus on the Arctic into...

Cod Wars

During the 15th century, English fishermen began to frequent Icelandic waters in defiance of the Danish government in Copenhagen. In response, the first fishing limits at the coast of Iceland were set in 1598, when English fishing was banned in the area between the islands and the Icelandic mainland, and for a limit of about 18 km northeast of the islands. This limit was later set at 16 (29.65 km) or 24 (44.47 km) nautical miles. Enforcement was limited and English fishermen continued their...

Current Status

While the United States has never formally acknowledged the AWPPA, the coming-into-force of UNCLOS in 1982 is generally viewed as representing international acceptance of Canada's right to enact the legislation. However, the harsh conditions in the North West Passage have meant that few vessels have attempted to enter the Canadian waters protected by the AWPPA. Recently, concerns have been raised that climate change could result in greater accessibility to the entire Arctic region, the Canadian...

Diamond Mining

For several thousand years, diamonds were extracted in only one country India. Much later, diamonds were found in Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Africa, North America, Russia, and China. In the 20th century, diamonds were found in the Arctic and Subarctic territories of the Russian Federation in the Ural Mountains, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Arkhangel'sk region, and in North America in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Qu bec, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories. These are all in the...

Egede Poul

Poul Egede, a Danish-Norwegian missionary to Greenland, is sometimes known as the Apostle to North Greenland because of his missionary activities in that region among the native Inuit population. Poul Egede was the son of Hans Egede (see Egede, Hans), himself styled the Apostle to Greenland. He moved to Greenland with his parents and brother Niels (1710-1782) at the age of 13 in 1721. He assisted his father in missionary activity, since he quickly learned Greenlandic, as well as Greenlandic...

Forests Environmental Initiatives

The boreal forest, also known as the taiga in Russia, is the world's largest terrestrial biome, stretching from Western Alaska throughout most of Canada to Northern Europe, Siberia, and the Russian Far East. It is a unique and fragile ecosystem, submitted to extreme climatic conditions and providing a wide range of crucial ecosystem services (watershed protection, climate regulation, etc.). The boreal forest is also home to some of the most threatened species on the planet, such as the Amur...

Evenki

Evenki (who before 1930 were known as the Tungus) are one of the most numerous indigenous peoples of Siberia and the Far East with an enormous area of settlement. Before the Yakuts migrated into the area in the 13th century, the Evenki (or their Tungus ancestors) occupied almost the whole of the present territory of Yakutia, except the northeast borderlands where nomadic Even tribes wandered and the Yukagir clans resided. Today 29,900 Evenki reside in the Russian Federation, but only 3400 live...