Future Projects

The WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project, approved in March 2000, will continue any unfinished elements of ACSYS when that project concludes in 2003, but it has a global focus on the climatic role of the cryosphere. Accordingly, Arctic land ice, frozen ground, and snow cover will receive attention, as well as Arctic sea ice. Major climatic concerns are the state of the Arctic sea ice in the mid-21 st century, the parametrization of the cryosphere in climatic and hydrologic models, the interactions of snow and frozen ground in energy and moisture fluxes, and the effects of changes in snow and ice cover on hydrology (Allison et al., 2001; see http://clic.npolar.no).

The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is an interdisciplinary, multiscale US program with a core aim of understanding recent and ongoing changes in the climate-ocean-ice system of the Arctic. These changes include a decline in sea level atmospheric pressure, an increase in surface air temperature, cyclonic ocean circulation, and a decrease in sea ice cover. The physical changes produce changes in the ecosystem and living resources and affect the human population (The SEARCH Science Steering Committee, 2001).

The Arctic Climate Impacts Assessment (ACIA) is an international project of the Arctic Council to evaluate and synthesize knowledge of climate variability and change, including changes in ultraviolet radiation, and their consequences for the environment and its living resources, human health, and the economy of Arctic nations. It complements the IPCC studies with more detailed regional assessments. Its three-volume report was published in 2004 (http://www.acia.uaf.edu/).

Roger Barry

See also Climate Change; Climate: Environmental Initiatives; Drifting Stations; General Circulation Modeling; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Meteorological Stations; Satellite Remote Sensing

Further Reading

Allison, I., R.G. Barry & B.E. Goodison (editors), Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project, Science and Co-ordination Plan,Version 1, WCRP-114, WMO/TD No. 1053, World Climate Research Program, Geneva, 2001, 75pp AMAP, Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report, Oslo, Norway: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 1997, 188pp Ambach, W., "Untersuchungen zum Energieumsatz in der Ablationszone des Groenlaendischen Inlandeises." Meddelelser om Groenland, Copenhagen, 174(4) (1963) Anonymous. U.S, Air Force weather reconnaissance flights to the North Pole, Polar Record, 6 (42) (1950): 268 Arctic Climatology Project, Environmental Working Group Arctic Meteorology and Climate Atlas, edited by F. Fetterer & V. Radionov, Boulder, Colorado: National Snow and Ice Data Center, CD-ROM, 2000 Arctic Research of the United States, Volume 11, 2003. Special issue on the National Science Foundation's Arctic Systems Science Program, available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/ 2003/nsf03048/

ARCSS Data Coordination Center at the NSIDC website:

http://nsidc.org/arcss/ ARCSS Workshop Steering Committee, Arctic System Science, Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice Interactions, Washington, District of Columbia: Joint Oceanographic Institutions Incorporated, 1990, 132pp

ARCSS, Toward Prediction of the Arctic System, Fairbanks, Alaska: The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, 1998

Atkinson, D.E., B. Alt & K. Gajewski, "A new database of High Arctic climate data from the Polar Continental Shelf Project archives." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 81(11) (2000): 2621-2629 Barber, D.G., J.M. Hanesiak, W. Chan & J. Piwowar, "Sea ice and meteorological conditions in northern Baffin Bay and the North Water Polynya between 1979 and 1996." Atmosphere Ocean, 39(3) (2001): 343-359 Barry, R.G. & C.I. Jackson,. "Summer weather conditions at Tanquary Fiord, N.W.T. 1963-67." Arctic and Alpine Research, 1 (1969): 169-180 Barry, R.G., G. Courtin, & C. Labine, Tundra Climate. In Tundra Ecosystems: A Comparative Analysis, edited by L.C.

Bliss, J.B. Cragg, D.W. Heal and J.J. Moore, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981 Curry, J.A., "Introduction to special section: FIRE Arctic Clouds Experiment." Journal of Geophysical Research, 106(D14) (2001): 14985-14987 Hammer, C., P.A. Mayewski, D. Peel & M. Stuiver, "Preface (Special Issue, Greenland Summit Ice Cores)." Journal of Geophysical Research, 102(C12) (1997): 26315-26316

Hattersley-Smith, G., North of Latitude Eighty. The Defence Research Board in Ellesmere Island, Ottawa, Canada: Defence Research Board, 1974 Hattersley-Smith, G., L.S. Koenig, K.R. Greenaway, & M.

Dunbar, "Arctic ice islands." Arctic, 5(2) (1952): 67-103 Huschke, R.E., Arctic Cloud Statistics from "Air Calibrated" Surface Weather Observations, Rand Corporation Memo RM-6173, Santa Monica, California, 1969, 79 pp Jackson, C.I.J., Operation Hazen. The Meteorology of Lake Hazen, NWT Based on Observations made During the International Geophysical Year. Part I: Analysis of the Observations, Publications in Meteorology No. 15, Arctic Meteorology Research Group, Geography Dept., McGill University, Montreal, 1959, pp. 1-194 Kane, D.D.I. & W.S. Reeburgh, "Introduction to special section: Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) Flux Study." Journal of Geophysical Research, 103(D22) (1998): 28913-28915 Krenke, A.N., "The ice dome with firn nourishment in Franz Josef Land." In 34 Selected Papers on Main Ideas in the Soviet Glaciology, 1940s-1980s, edited by V.M. Kotyakov, Moscow: Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1961, translated 1997, pp. 132-144 LAII Science Steering Committee, Arctic System Science. Land-Atmosphere-Ice Interactions. A Plan for Action, Fairbanks: University of Alaska, 1997 Laursen, V., "The Second International Polar Year (1932/33)."

WMO Bulletin, 31 (1982): 214-226 Loewe, F., "The Greenland Ice Cap as seen by a meteorologist." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 62 (1936): 359-377 McNutt, Argus S., F. Carsey, B. Holy, J. Crawford, C. Tang, A.L. Gray & C. Livingstone, "LIMEX '87. The Labrador Ice Margin Experiment 1987—a pilot experiment in anticipation of Radarsat and ERS 1 data." EOS, 69(23) (1988): 634-635, 643

Mirrless, S.T.A., "Meteorological results of the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, 1930-31." Geophysical Memoir 7, Meteorological Office, London, 1932 MIZEX '87 Group, "Mizex East 1987." EOS, 70(17) (1989):

545,548-549, 554-555. Mohn, H., "Meteorology, XVII." In The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896. Scientific Results, Volume 6, edited by F. Nansen, New York: Greenwood Press, 1905, reprinted 1969

National Snow and Ice Data Center, Eastern Arctic Ice, Ocean and Atmosphere Data, CD ROM, Volume 1: CEAREX-1, version 1.0, 1999 ———, Arctic Ocean Snow and Meteorological Observations from the North Pole Drifting Stations: 1937, 1950-1991, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, CD-ROM, 2000 Ohmura, A., "Climate and energy balance on the Arctic tundra."

International Journal of Climatology, 2 (1982): 65-84 Putnins, P., "The Climate of Greenland." In Climates of the Polar Regions, World Survey of Climatology, Volume 14, edited by S. Orvig: H.E. Landsberg(editor-in-chief), Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1969, pp. 3-128

Romanov, I.P., Yu.B. Konstantinov, & N.A. Kornilov, "North Pole Drifting Stations (1937-1991)." In Arctic Climatology Project, Environmental Working Group Arctic Meteorology and Climate Atlas, edited by F. Fetterer & V. Radionov, Boulder, Colorado: NSIDC, CD-ROM, 2000 Sater, J.E. (coordinator), Arctic Drifting Stations. A Report on Activities Supported by the Office of Naval Research, Washington, District of Columbia: Arctic Institute of North America, 1968, 475pp Serreze, M.C. et al., "Observational evidence of recent change in the northern high-latitude environment." Climatic Change, 46 (2000): 159-207 Stamnes, K., R.G. Ellingson, J.A. Curry, J.E. Walsh & B.D. Zak,"Review of science issues and deployment strategy and status for the ARM North Slope of Alaska—adjacent Arctic Ocean climate research site." Journal of Climate, 12(1) (1999): 46-63

Sverdrup, H.U., The Norwegian North Pole Expedition with the Maud, 1918-1925, Scientific Results, Bergen: Geofysisk Institutt, 1933

The SEARCH Science Steering Committee, SEARCH. Study of Arctic Environmental Change. Science Plan, Seattle: Polar Science Center, University of Washington, 2001, 83pp Thomas, Robert H. & Investigators, "Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA): Goals, key findings, and future directions." Journal of Geophysical Research, 106(D24) (2001): 33691-33706


People throughout the circumpolar North share similar problems in dealing with the climate. The severe cold of the Arctic dictates that garments have superior insulating properties, block the wind, and not trap moisture. Additionally, subsistence activities require that clothing be lightweight and durable. In precontact times, Arctic peoples solved these problems by using materials from land and sea to create garments that conserved body heat while allowing freedom of movement. These climate-related factors were only one influence on the design of clothing, however. Garments also functioned in a social and spiritual sense in order to identify groups; communicate gender, familial, and community affiliations; claim status; and mediate an individual's spiritual relationships. These characteristics of clothing relate to the anthropologist Edmund Leach's observation that cultural objects have both pragmatic and communicative functions; they not only do something in protecting their wearers from the weather but also say something by communicating group affiliation and personal identity.

Clothing sets the stage for a person's interactions with other humans, animals, and the spiritual world. The array of clothing across the North illustrates how widely separated groups developed common solutions to common problems and also how those same groups, using many of the same materials, created richly diverse expressions of identity.

Back of a man's Saami tunic with broad bands of braiding, Kautokeino, Norway.

Copyright Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography

Back of a man's Saami tunic with broad bands of braiding, Kautokeino, Norway.

Copyright Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography

Before contact with the Europeans, northern peoples constructed tailored clothing from tanned animal skins, using sinew for thread. Sewing tools were ivory or bone needles, stone awls, knives with stone blades, and thimbles of hide. Caribou or reindeer skin was the most ubiquitous clothing material. Seals, polar bears, birds, and small furbearers such as the Arctic hare and ground squirrel were also used. Dehaired sealskin and gut from seals, walrus, and other mammals had waterproof properties and were fashioned into garments for wet conditions. The fundamental design of Arctic clothing was dictated by the climate.

Available throughout the North, caribou and reindeer skins offered the warmest garments because the hairs were hollow and insulating. Layered garments provided the most warmth in cold weather. An inner garment was worn with the hair facing the person's skin and an outer garment was worn with the hair facing out. The air space between the two garments insulated the wearer, who could further regulate the airflow with a belt or by adjusting the garment's hood. In severe weather, Arctic inhabitants wore an additional fur parka or cloak.

Once the requirements of physical function (warmth, breathability, and water repellence) were met, group-specific design took over, shaping clothing into distinct statements of identity. Arctic peoples adorned clothing with bands of contrasting skin, pieced in geometric or naturalistic patterns. They embroidered it with dyed reindeer hair, decorated it with bird beaks or feathers, animal claws or tails, and trimmed it with all varieties of fur. Animal-shaped buttons were carved of ivory and belts were woven from the shafts of feathers or decorated with caribou teeth or wolverine claws. No aesthetic opportunity was ignored. In some instances, the importance of group-identifying stylistic conventions overrode physical functionality. The thin, tight-fitting garments of the Even and Evenk, for example, including coats that did not close in front, sacrificed warmth for style, as did the wide-necked combination suits of Chukchi women.

Spiritual considerations went hand in hand with aesthetics; in order not to offend the animals being hunted, clothing must be beautiful and in good repair. In most northern groups, seamstresses could not work on marine mammal skins during caribou hunting or sew caribou garments during the marine mammal hunting season because they believed they would put the success of the hunt or the hunters at risk. Amulets made from various animal skins or parts were attached to clothing to imbue the wearer with that animal's characteristics or to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Shamans wore special garments that enhanced their powers. Decorated with fur tassels, human and animal spirit figures, and symbols of power, these parkas, caps, and gloves connected shamans with the spirits to accomplish tasks of healing, divination, and combating evil spirits.

As contact with nonindigenous groups occurred, indigenous people adopted new tools, materials, and ideas. Practicality, the attraction of bright beads, fabrics and braids, and the imposition of the clothing mores of colonizing peoples transformed indigenous dress. Cloth covers were made for skin parkas in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia, for example, protecting the delicate skins from dirt and snow. These covers, taking the form of shirts for men and dresslike garments with flounces at the bottom for women, accommodated the civilizing goals of missionaries and teachers by hiding the skin garments. Over time, these garments came to be worn by themselves, without the insulating skin underneath. They have been adopted by native groups throughout Alaska, Canada, and in some areas of Siberia. Although transformations of traditional styles, these garments are clear declarations of indigenous identity and authenticity and are worn to political advantage in local, national, and international settings.

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