Arcticportal News
Trapped whales now free
Climate Change News
Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:12

The whales need assistance as the gap they breathe through is shrinking (Photo: CBC) The whales need assistance as the gap they breathe through is shrinking (Photo: CBC)

The whales who were trapped in sea ice in Hudson Bay, Canada, are now free. The ice shifted away and the whales are free and safe after being trapped for two days.

In our original story yesterday we reported that the town asked for an icebreaker to assist the whales. There was only a small patch of open water for the whales to breathe, and the gap was shrinking.

Video of the whales can be seen here. 

A hunter spotted the whales and now the government is looking at its options. Peter Inukpuk, mayor of the small Inuit village, called on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to send out an icebreaker to help the whales.



{mosmap address='Hudson Bay, Quebec'|zoom='3'|}

Cold winter conditions in the Arctic
Climate Change News
Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:54

Climate conditions have been negative (Photo: GettyImages) Climate conditions have been negative (Photo: GettyImages)States for 2012 was climate conditions in Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska and Canada have been colder than average this winter.


The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that the Arctic sea ice extent for December 2012 was well below average, driven by anomalously low ice conditions in the Kara, Barents, and Labrador seas.

NSIDC states that the winter has been dominated by the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation, bringing the cold climate around the Arctic.

The Arctic Oscillation is an Arctic climate index with positive and negative phases, which represents the state of atmospheric circulation over the Arctic. The positive phase brings lower-than-normal pressure over the polar region, steering ocean storms northward, bringing wetter weather to Scotland and Scandinavia, and drier conditions to areas such as Spain and the Middle East.

Reports today also show that the average temperature for USA for 2012 was above average, showing different climate than in the Arctic, outside of Alaska.



{mosmap address='Longyearbyen, Svalbardy'|zoom='1'|}

Winter tourists spend more
Other News
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:08

The aurora are a popular Arctic attraction (Photo: GettyImages) The aurora are a popular Arctic attraction (Photo: GettyImages)Winter tourists spend three times more money than summer tourists, a tour operator in Norway says. The Arctic countries all have active tourism and are constantly marketing winter tourism as an alternative for the summer period.

"Hotels in Northern Norway now have a higher number of filled beds in winter time than in summer. That is because the region offers what few other destinations can; a mix of winter and ocean. Only the Barents region, Alaska and Iceland are competing for tourists looking for experiences like these", says Morten Torp from Vinter Troms AS.

Iceland has seen a big increase in winter tourism with specialized northern lights trips increasingly popular.

In Norway, Espen Berelsen sees that tourist are willing to pay a higher premium for experiences out of the ordinary. An example Bertelsen often uses; "Who wouldn't want to come home to their friends and family and tell about the great combination of beautiful sailings along the coast of Lofoten and skiing down the Lyngen Alps toward the clean Arctic fjords? People will pay a premium for an experience like that."

Alaska has also utilized its oil history for tourism as well as the ice road truckers. Alaska offers northern lights experiences like Iceland and Norway.



{mosmap address='Tromso, Norway'|zoom='2'|}

Arctic brings cold weather to China
Climate Change News
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:53

A man works in a frozen river in Taiyuan, Shanxi province on January 5th. (Photo/Xinhua) A man works in a frozen river in Taiyuan, Shanxi province on January 5th. (Photo/Xinhua)The year 2012 was unusually cold in China, which may be a result of the record loss of Arctic sea ice. "Observation and data analysis showed that Arctic sea ice loss may cause cold and snowy winters in parts of Asia," Chen Yu, senior engineer of the National Climate Center in China states.

The Arctic sea ice saw it record low extent on September 16th 2012.

The China Daily reports and Chen explains that when sea ice melts in the Arctic, the water temperature increases. When that happens, the air becomes moister and is more likely to form cold fronts.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, in December most of China suffered colder weather than usual. On Dec 24, frequent cold fronts led to temperatures in 21 monitoring stations hitting record lows.

And the cold weather continued and the weather has been cold since late December.

Kang Zhiming, weather forecaster of the National Meteorological Center, said weather models showed the temperature will not rise until late January.

"The weather authorities will keep a close eye on any changes in the weather, especially before Spring Festival, in order to give timely information to transport and related departments, particularly in the event of extreme weather," Kang said.

China has a research station in Ny Alesund, on Svalbard, and among other projects is monitoring weather and sea ice from the station.



{mosmap address='Beijing, China'|zoom='5'|}

Arctic Science Summit Week deadline
Climate Change News
Monday, 07 January 2013 15:37

 The Arctic Science Summit Week will be held in April in Poland. The call for participation and abstract submission is close.


The deadline for abstract submission is the 16th of January and they can be sent through the conference website.


The week will include disciplinary sessions on Atmosphere Processes and Global Climate Connections, Cryospheric Changes: Drivers and Consequences, Marine Processes and Variability, Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses to Environmental Stressors and Impact of Global Changes on Arctic Societies.

It will also have cross-cutting sessions on Arctic People and Resources: Opportunities, Challenges and Risks, Applying Local and Traditional Knowledge to Better Understanding of the Changing Arctic, Arctic System Science for Regional and Global Sustainability and Changing North: Predictions and Scenarios.

The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings.




{mosmap address='Krakow, Poland'|zoom='3'|}

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