Arcticportal News
First Icelandic woman at the South Pole?
Other News
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 09:08

Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir.Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir.An Icelandic woman starts her journey to the South Pole today. She intends to walk 1140 kilometers to be the first Icelandic women to reach the Pole.
 

Vilborg Gissurardóttir will walk around 22 kilometers per day, carrying an initial 100kg in the -40 conditions. She hopes to conclude her walk in 50 days.


"I have always had a special relationship with nature. When I was a child what I wanted the most were hiking shoes."


She has worked as a tour guide in Iceland and last spring she walked over the Greenland glacier.


"I like to travel alone, because of the freedom. I can go on my own speed, sleep when I am tired, eat when I am hungy and continue when you feel good! You also get to know yourself very well under these circumstances."


Vilborg is blogging, in Icelandic from the trip. Her site can be seen here.

 

She is also raising money for a good cause, for the women´s clinic at her local hospital.


Bringing to the Pole:

 - Food and fuel (60 day supply)

 -Telecommunications (two satellite phones, iridium tracer, radio)

 -Tent, sleeping bag, two styrofoam matresses, one mattress)

 -Primus, thermus, water bottles and cutlery

 -Glacial outfits, including tools

 -Medicine kit

 -Tools for repair

 -Entertainment (iPod, books)

 

Source:
Morgunblaðið 

 
Dramatic changes in icy waters
2012 Climate
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:40

(Picture: National Snow and Ice Data Center) Average ice extent for October 2012 (Picture: National Snow and Ice Data Center) Average ice extent for October 2012


Dramatic changes in the Arctic ice covered waters have now been  proved. 

 

Yesterday, the 5th of November 2012, the sailor from Montreal, the cultural capital of Canadian province Quebec, returned from his journey through the Northwest Passage.

 

The sailor was the first one to navigate through undiscovered spheres of the Northwest Passage.

 

Nicholas Peissel sailed through the McClure Strait, which had only been successfully travelled by ice breakers in the past. While the route is not yet ready for commercial shipping, Peissel admitted that the fact that he was able to travel the strait demonstrates the dramatic impact of climate change.

 

Peissel and his two sailing partners started their voyage in late May from Newfoundland in Canada. Before leaving for this five months trip they had been preparing by researching satellite images for sea ice depletion.

 

The excursion of three Canadian sailors proves dramatic changes that are happening in the Arctic. During this summer the Arctic sea ice reached record low.

 

Average ice extent for October was 7.00 million square kilometers (2.70 million square miles). This was the second lowest in the satellite record, 230,000 square kilometers above the 2007 record for the month.

 

However, it is 2.29 million square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average. The East Siberian, Chukchi, and Laptev seas have substantially frozen up. Large areas of the southern Beaufort, Barents and Kara seas still remain ice free.

 

 

 

Source:

 

CBC Montreal

 

See Also: 

 

the Shipping Portlet

 

 

Click here to enter the Arctic Portal News Portlet

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Concluding remarks from ARRW
2012 Other
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 02 November 2012 12:22

Inuk packing his sled in Nunavut (Photo: GettyImages) Inuk packing his sled in Nunavut (Photo: GettyImages)The Arctic Resilience Report workshop which took place in Kautokein in northern Norway at the beginning of this week came now to an end.


During the workshop, participants highlighted the need of adapting traditional knowledge to the modern ways of research and governance.


Speakers stressed out, that modern science cannot meet the demands of developing world and right decisions cannot be taken without harnessing indigenous knowledge.

 

During the workshop it was highlighted that nowadays, indigenous knowledge is not receiving the attention it deserves while modern science has limitations and assumptions that prevent it from providing sustainable solutions to the Arctic challenges.

 

The Arctic can benefit from the strengths of both conventional science and indigenous knowledge and be able to conduct modern scientific experiments in which the principles will be formulated by traditional systems of knowledge.

 

To read more about indigenous peoples in the North and some concluding remarks from the Arctic Resilience Report workshop, please access this week‘s Feature.

 

To get the general overview on most current Arctic matters, please enter the Arctic Portlet that will step by step guide you through the Arctic Region.



Source:


Arctic Resilience Report

 


See Also:

 

the Arctic Portlet

 

 

Click here to enter the Arctic Portal News Portlet

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The Arctic and its Peoples
Features
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 02 November 2012 11:21

Arctic resilience – understanding the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic.

 

indigenous numbers Distribution of indigenous population in the Arctic. Click to enlarge. (Map from Arctic Human Development Report - 2004).The Arctic region is changing rapidly. Those changes happen in ways that could dramatically affect people's lives and fragile northern ecosystems. Climate change has been a major concern so far, but rapid economic development and social transformation could also make significant impacts on the northern hemisphere.

 

Most of the transformations happening in the Arctic require adapting traditional, indigenous knowledge and experience to policy making processes that happen in the northern region.

It is crucial for current political landscape to identify potential ´tipping points 'that allow to effectively prepare for the uncertain future of the Arctic. It is also crucial to recognize the sources of aboriginal knowledge and experience.

 

What is the traditional knowledge and who are people that live in the Arctic? How many languages do they speak and how old is really their culture? This week´s feature will try to answer those questions and interest you, dear reader in finding out more about traditional ways of lives in the High North, through the Arctic Portlet.

 

The Arctic covers 40 million square kilometers or approximately 8% of the Earth's surface, but hosts a population of only 4 million. Of the 4 million, various small groups of indigenous peoples, peoples who occupied the area long before the people of European tradition came, can be found.

 

Almost all of them live today as a minority within the borders of contemporary nation states. Only in Greenland are the Inuit in majority or 88% of the population while in Canada half of the population in the northern regions is indigenous. In Scandinavia and north-Russia, indigenous peoples are only a small fraction of the population or around 4-5%, Alaska having an indigenous population of around 20%.

 

(Photo: Getty Images) Reindeer in the wild. (Photo: Getty Images) Reindeer in the wild. Despite that some 40 indigenous languages are still spoken in the Arctic, Russian, English and Scandinavian languages are the most dominant languages today. Only in Greenland is Inuktitut, an indigenous Inuit language, the only official language of the region. In addition, Canada has just recently approved Nunavut's proposal to declare Inuktitut, English and French the official languages of Nunavut.

 

There have been inhabitants in the Arctic for at least 12.000 years according to bones found in Russia. Some believe people have lived up North for much longer or up to 30.000 or 40.000 years, no-one knowing for sure.

 

Little is known about the earliest people from 12.000 years ago, but the culture and livelihoods of the Inuit and the Saami, from around 4500 years ago, are better known and archived.

 

The first Inuits, the Paleo-Eskimos, emigrated from Asia to Alaska crossing over the Bering Strait. They lived off the land, hunted seals, walrus and perhaps even whales also hunting reindeers and musk oxen, birds and polar bears. Around 2500 years ago life shifted slowly but surely while the Arctic got colder. The Paleo-Eskimos gave it away for the Dorset Culture.

 

The Dorset people stretched skins over a simple wooden framework to make kayaks and tents. Stones held down the skins on the tents but in the cold hard winters, they lived in caves, turf houses or snow houses. For food, they hunted whales as big as beluga and narwhal.

 

Traditional reindeer herders clothing (Photo: Hjalti Þór Hreinsson - Arctic Portal) Traditional reindeer herders clothing (Photo: Hjalti Þór Hreinsson - Arctic Portal)This culture lived for around 2000 years, when the Thule people became the new tradition. They are the forerunners of the modern Inuit. The word Inuit means The People and is plural, while Inuk is a single person. Eskimo on the other hand is considered derogatory as a name for Inuit's, as in inuktitut Eskimo means "eaters of raw meat".

 

Like their processors, Inuit's used tents made out of skins and wore skin for clothing. These are traditions Inuit's are proud of and even today, in 2011, they wear clothes like their ancestors. Inuit's developed extensive hunting skills in the Arctic using harpoons with a handle and a rope attached to it to kill seals and whales. That way the pray did not sink when killed, or wounded.

 

Inuit's used dogsleds (at first wolf sleds) to move around and to hunt. They used a bow and arrow and shot polar bears and other animals. Inuit's trusted on caribou and whales to migrate, if they did not their price was starvation.

 

The Saami originated from the Urals in Asia, like so many tribes from the area. They have inhabited the northern Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Fenno-Scandinavia and Russia for at least 5000 years living off of the reindeer husbandry and fishing.

 

The Arctic region is changing rapidly, in ways that could dramatically affect people's lives and ecosystems. Climate change is a major concern, but rapid economic development and social transformation could also make significant impacts.

 

During 29th - 31st October 2012, the Arctic Resilience Report workshop took place in Guovdageaindu/Kautokein in northern Norway. The Arctic Resilience Report (ARR) is an Arctic Council project led by Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The workshop was co-hosted with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry.

 

Source: The Arctic Portlet

 

 
Alaska drilling season over
Energy News
Thursday, 01 November 2012 11:16

Pipeline to an oil tanker (Photo: GettyImages) Pipeline to an oil tanker (Photo: GettyImages)The first drilling for natural resources in Alaskan waters for over two decades has been completed for this year. Shell was drilling and intends to return next year to go even deeper.


Shell only had permission to go to 1400 feet with two boreholes, well short of oil and gas deposits. But potential deposits will be sought next year.


Early this summer, at the start of a narrow window for exploratory drilling in the region, thick sea ice clinging to Alaska's shores prevented Shell's ships from cruising to the drill sites.


"The mandatory close of the drilling window offshore Alaska brings to an end a season in which we once again demonstrated the ability to drill safely and responsibly in the Arctic," said Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, in a statement Wednesday.


"The work we accomplished in drilling the top portion of the Burger-A well in the Chukchi Sea and the Sivulliq well in the Beaufort Sea will go a long way in positioning Shell for a successful drilling program in 2013."


Oil companies bored 30 exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea and another five in the Chukchi Sea between 1982 and 1997, but Shell's work this summer may signal a new Arctic oil rush. Other companies waiting in the wings with leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas include Repsol and ConocoPhillips.

Sources:
AlaskaDispatch
FuelFIx 

 

See also:
Arctic Portal Energy Portal 

 
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