Portal:Arctic

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The Arctic- The geography north of the Arctic Circle is predominantly ocean, mostly ice-covered, but a great deal of land falls within the Circle as well. Recently the region north of the Arctic Circle has gained significant international attention due primarily to the threat of global warming. Initial attention came as a result of the fact that the earth's poles are the points at which the planet tends to warm the fastest thereby acting as harbingers of what is to come. The melting of the ice in the Circle is making the Northwest Passage, the shipping routes through the northern-most latitudes, more navigable, raising the possibility that some day the Arctic region could become a prime trade route. In addition it is believed that the Arctic seabed may contain substantial oil fields which may become accessible if the ice covering them melts. These factors have led to recent international debates as to which nations can claim sovereignty or ownership over the waters north of the Circle.

The Arctic Ocean, located in the northern hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or simply the Arctic Sea, classifying it as one of the mediterranean seas of the Atlantic Ocean. Alternatively, the Arctic Ocean can be seen as the northernmost lobe of the all-encompassing World Ocean.

Almost completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America, the Arctic Ocean is largely covered by sea ice throughout the year. The Arctic Ocean's temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes[3]; its salinity is the lowest on average of the five major oceans, due to low evaporation, heavy freshwater inflow from rivers and streams, and limited connection and outflow to surrounding oceanic waters with higher salinities. The summer shrinking of the ice has been quoted at 50%.[1] The National Snow and Ice Data Center NSIDC use satellite data to provide a daily record of Arctic sea ice cover and the rate of melting compared to an average period and specific past years.

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Hunting and whaling have always been important ways to make a living on Greenland. One of the animals found here is the polar bear, which is on the coat of arms of the Danish royal family.
The history of Greenland, the world's largest island, is the history of life under extreme Arctic conditions: an ice cap covers about 95 percent of the island, largely restricting human activity to the coasts.

The first humans are thought to have arrived around 2500 BC. This group apparently died out and were succeeded by several other groups migrating from continental North America. To Europeans, Greenland was unknown until the 10th century, when Icelandic Vikings settled on the southwestern coast. This part of Greenland was apparently unpopulated at the time when the Vikings arrived; the direct ancestors of the modern Inuit Greenlanders are not thought to have arrived until around 1200 AD from the northwest. The Norse settlements along the southwestern coast eventually disappeared after about 500 years. The Inuit thrived in the icy world of the Little Ice Age and were the only inhabitants of the island for several centuries. Denmark-Norway nonetheless claimed the territory, and, after centuries of no contact between the Norse Greenlanders and their Scandinavian brethren, it was feared that the Greenlanders had lapsed back into paganism; so a missionary expedition was sent out to reinstate Christianity in 1721. However, since none of the lost Norse Greenlanders were found, Denmark-Norway instead proceeded to baptize the local Inuit Greenlanders and develop trading colonies along the coast as part of its aspirations as a colonial power. Colonial privileges were retained, such as trade monopoly.

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Kenojuak Ashevak 1 1997-05-09.jpg
Kenojuak Ashevak, CC (born October 3, 1927) is regarded as one of the most notable pioneers of modern Inuit art.

Kenojuak Ashevak was born in an igloo in an Inuit camp, "Ikirasaq", at the southern coast of Baffin Island. At three years old, she lost her father. In 1952, she had to be treated for three years for tuberculosis in a hospital in Quebec. During this time and later on many of her children and grandchildren succumbed to disease, as did her husband of 45 years.

Kenojuak Ashevak became one of the first Inuit women in Cape Dorset to begin drawing in the late 1950s. She has since created many carvings from soapstone and thousands of drawings, etchings, stone-cuts, and prints — all sought after by museums and collectors. She designed several drawings for Canadian stamps and coins. In 2004, she started to design the first Inuit-designed stain glass window for a chapel.

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Wikinews Arctic portal
  • April 25: UK announces £200 million polar research ship
  • September 4: Wikinews Shorts: September 2, 2010
  • September 3: Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2010/Fuel tanker aground in Northwest Passage
  • June 21: Greenland assumes self rule Sunday
  • January 10: Canadian trio claim South Pole record for trans-Antarctic trip
  • December 10: Wikinews Shorts: December 10, 2008
  • October 28: Arctic ice thickness decreasing, suggests satellite data study
  • August 28: 73M-year-old fossilized fish found in Canada
  • August 27: Canadian military exercise NANOOK 2008 travels through uncharted waters
  • June 28: The North Pole may possibly be ice free by summer
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Polar bears near north pole

Description:Three Polar bears approach the starboard bow of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718)

Author: Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy

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The Ziegler expedition

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Jan Nagórski


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  • Hidden in wonder and snow, or sudden with summer, This land stares at the sun in a huge silence Endlessly repeating something we cannot hear. Inarticulate, arctic, Not written on by history, empty as paper, It leans away from the world with songs in its lakes Older than love, and lost in the miles.

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Naajaat
Panoramic view of Naajaat in North-West Greenland. The ice cap is seen to the upper left..

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