North Atlantic Right Whale. Pacific Salmon. Pacific Walrus. Pallid Sturgeon. Peregrine Falcon. Prairie Dog. Sea Turtles. Sharks and Rays. Snakes and Lizards.
Sonoran Pronghorn. Wild Places. California's Central Valley. Coasts and Intertidal Zones. Deciduous Forests.
Great Plains. Greater Everglades. Northwest Florida. Rocky Mountains. Sagebrush Sea. Sky Islands. Southern Appalachians. Temperate Rainforest.
Texas Hill Country. Wetlands and Rivers. Secondary Menu About. Get updates. Polar Bear. Timothy R Grams. Defenders' Impact. Endangered Species Act. Appendix II. What You Can Do. Latin Name. Adopt a polar bear Your adoption supports our work to protect the fragile Arctic ecosystem by fighting climate change and working to ban oil and gas drilling in the region.
Washington, DC. June 21, Polar Bear Blog Posts. July 1, Igloos were just one type of Inuit dwelling. Inuit communities also built tents with poles crafted from driftwood and whale bones or baleen. Animal hide s covered these poles, and snow provided excellent insulation. Instead of rely ing on driftwood, however, Sami communities had access to the rich taiga , or boreal forest s, of the European subarctic.
More permanent Sami structures included storehouse s, where foods, textile s, and other valuable s could be stored for later use or trade. These storehouses, which resemble log cabins, are notable for being elevated on stilt s, centimeters or even meters from the ground. Elevation protected the valuables from excess rot due to snow or water seeping into the storehouse, as well as vermin such as mice or rats. Today, Arctic cultures such as the Inuit and Sami have access to high-quality building materials and sophisticated structural engineering plans. Still, buildings throughout the Arctic are reliant on efficient insulation and weatherization.
Weatherization is the process of protecting a dwelling from extreme temperature changes, precipitation, and wind. Rights to land and natural resources are an important part of contemporary culture and survival of indigenous peoples in the Arctic. Indigenous Arctic communities face tremendous challenges, often the result of colonization and exploitation of land and energy resources.
Increased contact with Europeans and European Americans often came with conflict. Inuit social structure, schools, and language were replaced with Western traditions. Starting in the late 20th century, regional, national, and international organization s increasingly recognized the political and cultural sovereignty of Arctic peoples. Rights to land and natural resources are an important part of this sovereignty. An agreement between the government of Canada and Inuit bands, for instance, ultimately resulted in the creation of the territory of Nunavut in More than half the population of Nunavut identifies as Inuit, and Inuktitut is the most-spoken language.
European and Asian exploration of the Arctic began with Viking settlement of northern Scandinavia and Iceland in the s. The pursuit of the Northwest Passage, which would save untold time and money in trade between Europe and Asia, drove Arctic exploration during the Age of Discovery. The Northwest Passage was not completely navigate d until , when legendary Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his crew made the voyage from Greenland to Alaska.
Shifting sea ice made the trip hazard ous; it took about three years, and required a relatively small ship a converted fishing vessel. The Arctic has enormous deposits of oil and natural gas. The Arctic is also rich in mineral s, such as nickel and copper ore. Mineral resources also include gem stones and rare earth element s, which are used in batteries, magnets, and scanners. Some of these mineral deposits are underground, while others are buried beneath the Arctic Ocean.
Mines and drilling operations are often dependent on the weather. In the winter, machinery can freeze, and the frozen ground becomes too hard to drill. In warmer weather, the Arctic permafrost can thaw and machinery can become unstable and damage the environment. Almost all Arctic nations are scrambling to assert authority over the rich resources of the Arctic. The exclusive economic zones of Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and the United States extend to nautical miles off their coasts. A country can explore and exploit all resources within its exclusive economic zone EEZ.
However, some Arctic nations are claiming territory on their continental shelves, not just their coastlines. The Lomonosov Ridge is an undersea mountain chain that stretches from the Canadian Arctic, through the North Pole, all the way to the waters off Siberia. Climate change is radically redefining the geography, biodiversity , and political units of the Arctic.
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking. The 21st century has marked record lows in both the winter maximum and summer minimum extent of sea ice. Most climatologist s estimate that by the year , most Arctic sea ice will melt every summer. The plight of polar bears, for example, has become a symbol of global warming in the Arctic due to the cascading impacts of sea ice loss. Without sea ice, polar bears cannot catch enough seals to survive their annual winter fast.
Polar bears that do survive are less likely to produce healthy offspring , reducing the population over generation s. Scarcer food sources also drive polar bears into more contact with human populations, often relying on trash heaps for nutrition. This food sources impacts the health of polar bears and increases the incidents of conflict with human communities in the Arctic. The species range of the polar bear is also altered by climate change. Logic might indicate that polar bears would migrate further north as their traditional range heats up.
Currents carry sea ice south, however, as it breaks up. Polar bears follow the sea ice habitat, and so their range has actually drifted south. The increasingly shrinking Arctic sea ice provides clear shipping route s for trade and travel. The Northwest Passage is still the most lucrative shipping lane in the Arctic. These deep-water shipping lanes also allow for larger, heavier ships than the Panama Canal, which would increase trade and profit even further.
The tourism industry could also benefit from shrinking sea ice. In , a luxury cruise ship traveled through the Northwest Passage for the first time. The ship, filled with more than 1, tourists, made the journey in three weeks. The Arctic is dominated by the Arctic ocean basin.
- Building The Dream.
- Copepods and the food web;
- Why do polar bears have white fur? And nine other polar bear facts | Stories | WWF.
- The Vikings Tooth.
- Emergency Public Relations: Crisis Management In A 3.0 World.
Balmy Arctic. These species also tend to have developed within a region, occurring there naturally not because they were planted or moved there by people. Most are particularly well adapted to their environment.
Most float and reside in regions where sunlight filters down. Much like land-based plants, these organisms contain chlorophyll. They also require sunlight to live and grow. Phytoplankton serve as a base of the oceanic food web. Depending on the species, plankton range from microscopic sizes to organisms about the size of a flea. Some are tiny animals. Others are plantlike organisms. Although individual plankton are very small, they form massive colonies, numbering in the billions. The largest animal in the world, the blue whale, lives on plankton. Animal species eaten by others. To attack and eat another species.
The journal's content spans the biological, physical, and social sciences. Each of the more than 3, papers it publishes each year, now, are not only peer reviewed but also approved by a member of the U. National Academy of Sciences. Unlike lakes and streams, seawater — or ocean water — is salty. Scientists and engineers often rely on sensors to inform them of conditions that may change over time or that exist far from where a researcher can measure them directly.
Also a term for any sunlike star. This group includes dolphins and porpoises. Zooplankton are tiny animals that eat other plankton. They also serve as an important food source for other marine creatures. Journal: D. Hauser et al. Vulnerability of Arctic marine mammals to vessel traffic in the increasingly ice-free Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Journal: K. Stafford et al. Extreme diversity in the songs of Spitsbergen's bowhead whales. Biology Letters. Journal: M.
Ludvigsen et al. Use of an Autonomous Surface Vehicle reveals small-scale diel vertical migrations of zooplankton and susceptibility to light pollution under low solar irradiance. Science Advances. Journal: J. Vacquie-Garcia et al. Hooded seal Cystophora cristata foraging areas in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean — Investigated using three complementary methods. Journal: H. Ahonen et al. The underwater soundscape in western Fram Strait: Breeding ground of Spitsbergen's endangered bowhead whales.
Marine Pollution Bulletin. Cronin et al. Bioluminescence as an ecological factor during high Arctic polar night. Scientific Reports. Last et al. Moonlight drives ocean-scale mass vertical migration of zooplankton during the Arctic winter. Current Biology.
Berge et al. Unexpected levels of biological activity during the polar night offer new perspectives on a warming Arctic. Vol 25, October 5, , p. Cohen et al. Is ambient light during the high Arctic polar night sufficient to act as a visual cue for zooplankton?
Arctic | National Geographic Society
Journal: A. Quantifying the light sensitivity of Calanus spp. Polar Biology. Benoit et al. From polar night to midnight sun: photoperiod, seal predation, and the diel vertical migrations of polar cod Boreogadus saida under landfast ice in the Arctic Ocean. Since the s, bats and other wild animals have replaced dogs as the major U. A new survey finds antibiotics in about two-thirds of river sites tested.
This is an image of Hurricane Isabel, which hit the United States in The eye is in the center, surrounded by a band of clouds called the eyewall. The displays that dazzle revelers on July 4th and many other holidays are the result of chemists and other researchers working to create and choreograph pyrotechnic theater in the night sky. Skip to main content. Lab Scientists Say Analyze This! Technically Fiction. Gravity Waves. Current Issue. Ecosystems Ecology Oceans.
The months-long, dead-of-winter darkness hides a surprisingly lively cast of characters, scientists find. Bethany Brookshire. Jan 3, — am EST. Louis Fortier had a problem. The seals would not leave. Except for the ring seals. They might have hogged the open water, but they also gave Fortier useful data. But that axis is tilted, relative to the plane on which the Earth orbits the sun. Tiny but mighty, this is a copepod — one of the many tiny zooplankton that keep the Arctic food web going through the long winter night. Creatures living near the North Pole are left with the moon, stars and the Northern Lights, seen here as vibrant green ribbons.
These are polar cod. Swarms of these fish feed seals, whales and more in the high Arctic seas. During the polar night, the smaller cod stick to the surface, while the larger ones dive deep — trying to avoid hungry seals. A bowhead whale swims through Arctic waters.
Related Here Is the Arctic Winter (Web of Life)
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved