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TRAVEL
August 23, 2009 | Margo Pfeiff
I am beluga bait. Bobbing at the end of a rope tied around my feet, I am being slowly towed in the wake of a Zodiac, a small, inflatable boat, through the icy waters of Hudson Bay. Clad in a partly inflated rubber dry suit, I look like a Michelin Tire Man who has sprouted a snorkel as I peer into the murky brown, tannin-stained cocktail of salt and freshwater. I have come all the way to far northern Manitoba, Canada, to snorkel with beluga whales that, if they do appear out of the gloom, will likely scare the daylights out of me. As my heart races, I remember my guide suggesting I sing to attract these most vocal of whales, known as "canaries of the sea" for their high-pitched songs and rhythmic clicks.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
April 24, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
In the ongoing battle over offshore drilling, a federal judge in Alaska told regulators Thursday to redo an environmental impact study that underestimated the amount of recoverable oil and, potentially, the risks to delicate Arctic habitat. The decision by U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline stopped short of scrapping the $2.6 billion in leases, however. His ruling followed an appeals court decision in January that federal officials had arbitrarily decided drilling companies could extract 1 billion barrels of oil from the shallow waters off the northwest coast of Alaska.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 1998
It's not just snow and ice, though that is the popular image. In reality, the land above 67 degrees north latitude supports a wide variety of plant and animal life. Temperatures in some "cold countries" are moderate, and during the summer there is sunlight 24 hours a day--a prime condition for vegetation. Temperatures within the Arctic Circle have been rising recently, leading scientists to search for a link to global warming.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
When a documentary interviewee says, "My dad has been collecting penises as long as I remember," you know you've entered some unusual film territory. Such is the case of "The Final Member," which revolves around the Icelandic Phallological Museum, an exhibit hall devoted to preserved male genitalia from a variety of mammalian species except one: human. And it's the quest for that holy grail of specimens that drives much - frankly too much - of co-directors Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math's decidedly quirky, at times unappetizing film.
NATIONAL
March 14, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - Federal regulators said Thursday they would not allow Royal Dutch Shell to resume exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska until the company comes up with a detailed operations program and management plan for operating in the Arctic to head off the mishaps that plagued the company's debut drilling season in 2012. “Shell screwed up in 2012, and we're not going to let them screw up whenever they [resume] … unless they have these systems in place,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said after a new report found that Shell's contractors were repeatedly ill-prepared to meet the demands of operating in the harsh Arctic environment.
NATIONAL
April 24, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
In the ongoing battle over offshore drilling, a federal judge in Alaska told regulators Thursday to redo an environmental impact study that underestimated the amount of recoverable oil and, potentially, the risks to delicate Arctic habitat. The decision by U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline stopped short of scrapping the $2.6 billion in leases, however. His ruling followed an appeals court decision in January that federal officials had arbitrarily decided drilling companies could extract 1 billion barrels of oil from the shallow waters off the northwest coast of Alaska.
SCIENCE
March 14, 2014 | By Amina Khan
How's this for "death by cute?" Paleontologists have dug up a fearsome new dinosaur in a surprising place: Nanuqsaurus, a pygmy tyrannosaur that lived far away from its larger sharped-toothed cousins - in what is now Alaska. The newly named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi fossil, described in PLoS ONE, reveals that dinosaurs lived in the Arctic 70 million years ago, during a much warmer period in Earth's history. “The discovery of Nanuqsaurus hoglundi provides new insights into tyrannosaurid adaptability and evolution in an ancient greenhouse Arctic,” wrote study authors Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald Tykoski of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Gaps forming in seasonal Arctic sea ice may be creating a toxic conveyor belt, drawing mercury from higher altitudes to rain down on the ice, snow and tundra, according to a new study. The gaps, which come as the region shifts from perennial ice to thinner seasonal ice due to climate change, drive convection currents in the lower atmosphere that cycle mercury and ozone from higher levels toward Earth's surface, where oxidation converts the mercury into a more toxic form, according to the study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
SCIENCE
August 27, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The area of floating sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to its lowest size ever observed, researchers said Monday. Moreover, the ice is still shrinking and is not expected to reach its minimum until sometime in September. The average shrinkage of the ice has been increasing steadily since 2007, and researchers attribute the loss to global warming, which is causing warmer temperatures in the region. On Monday, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 1.58 million miles, which is 27,000 square miles below the previous record set on Sept.
NATIONAL
April 12, 2006 | From the Associated Press
It's becoming harder to find the right snow to build an igloo, and melting permafrost is turning land into mud. With climate change, the nature of the Arctic is changing too -- in ways that worry the people who live there. The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History opens a pair of exhibits Saturday, "Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely" and "Atmosphere: Change Is in the Air," discussing what is happening to the climate and how it affects people living in the planet's northernmost areas.
NATIONAL
April 3, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - A Coast Guard investigation into the 2012 grounding of the Kulluk, an offshore drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell in the harsh Arctic, blasted the oil company for legal violations, poor management and taking undue risks, according to the final report released Thursday. The Kulluk ran aground 15 months ago on New Year's Eve after breaking free of its tow lines during severe weather and was beached for several days on a remote, rocky shore in southern Alaska. Although the company has invested an estimated $5 billion in recent years in offshore oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic, the Kulluk's problems were among the difficulties that kept Shell from offshore drilling in 2013 and forced the company to abandon any renewed drilling efforts this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | Steve Chawkins
When Sean "Stanley" Leary's friends heard he'd gone missing in Utah's Zion National Park, they drove hundreds of miles to help. Leary was well-known in the tight-knit world of mountain adventurers. At Yosemite National Park, he was an old hand, with more than 50 ascents of El Capitan under his belt - including a record-setting 2 1/2-hour scramble up a 2,900-foot wall that demands several days from seasoned climbers. He explored new routes up peaks in the Arctic and in Antarctica and was an ardent BASE jumper - an adventure enthusiast who leaps off mountains and other high places.
SCIENCE
March 14, 2014 | By Amina Khan
How's this for "death by cute?" Paleontologists have dug up a fearsome new dinosaur in a surprising place: Nanuqsaurus, a pygmy tyrannosaur that lived far away from its larger sharped-toothed cousins - in what is now Alaska. The newly named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi fossil, described in PLoS ONE, reveals that dinosaurs lived in the Arctic 70 million years ago, during a much warmer period in Earth's history. “The discovery of Nanuqsaurus hoglundi provides new insights into tyrannosaurid adaptability and evolution in an ancient greenhouse Arctic,” wrote study authors Anthony Fiorillo and Ronald Tykoski of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
With the perseverance of a field anthropologist and the eye of a poet, documentarian Jessica Oreck traces a year of seasons in the stunning "Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys. " Her keenly observed portrait of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland is no romantic pastoral; for all their wild beauty, the seasons can be tough viewing, in particular the fall days of slaughter. But like two recent documentaries about shepherds - "Sweetgrass," set in Montana, and "Hiver Nomade," set in the Alps - "Aatsinki" is a work of cinéma vérité of the highest order: vivid, immersive and unflinching.
SCIENCE
February 27, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Happy International Polar Bear Day! The polar bear conservation group Polar Bears International, has set aside Feb. 27 as a special day to celebrate those furry white giants of the North, and to remind the public that it is not too late to help them. The struggle for polar bears is that the Arctic sea ice where they live and hunt is shrinking -- and as a result, so are their numbers. A 2007 study from the U.S. Geological Survey found that if the current rate of Arctic-sea-ice loss continues, two-thirds of the world's polar bear population could disappear by the middle of the century.
NATIONAL
February 22, 2014 | By Maria L. LaGanga
SEATTLE - U.S. officials are heading to Greenland for a three-day meeting to persuade other Arctic nations to place a moratorium on high-seas fishing in the Arctic Ocean, where climate change is melting the permanent ice cap and allowing trawlers in for the first time in human history. The United States is proposing an agreement “that would close the international waters of the Arctic Ocean to commercial fishing until there is a good scientific foundation on which to base management of any potential fishing,” said David Benton, a member of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, who will be part of the negotiations in Nuuk, Greenland.
TRAVEL
February 2, 1986
Schiff made a huge misstatement about Eskimos being unable to swim. Apparently the writer hasn't been in that region in summer, when some of the children (completely absent of clothing) do their swimming. ROBERT LEVIN Covina
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2010 | By Susan Salter Reynolds
The Future History of the Arctic Charles Emmerson PublicAffairs: 392 pp., $28.95 "In the mind of a ten-year-old almost any line on a map is worth crossing for the sake of it." Charles Emmerson turned his childhood fascination with "our half-imagined Arctic" into a life's work. In "The Future History of the Arctic," Emmerson explains the forces that have shaped the history of the Arctic and will shape its future. He never loses his childhood sense of wonder at the land above 66 degrees 33' 39" north; the Arctic remains for him an idea that cannot be mapped.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
They recently moved to America, but Arctic Monkeys have lost no love at home. The English garage-rock foursome's "AM" was named album of the year Wednesday at the Brit Awards in London, beating out discs by David Bowie, Disclosure, Rudimental and Bastille. Leaving behind their native country, Arctic Monkeys resettled last year in Los Angeles to record "AM," the group's fifth full-length and by many accounts its best since its 2006 debut, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. " GRAPHIC: Times music staff best of 2013 list Yet frontman Alex Turner has assured longtime fans that the band hasn't gone Hollywood.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
It's been a whole week since MTV premiered Miley Cyrus' much-hyped installment in its "Unplugged" series, which means the time clearly has come for bonus content. The network doled some out early Thursday in the form of "Miley Cyrus: MTV Unplugged & Uncensored," an online version of the special that it says drew 1 million television viewers on Jan. 29, the highest rating for an episode of "Unplugged" in a decade. On the broadcast , Cyrus complemented country-fied versions of tunes from her 2013 album "Bangerz" -- including a take on "We Can't Stop" featuring Madonna -- with a boot-scooting rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene.
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