December 20, 2013 |
Rudolph the fictional reindeer was famous for his oddly colored nose, but his true-life cousins have eyes that change color depending on the season. In the summer, an interior part of the eyes of Arctic reindeer appears gold, and around Christmas it turns a deep blue, biologists have discovered. It's not holiday magic, but rather a unique adaptation that helps these animals deal with the strange light conditions at the top of the world. The reindeer's world is one of extremes.
May 10, 2013 |
Wondering where Earth's climate is headed with an atmosphere that is 400 parts per million carbon dioxide ? An arctic bare of ice sheets, forested in pine and fir, with summer temperatures about 14 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today were typical some 3.5 million years ago, when atmospheric CO2 measures hovered around the 400 ppm range, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The findings, based on sediment cores drilled from a Russian lake, don't bode well for the current model of human-forced climate change, the researchers warn.
April 3, 2013 |
Tourists can visit one of the most remote regions of Canada and interact with the native Inuit people during a new series of tours called "A Touch of the Arctic. " The trips to various villages in Nunavut are available year round through the Great Canadian Travel Co . Nunavut, the newest territory, was formed in 1999 from the Northwest Territories and straddles the Arctic Circle a few hundred miles west of Greenland. The sparsely populated Canadian territory is home to a mostly indigenous population that, through cooperative ventures, is welcoming outsiders.
December 12, 2012 |
Desperately seeking reindeer? Long after the Christmas season has ended, Travcoa leads a March tour of Finland and Sweden to see the real animals in their native Lapland. Participants on the 15-day Scandinavian trip meet the Sami, the indigenous people who herd reindeer, and learn some of their traditions by celebrating St. Maria's Day with them. Excursions via snowmobile, dog sled and even reindeer-pulled sleighs explore the arctic landscape. Highlights include crossing the Arctic Circle, spending a night in the famed Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, viewing the northern lights too touring Helsinki, where the trip begins, and Stockholm, where it ends.
June 22, 2012 |
New data from a core drilled into a Russian lake provide the longest continuous record of Arctic conditions and show that the pole had periods of unexpectedly high temperatures and rainfall, much higher than researchers thought possible. The warm periods may have melted most of the Arctic ice sheet and coincide with periods when parts of the Antarctic were also ice-free and warm, researchers said Thursday. The findings indicate that climate changes at the two poles are more closely linked than expected and that the polar regions are much more vulnerable to change than had been expected.
January 30, 2011 |
The Magnetic North: Notes From the Arctic Circle by Sara Wheeler (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 302 pp., $26). Calling all explorers! Here is an antidote to your shrinking life (should we go to Home Depot to look at cabinets this weekend, dear?). Sara Wheeler is an interloper in the world of "frozen beards," her fond phrase for the largely male world of Arctic exploration. Sixty-six degrees is her start and finish line ? though many of the arctic zones she explores wobble around that arbitrary circle.