NEWS ABOUT: Arctic

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Canadians Set Out to Claim Arctic Territory

But territory could belong to Russia or Denmark

(Newser) - How far would you go to claim what’s yours? Well, this weekend Canada sent two ice-breakers to the North Pole to claim oil and natural gas-filled territory that could belong to two other countries. The Canadian government released a statement Friday saying the goal of the exploration is two-fold:... More »

Last Stable Part of Greenland Ice Sheet No Longer Stable

It's losing 10B tons of ice every year

(Newser) - A startling change uncovered in the world's second-largest ice sheet means rising sea levels are set to accelerate, researchers warn. A new study finds that the northeast Greenland ice sheet, once thought to be the only remaining stable part of the ice sheet, has been shedding a staggering 10... More »

Hating Winter? Blame the Weaker Jet Stream

And climate change may be the cause, says Rutgers scientist

(Newser) - A change in the world's so-called jet stream may be causing our incredibly bitter winter, with a little help from climate change. Professor Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University gave a talk in Chicago yesterday saying that the jet stream—a high-speed air current in northern latitudes—has been weakening... More »

Russia Tossing Charges Against Greenpeace Activists

They could be home for New Year: rep

(Newser) - Yesterday, Pussy Riot members left prison under Russia's new amnesty measure ; today, the country's charges against at least some Greenpeace activists are being dropped. RT reports that at least three of 30 crew members from the organization's Arctic Sunrise ship have seen charges dropped; the same will... More »

Researcher's 1959 Note Found in Remote Arctic

Request from message in a bottle finally carried out

(Newser) - It's not your usual message-in-a-bottle story, but maybe more fascinating for just that reason. Two researchers in the remote Canadian Arctic found the bottle tucked into a mound of rocks on Ward Hunt Island, reports Popular Science . The note inside had a simple request: Measure the distance from the... More »

Putin's 2014 Goal: Station Lots of Military in Arctic

BBC terms it 'one of his most direct orders yet' regarding the region

(Newser) - Canada is planning to claim the North Pole as part of its territory, and Russia has something to say about that: Oh, heck no. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to boost its presence in the Arctic, and though he's discussed the idea before, the BBC calls... More »

Canada to Claim North Pole

Move sets up clash with Russia, Denmark

(Newser) - Santa better be a hockey fan—Canada is gearing up to claim the North Pole, along with a vast surrounding area of the Arctic, according to the Globe and Mail . The country is due to submit a territorial claim to the UN this week and sources say Prime Minister Stephen... More »

Arctic Hasn't Been This Warm in 44K Years

Maybe even far longer, according to new study

(Newser) - The Arctic's current warming trend is the worst it's experienced in at least 44,000 years—and possibly even longer—a new study has concluded. Scientists examining vegetation in the Canadian Arctic found recently-exposed moss that, based on radiocarbon dating, was between 44,000 and 51,000 years... More »

Russia Hits Greenpeace Activists With Piracy Charges

Could face 15 years in jail; more activists to be charged

(Newser) - Greenpeace said today that five of its activists who were detained after protesting at a Russian oil platform have been charged with piracy and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. The environmental group said in a statement that activists from Brazil, Britain, Finland, and Sweden... More »

Giant Freighter Is First to Cross Northwest Passage

Danish bulk carrier makes milestone journey

(Newser) - Sure, scientists are nearly positive that humans are heating up the planet, but there's an upside: more efficient shipping. For the first time, a major freighter has crossed the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail . The 735-foot Nordic Orion achieved the feat this week... More »

Greenpeace: Russia Boarded Our Ship, Took Us Captive

Activists were trying to board Gazprom oil platform

(Newser) - Russian security forces boarded and took control of a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic yesterday, holding its crew at gunpoint, the activist group has announced. Greenpeace's Arctic Campaign coordinator Christy Ferguson tells CBC News that at least 15 Russian coast guard officers rappeled down onto the Arctic Sunrise ship... More »

North Pole Has Become a Lake, Again

It's about a foot deep

(Newser) - Thanks to rapidly-melting ice, Santa Claus now has his own swimming pool: The North Pole is currently a lake, Canada.com reports. The shallow lake—it's about a foot deep, according to LiveScience —isn't the result of sea water overtaking the ice; it consists entirely of the... More »

700K-Year-Old Horse Yields World's Oldest DNA

Pushes back their evolution to 4M years ago

(Newser) - Woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and... horses? According to research using the oldest DNA ever found, horses have been trotting around for millions of years—about 4 million, to be exact. The study, published in Nature , explains how scientists used DNA from a 700,000-year-old horse foot bone found in Canada'... More »

Tourists Rescued From Drifting Arctic Ice Floe

20 people had been adrift for 2 days

(Newser) - Ten tourists and 10 guides were rescued last night after spending almost two days drifting on an ice floe in the Canadian Arctic, LiveScience reports. The group, including two Americans, was on an expedition on Baffin Island in Canada's far north when the chunk of ice they were on... More »

Mosses Survive Centuries Under Arctic Glaciers

Tough plants regrew after glacier retreated

(Newser) - The Arctic mosses that thrive in some of the world's most inhospitable locations are even tougher than scientists thought. Researchers found that the hardy mosses on Canada's Ellesmere Island managed to survive being crushed under a glacier for centuries, NPR reports. They were amazed to find green sprigs... More »

Inside Russians' 6mph Road Trip to Canada

Journey took 70 days, passes through North Pole

(Newser) - Talk about a road trip: Russian explorers spent the past two-and-a-half months driving from Russia to Canada via the North Pole. But instead of car bingo and the alphabet game, they passed their time clearing the route with a pickaxe, gazing upon the aurora borealis, and spotting the occasional polar... More »

'Frankly Nutty' Arctic Adventure Ends in Tragedy

Philip Goodeve-Docker dies just days into trek across ice cap

(Newser) - Three British friends set out on "one of the great polar challenges"—a 400-mile trek across the planet's second largest ice cap—last Thursday. By Saturday, one of them was dead, reports the Telegraph . Philip Goodeve-Docker and his companions planned what Goodeve-Docker referred to as a "... More »

Shell Drilling Ship Runs Aground off Alaska

Ship is carrying 150K gallons of diesel

(Newser) - Royal Dutch Shell's foray into Arctic offshore drilling has suffered a serious setback after one of its two Alaskan drilling rigs ran aground off a small island while trying to escape a fierce storm. The Kulluk drilling ship grounded last night on rocks off the southeast side of Sitkalidak,... More »

Arctic Town to Offer Space Flights

Spaceport Sweden wants to launch people like clockwork

(Newser) - A company in a tiny Arctic town plans to launch people into space like clockwork, on two-hour trips four times a day. But a little more work—or even a lot—is required first, AFP reports. The company, Spaceport Sweden , is building a unique vessel that combines a space shuttle... More »

Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster

Process to blame for a fifth of sea-level rise

(Newser) - The most expansive study yet is helping to clarify long-held uncertainties about polar ice. The melting of polar ice sheets has sped up since 1992, raising sea levels 0.43 inches—a fifth of their total rise since then. And while the melting ice sheets accounted for 10% of the... More »

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