Arctic

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Russian Opposition Leader: Staffer Abducted, Sent to Arctic

Alexei Navalny says Ruslan Shaveddinov was forcibly 'conscripted' for military service

(Newser) - The Russian military says it's simply making a 23-year-old draft dodger fulfill his one-year conscription—but President Vladimir Putin's main opponent is calling what happened earlier this week a kidnapping. The Guardian reports that Ruslan Shaveddinov, an activist and project manager at opposition leader Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption... More »

Russian Navy Boat Gets Sunk by Angry Mammal

Seems a walrus was protecting her cubs

(Newser) - A Russian Navy vessel was apparently sunk last week by an ill-tempered walrus, CBS News reports. Researchers on an Arctic tugboat had boarded a rubber landing craft for shore when the marine mammal attacked. "During the landing at Cape Heller, a group of researchers had to flee from a... More »

This Is a Hotel. If You're Brave Enough

The Finnish travel company Luxury Action offers heated domes in the Arctic

(Newser) - Want a unique vacation? Try going to sleep with the northern lights and waking up to polar bears. Yep, a Finnish travel company has devised a way for people to vacation in the Arctic, the Washington Post reports. Called North Pole Igloos , it will allow travelers to sleep in one... More »

Eerie Wreck Looks Like the Crew Left Yesterday

Parks Canada dives into the HMS Terror

(Newser) - Turns out a haunting remnant of seafaring hasn't changed that much since 1845. A remote-controlled vehicle sent to investigate the sunken HMS Terror —which carried 133 men to their doom in the Arctic—found neatly organized desks and beds, glasses and plates on shelves, and scientific instruments in... More »

Microplastics Abound in Arctic Snow

Scientists say air is carrying particles to remotest corners of the world

(Newser) - Scientists say they've found an abundance of tiny plastic particles in Arctic snow, indicating that so-called microplastics are being sucked into the atmosphere and carried long distances to some of the remotest corners of the planet. The researchers examined snow collected from sites in the Arctic, northern Germany, the... More »

'Terrifying' Arctic Find: 200 Dead Reindeer

Climate change blamed for difficult conditions in Norway

(Newser) - In an ongoing bout with climate change, Arctic reindeer aren't doing so hot. Some 200 of the animals have been found dead on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, each below the average weight of 150 to 200 pounds. The Norwegian Polar Institute, which made the discovery during the annual wild... More »

More Bad News as Canadian Arctic Melts

Permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than expected, with consequences

(Newser) - In 2016, researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks hopped in a plane, heading for remote sites in the Canadian Arctic. "What we saw was amazing," Vladimir Romanovsky tells Reuters . "It's an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last... More »

Chinese Activity in Arctic Concerns Pentagon

Civilian projects could support military expansion, report warns

(Newser) - The Pentagon sees signs of an increased Chinese presence in the Arctic region, which could include submarines intended to deter nuclear attack. The assessment was part of the Defense Department's yearly report to Congress on China's military. Arctic states are concerned about China's objectives in the region,... More »

Massive Earthquake Shakes Remote Research Station

6.8 undersea quake struck in Arctic Ocean

(Newser) - A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck in the Arctic Ocean Friday, northwest of a largely uninhabited and remote Norwegian island, officials said. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. The Norwegian earthquake center NORSAR says the quake was recorded at 2:49am in the sea... More »

Container Ship Set for Arctic Marks a 'Turning Point'

Maersk's 'trial' has environmentalists on edge

(Newser) - The world's largest container shipping company will follow explorers who sought sea passages through the Arctic half a millennium ago, though likely with more success thanks to global warming. In what NPR calls a turning point, Denmark-based Maersk will send the first container ship—a 42,000-ton vessel housing... More »

'Scary' First Hits Arctic's Thickest Ice

Oldest section of sea ice has already shattered 2 times this year

(Newser) - Scientists called it "the last ice area," believing the oldest and thickest section of Arctic sea ice north of Greenland would be the last to remain as our planet warms. Turns out, it's already broken up twice this year, reports the Guardian . More than 13 feet thick... More »

Starving-Bear Photographer: Maybe We Made 'a Mistake'

Cristina Mittermeier mulls her incredibly famous footage

(Newser) - An estimated 2.5 billion people saw the image: a starving polar bear struggling across an Arctic landscape. "The mission was a success, but there was a problem: We had lost control of the narrative," writes Cristina Mittermeier in National Geographic . Accompanied by a photographic team, she snapped... More »

Dying in This Tiny Town Is Against the Law

Longyearbyen wants to stave off infections

(Newser) - A recent anthrax outbreak in Russia seems to confirm what a Norwegian town already knew—that dying should remain illegal, WN.com reports. The Arctic town of Longyearbyen, where 2,100 people brave bitter temperatures, has outlawed death since 1950. The reason: Permafrost keeps bodies from decomposing in the town... More »

'We Stood There Crying': Crew Films Starving Polar Bear

Conservation group says it illustrates threat to the bears as ice retreats from Arctic

(Newser) - The video is tough to watch: A crew from the conservation group Sea Legacy came across a starving polar bear in Canada's Baffin Islands that clearly didn't have long to live. "We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," photographer Paul Nicklen tells... More »

Tanker Is 1st Ship to Cross Arctic Without Icebreaker

Shrinking ice and new technology helped

(Newser) - For the first time in history, a ship was able to traverse the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic without the help of an accompanying icebreaker thanks to new tanker technology—and climate change. The New York Times reports the Christophe de Margerie, carrying liquefied natural gas from Norway to... More »

People Now Getting Ivory Fix From Woolly Mammoths

But the hunt in Siberia is taking a toll

(Newser) - The hunt is on for frozen tusks from the extinct woolly mammoth, and NPR reports that it's making people rich in otherwise poor regions of Siberia. But it's also taking a devastating toll on the landscape, according to a photographer who embedded with hunters for three weeks. "... More »

Ship Records Earliest Crossing of Fabled Northwest Passage

Beats one set in 2008

(Newser) - After 24 days at sea and a journey spanning more than 6,214 miles, the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica has set a new record for the earliest transit of the fabled Northwest Passage. The once-forbidding route through the Arctic, linking the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, has been opening up... More »

This Is the Fabled Northwest Passage at Midnight

An AP photographer documents

(Newser) - Up in the Arctic this time of year, you'll find the "midnight sun." Its warm light is comparable to what occurs in photography's "golden hour"—just after sunrise or just before sunset. Instead of lasting an hour, in this case, it lasts all night... More »

What May Vanish From the Arctic by 2030

Scientists: There could be no more summer ice by then, thanks to climate change

(Newser) - Fancy an Arctic cruise? With climate change melting the planet's sea ice faster than ever, the globe's northern-most points could become a check on the well-traveled tourist's bucket list. That possibility is giving goose bumps to maritime experts who say safety measures are lacking. "It's... More »

As Sea Ice Dwindles, Polar Bear Attacks Rise

20% of polar bear attacks happened in last 5 years of 144-year study

(Newser) - There were only 73 reported polar bear attacks on humans between 1870 and 2014, according to a study published this month in Wildlife Society Bulletin . But 20% of those attacks happened in just the last five years of the study, and Alaska Dispatch News reports researchers have found a correlation... More »

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