Artist Terje Sorgjerd shares another video, capturing the stunning beauty of the high north. This film was shot between April 29 and May 10th, 2011 on the Lofoten archipelago in Norway.
He comments on the logistics of this work -
Beginning in 2002, the Polar Ring expedition project has worked towards their goal of exploration and research while testing cross-country vehicles to be used in the arctic area. Their site details the three completed legs of this journey, the most recent concluded in some frustration due to poor weather conditions - but the project is hardly a failure.
Their blog is well worth a read, they discuss daily life in the field, logistical planning, and problems they face and overcome. If you've ever wondered what participating in a polar expedition would be like, this is one way to get a glimpse.
The following video (with a very catchy soundtrack) was shot during stage three of the expedition, and shows some of the unique vehicles they're using.
We've talked here before about scientists working closely with indigenous people to gain a fuller understanding of how weather patterns are changing. Who better to notice even the smallest shift in weather events than people who've inhabited a place for many generations; carefully preserving such knowledge? Unfortunately, climate change is occurring, and it's those same people who are at the forefront to be affected.
This story from The Globe and Mail highlights how the combination of local knowledge and scientific research can help solidify a theory. In September of 1999, Inuvialuit people living in the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories were astounded by an extremely violent Arctic Ocean storm which headed inland 20 kilometers, destroying crops and mingling salt water with fresh. The elders claimed that no such event had ever occurred before in their people's history.
Here’s how the Maud looked in the early 1900s when Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen wanted to the drift with the Maud through the Northeast Passage. (COURTESY/ FRAM MUSEUM via Nunatsiaq Online))
Cambridge Bay's mayor, Syd Glawson, is opposed to a plan backed by wealthy Norwegian investors to raise the 80 year-old wreck of the 'Maud'. This local tourist attraction is the ship of explorer Roald Amundsen, the first European explorer to make it through the Northwest Passage in 1906 and to the South Pole in 1911.
Nunatsiaq online reports -
Significant trends toward earlier phytoplankton blooms (blue) were detected in about 11 percent of the area of the Arctic Ocean closest to the North Pole, delayed blooms (red) were evident to the south. Graphic via. Scripps Website
Researchers at Scripps Oceanography are publishing their discovery that arctic plankton 'blooms' are occurring much earlier in the spring, theoretically due to climate change. This shift could cause shifts in the food-chain as well as in carbon cycles of the region. These plankton blooms create micro-organisms, which in turn photosynthesize, converting carbon dioxide to organic matter as part of a global cycle. The blooms also create microscopic zooplankton, a supply of food for fish.
It works, don't you think?
The animal in this particular film is a Grimpoteuthis bathynectes, or 'Dumbo octopus'. According to the information posted with the video, its ears are being used as fins to help it move through the water.
On April 18, IceBridge flew its 22nd flight of the Arctic 2011 campaign. Crew navigated the rugged topography of southeast Greenland to survey the region’s fjords. Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger
Between science waypoints during Operation IceBridge’s flight on April 29, 2011, the P-3 flew over the wreck of a B-29 named Kee Bird that crash-landed in Greenland in 1947. Operation IceBridge, now in its third year, makes annual campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic where science flights monitor glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice. Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger
During the B200’s deployment for the Arctic 2011 campaign of Operation IceBridge, scientists onboard the aircraft photographed the P-3 – the mission’s other flying laboratory – taxiing toward the runway in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The P-3 is rounding the left corner of the ramp. Credit: NASA/LVIS team
polar/Brown Bear adult hybrid. Rothschild Museum, Tring, England. Photography by Sarah Hartwell, distributed under GNU Free Documentation License.
Also known as a "grolar bear", the Pizzly is a rare hybrid of polar and grizzly bears, occasionally found in the wild as well as in captivity.
Slate.com reports that recently scientists were able to confirm a strange bear shot by an Inuvialuit hunter was indeed, a pizzly. This raises a question as to why these two different species are able to create fertile offspring. Unlike, for example, a horse and a donkey.
The answer to why we don't see this kind of interbreeding more frequently lies primarily in geographical separation, along with differences in timing when it comes to mating season. Scientists suspect we may see more cross-breeding, including among marine mammals, as climate change forces groups of animals to re-locate into territories already inhabited by similar species.