June 2011 - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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BLOG: Archive for June, 2011

Who ‘Owns’ The North Pole?

June 24th, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

This National Geographic opinion piece by Enric Sala raises an interesting question. Can any one country lay claim to an area once remote, ecologically fragile, and of great significance to the entire globe? As he states, the Copenhagen Post reports that the country of Denmark has stated an intention to lay claim to the area, a move likely to be challenged by Russian, Canada, Greenland, and the United States as geographic neighbors all interested in the oil and other natural resources of the Arctic Area. From National Geographic -
The North Pole and surrounding waters are international waters that do not belong to any country. Coastal countries have the rights to the marine resources up to 200 nautical miles offshore, according to the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea – that’s their exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Beyond the EEZs, the sea belongs to no nation. However, the Law of the Sea allows some nations to extend their claims if their continental shelf extends into international waters beyond their EEZ. Under this clause, Russia has claimed the resources on the seabed and the sea around the Lomonosov ridge, an underwater mountain ridge crossing the Arctic.
The rights of any one country to claim the Northern Pole area is sure to be an ongoing global debate. With climate change opening up previously inaccessible shipping lanes, and governments such as the United States House of Representatives passing bills to allow for increased oil drilling, this conversation will be ongoing and tumultuous.

Field Update, Narwhal and Beluga

June 20th, 2011 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Arctic Animals, Photographers

Our team is currently at the floe edge in Arctic Bay through the rest of this month, and have been posting incredible images of the Beluga and Narwhal they're observing!  Follow us on Facebook for even more photos and updates direct from the source. Travelling over the sea ice from the floe edge to the AK base camp 10km back from the edge Previously - Thomas Lennartz writes on the allure of the Arctic and why he keeps going back.

Arctic Bay Panoramic

June 13th, 2011 | By | Filed in Recent Trips, TRIPS

Arctic Kingdom expedition leader Thomas Lennartz is in the field and posting photos on our facebook page, check there for more exclusive photo content and periodic updates. Thomas has this to say about this incredible panoramic photograph -
Sitting at 73°02′11″N 085°09′09″W..(literally at the top of Baffin Island) we are here in Arctic Bay to set out to see the Narwhal and Beluga at the Admiralty Inlet floe edge. The Inuktitut name for Arctic Bay is Ikpiarjuk which means "the pocket". This name describes the high hills that surround the almost landlocked bay. To the southeast, the flat-topped King George V Mountain dominates the landscape of the hamlet.

Explore Your World, Online

June 6th, 2011 | By | Filed in IN THE NEWS, INUIT, Inuit Culture/Art

A number of tube sites have emerged online to share curated, intelligent content while utilizing the newest technology in film and online streaming to educate and spread awareness of cultural diversity. One of these - Isuma TV - we've mentioned here before, with their mission to bring community-generated video into classrooms and communities otherwise lacking in high-bandwidth internet connections. Another such site is Explore. Their mission statement -
explore is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others."
The Explore site is huge in range of topics, and rich in arctic-interest content. Covering traditional Inuit knowledge, climate change, and the art of throat singing, along with some brilliant photo essays of the region and culture, there's certainly something for everyone on this site.

Reuters Photographer Encounters Arctic Ice

June 3rd, 2011 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY

Via The Atlantic, photographer Lucas Jackson shares a stunning set of images he shot on location with the 2011 Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station.
Far north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the camp housed a couple dozen members of the British, Canadian, and U.S. navies and employees of the Applied Physics Laboratory. Jackson spent two days at the camp, watching its residents conduct tests on underwater and under-ice communications and sonar technologies.
Mr. Jackson blogs about his experience as well -
We were approached by Navy and research center to come up and do a story about this camp and the work they do with U.S. Navy submarines. When I was asked if this was something I would be interested in, I of course said yes. Who wouldn’t like to go to the Arctic, sleep in a plywood hutch, and go underneath the ice in a nuclear submarine? Thus began the mad rush to prepare for a trip into some of the most extreme conditions I have ever worked in. It was a rush to organize all of the base layers, fleece layers, wool socks, jackets, insulated pants, and other assorted necessaries before sitting down to pack the equipment I would need. Camera-wise I wanted to be prepared for anything; from wide angle images of the ice-pack to photographing a polar bear from a comfortable distance (in the off-chance that I actually saw one, they are rare to see this time of year.) I sat down and assembled the kit into my backpack, including three cameras, five lenses and assorted batteries, memory cards and chargers.
Ever wondered what a surfacing nuclear submarine looks like as it emerges from the arctic ice? Check out this video, including some of Lucas Jackson's interior shots of the sub. Fascinating stuff!
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