TWE Blog

Cool Things from the Ice

Posted August 23, 2011 @ 6:46pm | by TravelWild

Things are getting interesting around the North Pole, and TravelWild’s popular destination is in the media spotlight. Here’s a round up of the latest news from the Arctic ice.

Warming

The Arctic continues to heat up—not just temperature-wise but geopolitically, as well. Last week’s NPR series on the Arctic touched on the scramble for resources by different nation states, the implications of an ice-free Arctic, and the consequences of the US’s non-participation in the UN Law of the Sea Treaty.

This quick and easy computer animation shows the startling extent of the Arctic’s diminishing ice from 1980 to 2010.

Drilling

Shell Oil has received the green light from BOEMRE (the cumbersome acronym for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) to drill in the Beaufort Sea but still faces a battle for approval from EPA, US Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service and others.

Ocean Expert Jon Bowermaster cites five reasons why this could be drastic for the Arctic ecosystem.

… and another opinion reiterates the dangers.

Biology

PolarBearGate continues to confound government watchdogs and scientists. The 96-page transcript of the interview of Dr. Charles Monnett, the suspended BOEMRE wildlife scientist, reads like a script from Law & Order while exposing the Special Agent Investigator’s unfortunate ignorance of scientific inquiry, 5th-grade math and basic polar science.

Paleontology

And for a sweet departure from the news of scientific misconduct, melting ice, and brewing cold war (since it’s good to end on a positive note), check out the exciting world of fossil hunting amid snowstorms, polar bears and the midnight sun.

When running from a polar bear yesterday, Nille stumbled over some fossils that turned out to be a very nice Ichthyosaur with a complete flipper.

and this entry:

Day 10: Snow storm

We did not get more than a few hours of sleep. In the night a storm came over us and the wind was so noisy that it was impossible to sleep. But our days are limited, so we had to stick to our schedule regardless of the weather.

The goal of the day was to end the quarries in the Konus valley so that the specimens would be plastered and prepared for the transport back to the Natural History Museum in Oslo. This is hard and dirty work, and the snowstorm didn’t make it more pleasant. With sun urgently needed, Krzysztof, Pat, and Tommy took matters into their own hands (and feet) and danced the sun dance.

Follow the two-week expedition at: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/author/jornhurum/ The fascinating pictures accompanying the blog belie the expedition’s hardships, and the joy on the archeologists’ faces is infectious.

The North Pole is definitely an interesting destination worth visiting!

 
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Filed Under: Arctic |   | Permalink
Tags: Arctic, npr, polar, polar bear, warming
 
 
 
 
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