TAG: Arctic

Ice Castles: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Ice Castles: An Extraordinary Exhibit

These incredible ice formations are breathtaking. Natural wonders, like masses of arctic ice, are amazing. These iced wonders however, are not naturally formed – they are made from hand. Brent Christensen, an artist and sculptor, had the idea to create the formations when his family relocated and winter temperatures led to adventures in the backyard, complete with an ice skating rink, cave and castle that his children termed the “Ice Castle”. Initially he began creating the ice designs to entertain his family during the winter season. The idea evolved, and now teams of sculptors work on the structures for several… read more

Window On The Arctic

Window to Arctic

A new observatory at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean will help keeps tabs on the delicate environment of the far north. Canada’s University of Victoria, which runs the station has stated that the observatory will relay information continuously throughout the year for the first time ever. The observatory includes an underwater camera, microphone, and a device that can measure ice thickness, coupled with instruments to measure temperature, salinity, and other data that can be used to monitor the health of the environment. There is also an above-ground weather station to track local weather patterns and climate data. University of… read more

Seals Make The List

Seals Make The List

Two types of Arctic seals have now joined polar bears on the list of species threatened by the loss of sea ice. Scientists reported that the sea ice reached record low levels this year due to climate warming. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and Bearded seals in the Arctic Ocean will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing of the seals came after federal scientists did an extensive review of scientific and commercial data. It has no effect on subsistence hunting by Alaska Natives. The loss of sea ice is mostly from greenhouse… read more

Is Global Cooling the Next Environmental Trend?

ice-globe

As with all arguments of a scientific nature, it depends on who you listen to. Only in this case, both sides can be found as having emerged, more or less, from the same source. New research suggests that, without Geo-engineering on a massive scale, global warming will be irreversible. In spite of our efforts, it is not enough for us to switch to carbon neutral practices, we’ll have to remove massive quantities of carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere if we wish to tackle climate change. Initiatives for doing so include soot reduction, iron fertilization of the oceans, and carbon… read more

Astounding Water Imagery Captured On Paper

Astounding Water Imagery Captured On Paper

Artwork often captivates us because it takes us to places we cannot see or imagine ourselves. It can inspire, provoke strong emotions and can resonate throughout our thoughts, just by seeing an image that we connect with in some way. Zaria Forman is an artist that produces visually captivating pieces, and once knowing the story behind her works they become even more riveting. Her water imagery is lovingly and ardently fueled by her mother’s memory and impressive career, which also generated beautiful works revolving around remote regions and aquatic landscapes. Working with pastels, each meticulous detail is placed on paper. Her… read more

The Arctic Region Breaking Records

Arctic Report Card

According to the Arctic Report Card  of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the Arctic region continued to break records in 2012. None of those records bode well for the future of the region. Loss of summer sea ice, loss of spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet were all recorded. This was true even though air temperatures in the Arctic were unremarkable relative to the last decade, according to a new report released on December 5th. A record-breaking 141 authors from 15 countries contributed to the peer-reviewed report. Major findings of this year’s report include:… read more

The Great Arctic Cyclone

NASA

The Great Arctic Cyclone roared out of Siberia last August alerting storm watchers something unusual was taking place. While similar storms are quite common in the Arctic the most powerful of them tend to come in the winter. A study published by Geophysical Research Letters, looking at no fewer than 19,625 Arctic storms, concluded that the Great Cyclone was the most extreme summer storm. It was the 13th most powerful storm since modern satellite observations began in 1979. On August 2nd, 2012 a dramatic storm formed over Siberia, moved into the Arctic, and died in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on… read more

Cola Cares For Bears

Copyrights of Coca Cola

One of the many gorgeous images that adorn our TV screens at Christmas time are the polar bears from Coca Cola’s Arctic Home commercials. Many people will think this is just a branding exercise to encourage consumers to buy their soda, however the relationship goes much deeper. The Coca-Cola Company’s love for the polar bear goes back decades. Polar bears were first introduced in the company’s print advertising in 1922 and today they remain one of its most lovable icons. Since 2007, Coca-Cola has supported World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Arctic research and conservation efforts. As part of this initiative, Coca-Cola has created Arctic… read more

Shell Oil Keeps Digging

An oil rig

At a certain point, any decision which backfires stops being excusable. Stops being inexcusable and eventually becomes embarrassing. Shell Oil has managed to transcend even the embarrassing stage and is now existing in a pure lunacy stage where embarrassing cannot reach it. Further, embarrassment requires that one knows better from worse, right from wrong, and ultimately, it is difficult to discern if the executives of Shell Oil do know basic tenants of morality. On the last day of 2012, December 31st, the Shell oil rig “Kulluk” ran aground off the coast of Alaska off of Kodiak Island, prompting a 500-plus… read more

Next Oil Victim: Alaska

Oil drilling

In what comes as a surprise to no one with any semblance of common sense or critical thinking skills, Shell’s Arctic drilling rig ran aground off of the Alaskan coast, just as experts predicted, on the evening of December 31st—a fitting way to end 2012, and begin 2013. Fortunately, the Coast Guard did not report any visible sheen on the water, signaling that no oil has leaked into the ocean. The Alaskan coast dodged an ecological and environmental disaster, and Shell dodged losing about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid. No harm,… read more