Academic conferences such as this one are filled with experts. Experts in anthropology, law, sociology, education and several more disciplines. How do we know they’re expert? Because the vast majority have letters after their name that tell us so – there are more doctors here than in your average hospital (though I wouldn’t want these doctors performing surgery on me). But when it comes to telling the world about the Arctic, are these the right sort of experts?Read more
Climate change would be called undeniable, if it wasn’t for the fact that so many people do deny it. In southern Alaska, large percentages of republican voters deny that it’s happening, according to a large phone survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire. The survey was presented here at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences in Akureyri Iceland.Read more
One of the struggles at the heart of discussion of the Arctic is over who has the right be there, and to use arctic resources. Most of the governments that ring the Arctic Ocean are busily working on claims that will extend their rights to the sea bed. The question is, who else has the right to be there once all the claims are adjudicated? The UN convention on the law of the sea doesn’t settle the questions of shipping, or even all the questions about fishing.Read more
Some people say WWF spends too much time talking about charismatic megafauna (a fancy way of saying interesting big animals). There is a reason we do that; if that’s what interests people then that’s how we start the conversation about conservation. In the Arctic, you’ll see us talking about walrus, about whales, and of course about polar bears. But I’m in Akureyri, Iceland right now to talk about another species of charismatic arctic megafauna – people.Read more
This is the last day Natalia and I will be flying with the team before we head back to Anchorage, so we are happy to see blue skies in the morning. After breakfast, we prep for the day and pack up the helicopters.
We see track after track all morning, but all of them appear to be old. We flew northwest today, in search of larger male bears. They have definitely been spending a lot of time here, but we have yet to sight a bear.Read more
In early April, WWF’s Bering and Arctic Sea program officer, Elisabeth Kruger, traveled to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service field office in the Arctic to assist with interpretation for our Moscow colleague, Natalia Illarionova.
In these blog posts, Elisabeth describes her experiences on the Arctic slope and the work that the FWS does to help us understand the Chukchi Sea polar bear population.Read more
It’s exciting to be here in the Catlin Ice Base at the seasonal change from winter to spring. Warmer temperatures make living on the sea ice much more pleasant, and the plankton world is feeling the coming of spring too, writes Dr Victoria Hill.Read more
If you want to understand how ocean acidification might impact some marine creatures you need to do two things. First go to the seaside and find a seashell. Then go to a shop and buy a fizzy drink, any brand will do. Put the seashell in the fizzy drink and leave it for a few days. You will see that it is starts to dissolve away.Read more
Finally – a banner morning: clear, nearly calm, and should reach +5F by this afternoon. The team was joined by a second small helicopter late last night that will act as a spotter and may also haul extra fuel later in the season when the sea ice become too broken for the fixed wing to land. We meet at 8 AM for our briefing and plan to launch around half past ten. We will also have our fixed wing spotter/fuel plane today, so pilot coordination will be important.Read more