Polar News

News from a variety of sources dealing with polar related topics. Many thanks to APECS members for contributing to this shared resources! You can add these articles as a RSS feed in your favorite reader.

The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) is an official network of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) that aims at investigating past, present and future changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem and their linkages with atmospheric, terrestrial and human components of the Arctic System (http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART). ART was founded and remains steered by Early Career Scientists, with the support of an advisory board composed of leading Arctic scientists from different disciplines.

The ART Network seeks two new Executive Committee (EC) members in order to strengthen its inter-disciplinarity, develop the science objectives of ART, and implement new network activities. New ART EC members are expected to be late PhD students or post-docs motivated by the scientific framework of ART who seek stimulating experience in network management and scientific leadership.

To apply, complete the application form available here: http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART

Deadline: 22 May 2013

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr. Carolyn Wegner (ART Chair)
GEOMAR, Germany

Dr. Alexandre Forest (ART Junior Chair)
Takuvik Joint Laboratory
Laval University, Canada

A record low in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic last September has been followed by a record refreezing of uncovered ocean surface, resulting in a winter maximum on 15 March that is still the sixth-lowest recorded since satellite measurements began in 1979. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said that the data indicate “a more pronounced seasonal cycle” and “the increasing dominance of first-year ice in the Arctic”. 


Washington Post

A new arctic research facility opened in Winnipeg Monday — the same day a major late-season blizzard hit southern Manitoba.

The Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility opened at the University of Manitoba, and adds 60,000 sq. ft. of space for researchers to work.

David Barber is the research chair in arctic system science at the U of M and said the facility is one-of-a-kind in Canada.

“We have our own sea ice tank on the University of Manitoba campus where we can grow our own sea ice under controlled conditions,” said Barber.

“We can test out different kinds of hypotheses about characteristics of the ice.”

Read more

The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways.

Read more

Fat-filled humps may have been an adaptation for surviving in the chilly polar forest, according to the lead author of the new findings.

“This completely changes how we think about the evolution of Paracamelus, which is the form that gave rise to the modern camel,” says Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and a professor at Carleton University.

Read More

Compared with regular media, social media is a two-way communication that lets you add comments while giving you that information. As a new way of distributing information, it has more than one billion users and plays a key role in the dissemination of polar information.

Polar practitioner, whose work is related to Arctic/Antarctic (including researchers and logistical support staff), holds the authoritative information about Arctic/Antarctic. Their participations and information behaviors are basic to the popularization process of polar science. Our research focuses on the information behavior of polar practitioner in social media. Based on this survey of habit, behavior motivation and social influence, we expect to understand the factors that influence the information behavior of polar practitioner.

Now this survey is open online. We’d appreciate approximately 15-25 minutes of your time to complete this survey. Here is the link to this online survey: http://www.sojump.com/jq/2156235.aspx

Your participation is necessary to complete this research. It is confidential and your identity will remain anonymous. The data analysis will be done on the aggregated responses.

As a token of our appreciation for taking time to participate in this survey, participants who complete the survey will receive a chance to be entered into a lottery for one of ten $20 Amazon gift cards.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this survey or if you are interested in receiving summary of the results, please contact Lin Li at +86-13770960890 or lilyli618@gmail.com 

nrf_logoNorthern Research Forum in cooperation with the ESPON-ENECON project: CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTHERN TERRITORIESSharing Experiences, Exploring New Methods and Assessing Socio-Economic Impacts

Conference in Akureyri, Iceland, 22 – 23 August 2013 - Kindly submit your abstracts to nrf@unak.is(pdf of call)

The central theme of the conference will be divided into three sub-themes:

  • Territorial socio – economic impacts of climate change
  • Methodologies for assessing socio-economic impact
  • Adaptation to climate change in regions and local communities – examining methods and sharing knowledge

Information on young researcher participation & Young researcher application form

Important dates!
24th January 2012: 2nd call for abstracts
28th February 2013: Deadline for abstracts
15th of March 2013: Deadline for young reasearcher´s abstracts
5th April 2013: Registration opens
1st May 2013: Final program
10th July 2013: Deadline for final registration

arctic_summit_economist2013The resource-rich Arctic is changing faster than anywhere on Earth, and its biggest transformation is just ahead. Due to climate change, the polar ice cap is shrinking and floating summer ice is projected to disappear altogether, setting alarm bells ringing for environmentalists, but opening up new perspectives for trade and development.
At The Economist’s Arctic Summit we will be discussing big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance.
The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers’ meeting in 2013.
A high-level group of 150 policy-makersCEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.  

More information at Arctic Summit Web-page


The Polar Journal is a peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary social sciences and humanities scholarly journal which will help to create a community among the considerable number of specialists and policy makers working on these crucial regions. The journal welcomes papers on polar affairs from all fields of the social sciences and the humanities.

The main purpose of the journal is to develop a forum for the scholarly discussion of polar issues from a social science and humanities perspective and to help build a community of scholars working on polar issues. The journal is especially interested in publishing policy-relevant research. In order to better develop the field of polar social sciences and humanities and build connections between scholars, each issue of the journal will either feature articles from different disciplines on polar affairs or feature a topical theme from a range of scholarly approaches.

The 'special issue' section of the journal will take up around fifty percent of the journal, with the remaining space available for papers on other topics submitted independently of the special issue theme. This will allow for timely publication of research which reflects current concerns, and will also ensure that each issue of the journal is both specialised and aimed at the wider body of polar scholars and those interested in polar affairs.

Instructions for authors here: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rpol20&page=instructions

The Polar Journal publishes two issues a year, in June and December respectively.

The Polar Journal publishes book reviews on the latest publications in polar studies. Publishers or would-be reviewers should contact our Book Reviews Editor, Julia Jabour, julia.jabour@utas.edu.au . We also publish reports on polar scholarly conferences and polar governance meetings such as the IWC and the ATCM. The contact for this section of the journal is daniela.liggett@canterbury.ac.nz . We welcome contributions to this section. Paper submissions to ThePolarJournal@canterbury.ac.nz

Several Northern projects have each won part of the first Arctic Inspiration Prize, worth a total of $1 million.

The awards were handed out Thursday night at the annual ArcticNet meeting in Vancouver. ArcticNet is a network of researchers focusing on the impacts of climate change and modernization in the Canadian Arctic. The prize is intended to support projects that use Arctic knowledge and research to benefit the Canadian Arctic and its people.

Read More

Conditions in the Arctic are slipping rapidly from bad to worse as the pace of climate change accelerates in that region. That’s the message from an annual environmental assessment of the far North, released on Wednesday.

Read the Nature article.

No Roads Expeditions is organizing a sailing adventure on a 20 m yacht "The Blizzard" from Hobart to Cape Denison via Macquarie island in February 2014. The team of expedition is happy to help researchers and young scientists to get samples from the points of their route. For further information please contact Peter Miller at <peter@noroads.com.au> or visit the website http://www.noroads.com.au.

Conducting research in the Arctic has never been easy, but Canadian scientists continue to work in the North with support from the South — accruing benefits for all

By and
Click to enlarge
At PEARL’s Ridge Lab in Eureka, Nunavut, scientists study stratospheric ozone. (Photo: Paul Loewen/CANDAC)

November is typically the snowiest and windiest month in Churchill, Man., but that doesn’t mean life slows down in the small town on the western shore of Hudson Bay. The sun still shines for about seven hours each day in November, and the polar bear population near the community is at its annual peak. And every day in Churchill and at research stations scattered across Canada’s northern territories, scientists bundle up in GORE-TEX and goose down and trudge across permafrost, snow and ice to study the region. Using many fields of inquiry and deepening their knowledge by exchanging information with aboriginal peoples, scientists analyze the impacts of a changing climate in the Arctic. And they couldn’t do this work without the support network that keeps the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) and other research stations running.

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Nestled in a steep fjord beneath three kilometres of Antarctic ice, the lost world of Lake Ellsworth has haunted Martin Siegert’s dreams ever since he got involved in subglacial research a dozen years ago. Finally, the time has come for him to explore its mysterious waters.

Next week, Siegert, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol, UK, packs his bags for the long journey to the opposite end of the world. Once he has reached the Rothera Research Station of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on an island off the Antarctic Peninsula, he and his science crew will fly about 1,000 kilometres into western Antarctica. On 5 December, the real work begins: drilling straight down through the ice to the pristine lake beneath. In its shadowy waters they hope to find forms of life that have not seen the light of day in millions of years (see ‘Trapped under ice’). And in the lake bed sediments, the team will search for records of the poorly understood history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, potentially revealing how the mighty glacier has waxed and waned over time.

Read More

The amount of plastic bags and other litter on parts of the Arctic Ocean floor has doubled since 2002, according to images gathered off the coast of Greenland.

“There’s a lot going around and there will be more because we produce more plastic — 230 million tonnes of plastic produced every year, that’s the current estimate. Ten per cent of this goes into the sea,” researcher Melanie Bergmann told the Toronto Star.

Read More


An essay written by the Circumpolar Young Leaders group (International Institute for Sustainable Development) was recently published in Arctic describing conference presentations and participation in addition to commonalities found between all members regarding issues facing northern youth.  This essay is unique in depicting youth involvement in northern issues and being written by youth!  

Contact the Author

Download the Essay

by Daniel Cressey, on Nature

Plans to protect swathes of ocean face tough test.

Rich in fish, minerals and scientific potential, the seas around Antarctica are among the planet’s most pristine waters — but fishing vessels are already moving in. Next week, negotiators at a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, pronounced ‘cam-lar’) may try to contain the accelerating rush to access the region’s natural resources. At stake is one of the planet’s last great wildernesses — as well as the credibility of the international body set up to protect Antarctica’s marine life.

Read the full story here: 


The new environmental journal, Tvergastein, is seeking contributions. Tvergastein is student-run, and based at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences at Ås. Tvergastein accepts contributions from all academic fields, in Norwegian and English.

The theme of our next issue is the «opening of the Arctic». We are soliciting articles, and original artwork and photography. Articles should be between 5000 and 20 000 characters in length, spaces included. Ideas include, but are not limited to: historical perspectives, global warming, international policy, invasive species, toxicology, discovery. Academic texts, op-ed pieces, and interviews are welcome. Both students and non-students may contribute.

Deadline October 15th

Email: tvergastein@sum.uio.no

More info & 1st issue: www.tvergastein.com

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