This Churchill Arctic Photo of the Week comes from the ice around Rankin Inlet where the little things are what make up a way of life in the north. This shot of Ava Ningeocheak ice fishing brings a sense of calm and longing for the old days when things moved a little more slowly in the south. Enjoy!
For decades the the extruded tusk, actually tooth, of the male narwhal has been thought to be for mating purposes. Now, Canadian researchers have filmed incredible video footage in the high Arctic showing the real purpose of their tusks; feeding. This short documentary highlights four researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada describing how they were able to capture the never before recorded evidence of this narwhal behavior. Fascinating!
Norway will make critical improvements to the Global Seed Vault located on Svalbard Island in the Arctic. Melting permafrost in an unusual Arctic summer caused water to enter the front section of the vault. No stored seeds were damaged though safeguards will be taken to prevent future incidents of risk.
The storage facility lies predominantly inside a mountain with consistent cool temperatures ideal for preserving seeds from around the world.
Ironically the protected storage facility stores seeds in case a country sustains a disaster of some sort that necessitates replanting of key vegetation and plants. Nobody anticipated that the facility would have its own near – disaster. Water from melting permafrost seeped into the entry tunnel though never made it further into the storage area.
Plans to waterproof the walls as well as install drainage ditches outside the vault entrance are underway to ensure the precious seeds are safe. Scientists describe the vault as the most important room in the world.
When the vault was constructed, the idea of permafrost melting this far north was unheard of. In a short period of time we have seen climate changes of an extreme measure. Last October temperatures rose from a normal of -10C to around 0 C…causing meltwater to appear.
Statsbygg, the agency that administers the vault, are committed to conduct research to monitor the permafrost on Svalbard and the surrounding Arctic.
The vault stores seeds from nearly 5,000 crop species from all over the planet. The dried and frozen specimens can be preserved for hundreds of years in the vault. Most countries on Earth have their own emergency supply of seeds though they also store back-ups at the Global Seed Vault.
Gotta love this phenomenal shot of a humpback whale tail fluke ad the iconic iceberg in the distance. Otherworldly! Greenland is very much like another planet and very worthy of preserving for the future . Join World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in their crusade to preserve the natural world for generations to come!
Keep your eyes on the northern skies tonight and Friday night, as some fiery Northern Lights will be poised to for a heightened display as a result of solar flare activity sending particles into our atmosphere. For those that are not far enough north, here’s the photo of the week with aurora borealis high in the sky above the southern Northwest Territories.