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Collection: Vital Arctic Graphics

Vital Arctic GraphicsVital Arctic Graphics
Vital Arctic Graphics is a compilation of illustrations and case studies intended to describe the Arctic, the livelihoods of Arctic indigenous peoples and the future well-being of this region. It summarizes some of the key threats to the future sustainability of the Arctic including the rapid pace of climate change, worrying levels of persistent organic and heavy metal pollutants, and increasing natural resource exploration. The coastal regions are particularly important to the peoples of the Arctic and their current protection status is therefore given particular focus.
Available online at: http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/arctic
Major global bird migration routes to the Arctic Major global bird migration routes to the Arctic
Bird species that migrate to the Arctic coasts and wetlands arrive from nearly every corner of the planet. During the summer, the sun never or nearly never sets, resulting in a short but intensive breeding season when millions of migratory birds arrive in the Arctic to breed. The majority of these birds seek the wetlands and coastal shores of the tundra plains. No other place on Earth receives so many migratory species from nearly all corners of ...
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pathways of contaminants to the Arctic Pathways of contaminants to the Arctic
Many POPs (persistent organic pollutants), heavy metals and other contaminants from emissions further south are accumulated in Arctic food chains and ultimately in indigenous peoples. This process is often referred to as long-range pollution or long-range transport of pollutants. While fear of these compounds sometimes has resulted in abandonment of traditional foods, this has also led to more unhealthy food habits acquired from non-indigenous pe...
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Industrial development in the Arctic Industrial development in the Arctic
Industrial development in the Arctic. The Arctic has been opened up for increased exploration of petroleum, gas and mining activities. The Barents Sea, the Mackenzie Valley in Canada and the Alaskan North Slope, are the areas of chief interest at the moment. Please note that the shipping routes in Northern Canada are not open today for commercial shipping because of sea ice. The Northern Sea Route north of Russia is partly open today.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Satellite observations in Arctic sea ice, 1979 and 2003 Satellite observations in Arctic sea ice, 1979 and 2003
This oblique view of the Arctic polar ice cap in September shows the significant reduction that has happened over a time period just over 20 years, from 1979 to 2003. Future predicitions shows even more drastic reduction of the ice cap, thus opening new area for natural resources extraction and marine transports. Please also see an updated graphic at: http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/arctic-sea-ice-minimum-extent-in-september-1982-2005-and-2007
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Infant mortality in selected regions of the Arctic Infant mortality in selected regions of the Arctic
Infant mortality, a common health and human livelihoods indicator, is generally higher among indigenous peoples than the average populations, and can be used as a general indicator on the level of health. This graphic shows the infant mortality rate in selected regions of the Arctic and compares them to the national averages.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Arctic protected areas and biomes Arctic protected areas and biomes
Using the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) definition of the Arctic, the majority of the current protected area (pie cheart to the left) is in the Arctic desert biome (45%), followed by the tundra biomes (29%). When looking at the total area that is currently protected in each biome, this shows that almost a third of the desert biome is protected (right figure).
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Protected areas in the Arctic Protected areas in the Arctic
Protected areas of the Arctic as recognized by the IUCN in the World Protected Areas Database at UNEP-WCMC, 2005. Some areas, like the Dehcho territory in Canada have been placed under interim protection. Information from Russia may be incomplete. Note the lack of marine protected areas, despite their ecological significance and importance to indigenous peoples.
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Economy of the Arctic, by sector Economy of the Arctic, by sector
The largest economies in the Arctic belong to Alaska (US) and Russia, mainly because of mining and petroleum activity. Regions that are still heavily dominated by more traditional subsistence activities, such as hunting and fishing, in Greenland and in Northern Canada, have much lower gross products. Similarly, reindeer herding in Russia and Scandinavia is of substantial importance to the livelihoods and lifestyles of reindeer herders like the Sa...
17 May 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Definitions of the Arctic Definitions of the Arctic
Several definitions of the Arctic as a region exist and are all used extensively. Definitions of the geographic boundaries of the Arctic vary, including such definitions as the area with a July isotherm below 10º C, vegetation distribution (tundra) or political boundaries, such as the definition by CAFF (CAFF, 2001). Nowhere else on Earth do we find such vast areas of relatively undisturbed marine and coastal ecosystems.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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