Arctic

© Greenpeace / Christian Åslund

The Arctic is a treasure of life and beauty, home to millions of people and amazing wildlife.

Approximately 30 different peoples with unique cultures and traditions call the Arctic and subarctic regions “home”. The Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, many of them Inuit, inhabit the most northern regions of North America, Eurasia and Greenland. Modern times have brought great change to life in the Arctic, but many people still live in very close connection with the land and depend on their natural environment and the Arctic wildlife.

Walruses, narwhals, Arctic foxes, beluga whales and polar bears are among the most iconic animals to be found in the Arctic, and they provide examples of the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Arctic wildlife. Life in the Arctic forms a complex and delicate ecosystem.

Canada’s Arctic sector covers 1,425,000 square kilometers and is home to many Inuit, First Nations, Dene, Métis and non-Indigenous communities. After Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is the world’s largest high-Arctic land area.

What happens in the Arctic also affects the lives of people far away. Arctic ice and snow help regulate our climate by reflecting incoming sunlight back into space, acting like a refrigerator for the planet. Arctic permafrost stores massive amounts of carbon, and as it thaws this carbon gets released and threatens to push global warming completely out of control. Melting Arctic ice on land raises global sea levels and could drown coastal communities and small island nations. The Arctic also influences weather patterns for the northern hemisphere.

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are rapidly altering the face of the Arctic, bringing new risks and big challenges for the environment and wildlife, as well as for people in the Arctic and all around the world.

Greenpeace has mobilized over seven million people to take a stand and help ensure the protection desperately needed at the top of the world. To add your voice sign the petition at SavetheArctic.org

The latest updates

 

Amplifying Northern Voices: Greenpeace and Yellowknife residents confront the Arctic...

Blog entry by Kiera Kolson and Farrah Khan | April 4, 2014

Last week, while Arctic Council officials met behind closed doors in Yellowknife, Greenpeace Canada staff met with community members to listen and take action on local concerns for the future of their home. Below are some reflections...

Is there a future for Greenland without Arctic oil?

Blog entry by Jon Burgwald | March 17, 2014

For the past four years I've been visiting the beautiful country of Greenland, trying to prevent dangerous oil drilling that would cause havoc to the unique and fragile wildlife and nature here. But ever since I started working in...

The European Parliament backs our vision for an Arctic sanctuary

Blog entry by Neil Hamilton | March 12, 2014

Tonight I’ll sleep well, knowing that there is finally something happening within the international community about protecting the Arctic. It’s not going to change things overnight, but it’s very positive, and something that our...

Shell's Arctic albatross

Blog entry by James Turner | January 30, 2014

'God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus! Why look'st thou so?' 'With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross.' Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798 A little over ten...

You can’t sink a rainbow, you can’t seize a sunrise

Blog entry by Alex Harris | January 22, 2014

All rights reserved . Credit: © John Cobb / Greenpeace. Alex Harris at the Greenpeace office in London I trembled as I walked through the grounds of Murmansk prison on the 26th September. Inmates watched...

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