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

 

Canada’s pro-oil agenda threatens to destroy the Arctic: Greenpeace

Feature story | May 14, 2013 at 13:01

As Canada officially took the chair of the Arctic Council today, Greenpeace sent a direct message to delegates at the ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, and launched an international mobilization online calling on Canada to put people and the...

Indigenous Peoples put Arctic Council on alert as Canada becomes new chair

Feature story | May 13, 2013 at 1:00

On the eve of the Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, where Canada will take the chair of the Council, a pan-Arctic Indigenous conference has generated 15 new signatories to a joint statement in opposition to Arctic drilling, which now...

New Hope for the Arctic?

Blog entry by John Hocevar | April 26, 2013

Often as an environmental campaigner, I find myself thinking the planet would be in much better shape if more thought was given, and caution taken, before industries are given free rein to exploit its precious natural resources. Not to...

My journey to the North Pole

Blog entry by Kiera Kolson | April 25, 2013

My knees are trembling. My arms are aching. My mind is racing and I’m exhausted. Right now, I would so welcome the warm embrace of a steaming bath. But, on my skis, dragging a sled about 100km from the North Pole, I am very far...

10,000 declare their Arctic love for Earth Day

Blog entry by Natalie Caine, Volunteer Program Coordinator | April 24, 2013

In the last few days more than 10,000 people came together across the globe to take a stand for the Arctic and to mark Earth Day 2013.  As climate change dramatically melts Arctic sea ice and sea levels rise, we’re reminded that the ...

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