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

 

Shell's Arctic Failure Is Obama's Chance to Act

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | February 28, 2013

An unexpected thing happened last night: One of the biggest oil companies in the world -- Shell -- made a big decision acknowledging that the oil industry cannot operate safely in the Arctic. A decision that means one year of relief...

My love for the planet and why we must protect the Arctic

Feature story | February 28, 2013 at 7:00

*Les Stroud, a Canadian musician and the creator and star of Survivorman and Beyond Survival TV series with Les Stroud, is an engaged citizen who is committed to saving our planet. Using music and words , Stroud shares the origins of his...

Obama's climate legacy will start when Shell’s Arctic drilling stops

Blog entry by Ben Ayliffe | February 26, 2013

Since Shell's Kulluk rig ran aground off Alaska, the US Department of Interior and the US Coast Guard have both launched independent investigations to find out what went wrong with the company's drilling operations in the far north. ...

8 reasons why Shell can't be trusted in the Arctic

Blog entry by franziska_g | January 8, 2013

Shell's most recent 'mishap' a few days ago was not the first setback the oil giant has suffered in its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. In fact, it's the eighth in a growing list of reasons why Shell should not be trusted in...

Shell's Arctic drilling plans go from bad to worse

Blog entry by Ben Ayliffe | January 2, 2013 1 comment

In another example of why drilling for oil in the Arctic is such a monumentally bad idea, Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk , has run aground off the island of Sitkalidak, near Kodiak in Alaska. The ancient rig was being towed...

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