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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7587 times)
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« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2009, 07:45:25 am »

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    Russian-American research team examines origins of whaling culture
on: April 07, 2008, 12:59:48 am Quote 

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                         Russian-American research team examines origins of whaling culture






Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: 907-474-6941
04/02/08

Photos by Sarah Meitl
Un'en'en archaeological site on the Chutkotka Peninsula.
Download photo
Detail on the ivory carving excavated during the summer 2007 field season.
Download photo



Recent findings by a Russian-American research team suggest that prehistoric cultures were hunting whales at least 3,000 years ago, 1,000 years earlier than was previously known.

University of Alaska Museum of the North archaeology curator Daniel Odess presented the team's findings at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia last week.

"The importance of whaling in arctic prehistory is clear. Prehistoric settlements were situated and defended so that people could hunt whales," says Odess. "Yet, as important as whaling is, we know very little about how, where and when it began."

The research focuses on the Un'en'en site near the modern whaling village of Nunligran on the Chukotka Peninsula. Researchers believe the site, discovered in 2005, was representative of the Old Whaling culture. The only other previously known Old Whaling culture site is on Cape Krusenstern, north of Kotzebue in northwestern Alaska.

Odess spent three weeks at the site last summer along with colleagues from Richard Stockton College (New Jersey), the University of Alaska Southeast, the Kunstkamera Museum in St. Petersburg and the Institute for Heritage in Moscow. The team also included several Chukotka residents; UAF graduate student Sarah Meitl and Tim Williams, a Fairbanks high school student and volunteer in Odess' research lab.

"Before we arrived in Russia, I asked Tim what we might find that would tell us for certain whether people were whaling," says Odess. "As though it were the most obvious thing in the world, he said we should look for a picture."

They found that picture on one of the last days of the excavation: an ivory carving, approximately 50 cm long, with detailed carvings of animals and humans, including scenes of men in umiaks harpooning whales. The carving was found within or beneath the wooden roof of the structure the team excavated. Radiocarbon dating of wood samples in direct contact with the ivory carving confirm its age as 3,000 years old.

"The images on the carving combined with all the other evidence - a site ideally situated for hunting whales and walruses, the remains of those animals in the site, and the appropriate tools for hunting and butchering - all suggest that 3,000 years ago, people on the southern coast of the Chukotka Peninsula were hunting whales and walruses in much the same way that Eskimos were at the time of contact," says Odess. "It's about as close to a smoking gun as you get in archaeology."

The 2007 field work was the first joint Russian-American archeological project in Chukotka and was supported by funding from the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation. Researchers continue to examine the artifacts, which are housed at the Institute for Heritage in Moscow.







CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.

Note to editors: Daniel Odess is on a leave of absence from the museum and can be reached at 202-354-2128 or via email at daniel.odess@gmail.com.
 
Photo/Video Policy     

Contact newsroom@uaf.edu for more information.

http://www.uaf.edu/news/news/20080402153648.html
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« Reply #61 on: March 15, 2009, 07:48:50 am »

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    3,000-year-old ivory carving depicts whaling scene
on: April 02, 2008, 03:07:24 am Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                  3,000-year-old ivory carving depicts whaling scene






From ANI
London, April 1:

Archaeologists working in the Russian Arctic have unearthed a remarkably detailed 3,000-year-old
ivory carving that depicts groups of hunters engaged in whaling, which pushes back direct evidence
for whaling by about 1,000 years. 
 
 
According to a report in Nature News, the ancient picture implies that northern hunters may have been killing whales 3,000 years ago and commemorating their bravery with pictures carved in ivory.

Among the picture which depicts hunters sticking harpoons into whales, the site also yielded heavy stone blades that had been broken as if by some mighty impact, and remains from a number of dead whales.

"All of this adds up to the probability that the site, called Un'en'en, holds the earliest straightforward evidence of the practice of whaling," said Daniel Odess, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska's Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"It pushes back direct evidence for whaling by about 1,000 years," he added.

Researchers have long wondered when the practice of whaling got started.

Whaling requires a community to work together to build boats, hunt and then share out the resources from the dead animal. But pinning down the origins of whaling has proven to be remarkably difficult.

There are some dramatic rock carvings in southeastern Korea that show bands of hunters going after whales. But these are nearly impossible to pin down with an exact date, according to Odess.

In contrast, the newfound ivory carving was pegged as being 3,000 years old by nearly a dozen radiocarbon dates on the soil in which it was embedded.

The 50-centimetre-long ivory carving shows hunters in umiaqs, the traditional Eskimo boats, along with whales and harpoons.

"There's no question as to what these guys are up to," said Owen Mason, an Arctic archaeologist at GeoArch Alaska in Anchorage. It's showing the whole system is there. It's showing us social complexity," he added.




Copyright Asian News International

http://www.dailyindia.com/show/229543.php/3000-year-old-ivory-carving-depicts-whaling-scene
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« Reply #62 on: March 15, 2009, 07:53:15 am »

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     Eskimo village sues over global warming
on: February 27, 2008, 05:32:14 pm Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






                                          Eskimo village sues over global warming






Story Highlights
A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Arctic Ocean sues two dozen companies

Claims global warming threatens the existence of the Inupiat Eskimo village

They allege melting sea ice is leaving the village exposed

Some of the world's largest oil, coal and power producers named in lawsuit



     
ANCHORAGE,
Alaska
(AP)

-- A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Arctic Ocean sued two dozen oil, power and coal companies Tuesday, claiming that the large amounts of greenhouse gases they emit contribute to global warming that threatens the community's existence.

 The city of Kivalina and a federally recognized tribe, the Alaska Native village of Kivalina, sued Exxon Mobil Corporation, eight other oil companies, 14 power companies and one coal company in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco.

Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village of about 390 people about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. It's built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River.

Sea ice traditionally protected the community, whose economy is based in part on salmon fishing plus subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus, and caribou. But sea ice that forms later and melts sooner because of higher temperatures has left the community unprotected from fall and winter storm waves and surges that lash coastal communities.

"We are seeing accelerated erosion because of the loss of sea ice," City Administrator Janet Mitchell said in a statement. "We normally have ice starting in October, but now we have open water even into December so our island is not protected from the storms."

Relocation costs have been estimated at $400 million or more.

A spokesman for Exxon Mobil, Gantt Walton, said the company was reviewing the lawsuit and had no immediate comment on it.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kivalina by two nonprofit legal organizations -- The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and the Native American Rights Fund -- plus six law firms.

Reached by phone in Boston, attorney Matt Pawa said other lawsuits have been filed seeking damages from global warming, but this is the first one that has a "discretely identifiable victim."

Damage to Kivalina from global warming has been documented in official government reports by the Army Corps of Engineers and the General Accounting Office, Pawa said.

The lawsuit invokes the federal common law of public nuisance, and every entity that contributes to the pollution problem harming Kivalina is liable, Pawa said. "You can sue them one at a time or some subset of them," he said.

The lawsuit also accuses some of the defendants of a conspiracy to mislead the public regarding the causes and consequences of global warming. The suit was filed in California because that's where many of the defendants are located or do business, Pawa said.

Without commenting on the lawsuit, Exxon Mobil's Walton said the company takes the issue of climate change seriously.

"Exxon Mobil is taking action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, supporting research into technology breakthroughs and participating in constructive dialogues on policy options with NGOs, industry and policy makers," he said.

The other oil companies named were BP PLC, BP American, BP Products North America, Chevron, Chevron USA, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Shell Oil.

Also named were Peabody Energy, a major coal producer, and power companies AES, American Electric Power, American Electric Power Services, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy Holdings, Edison International, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, Mirant Corp., NRG Energy, Pinnacle West Capital, Reliant Energy, The Southern Co. and Xcel Energy.




Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/02/26/us.warming.ap/index.html
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« Reply #63 on: March 15, 2009, 07:57:08 am »

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     Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
on: July 27, 2007, 09:13:44 pm Quote 

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                                         Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice






By Ned Rozell
July 26, 2007

On a late summer evening a few years ago, a scrap of birch bark caught William Manley's eye as he walked along the edge of an ice field in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. The geologist yelled to nearby archaeologist Jim Dixon and Ruth Ann Warden of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation.

"When I pointed it out to Jim and Ruth Ann, they immediately saw that it was something special," said Manley, who works for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dixon and Warden noticed stitching holes in the bark fragment that lay among recently exposed rocks and moss. After later dating the birch-bark basket, they found an Alaskan had left it at the site about 650 years ago.
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« Reply #64 on: March 15, 2009, 07:58:27 am »




             

The remains of a 650-year old birch bark basket complete with stitching holes, found at the base of an ice patch in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains.

Photo by
William Manley
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« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2009, 08:18:26 am »

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     Re: Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 09:15:04 pm Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






The basket is one of many artifacts scientists are finding on ice patches-dying fields of snow and ice that are too small to flow like glaciers. These ice patches, located in the mountains of Alaska and Canada, are shrinking to reveal at their edges arrow shafts, barbed antler points, and other items that usually decompose before archaeologists can find them.

In a five-year project in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, researchers are following the lead of colleagues in the Yukon by traveling to high-country ice patches to search for old tools, clothing, and other organic materials exposed by retreating ice and snow. Dixon, an anthropology professor at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has made several trips to the Wrangells during the project.

"We can take a very small amount of organic material-like the amount you'd get from drilling a tooth-and do radio-carbon dating and isotope analysis," Dixon said. "We can find out the age of the material and environmental conditions at the time. We're getting new insights into the technology people used in Alaska thousands of years ago."

Members of the team found several arrow shafts, dated at 370 to 850 years old, made of spruce wood split from the trunk of the tree rather than the branches.

"The shafts are made from split staves of white spruce-long, straight slivers that are rounded and tapered," Dixon said.

The Wrangells research team is concentrating on six ice patches in the largest national park in the United States. Dixon described the ice patches as "oasis-like features that attract caribou, sheep, and other animals that seek relief from heat and insects."
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« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2009, 08:20:05 am »




             

A recently exposed arrow shaft at the base of a melting ice patch in the Wrangells.

Photo by
William Manley
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« Reply #67 on: March 15, 2009, 08:23:26 am »

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     Re: Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 09:16:57 pm Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







After a two-year GIS modeling project, the researchers chose the six ice patches they are studying after two years of flying around in late summer and looking for large bodies of ice and snow ringed with dark colors-often the pellets caribou dropped centuries ago. The ice patches are melting to reveal ground that hasn't seen the sun in hundreds, or thousands of years.

"As climate change continues, (the exposure of artifacts from melting ice patches) will go on for some time," Dixon said.

In addition to arrow shafts, a copper arrowhead, the birch basket, and an old caribou hide, the scientists and Park Service personnel also saw more modern things during their travels in the Wrangells, including the remains of a roadhouse built on a glacier on one of the gold rush routes from McCarthy to Chisana.

"It's a whole roadhouse that's flowing down the glacier," Dixon said.

Manley, the geologist who found the birch-bark basket, said looking for artifacts on the edge of ice patches is not only interesting science, it's great fun. The scientists usually have only a short window of time to search the base of an ice patch while a helicopter waits for them.

"Finding such a well-preserved artifact melting out of a glacier is something like winning when you're gambling," Manley said. "After going hours, or days without finding another one, you develop an urge to find more."




 



This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community.



Ned Rozell nrozell@gi.alaska.edu] is a science writer at the institute.


SitNews 2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska


http://www.sitnews.us/0707news/072607/072607_ak_science.html
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« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2009, 08:26:24 am »

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    Shipwreck found off Alaskan coast
on: October 10, 2007, 02:46:32 am Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                              Shipwreck found off Alaskan coast







By JEANNETTE J. LEE,
Associated Press Writer
Tue Oct 9, 2007
ANCHORAGE,
Alaska

- A private dive team has discovered the wreckage of an American ship that sank off the south-central Alaska coast 139 years ago. The Torrent sank in Cook Inlet in 1868 after tidal currents rammed it into a reef south of the Kenai Peninsula. Documents from the period show that all 155 people on board survived.

 
The U.S. had purchased Alaska from Russia less than a year earlier, and about 130 Army soldiers had come north on the Torrent to build the first U.S. military fort in south-central Alaska.

The shipwreck is the oldest American wreck ever found in Alaska.

"It's a very significant find because it's right after the purchase, during the transition from Russian to American authority," said Judy Bittner, a state historic preservation officer. "It's the very beginning of federal presence in Alaska and the establishment of order."

A four-man dive team led by Steve Lloyd, owner of Anchorage's largest independent book store, found remnants of the wreckage in July. They kept the discovery secret at the request of state officials, who wanted more time to document the site before any looters arrive. Its discovery was announced Monday.

An array of objects, from guns, cannons, shoes and plates, are hidden beneath the broad leaves of giant kelp beds or concealed in caverns and crevices among massive boulders, Lloyd said.

"It's like walking through a field of tall grass and undergrowth looking for a baseball that you've lost," Lloyd said.

Big finds include the two anchors, sections of hull and heavy bronze rudder hinges weighing about 100 lbs.

About 2,500 ships have wrecked off the Alaska coast since Russian explorers first arrived in 1741, according to Mike Burwell, a cultural anthropologist for the federal Minerals Management Service. A partial database on the service's Web site lists Japanese submarines and fishing trawlers, Liberian freighters and New England whaling ships, among others.

The Torrent is now being considered for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places. Bittner said state or federal archaeologists may study the wreck if they can secure enough funding.

___

On the Net:

Minerals Management Service shipwrecks data:
http://www.mms.gov/alaska/ref/ships/index.htm

Steve Lloyd's Alaska shipwrecks site:
http://lostshipwrecks.com/
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« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2009, 08:30:35 am »

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    Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years
on: July 10, 2007, 02:48:49 am Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                 Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years


                HOUSES: Archaeologists have located three homes in 2nd year of excavations.






By MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
July 7, 2007
UNALASKA

-- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.


The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said head archaeologist Mike Yarborough.

"What's left was dug into the slope; everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for more recent dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information helpful to research on prehistoric Eastern Aleutian culture, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht
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« Reply #70 on: March 15, 2009, 08:34:31 am »









SURPRISE IN SIZE



Last fall the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was that when they began the dig, the crew discovered the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to hope to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after the crew started, it rained for about the first two weeks.
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« Reply #71 on: March 15, 2009, 08:36:05 am »









MAKING PROGRESS



Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

The crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the area.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

The same crew that worked last summer resumed on May 19. The backhoe operator, Joe Henning, was with the crew last summer.

"He's gotten used to us, so we're making good progress," said Yarborough.

Joan Dale, a representative from the state office of archaeology, was there, available in case human remains are found.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff, pirate treasure," joked Rogers at the end of a long day.

At a City Council meeting last month, Yarborough gave an update to the community on the progress of the crew and artifacts recovered.

Every month, Yarborough has a teleconference with the Ounalashka Corp., the Qawalangin tribe, the city, the state historical society and the other state organizations.



http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/rural/story/9112357p-9028572c.html
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« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2009, 08:39:15 am »









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     Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site
on: July 05, 2007, 12:46:00 am Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                              Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site



                          Artifacts of Unangam Aleuts may span 1,000 years, expert says






MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
UNALASKA

- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.

The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said Mike Yarborough, head archaeologist at the site.

"What's left was dug into the slope, everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for younger dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information pertinent to the research of prehistoric Eastern Aleutian cultural history, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht.

Last fall, the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was when beginning the dig, the crew discovered that the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September, it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after beginning, it rained for about the first two weeks.

Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same startup lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

Last week, the crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the site.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff pirate treasure," Rogers joked at the end of a long day.



http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/070207/sta_crews001.shtml
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« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2009, 08:42:21 am »

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    Work starts on Arctic seed vault
on: February 10, 2007, 01:33:58 am Quote 

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                                              Work starts on Arctic seed vault






February 9, 2007
LONDON,
England
(Reuters)

-- Deep inside the Arctic Circle work is about to begin on a giant frozen Noah's Ark for food crops to provide a last bastion in the battle against global warming.

And within a year the first seeds of what will eventually be home for samples of all 1.5 million distinct varieties of agricultural crops worldwide will be tucked safely inside the vaults deep in a mountain on the archipelago of Svalbard.

There, at the end of a tunnel 120 meters into the side of a mountain, 80 meters above estimated sea levels even if all polar ice melts, and 18 degrees Celsius below freezing, they will stay like a bank security deposit.

"It will be the best freezer in the world by several orders of magnitude. The seeds will be safe there for decades," said Cary Fowler of the Food and Agricultural Organization's Global Crop Diversity Trust.

"Svalbard is a safety backup -- and we hope we never have to use it."

The Norwegian government is footing the $5 million construction bill and the Global Crop Diversity Trust is providing the estimated $125,000 a year running costs.

"We are going back to the older varieties because that is where you find the largest genetic diversity ... and diversity is protection," Fowler told Reuters in London.

Svalbard will not find and sort the seeds. That is being left to the various seed banks around the world in the front line of the battle to protect biodiversity.

The function of the Arctic Noah's Ark will be to hold samples of all the food crop varieties in case disaster strikes any of the banks -- like the typhoon that wiped out the Philippines agri crop gene bank in October.

It will also ensure a pristine source of research material for the world's botanists struggling to create crop varieties that will be able to withstand the massive changes in rainfall patterns and temperature that may come with global warming.

The scientists from around the world predict that global average temperatures will rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius this century due to human activities, putting millions at risk from rising sea levels, floods, famines and storms.

"Current crops are adapted to the current climate. Start changing that and you change everything," Fowler said. "Plant breeders will have to be designing totally new varieties."

"We already have a water crisis with agriculture and climate change will make it worse. It is not a simply matter of migrating crops northwards. Everything changes -- sunlight, temperature, insects, diseases, pollinators," he added.

He said the Svalbard seed collection would not include modern hybrid varieties because by and large they had genetic diversity bred out of them.

But it would also not rule out genetically modified organisms on the simple grounds that it would be virtually impossible to screen them out and in any case they would never amount to more than a tiny fraction of the total.

The vaults on the remote archipelago 1,500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle should have been dug and lined with meter-thick concrete by October ready for systems installation and a formal opening early in 2008.

Within two years they should be holding the vast majority of the world's food crop varieties in splendid, frozen and permanent isolation.



Copyright 2007 Reuters.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/02/09/climate.deep.freeze.reut/index.html
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Bianca
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« Reply #74 on: March 15, 2009, 08:46:29 am »

Monique Faulkner
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    'Doomsday' seed vault to open in Norway
on: February 25, 2008, 12:22:53 pm Quote 

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                                         'Doomsday' seed vault to open in Norway







Story Highlights



Ultimate safety net for the world's seed collections opens in Norway this week

Can hold up to 4.5M seed samples, will eventually house most types of key crops

Norwegian govt. paid to build vault in mountainside between Norway and North Pole

Similar to an existing seed bank in England that works with wild plants



 Read  VIDEO
     
LONGYEARBYEN,
Norway
(CNN)

-- A vast underground vault storing millions of seeds from around
the world is scheduled to open this week in a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean.


 Dubbed the "Doomsday Vault," the seed bank is considered the ultimate safety net for the world's
seed collections, protecting them from a wide range of threats including war, natural disasters, lack
of funding or simply poor agricultural management.

The Norwegian government paid to build the vault in a mountainside near Longyearbyen, in the remote Svalbard islands between Norway and the North Pole. Building began last year, and the vault is scheduled to open officially Tuesday.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, as it is officially known, can hold as many as 4.5 million seed samples and will eventually house almost every variety of most important food crops in the world, according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is paying to collect and maintain the seeds.

The United Nations founded the trust in 2004 to support the long-term conservation of crop diversity, and countries and foundations provide the funding.

"The seed vault is the perfect place for keeping seeds safe for centuries," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the trust. "At these temperatures, seeds for important crops like wheat, barley and peas can last for up to 10,000 years."

The vault's location deep inside a mountain in the frozen north ensures the seeds can be stored safely no matter what happens outside.

"We believe the design of the facility will ensure that the seeds will stay well-preserved even if such forces as global warming raise temperatures outside the facility," said Magnus Bredeli Tveiten, project manager for the Norwegian government.
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