Finnmark 2007

Today marks the beginning of a month long dog-sledding expedition in northern Norway to examine the impact of climate change in the Arctic. The 7 member team, which includes a Sami reindeer herder, will be travelling almost 1,500 kilometres by dogsled through Arctic Finnmark, from the Barents Sea to the Atlantic, in temperatures ranging from minus 10 degrees C to minus 35 degrees. Their focus will be the Sami, one of the great indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Living a life of reindeer-herding close to the Arctic Circle, these people are the proverbial miners’ canaries for planet earth. The team will gather information on environmental change, as seen by these communities and on how the Sámi are facing social and cultural survival in a fragile environment. Combining natural and social science techniques, they will study herding practices in the specific regions travelled and how these practices and use of grazing grounds have changed over the last years due to exceptional weather conditions. The expedition will also collect data about snowflake shapes for NASA, as part of the Global Snowflake Network . It is all part of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 with the theme of studying the Earth’s changing ice and snow, and its impact on our planet and our lives. :: Finnmark 2007

Tags: Arctic | London