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lec15-ANWR-09 - Lecture 15 The Necklace around the Arctic...

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Lecture 15 The Necklace around the Arctic Arctic indigenous peoples and ANWR in Alaska There are many sources of Arctic literature; one readable book on the changing Arctic (with emphasis on climate change) is the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, available for download at http://amap.no/acia/ . Here we use material from ACIA, from Charles Wohlforth’s book The Whale and the Supercomputer , from Wikipedia, from Harald Sverdrup’s book Among the Tundra People, available free from PR, from US Natl Fish and Wildlife Service ( http://arctic.fws.gov/ ), and other sources.
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Faroe Islands (~Denmark) Shetland Islands (Scotland) Labrador Sea (see fig.19) Alaska, ANWR 10K-20 years ago 4500 years ago AD 500-985 Svalbaard UNIS Chukchi coast
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Faroe Islands (between Norway and Iceland), have about 45,000 inhabitants descended from Viking settlers. They still speak their own distinct language, with its roots related to the old Norse spoken by the Vikings. Much about the Viking world was described in epic ‘sagas’ which were written, some in verse, and somewhat in the spirit of Lord of the Rings. They were written from roughly A.D. 1000 onward, and record much earlier events as well.
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The rugged coast of the Faroes
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Kirkjabour, first settled by Celtic friars who arrived at the Faroes in skin boats, around 800 A.D. Viking exploration apparently began abruptly in A.D. 793 with an attack on Lindesfarne, an island off the NE (northeast) coast of Scotland. Viking settlers spread quickly westward to the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland. About A.D. 1000 it reached a brief (maybe 10 year) colonization of Labrador, where recent archaeological digs show a Viking settlement at L’anse aux Meadows, which you can visit today. This was long before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America. There is an unfinished gothic cathedral here from the Middle Ages.
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Whaling harpoons at Kirkjabour (Olavar Hatun, left is a musician who founded the Faroese national choir).
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The economies of the Arctic settlements invariably involve fish, oil or gas: natural resources that are much sought after by their European, North American or Asian trading partners. But also resources that depend on or affect the environment strongly. The ‘necklace’ of island nations from Canada to Scandanavia is very diverse, from the youngest solid Earth (Iceland, Surtsey) with its geothermal energy to some very old Canadian Shield mountains (Greenland, Canada)
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