photos by paul zizka in western greenland taken september 2015. notes paul, “i love how the night time can turn familiar places into completely different experiences. i also love all the elements of magic associated with astrophotography - aurora, stars, moonlight - and i’m always blown away by all the beauty that the camera reveals but the naked eye cannot see.’

of note: findings recently published in the journal nature have shown that the greenland ice sheet lost 9,013 gigatonnes of water ice from 1900 to 2010, which led to an overall global sea level rise of one inch. the study also found that from 2003 to 2010, the ice sheet lost 1,305 gigatonnes - a rate which is more than twice that for the entire 20th century. 


bryan and cherry alexander photographed these asperatus clouds in the morning sky over qaanaaq, north west greenland. the alexanders, who have extensively documented the north and its native peoples for over fourty years, noted that “just about everybody in the village was amazed, including an elderly inuit hunter who told me that he had never seen anything like that before in his life.”  

asperatus clouds gets their name from the latin aspero, a word used by romans to describe the sea as it was roughened by the cold north wind. though the cause of their formation remains unknown, it is likely that the lumpy, undulating underside of the clouds is a result of warmer, moister air from above meeting colder, dryer air from below, combined with high level wind passing over rolling terrain. 

see also: circumhorizontal arcs, mammatus clouds, polar stratospheric clouds, noctilucent clouds, lenticular clouds and more asperatus clouds

Same-sex couples can now officially marry in Greenland
Greenland’s same-sex marriage law is now in effect

Milestone alert! Greenland’s marriage equality law went into effect yesterday, after legislators unanimously voted to enact it last May.

Nivi Olson, the Minister for the Church, said: “We have long waited for this day.

“To have the opportunity to enter into marriage means a lot to many couples regardless of the gender of one’s partner.”



The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You

The first death was on the night of Jan. 9.

It was a Saturday. Pele Kristiansen spent the morning at home, drinking beers and hanging out with his older brother, which wasn’t so unusual. There wasn’t a lot of work in town. A lot of people drank. In the afternoon, they heard someone banging on their door, yelling.

“Polar bear! It’s a polar bear!”

On the frozen fiord a couple of miles away, they could see the bear. Hunting in the Arctic — bears and reindeer and seals and birds — is at the core of Inuit life, even today.

The polar bear was coming toward the town.

A little drunk and really excited, Pele and his buddies fired up the motor on their fishing boat and nosed through the slushy ice in the harbor of their East Greenland village, Tiniteqilaaq, until they were as close as they could get. They got out of the boat, stood on the ice and pointed their rifles at the enormous animal.

Among the Inuit, hunting a polar bear is a big deal. The bears have huge territories — to actually see one around Tiniteqilaaq was rare. And because of their size and ferocity, they’re not easy to kill. It’s usually a group effort, so according to tradition, the first four people to shoot it share the meat and the glory.

That day, Pele shot the polar bear.

And he was so happy.

That evening, Pele went out drinking to celebrate.

The next morning he was dead. He had killed himself. He was 22.

Read the full story here.