Arctic Circle

Large icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, Aug. 16, 2019.

Arctic alternatives: Part II

Critical State

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Arctic Council has been on hiatus. This week’s Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into the history of the council as a model of international cooperation.

A polar bear is shown in the distance standing on a piece of ice among a large grouping of flat floating ice pieces.

How the Trump administration’s climate denial left its mark on the Arctic Council

The harbor of Nuuk, Greenland's capital.

China’s Arctic ambitions have revived US interest in the region

Abandoned snow-covered buildings

‘I am a hostage of the north’: Trapped in a post-Gulag Arctic city

A view of Murmansk with a smoke stack and other buildings as the sun rises.

The sun sometimes rises: How one Russian city makes it through the polar night


NATO begins its biggest war games in decades

Dubbed Trident Juncture, the exercise is by far the biggest in Norway since the early 1980s, a sign that the alliance wants to sharpen its defenses after years of cost cuts and far-flung combat missions.

A person walks through a puddle in Shismaref, Alaska.

An Alaskan village is falling into the sea. Washington is looking the other way.

The Big Melt

Shishmaref, Alaska, home to a tightly knit Iñpuiat community of 600 people, is ground zero for climate change in the Arctic. What happens here could foreshadow the fates of other US coastal communities. Why won’t Washington pay attention?

A large concrete sphere sits on a brown hill overlooking a slate blue sea.

In Iceland, a shifting sculpture for a changing Arctic  

The Big Melt

A sculpture in Iceland marks the location of the Arctic Circle — at least the circle’s location this year, because it turns out that the Arctic Circle doesn’t stay in one place. It’s a suggestion of how difficult it is to pin down anything in the Arctic.

Protestors hold up signs at a rally against a proposed Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion on Burnaby Mountain in 2014 in British Columbia. In late May, the Canadian government announced it would fund an expansion project for the Kinder Morgan Trans Moun

With pipeline decision, Canada’s Trudeau draws ire of environmental supporters

When Justin Trudeau was elected as the prime minister of Canada in 2015 he did so on a platform that pledged to reform the country’s environmental laws. Recent news of the Canadian government agreeing to fund a sands oil pipeline extension has many who voted for him questioning his motives.

Sámi renideer herder Reiulf Aleksandersen and his son build a fence for gathering their herd on Rooksavardi, or Red Mountain, in far northern Norway.

This family is already being hurt by climate change. They might also be hurt by a solution.


Sámi reindeer-herding families in northern Scandinavia are being hit hard by the impacts of climate change. But some may also suffer from an effort to help address climate change — a big wind farm, being built right through their herding grounds.