A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘arctic canada

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bag News Notes profiles a now-vanished New York Times photo essay, one detailing children residing as restaveks with Haitian families who are–or are not?–servants.
  • Centauri Dreams considers how the New Horizons probe might detect subsurface oceans on Pluto.
  • Daniel Drezner thinks that applying bad analogies to contemporary international relationships can unduly prejudice the contemporary world, and wonders if the impending construction of the world’s tallest building in China signals the end of the Chinese boom.
  • Eastern Approaches notes the continued political strike in Poland over in-vitro fertilization.
  • Geocurrents’ Asya Pereltsvaig profiles the deportation of Soviet Koreans from their Pacific homeland to Central Asia in the late 1930s, and notes echoes of this deportation in the music of Soviet Korean singer-songwriters.
  • GNXP’s Razib Khan profiles the cat family tree.
  • Language Hat links to a blog post demonstrating how Hittite was recognized as an Indo-European language.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Robert Farley recommends against Canada’s purchase of F-35 fighters as unhelpful for Canada’s likely missions in the Arctic.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if secure property rights really are as essential to economic growth as some have suggested.

[LINK] “The Greening of the Arctic”

io9′s George Dvorsky wrote recently about the remarkable scope, and speed, of global warming.

[A] separate study published in Nature Climate Change is demonstrating the dramatic impact this is having on the north’s growing season. After analyzing satellite and ground-based data, the researchers found that temperature and vegetation growth at northern latitudes now resemble those typically found four to six degrees of latitude further south — a distance of about 250 to 430 miles (400 to 700 km).
The researchers, an international team consisting of university and NASA scientists, focused their attention on the region from about 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean.

Their analysis showed that all the conditions for a greenhouse feedback loop are being met, including diminishing Arctic sea ice and less snow cover. At the same time, as the northern latitudes get warmer, the growing season is getting longer and plants are thriving over a wider geographical area. These changes are having a dramatic impact on the boreal areas, leading to significant disruptions in the various ecosystems.

And indeed, we’re talking about a considerably large area.

“It’s like Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Minneapolis-Saint Paul in only 30 years,” said co-author Compton Tucker through a NASA statement. Vegetation now grows in areas that were ecologically off limits only a few decades ago — a region that covers a jaw-dropping 3.5 million square miles (9 million square kilometers). For perspective, that’s an area equal to the continental United States.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

[LINK] “Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada”

This sci.archeology post from 2009 contains more links to the Tanfield Valley site on Baffin Island that, as Heather Pringle’s National Geographic article documents, may be the second confirmed Viking site on the North American continent after the famous L’Anse-aux-Meadows. I’m impressed.

Sutherland decided to reopen excavations at the most promising site, a place known as Tanfield Valley on the southeast coast of Baffin Island. In the 1960s U.S. archaeologist Moreau Maxwell had excavated parts of a stone-and-sod building there, describing it as “very difficult to interpret.” Sutherland suspected that Viking seafarers had built the structure.

Since 2001 Sutherland’s team has been exploring Tanfield Valley and carefully excavating surviving parts of the mysterious ruins. They have discovered a wide range of evidence pointing to the presence of Viking seafarers: pelt fragments from Old World rats; a whalebone shovel similar to those used by Viking settlers in Greenland to cut sod; large stones that appear to have been cut and shaped by someone familiar with European stone masonry; and more Viking yarn and whetstones. And the stone ruins bear a striking resemblance to some Viking buildings in Greenland.

Still, some Arctic researchers remained skeptical. Most of the radiocarbon dates obtained by earlier archaeologists had suggested that Tanfield Valley was inhabited long before Vikings arrived in the New World. But as Sutherland points out, the complex site shows evidence of several occupations, and one of the radiocarbon dates indicates that the valley was occupied in the 14th century, when Viking settlers were farming along the coast of nearby Greenland.

In search of other clues to help solve the mystery, Sutherland turned to the Geological Survey of Canada. Using a technique known as energy dispersive spectroscopy, the team examined the wear grooves on more than 20 whetstones from Tanfield Valley and other sites. Sutherland and her colleagues detected microscopic streaks of bronze, brass, and smelted iron—clear evidence of European metallurgy, which she presented October 7 at a meeting of the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology in St. John’s, Canada.

Sutherland speculates that parties of Viking seafarers travelled to the Canadian Arctic to search for valuable resources. In northern Europe at the time, medieval nobles prized walrus ivory, soft Arctic furs, and other northern luxuries—and Dorset hunters and trappers could readily stockpile such products. Helluland’s waters teemed with walruses, and its coasts abounded in Arctic foxes and other small fur-bearing animals. To barter for such goods, Viking traders likely offered bits of iron and pieces of wood that could be carved into figurines and other goods, Sutherland says.

If Sutherland is correct, the lines of evidence she has uncovered may point to a previously unknown chapter in New World history in which Viking seafarers and Native American hunters were partners together in a transatlantic trade network. “I think things were a lot more complex in this part of the world than most people assumed,” Sutherland said. James Tuck agreed. “It’s pretty convincing that there was a much larger Norse presence in the Canadian Arctic than any of us thought.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 20, 2012 at 12:59 am

[LINK] “Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada”

This sci.archeology post from 2009 contains more links to the Tanfield Valley site on Baffin Island that, as Heather Pringle’s National Geographic article documents, may be the second confirmed Viking site on the North American continent after the famous L’Anse-aux-Meadows. I’m impressed.

Sutherland decided to reopen excavations at the most promising site, a place known as Tanfield Valley on the southeast coast of Baffin Island. In the 1960s U.S. archaeologist Moreau Maxwell had excavated parts of a stone-and-sod building there, describing it as “very difficult to interpret.” Sutherland suspected that Viking seafarers had built the structure.

Since 2001 Sutherland’s team has been exploring Tanfield Valley and carefully excavating surviving parts of the mysterious ruins. They have discovered a wide range of evidence pointing to the presence of Viking seafarers: pelt fragments from Old World rats; a whalebone shovel similar to those used by Viking settlers in Greenland to cut sod; large stones that appear to have been cut and shaped by someone familiar with European stone masonry; and more Viking yarn and whetstones. And the stone ruins bear a striking resemblance to some Viking buildings in Greenland.

Still, some Arctic researchers remained skeptical. Most of the radiocarbon dates obtained by earlier archaeologists had suggested that Tanfield Valley was inhabited long before Vikings arrived in the New World. But as Sutherland points out, the complex site shows evidence of several occupations, and one of the radiocarbon dates indicates that the valley was occupied in the 14th century, when Viking settlers were farming along the coast of nearby Greenland.

In search of other clues to help solve the mystery, Sutherland turned to the Geological Survey of Canada. Using a technique known as energy dispersive spectroscopy, the team examined the wear grooves on more than 20 whetstones from Tanfield Valley and other sites. Sutherland and her colleagues detected microscopic streaks of bronze, brass, and smelted iron—clear evidence of European metallurgy, which she presented October 7 at a meeting of the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology in St. John’s, Canada.

Sutherland speculates that parties of Viking seafarers travelled to the Canadian Arctic to search for valuable resources. In northern Europe at the time, medieval nobles prized walrus ivory, soft Arctic furs, and other northern luxuries—and Dorset hunters and trappers could readily stockpile such products. Helluland’s waters teemed with walruses, and its coasts abounded in Arctic foxes and other small fur-bearing animals. To barter for such goods, Viking traders likely offered bits of iron and pieces of wood that could be carved into figurines and other goods, Sutherland says.

If Sutherland is correct, the lines of evidence she has uncovered may point to a previously unknown chapter in New World history in which Viking seafarers and Native American hunters were partners together in a transatlantic trade network. “I think things were a lot more complex in this part of the world than most people assumed,” Sutherland said. James Tuck agreed. “It’s pretty convincing that there was a much larger Norse presence in the Canadian Arctic than any of us thought.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

[LINK] “F-35 a ‘serious strategic mismatch’ for Canada’s North, retired colonel says”

Jeff Davis, writing in the National Post, reports on a new angle on the controversy over the purchase of F35 jets for the air force. I’d noted earlier that the estimates for cost were underestimated by ten billion dollars. Now, a former air force fleet manager suggests that the F35 isn’t suited for missions in the Arctic, and that we may as well wait for the first generation of combat-ready drones.

Thoughts?

Retired colonel Paul Maillet, an aerospace engineer and former CF-18 fleet manager, said the F-35 does not meet the needs of the government’s Canada First Defence Strategy, a key pillar of which is Arctic sovereignty.

“How do you get a single engine, low-range, low-payload, low-manoeuvrability aircraft that is being optimized for close air support … to operate effectively in the North?” he asked.

Maillet called the F-35 a “serious strategic mismatch” to Canada’s military needs, and suggested the Royal Canadian Air Force would be better off purchasing a fleet of F-18 E/F fighters.

Maillet, who twice ran as a federal Green party candidate, said the billions the government is planning to spend on F-35s would be better used on schools and health care.

[. . .]

The trend lines in aerial combat, Maillet said, point to manned aircraft becoming a thing of the past. Unmanned drone technology is progressing at a staggering pace, he said, and they will soon be capable of air-to-air dogfights.

Given the pace of drone development, Maillet said, the F-35 could be the last major manned fighter project. With new drone fighters not too far off, he said, Canada could hold off on a major purchase — and extend the life of the aging CF-18s — until these come to market.

“We could do the skip-a-generation thing,” he said.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

[LINK] “F-35 a ‘serious strategic mismatch’ for Canada’s North, retired colonel says”

Jeff Davis, writing in the National Post, reports on a new angle on the controversy over the purchase of F35 jets for the air force. I’d noted earlier that the estimates for cost were underestimated by ten billion dollars. Now, a former air force fleet manager suggests that the F35 isn’t suited for missions in the Arctic, and that we may as well wait for the first generation of combat-ready drones.

Thoughts?

Retired colonel Paul Maillet, an aerospace engineer and former CF-18 fleet manager, said the F-35 does not meet the needs of the government’s Canada First Defence Strategy, a key pillar of which is Arctic sovereignty.

“How do you get a single engine, low-range, low-payload, low-manoeuvrability aircraft that is being optimized for close air support … to operate effectively in the North?” he asked.

Maillet called the F-35 a “serious strategic mismatch” to Canada’s military needs, and suggested the Royal Canadian Air Force would be better off purchasing a fleet of F-18 E/F fighters.

Maillet, who twice ran as a federal Green party candidate, said the billions the government is planning to spend on F-35s would be better used on schools and health care.

[. . .]

The trend lines in aerial combat, Maillet said, point to manned aircraft becoming a thing of the past. Unmanned drone technology is progressing at a staggering pace, he said, and they will soon be capable of air-to-air dogfights.

Given the pace of drone development, Maillet said, the F-35 could be the last major manned fighter project. With new drone fighters not too far off, he said, Canada could hold off on a major purchase — and extend the life of the aging CF-18s — until these come to market.

“We could do the skip-a-generation thing,” he said.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm

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[BRIEF NOTE] Notes on possible pre-Columbian migration to Viking Iceland

The headline of Traci Watson’s National Geographic News article sensationalizes the news a bit–it would have been a one-time migration to Iceland, on medieval Europe’s extreme western periphery, and the effects are limited to Iceland–but it’s still fascinating to think that there might have been pre-Columbian migration between the two hemispheres of the world with lasting effects.

Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.

Analyzing a type of DNA passed only from mother to child, scientists found more than 80 living Icelanders with a genetic variation similar to one found mostly in Native Americans.

This signature probably entered Icelandic bloodlines around A.D. 1000, when the first Viking-American Indian child was born, the study authors theorize.

Historical accounts and archaeological evidence show that Icelandic Vikings reached Greenland just before 1000 and quickly pushed on to what is now Canada. Icelanders even established a village in Newfoundland, though it lasted only a decade or so.

The idea that a Native American woman sailed from North America to Iceland during that period of settlement and exploration provides the best explanation for the Icelanders’ variant, the research team says.

“We know that Vikings sailed to the Americas,” said Agnar Helgason of deCODE Genetics and the University of Iceland, who co-wrote the study with his student Sigrídur Ebenesersdóttir and colleagues. “So all you have to do is assume … that they met some people and ended up taking at least one female back with them.

[. . .]

Through genealogical research, the study team concluded that the Icelanders who carry the Native American variation are all from four specific lineages, descended from four women born in the early 1700s.

Those four lineages, in turn, likely descended from a single woman with Native American DNA who must have been born no later than 1700, according to study co-author Ebenesersdóttir.

The genealogical records for the four lineages are incomplete before about 1700, but history and genetics suggest the Native American DNA arrived on the European island centuries before then, study co-author Helgason said.

The DNA in question doesn’t have precise parallels with any existing First Nations population, although many similar mutations do exist.

The whole story is remarkable inasmuch as the historical consensus is that relations between the Vikings and the First Nations of the Arctic and Newfoundland, the so-called Skræling, were profoundly hostile.

Complicating matters, the historical record contains no evidence that Icelandic Vikings might have taken a Native American woman back home to their European island, scholars say.

“It makes no sense to me,” said archaeologist and historian Hans Gulløv of the Greenland Research Centre in Copenhagen.

For one thing, experts say, nothing in excavations or the Icelandic sagas—thought to be rooted in fact but not entirely reliable—suggests a personal alliance of the kind reported in the new study, published online November 10 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The Saga of Erik the Red does tell of four Skraeling boys—the Norse term for the American Indians—who were captured by an Icelandic expedition and taken back to Greenland, said Birgitta Wallace, an emeritus archaeologist for Parks Canada who has written extensively about the Norse.

But Icelanders spent little time in North America, and their relations with the people they found living there seem to have been mostly hostile, she said. The stories “talk in not very flattering terms about [Native Americans'] looks,” Wallace said.

One saga, she added, tells of explorers “who found some sleeping natives—and they just killed them.”

“What we have is a big mystery,” study co-author Helgason admitted.

But still, the DNA evidence suggests that all it took was a single woman’s child. Spike on Facebook, who linked to the article, theorized that the woman likely belonged to either to the Dorset in the Arctic or the Beothuk culture in Newfoundland, both areas contacted by the Vikings in the medieval period. I’d be inclined to bet on the woman coming from the Dorset culture, since the Viking pattern of occasional trade with the inhabitants of the Arctic would support migration better than the violently failed settlement in Newfoundland.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

[BRIEF NOTE] Notes on possible pre-Columbian migration to Viking Iceland

The headline of Traci Watson’s National Geographic News article sensationalizes the news a bit–it would have been a one-time migration to Iceland, on medieval Europe’s extreme western periphery, and the effects are limited to Iceland–but it’s still fascinating to think that there might have been pre-Columbian migration between the two hemispheres of the world with lasting effects.

Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.

Analyzing a type of DNA passed only from mother to child, scientists found more than 80 living Icelanders with a genetic variation similar to one found mostly in Native Americans.

This signature probably entered Icelandic bloodlines around A.D. 1000, when the first Viking-American Indian child was born, the study authors theorize.

Historical accounts and archaeological evidence show that Icelandic Vikings reached Greenland just before 1000 and quickly pushed on to what is now Canada. Icelanders even established a village in Newfoundland, though it lasted only a decade or so.

The idea that a Native American woman sailed from North America to Iceland during that period of settlement and exploration provides the best explanation for the Icelanders’ variant, the research team says.

“We know that Vikings sailed to the Americas,” said Agnar Helgason of deCODE Genetics and the University of Iceland, who co-wrote the study with his student Sigrídur Ebenesersdóttir and colleagues. “So all you have to do is assume … that they met some people and ended up taking at least one female back with them.

[. . .]

Through genealogical research, the study team concluded that the Icelanders who carry the Native American variation are all from four specific lineages, descended from four women born in the early 1700s.

Those four lineages, in turn, likely descended from a single woman with Native American DNA who must have been born no later than 1700, according to study co-author Ebenesersdóttir.

The genealogical records for the four lineages are incomplete before about 1700, but history and genetics suggest the Native American DNA arrived on the European island centuries before then, study co-author Helgason said.

The DNA in question doesn’t have precise parallels with any existing First Nations population, although many similar mutations do exist.

The whole story is remarkable inasmuch as the historical consensus is that relations between the Vikings and the First Nations of the Arctic and Newfoundland, the so-called Skræling, were profoundly hostile.

Complicating matters, the historical record contains no evidence that Icelandic Vikings might have taken a Native American woman back home to their European island, scholars say.

“It makes no sense to me,” said archaeologist and historian Hans Gulløv of the Greenland Research Centre in Copenhagen.

For one thing, experts say, nothing in excavations or the Icelandic sagas—thought to be rooted in fact but not entirely reliable—suggests a personal alliance of the kind reported in the new study, published online November 10 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The Saga of Erik the Red does tell of four Skraeling boys—the Norse term for the American Indians—who were captured by an Icelandic expedition and taken back to Greenland, said Birgitta Wallace, an emeritus archaeologist for Parks Canada who has written extensively about the Norse.

But Icelanders spent little time in North America, and their relations with the people they found living there seem to have been mostly hostile, she said. The stories “talk in not very flattering terms about [Native Americans'] looks,” Wallace said.

One saga, she added, tells of explorers “who found some sleeping natives—and they just killed them.”

“What we have is a big mystery,” study co-author Helgason admitted.

But still, the DNA evidence suggests that all it took was a single woman’s child. Spike on Facebook, who linked to the article, theorized that the woman likely belonged to either to the Dorset in the Arctic or the Beothuk culture in Newfoundland, both areas contacted by the Vikings in the medieval period. I’d be inclined to bet on the woman coming from the Dorset culture, since the Viking pattern of occasional trade with the inhabitants of the Arctic would support migration better than the violently failed settlement in Newfoundland.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm

[LINK] “WikiLeaks: U.S. dismisses Harper’s Arctic talk”

Surprise, surprise. Our prime minister is making noises about the Arctic not supported by actual activities.

A new WikiLeaks cable suggests the U.S. government views Stephen Harper’s talk about Canadian Arctic sovereignty as little more than empty chest-thumping designed to win votes.

In a diplomatic cable posted this week by the online whistleblower, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa says the Tories have made successful political use of promises to beef up Canada’s presence in the Arctic.

But it says the Harper government has done only scant implementation on pledges like increasing surveillance over the Northwest Passage.

“Conservatives make concern for ‘The North’ part of their political brand …and it works,” says the note, titled Canada’s Conservative Government and its Arctic Focus.

[. . .]

The January 2010 cable, issued under the signature of U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, even pokes fun at Harper’s statements on the North.

“The persistent high public profile which this government has accorded ‘Northern Issues’ and the Arctic is, however, unprecedented and reflects the PM’s views that ‘the North has never been more important to our country’ — although one could perhaps paraphrase to state ‘the North has never been more important to our Party.’ “

The cable says many of these promises — such as the purchase of armed icebreakers and Arctic Ocean sensors —have since been forgotten.

It notes that Harper hammered away at the issue in his first post-election news conference following his election in January 2006, before he had even been sworn in. Harper chided the U.S. government over its longstanding view that the Northwest Passage was international water.

[. . .]

It says Harper did not even mention the Arctic during January 2010 meetings with U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, which lasted several hours.

“That the PM’s public stance on the Arctic may not reflect his private, perhaps more pragmatic, priorities, however, was evident in the fact that during several hours together with Ambassador Jacobson on January 7 and 8, which featured wide-ranging conversations, the PM did not once mention the Arctic.”

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

[LINK] Two links on food supply in Arctic Canada

  • First comes Chris Windeyer’s article, originally from the Nunatsiaq News but now in the Montreal Gazette, “Arctic communities choking on sky-high food prices”.
  • Nunavut’s MP and officials from the Northwest Company went into damage control mode Tuesday after photos of expensive food at a Northern Store in Arctic Bay caused outrage in the North and awe in the South.

    Among the items pictured were a $13 bag of spaghetti, a $29 jar of Cheez Whiz, a $77 bag of breaded chicken and a $38 bottle of cranberry juice.

    David Anderson, the manager of major market stores for the Northwest Co., told a meeting of Baffin mayors in Iqaluit that prices on those items went up when the supply shipped last summer by sealift ran out.

    “When they reordered the product by air, the new rate kicked in, which resulted in a price increase,” he said.

    Anderson said the Northwest Co. will try to ship larger quantities of items that aren’t subsidized by Nutrition North Canada via sealift in an effort to control price increases.

    But it will be a challenge. Nutrition North Canada subsidizes shipping on a much smaller list of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, than the old food mail program.

    “There’s approximately 2,700 items that will not (be) eligible under the (new) program,” Anderson said. “This will include things like ice cream, products like Cheez Whiz, spices.”

    But he said the Northwest Co. backs Nutrition North and promised Nunavut customers will see a drop in prices of “healthy-living product” when the new program kicks in April 1.

    Leona Aglukkaq, Nunavut’s MP and the federal health minister, said “misinformation that’s out there” is to blame for people attacking Nutrition North for food price increases, when the program hasn’t started yet.

    The Arctic Bay prices shown in the photos “have nothing to do with Nutrition North Canada,” Aglukkaq said.

    Complaints about the price of foods not covered by Nutrition North should go directly to retailers, she said.

    Quttiktuq member of legislature Ron Elliott, who distributed the photos of Arctic Bay groceries through his email list, said he’ll wait until the new program starts April 1 before he passes judgment.

    “If the prices do go down, I’ll be the first to stand up and applaud,” he said.

    But Elliott said the remote High Arctic is always going to face high food prices because of the region’s small population and distance from major transportation hubs.

    “Naturally prices are going to be higher . . . but there’s a breaking point and you just wonder where that breaking point is when prices are as high as they are in Arctic Bay,” he said.

  • Next is Nathan Vanderklippe’s Globe and Mail article “Agriculture remains a tough sell in the North”.
  • When Liz Hanson walked into her local Yukon grocery store on Saturday, she found the shelves bereft of beef.

    The only meat she could find? “Three little packages of poultry,” she said. “And you’re thinking, ‘there’s something wrong with this picture, when your supplies can’t be maintained.’”

    In Whitehorse, where Ms. Hanson was recently elected as MLA and now serves as leader of the territorial NDP, such a sight is not rare. She said mounting difficulties with northern food logistics are shining a spotlight on how Canada’s most distant communities feed themselves, especially in times of crisis and during periods when energy prices soar.

    “It is a growing problem, at least in my observation,” she said. “If there’s a snowstorm or a breakdown of a vehicle or anything that happens on a highway and the trucks don’t come in, there’s no food in the store. And it becomes a running joke.”

    [. . .]

    In the Northwest Territories and Yukon, food questions are thornier because history suggests these territories, cold and isolated as they may be, are capable of growing substantial amounts of their own food. In decades past, missionary priests and workers at isolated posts tilled large, productive gardens. The Dawson gold rush, which swelled the Yukon population to a size near current levels, was largely fed by local product.

    “We could have an industry that could support about a third to 40 per cent of Yukon’s food needs, rather than perhaps the 1 per cent to 2 per cent that we currently supply,” said Rick Tone, executive director of the Yukon Agricultural Association.

    The latest figures show the entire Yukon is home to a quantity of farm animals that could be contained on a single southern farm: 220 cattle, 160 hogs, 62 elk, 130 goats and sheep, 150 wood bison and 21 llamas.

    To encourage more agriculture, Mr. Tone’s association has laid plans for an abattoir, cold storage and kitchen operation that could be used by small-time community farmers. But erecting that $2-million facility has not been easy. It has been discussed in various forms since 1972 but never built, although the territory does subsidize a mobile abattoir.

    In part, that’s because agriculture remains a very tough sell in the North. In Yukon, for example, land prices exceed those in places such as Saskatchewan, and yields are far lower. A government program launched in 1988 studied how to grow wheat, peas, oilseeds and raspberries. But growing conditions aren’t good. The number of frost-free days ranges from 93 in some places to 21 in others. The soil is generally poor and nutrient-deficient.

    With this in mind, talk of the population of Arctic Canada–northern Canada generally–growing substantially seems a bit overwrought. Without food, what could be done? The existing population seems badly off enough.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    March 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

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