Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 04

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Volume 20, No. 4
Pages 30 - 35


Using Narwhals as Ocean-Observing Platforms in the High Arctic

By Kristin L. Laidre  and Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen 
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Offshore Arctic waters are the most remote and unexplored areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Generally covered by sea ice for most of the year, these waters are characterized by darkness for up to six months and inhospitable temperatures reaching -40°C in mid-winter. With few exceptions, offshore Arctic ecosystems are logistically difficult, or sometimes impossible, to observe with traditional platforms like vessels or airplanes, which can be impacted by severe environmental conditions. Oceanographers are increasingly relying on data collection from nontraditional platforms adapted to the Arctic to investigate major scientific questions about ecosystem changes in the Arctic Ocean.


Laidre, K.L., and M.P. Heide-Jørgensen. 2007. Using narwhals as ocean-observing platforms in the high Arctic. Oceanography 20(4):30–35, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.02.

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