Jean-Louis Etienne
 
 
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Alone on Ice pack
How man copes with the cold
 
Communications - Safety - Emergency assistance
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Atmosphere & weather
The earth’s atmosphere  
 
Weather forecasting and modeling  
 
The climate and the north pole  
 
The solar energy balance  
 
The greenhouse effect  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Arctic ice
The ice pack: frozen saltwater  
 
Ice pack observation satellites  
 
Icebergs : frozen seawater  
 
The arctic ice: climate archives  
 
Ice ages and landscapes  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - The ocean and marine life
The Arctic Ocean and the ocean currents  
 
Genesis of the arctic ocean  
 
Arctic plankton  
 
Oceanic biodiversity and the food chain  
 
Whales and other cetaceans  
 
Seals and walruses  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Life on land
Arctic flora  
 
Arctic fauna  
 
Polar bears  
 
Birds of the arctic  
 
Evolution of species and climate  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - History and geography
Geography of the Arctic regions  
 
Geographic North Pole and magnetic North Pole  
 
Who owns the arctic ?  
 
Exploring the deep north  
 
The Inuit people  
 
The other peoples of the deep North  
 
The Arctic today  
 
Jean-Louis Etienne - Man's impact
Man and arctic biodiversity  
 
Pollution in the arctic  
 
Climate warming: the natural cycles  
 
The increase in the greenhouse effect  
 
The impact of global warming  
 
 
 
The ocean and marine life
Seals and walruses
 
 

Amphibian mammals
Walruses, seals and sea lions (otaries) are carnivorous marine mammals. Like their cousins found in Antarctica, they belong to the order of Pinnipedia (“feet like flippers”). They are perfectly amphibian and are just as at home in the water (flippers, streamlined shape, food mainly fish molluscs and crustaceans) as on land (lungs, birth in the open air).

Seals and sea lions
The Arctic Ocean is home to several species of both seal (bearded seal, ringed seal, etc.) and sea lion (Steller’s sea lion, furred sea lion, etc.). The main differences between the two is that a sea lion’s ears are visible and it folds in its back “feet” to walk about on land, where a seal crawls along the ground. Their natural predators are polar bears and killer whales (orcas).

The walrus, sentinel of the Arctic
The walrus is a large potbellied (they can weight up to 1,200 kg) mammal with huge tusk teeth (evolved from canines) that lives in herds along the edge of the Arctic. It has very stiff “tactile” whiskers around its muzzle. The walrus digs around on the sea bed with its tusks, stirring up molluscs that it crunches before sucking them up. Walruses also occasionally eat seals.

A new threat: pollution
Many Inuit depend almost entirely on seals for their livelihood. Theirs is a seal-based civilisation: seals provide their food, clothes, tools, etc., but they husband local seal stocks. On the other hand, certain species of pinniped have been decimated by hunters coming to the Deep North to exploit them for oil and furs. And today they face a new, and more insidious threat: the chemical waste from human activities is accumulating in their body fat.

 

 
Jean-Louis Etienne
Jean-Louis Etienne
 
 
 
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