This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.


Inuit to discuss how to save the North Water Polynya

  • Apr 28, 2016
  • 148 words
  • 1 minutes
Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory/Wikimedia Commons
A polynya off the Antarctic Coast. The Inuit Circumpolar Council are working to save the North Water Polynya, the largest polynya in the Northern Hemisphere. (Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory/Wikimedia Commons)
Expand Image

Members of a special Inuit Circumpolar Council commission tasked with consulting Inuit on how to save the North Water Polynya will this week journey to the Nunavut communities of Grise Fiord and Pond Inlet to begin talks with locals, according to a CBC report.

Like all polynyas, the North Water is a region of largely unfrozen ocean surrounded by sea ice. What makes it special, however, is that at about 80,000 square kilometres, it’s the largest polynya in the Northern Hemisphere and the most biologically productive ecosystem north of the Arctic Circle, providing an important habitat for marine mammals the Inuit rely on.

This infographic, published in the December 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic, explains where and how the polynya forms. Click the image to enlarge

Expand Image

(Infographic: Andy Mora/Canadian Geographic)


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content


Geography word of the week: Polynya

Polynya[puh-lin-yuh]Definition:An area of largely unfrozen ocean surrounded by sea ice. Polynyas can be formed in several ways. Latent-heat…

  • 157 words
  • 1 minutes
Satellite image of Antarctica Weddell Sea with sea ice and extra-tropical cyclones from September 25, 2017


A huge hole in Antarctica’s sea ice could offer insight into climate change

Researchers say the naturally occurring ice-free area, called a polynya, is a rare opportunity to study heat transfer between the ocean and atmopshere in the southern polar region

  • 461 words
  • 2 minutes

People & Culture

With old traditions and new tech, young Inuit chart their changing landscape

For generations, hunting, and the deep connection to the land it creates, has been a mainstay of Inuit culture. As the coastline changes rapidly—reshaping the marine landscape and jeopardizing the hunt—Inuit youth are charting ways to preserve the hunt, and their identity. 

  • 5346 words
  • 22 minutes


The 2022 Expedition Insider

A behind-the-scenes look at the adventures and discoveries of the passionate explorers funded by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

  • 3864 words
  • 16 minutes