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History of Arctic



 History of Arctic



  Arctic - the northern polar region of the Earth, including the Arctic Ocean and its seas, the northern parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans; Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Greenland, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, Novosibirsk Islands and Wrangell Island, as well as the northern coasts of the continents of Eurasia and North America. About 4 million people live in this territory.


History of Arctic exploration

            The North Pole has long attracted the attention of travelers and explorers who, overcoming incredible difficulties, penetrated further and further north, discovered cold Arctic islands and archipelagos and plotted them on the map.

            These were representatives of different peoples of the world: Americans John Franklin and Robert Peary, Dutch William Barents, Norwegians Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen, Italian Umberto Nobile and many others, whose names have forever remained in the names of islands, mountains, glaciers, seas. Among them are our Russian researchers: F. Litke, V. Bering, the Laptev brothers, G. Sedov, A. Kolchak, V. Rusanov, O. Schmidt, S. Chelyuskin, S. Makarov, I. Papanin and many others.

            Since the 11th century, the economic and political importance of the Lord Veliky Novgorod has been steadily growing in Russia. Novgorodians in the XI-XII centuries intensively mastered the western, eastern and northern lands.

Russian coast-dwellers and explorers already in the middle of the 16th century, using the tributaries of the Siberian rivers, made voyages to the Arctic Ocean and along its shores.

            Throughout its history - from the freemen of Novgorod and the Arctic campaigns of the Pomors to the conquerors of the North Pole - Russia has always strived to the North. The result of this centuries-old activity was the development of a huge subpolar zone - almost half of the arc of the Arctic Circle.


Russian Arctic expeditions

            1648 - a group of sailors led by the "trading man" Fedot Popov and the Cossack ataman Semyon Dezhnev bypassed the Chukotka Peninsula on kochs (an old Pomeranian decked single-masted sailing and rowing vessel) and entered the Pacific Ocean.

            1686-1688 - the trading expedition of Ivan Tolstoukhov on three kochs bypassed the Taimyr Peninsula by sea from west to east.

            1712 - explorers Mercury Vagin and Yakov Permyakov visited Bolshoi Lyakhovsky Island for the first time, initiating the discovery and exploration of the entire group of the New Siberian Islands.

            1725-1742 - the work of the Great Northern Expedition in the waters of the Arctic Ocean and on its coast. The First and Second Kamchatka Expeditions led by Vitus Bering, who completed a huge range of studies of the northern territory of Siberia from the mouth of the Pechora and Vaigach Island to Chukotka, the Commander Islands and Kamchatka. For the first time, the coasts of the Arctic Ocean from Arkhangelsk to the mouth of the Kolyma, the coast of the island of Honshu, the Kuril Islands were mapped. The expeditions passed through the strait between Chukotka and Alaska, reached North America and discovered a number of islands of the Aleutian ridge. There was no more grandiose geographical enterprise before this expedition.

            1821-1824 - Fyodor Litke described the shores of Novaya Zemlya, made many geographical definitions of places along the coast of the White Sea.

            1826 - F. Litke on the sloop "Senyavin" went on a round-the-world voyage that lasted three years. In the Bering Sea, the most important points on the coast of Kamchatka have been identified, the hitherto unknown Karaginsky Islands, Matvey Island, and the coast of Chukotka Land have been described; the Pribylov Islands are identified; explored and described the Caroline archipelago, the islands of Bonin-Sima and many others.

            1899 - according to the idea of ​​the famous Russian navigator Admiral Stepan Makarov, the world's first powerful icebreaker "Ermak" was built in England, which was supposed to be used for regular communication with the Ob and Yenisei rivers through the Kara Sea and for scientific research of the ocean to the highest latitudes.

            1910-1915 - Russian "Hydrographic Expedition of the Arctic Ocean" on the icebreaking ships "Taimyr" and "Vaigach". Based in Vladivostok, in three years during the expedition a detailed hydrographic inventory from Cape Dezhnev to the mouth of the Lena was completed and navigation signs on the coast were built.

            1912 - G. Sedov's sledge expedition to the North Pole.

            1912 - Nikolai Zubov made a hydrographic survey of Mityushikha Bay on the western coast of Novaya Zemlya. And in 1932, he led an expedition on the ship "N.Knipovich", for the first time in history, rounding Franz Josef Land from the north. N. Zubov developed a system of ice forecasts in the Arctic seas.

            1929 – Vladimir Vize put forward the idea of creating the first polar scientific drifting station.

            1937-1938 – V. Wiese headed the world's first drifting station "North Pole".

            1930-1940 - the period of Soviet exploration of the Arctic. Heroic expeditions were carried out on the icebreakers "G.Sedov", "Krasin", "Sibiryakov", "Litke". They were led by famous polar explorers Otto Schmidt, Rudolf Samoilovich, Vladimir Vize, Vladimir Voronin. For the first time in one navigation, the Northern Sea Route was traversed, heroic flights over the North Pole were made, which created fundamentally new opportunities for reaching and exploring the North Pole.

            2001 - after 10 years, the work of Russian drifting stations in the Arctic was resumed.

            On September 7, 2009, the Russian drifting station "North Pole-37" began its work. Specialists from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) work at SP-37.


 Great Arctic explorers

Mikhail Lomonosov (1711 - 1765)

Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov devoted at least twenty years of his life to the problems of studying the Arctic. With indomitable energy, he argued that the exploration and development of the Arctic are of scientific and economic importance. A very rare publication "The Lomonosov Project and the Chichagov Expedition" (St. Petersburg, 1854) is dedicated to the first Russian expedition to the Arctic, led by Captain V. Chichagov, organized in 1764 according to the project of Mikhail Vasilyevich. The expedition had to find a way to the East through the Arctic Ocean.

Semyon Chelyuskin (circa 1700 - after 1760)

Semyon Chelyuskin is a graduate of the Moscow School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences founded by Peter the Great. In 1721 he began service in the Baltic Fleet. Since 1733 took part in the Great Northern Expedition, made important geographical descriptions of the Taimyr Peninsula. In 1741, he began work on land exploration of Taimyr, and on May 9, Chelyuskin reached the extreme northern point of Eurasia - the cape, which was later named after him.

Khariton Laptev (1700-1763)

In 1737-1739 he made the First Arctic voyage as a commander of the double-boat "Yakutsk". His team went by sea from the Lena to the Yenisei. In 1739-1742, he made several more sea and land expeditions, the result of which was the mapping of the Taimyr Peninsula and the description of the Arctic Ocean from the mouth of the Lena to the mouth of the Yenisei.

Robert Peary (1856-1920)

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert Edwin Peary made his first Arctic voyage in 1886, when he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross Greenland by dog sled. Soon Peary managed to find sponsors who allowed him to prepare more thoroughly, and on April 6, 1909, he is considered to be the first person to reach the North Pole. He was accompanied on the expedition by the assistant, Matthew Hanson, and a group of Eskimos.

Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930)

Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen is a passionate explorer of the Arctic. At the age of 20, he took part in navigation in the Arctic Ocean on the ship of the Viking seal industrial company. In 1888, he was the first to cross Greenland from east to west, passing about 660 km and becoming the hero of Norway. In 1892-1896, he explored the Arctic Ocean in the area of Novaya Zemlya on the ship "Fram". 1922 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

In 1903-1906, Roald Amundsen, the son of Norwegian shipbuilders, first sailed on a small fishing vessel "Joa" the northwestern passage from Greenland to Alaska. He devoted the rest of his life to the study of the Arctic and Antarctic, becoming the first to visit both poles of the Earth. Amundsen died in 1928 while trying to find the expedition of Umberto Nobile, who crashed in the Arctic Ocean on the airship "Italia". His Latham seaplane crashed in the Barents Sea.

Alexander Kolchak (1874-1920)

Alexander Kolchak became famous as an explorer of the Arctic. In 1900-1902, on the schooner "Zarya", he participated in an expedition to the New Siberian Islands, one of these islands and a cape in the Kara Sea were named after him. In 1906, Kolchak published a number of special works, in particular the book "The Ice of the Kara and Siberian Seas". He also participated in the preparation of the hydrographic expedition of the Arctic Ocean.

Otto Schmidt (1891-1956)

Otto Schmidt is one of the most famous Soviet explorers of the Arctic. In 1929 and 1930 he led expeditions on the Georgy Sedov icebreaker to Franz Josef Land. In 1932, an expedition on the icebreaker "Sibiryakov" under the leadership of Schmidt for the first time managed to cross from Arkhangelsk to the Pacific Ocean in one navigation period. In 1933-1934, he led the voyage on the Chelyuskin steamer along the Northern Sea Route. In 1937, Schmidt organized the creation of the first drifting station "North Pole".

Ivan Papanin (1894-1986)

Ivan Papanin - twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Doctor of Geographical Sciences. In 1932-1933 he was the head of the polar station on Franz Josef Land, in 1934-1935 - at Cape Chelyuskin. In 1937-1938 he headed the world's first drifting station "North Pole". From 1939 to 1948 he was the head of the Main Northern Sea Route. Conducted scientific work until 1972. A cape on Taimyr, an island in the Sea of Azov, mountains in Antarctica, and a seamount in the Pacific Ocean are named after Papanin.

Jean Malory (born 1922)

French traveler, geographer and geomorphologist. He devoted more than 40 years to the study of the Arctic and the life of the Eskimos. He single-handedly led "the first French geographical and ethnological expedition to the north of Greenland" for the CNRS (Thule expedition). May 29, 1951 reached the North geomagnetic pole of the Earth. Member of 31 Arctic expeditions and author of over 550 articles, 11 books and 10 films. Author of The Last Kings of Thule. In 1990, Jean Malory led the work of the first joint Soviet-French expedition to Chukotka, organized by the USSR Cultural Foundation and the French Center for Arctic Studies. In 1992 he founded the Polar Academy in St. Petersburg. In 2015, Jean Malory was awarded the title of Senior Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor and is awarded the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit in 2020. Since 2017, Honorary President of the Russian Hydrometeorological University. President of 14 international Arctic congresses.

Artur Chilingarov (b. 1939)

Soviet and Russian oceanologist, researcher of the Arctic and Antarctic. Hero of the Soviet Union (1986), Hero of Russia (2008). Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic. President of the Association of Polar Explorers, First Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society. In 1969 was appointed head of the drifting station North Pole-19 (SP-19). In 2007, during the "high-latitude Arctic deep-water expedition" led by Artur Chilingarov, the structure of the coastal part of the Russian Arctic zone, the Siberian continental platform and the shelf of the Arctic Ocean was studied. At the point of the North Pole at the bottom of the sea, with the help of deep-sea submersibles "Mir", a metal flag of Russia was installed. A capsule with a message to posterity was also laid there. In 1992 Together with Jean Malory and French President Jacques Chirac, they founded the Polar Academy in St. Petersburg to train highly qualified specialists from representatives of the indigenous small population of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East. Member of numerous expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. President of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University. *




* The article uses materials from the publications of RIA Novosti, the Kommersant publishing house, and information from the Wikipedia website, the funds of the Russian State Humanitarian University.





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