Science journalist blogs about humans and other wildlife.
Holiday in lights: 7 Arctic aurora videos
The Arctic may be crumbling due to climate change, but thanks to an ongoing frenzy of aurora borealis activity, the region still has plenty of holiday magic.
Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM
An aurora dances over northern Finland in March 2012. (Photo: Timo Newton-Syms/flickr)
The Arctic is a natural refuge for stealthy culture heroes like Santa Claus and Superman. Not only does it offer seclusion from international fame, but its harsh climate and top-of-the-world mystique can help burnish anyone's superhuman credentials.
Of course, the Arctic is now in dire straits due to manmade climate change
, threatening more than just Santa's workshop and Superman's Fortress of Solitude. We recently listed seven reasons
why the decline of Arctic sea ice matters to everyone, including its ability to reflect solar heat and regulate global weather patterns.
But while the Arctic is changing before our eyes, it still boasts much of its iconic beauty and magic — especially in winter. And thanks to a peaking 11-year sunspot cycle
, that beauty is now backlit by some of this century's wildest northern lights yet.
As Christmas casts a global spotlight on the region, here are six of 2012's best Arctic aurora videos, plus a bonus look from the perspective of Inuit elder Alice Ayalik.
Related aurora stories on MNN:
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.