stefansson-wrangel-09-38-005-001

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Status: Needs Review



MEMORANDUM RE WRANGEL ISLAND
by

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON.

Wrangel Island is a special and urgent case in an
important general situation.

It has come to be clearly understood during the last
few years that the traditional opinion of the Arctic is remote
from the facts.

Winter in the Arctic islands is no colder than
Winnipeg, and not as cold as Montana or Yakutsk. In some parts
of the polar regions it is not even much longer - only a month
or six weeks. On low lands remote from the Ocean, a July day
in the Arctic is likely to be as hot as in the tropics, and
certainly hotter than England. There is no permanent ice or
snow anywhere in the Arctic on land except in mountains or at sea.

The Arctic is known to contain more than seven hundred
species of flowering plants, such as blue grass, timothy, poppies,
primroses, and a somewhat less number of non-flowering plants.

Typical Arctic landscape is a level or rolling prairie,
similar in appearance to those of Manitoba or Dakota.

It may be seen by looking at the globe or map of
the northern hemisphere, that the Polar Ocean is tiny in com-
parison with the other oceans. It is in effect a Mediterranean
separating Europe from Eastern Asia.

Evidence presented by me to the Air ministry shows
that when advantages and drawbacks are averaged up, the flying

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