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James Thomson

James (Jimmy) Thomson is a Vancouver-based freelance journalist. His work has been published in National Geographic, The Globe and Mail, VICE, the Toronto Star, BCBusiness Magazine, The Tyee, Canadian Geographic, CTV, and CBC Radio, among others.

He has reported from eight countries – six of them in the Arctic – on topics ranging from climate change to war refugees to cannibal rat-infested ghost ships. He has gathered audio from a Coast Salish sweat lodge, photos of a Syrian prosthetics workshop, and video of crab fishing in the Norwegian Arctic. In the pursuit of a good story he has slept on converted Russian spy ships, Chinese farmers’ plank beds, and in a tent under the midnight sun. He played a minor role in finding John Franklin’s lost ships in the High Arctic.



Content by James Thomson

In the 70 years since the war, more than a dozen wrecks of planes and ships have been found on the bottom of the fjords around Kirkenes. But only recently have some of their mysteries been truly solved.

A Finnish company selling a device it says will treat Seasonal Affective Disorder is being accused of shady publishing practices, poor research design, and data manipulation – all in a push to get its product on the market.

Once touted as the saviour of Pajala, the loss of their iron ore mine has the town fearing for its existence.

The UN International Maritime Organization has drafted the environmental regulations chapter for the Polar Code, a binding set of regulations for shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic. Critics argue that some important environmental pieces are missing.

Kirkenes, Norway, is strangely uniform for a 150-year-old town.

Global warming could trigger a food crisis in the High North with hunters’ ability to live of the land threatened due to melting ice and migrating species.

A team of American scientists has recovered billions of dollars’ worth of “dark data” from the 1960s, pushing back the modern satellite record of sea ice extent by 17 years.

Scientists have had trouble explaining why the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, but new research says it may be the plants’ fault: vegetation attracts sunlight, traps heat, and even interacts with the atmosphere to influence sea ice.

Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.

A narwhal tusk has been stolen from Svalbard, a popular, protected Arctic tourist destination. The governor’s office has asked for the help of expedition cruise ship visitors in identifying the culprit.