News A pedestrian makes their way along a snow packed street in Indianapolis

Much of the United States is currently in the grip of a polar vortex, a system of dense air producing plummeting temperatures and swathes of freezing weather, bringing some parts of the country to a halt and causing chaos in others.

Steve Connor: Bets still on for ice-free North Pole

Science Notebook

Medvedev: Russia needs to mark its Arctic territory

Russia should pass a law marking its territory in the disputed Arctic where it claims a large share of the mineral resources, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said today.

For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated

Melting ice opens up North-west and North-east passages simultaneously. Scientists warn Arctic icecap is entering a 'death spiral'

Russians dive to bottom of world's deepest lake

Russian explorers plunged to the bottom of the world's deepest lake today in a show of Moscow's resurgent ambitions to set new records in science.

Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change

Fram, National Theatre, London

A translator of Greek tragedies, a classical actress, and an explorer who almost reached the North Pole are the unlikely leads of a verse drama that travels through time and space, pitting fact against fiction, individualism against international cooperation. Tony Harrison's play, which he has directed with set designer Bob Crowley, doesn't so much debate the issues as bang a lot of assertions together and shower us with the sparks, but its vigour and nutty novelty are good value at a higher price than the £10 Travelex ticket.

Tom Avery: My Life In Travel

'The Scottish Highlands in February is a real adventure playground'

Race for the Arctic

An international 'cold war' has begun over who owns the rapidly unfreezing wastes of the far north and what is thought to be its treasure of natural resources. Daniel Howden and Ben Holst report

In the Lapp of luxury

Up above the Arctic Circle, Sankha Guha and his family enjoy snowmobiling, reindeer safaris, skiing and a sumptuous resort in Finland

David Hempleman-Adams: Fear, failure and my flight to the North Pole in a hot air balloon

From the Royal Society of Arts Prince Philip Lecture by the British explorer, given in London

Poles apart: the MBA on top of the world

Adam Levy's time at INSEAD helped to prepare him for a trek to the North Pole, says Hilary Wilce
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