Arctic Update Header
August 31, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Canadian Inuit Going Hungry: McGill Study. Six out of ten Inuit in Canada's far north don't get enough to eat or are eating the wrong things, says a comprehensive study by a team of McGill University researchers. They warn preventive measures are desperately needed to help ward off diabetes, heart disease and other ailments which already plague other aboriginal peoples in Canada and the U.S. Increasingly, Inuit are shifting away from the traditional foods hunters brought home. But researchers found people living in remote villages often cannot find or afford the fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products which make up the best part of a healthy southern diet. Montreal Gazette  


Arctic Oil Spill Plan Condemned. Environmental Oil Drilling in Alaskacampaigners have accused an Edinburgh-based oil company of "breathtaking irresponsibility" over its plans for clearing up a possible spill in the Arctic. Greenpeace raised concerns that the oil spill response plan drawn up by Cairn Energy was inadequate for the treacherous conditions in the region. It includes measures such as cutting out blocks of oiled ice which could be thawed in a heated warehouse to separate out the oil, and deploying portable lights to help with a clean-up during winter darkness. Press Association 


Arctic Geologists Wanted; Only the bold need apply. One memorable Arctic trip in a battered DC-3 twin-engined propeller plane still makes Tom Hoefer laugh nervously. "They were having problems with it and the pilot came back ... and said 'If I yell at you that you need to do something for me, I want you to open the back door and I want you to throw out all this fish we have on board,'" he recalled. Welcome to the gigantic deserted Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, home to supposed mineral riches and a stupendously challenging climate where temperatures often dip below minus 40 Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit.) Reuters 


My Turn: US Icebreaking Program- where haveicebreakers all the big thinkers gone? [Opinion] In an Aug. 25 letter, Dr. Karl Erb of the National Science Foundation was pleased to find a workaround for continued icebreaking services critical for U.S. science in the Antarctic. Actually, what Erb negotiated was a contract with the Russian Murmansk Shipping Co. to outsource U.S. polar operations. This exemplifies the narrow polar vision held by NSF, preferring foreign interests for our country's science needs in polar regions. Since 2005, NSF outsourced U.S. Antarctic missions to the Russian icebreaker Krasin, the Swedish icebreaker Oden and now, the Russian icebreaker Vladimir Ignatyuk. Juneau Empire 


Denmark's Arctic Strategy Points to Polar Consensus. [Commentary] Last week, the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands) released its Strategy for the Arctic. This marks a culmination of a three year period in which each of the circumpolar states - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States, as well as the EU - established new Arctic policies in face of the region's rapidly evolving geopolitical situation. While this in itself is significant, the most startling thing is the level of consensus articulated in these nine Arctic policies. For all of the region's diversity of interests, values, resources and cultures, when it comes to Arctic policy everyone is saying pretty much the same things. Alaska Dispatch 


Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians. Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits. The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but failed deal that Russia's state oil company, Rosneft, reached with the British oil giant BP this year - with a few striking differences. New York Times  


Exxon Wins Arctic Deal, Gives Russia US Access Exxon Mobil Corp. snatched away a major Arctic exploration deal with Russia's OAO Rosneft from competitors including BP PLC in a sweeping agreement that for the first time gives a Russian state-controlled company access to energy projects in the U.S. Wall Street Journal

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                     


9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchanging practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 


Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011. "Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hverager