Arctic Update Header
October 25, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The House is expected to consider land conveyance legislation. The Senate is in recess.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    

 

russian flagRussia Takes the Lead in Arctic Cold War. Russia has all but approved an $8 billion plan to build the first-ever city with an artificial climate, as the country steps up to conquer the planet's frozen waters with its vast resources, and says the Moon and Mars will be next. Named after Umka - a popular late Soviet-era bear cub cartoon hero - the proposed city is to be built on the remote island of Kotelny, in the Novosibirsk archipelago. Situated a meager 1,000 miles off the North Pole, it has been called one of the least hospitable regions of the Earth, with summer temperatures rarely rising above freezing, while plunging in winter as low as -40 C. The initial population is planned to be just 5,000, most of whom will be scientists and workers involved in the extraction and transport of vast oil and gas riches of the underwater Lomonosov Ridge. RT 

 

Team Says Arctic Ice Shelf Broke Up Before. Arctic shelf ice has been in the news of late due to its shrinkage over the past few decades that most attribute to global warning. Thus, its levels and seemingly constant calving have become ecological barometers that environmentalists have come to use to show just how fast our planet is heating up. PhysOrg 

 

ringsealAlaska Seal Necropsy: A Search for Answers in Mystery Illness. Scientists hoping to learn what's killing Arctic ringed seals, an affliction that's peppered the animals' skin and organs with ulcers, turned their attention Monday to a fresh seal carcass shot by a Northwest Alaska subsistence hunter. In a cramped University of Anchorage laboratory, veterinarians and assistants in biomedical scrubs carved the big marine mammal into bits, all in the name of science. Alaska Dispatch 

 

Alaska Native, Environmental Groups Challenging Shell Air Permits. Alaska Native and environmental groups announced Monday they will challenge a federal air permit granted to Royal Dutch Shell PLC for offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell hopes to drill exploratory wells next summer off Alaska's northern coasts. The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued an air permit for Shell's drill ship, the Kulluk. Alaska Public Radio 

 

Icebreaker Has Broken Propeller. A broken propeller at the stern of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis St-Laurent will have to be fixed in dry dock later this fall as attempts to do it in Arctic waters have failed, said a coast guard official. Divers were unable to put the propeller back into position in the waters off Cambridge Bay, where the ship has been anchored since the problem was discovered on Sept. 19, said Brian Leblanc, regional director of fleet in the Coast Guard's Central and Arctic Region. Northern News Services 

 

canadian flagMP Questions Arctic Ship Spending. In ten years, there will be half a dozen new Canadian ships patrolling the Arctic. Last week, the federal government announced its National Shipbuilding Program. It awarded contracts to shipbuliders in Halifax and Vancouver. It's likely that the first ships launched under the program will be six destined to patrol the Arctic offshore, fulfilling a long-standing promise by the Conservatives to beef up Canada's presence in the North. CBC News 

 

Arctia to Convert Multi-Function Icebreakers to Meet US EPA Arctic Regs. Finland's Arctia Offshore is making a significant reduction in the flue gas emissions of the multi-function icebreakers Fennica and Nordica. The main engines - eight in all - of the two vessels will be equipped with catalysts and oxidation catalysts, plus the appropriate new exhaust pipe and stack constructions as well as urea systems. In addition, both vessels will be converted to enable the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. Arctia Offshore Ltd has ordered the entire modification project from W