Arctic Update Header
July 9, 2013
The House of Representatives will begin debate on H.R. 2609 - 2014 Energy-Water Appropriations Act, which President Obama has threatened to veto over reduced research funding for renewable energy.

NASA's polar robotic ranger passes first Greenland test. "Defying 30 mph gusts and temperatures down to minus 22 F, NASA's new polar rover recently demonstrated in Greenland that it could operate completely autonomously in one of Earth's harshest environments. The robot known as GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, was designed by teams of students attending engineering boot camps at Goddard in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Built to carry a ground-penetrating radar to analyze layers of snow and ice, the rover was later transferred to Boise State University for fine-tuning with NASA funding."


Arctic environmentalist wary of federal resource assessment review. "Northern environmentalists say a deal between the Northwest Territories and a federal economic development agency could water down how proposed resource projects are reviewed. Federal officials say the agreement is intended to make sure different government departments work together to ensure the assessment goes smoothly." Edmonton Journal


Murkowski: Pebble should provide more specifics. "U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski called on the companies seeking to develop a massive copper and gold prospect near the headwaters of a premier salmon fishery to release a mine plan soon, saying they are contributing to uncertainty surrounding the proposed Pebble Mine. Murkowski, in a letter to officials from Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., Anglo American plc and the Pebble Limited Partnership, said clarity over how the parties plan to proceed is in the best interest of everyone involved." Anchorage Daily News


Senate showdown looms on EPA nominee, other White House picks. "The Hill's Alexander Bolton has a new story that unwraps Senate Majority Leader 

White House

Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) plan to advance stalled nominations - including Gina McCarthy, the White House pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency." The Hill


White House threatens veto of energy, water spending bill. "The White House yesterday threatened a presidential veto of a bill to fund the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies that is expected to pass the House this week. President Obama's advisers 'would recommend that he veto the bill' because of its steep cuts to clean energy and research programs, among other reasons, the White House said in a statement yesterday." E&E News


Arctic misrepresentations. Arctic oceanographer Ken Drinkwater corrects a recent mis-quotation from Christopher Booker at the Daily Telegraph regarding the cause for the current Arctic sea ice extent


Finland - the global logistics hub by 2040. "Finland's geopolitical and economic position will undergo significant changes and move from periphery into the centre of global logistics by the year 2040, Arctic storm reports. Changes are caused by melting of the Arctic Sea ice, energy resources in northern Canada and Russia, and Trans-Asian Railway Reform through Russia. According to the latest report from Aalto University, for the next 30 years, world's operational focus will be on the Northern Hemisphere. Finland's position will change from the periphery to the centre of global logistics, describe the authors of the Arctic storm report, future-researcher Mika Aaltonen and Michael Loescher, an ex-adviser to the U.S. administration." Invest in EU


China and the Arctic, part I: Trade. "The Arctic Council convened in May of this year, under Canada's leadership, and reached an important milestone in the development of Arctic politics: the admittance of six additional states as observers on the Council: China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Chinaflag Singapore. This article will focus specifically on China's commercial interests in becoming an observer state on the Arctic Council, and discuss what the impact of those interests on global trade patterns maybe be - specifically how global crisis points threaten to disrupt strategic flows." The World Outline


A look at East Asian diplomacy in the Arctic. "The chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng, recently visited Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In Finland, the president and CEO of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (E.K.), Jyri H