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Arctic Ocean

Two Seattle-based Coast Guard Divers die in Arctic Ocean

Accoring to reports, two Seattle-based Coast Guard divers died Thursday while diving in the Arctic Ocean, about 500 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. Lt. Jessica Hill, 30, of St. Augustine, Fla., and Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, 26, of Miami, were assigned to the Cutter Healy. The ship was on a scientific mission when the deaths occurred, according to the Coast Guard. Hill and Duque were on a practice dive familiarizing themselves with the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Coast Guard said. The cause of this dive accident is under investigation. The 420-foot Healy is one of three polar ice breakers operated by the Coast Guard. Healy is primarily used for Arctic science operations under sponsorship of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Source: Seattle Times

Chinese Icebreaker Transits Northern Sea Route


The icebreaker 'Xuelong' made the Arctic Ocean passage from China through to Norwegian waters. The Chinese icebreaker completed the Arctic North-East Passage marking the first such voyage by a Chinese vessel and opening an Arctic route connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic for future Chinese science expeditions. In completing the voyage, the icebreaker Xuelong or Snow Dragon channeled through five marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean: the Chukchi Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Laptev Sea

Arctic Whitening Might Help Ice But Not Climate

Image by Carnegie Institution for Science

 The attempt to artificially whiten the surface of the Arctic Ocean and offset climate change will not be able to reduce global temperatures substantially. It could in principle help restore some amount of sea ice, says a research based on model configurations.   It has been proposed that disastrous climate effects could be offset by technological approaches, broadly called geoengineering. One geoengineering proposal is to artificially whiten the surface of the Arctic Ocean in

Samsung Wins Tanker Contract

According to a Korea Herald report, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. won a $422.5 million deal to build three arctic tankers for Russian state-owned shipper Sovcomflot. Samsung is the first Korean shipbuilder to receive an order for ice-breaking oil-carriers. Sovcomflot plans to operate the artic tankers over the Barents Sea between the Varandiy oil well in the Arctic Ocean and Murmansk harbor in Russia, according to the report

Navy Submarines Begin Arctic Ocean Exercises

Arctic-bound USS New Mexico: USN official photo

Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) and Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) have commenced Ice Exercise 2014 (ICEX 2014) in the Arctic Ocean, says Commander,  US Submarine Forces. "In keeping with the Department of Defense's Arctic Objectives, the Submarine Force uses Ice Exercises to prepare for a wide range of challenges and contingencies," said Capt. Paul Whitescarver

Russia Submits Vast Arctic Territory Claims to UN

Map by  National Snow and Ice Data Center

 Russia has submitted its bid for vast territories in the Arctic to the United Nations, AP reported as the Foreign Ministry saying.   The ministry said in a statement that Russia is claiming 1.2 million square kilometres (over 463,000 square miles) of Artic sea shelf extending more than 350 nautical miles (about 650 kilometres) from the shore.   It said the bid contains new arguments. “Ample scientific data collected in years of Arctic research are used to back the

Russia, US Agree on Arctic Fishing Ban

Photo: NOAA

Five nations set moratorium on fishing near North Pole; no fish there now, but thaw is drawing stocks north. The United States, Russia and other Arctic nations signed an agreement deal on Thursday to bar their fishing fleets from fast-thawing seas around the North Pole, an agreement delayed more than a year by tensions over Ukraine. The accord, also signed in Oslo by the ambassadors of Canada, Norway and Denmark, is a response to global warming

U.S., Canadian Coast Guard Oil Spill Exercise

Representatives from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, Arctic region stakeholders and established responders are scheduled to hold a joint “Canada - United States North” (CANUSNORTH) tabletop exercise March 16 and 17 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. This biennial exercise provides an opportunity for all responders to work together to consult on local issues and improve communications and coordination for potential responses to pollution incidents in the contiguous

Adm. Papp Continues USCG Arctic Outreach

Anchorage, Alaska Introductions: Photo credit USCG

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp has spent a week in Alaska, underscoring the importance of establishing and maintaining a range of Arctic partnerships. Despite snowfall in the North Slope of Alaska last week and cooler than average temperatures all summer, Arctic sea ice extent tracked well below average again this year. This ongoing transformation of the Arctic Ocean from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into an emerging maritime frontier is attracting increased human activity

NOAA Meetings Arctic Oil & Gas Activities

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will conduct five scoping meetings to receive public comments on its planned environmental impact statement on the effects of oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean. Meeting will be held in Wainwright (March 9); Barrow (March 10); Nuiqsut (March 11); Kaktovik (March 12); and Anchorage (March 23). Written comments should be submitted by April 9. 75 Fed. Reg. 8304 (February 24, 2010).

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

Danish Meet Looks at Arctic Shipping Issues

Picture: Danish Maritime Days

 One of the most significant global issues over the past 10 years is the vast changes in the Arctic region.    The world has again turned its attention to the Arctic, this time mainly because of the climate effects in the Arctic, the economic potential of the region

Canada Arctic Drilling Rules May Stifle Development

Canada's offshore Arctic drilling rules could "stifle" development since they do not provide incentives for companies to proceed with production after discovering oil, the government was told in a newly-released internal briefing note.  

US Coast Guard Cutter Reaches the North Pole

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Geotraces science team have their portrait taken at the North Pole Sept. 7, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cory J. Mendenhall)

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy arrived at the North Pole September 5, 2015, becoming the first U.S. surface ship to do so unaccompanied.   Healy’s arrival to the North Pole marks the fourth time a U.S. surface vessel has ever reached the North Pole, and the first since 2005. 

Five Chinese Ships in Bering Sea as Obama Visits Alaska

Five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, in an apparent first for China's military that came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the U.S. state.   Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first

Obama Defends Arctic Oil Drilling

Image: Shell Global

 United States' President Barack Obama defends his decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.   He insisted that there was no contradiction between his climate change agenda and Arctic drilling.  

Is Russia Militarizing The Arctic ?

Image: Russian Military

 US Army's Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) said in its August 2015 report that Moscow is  building up its military presence and moving highly advanced and specially modified air defense systems in the resource-rich Arctic region.   

Arctic Drilling 'Not Worth the Risk' -Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean was "not worth the risk." "The Arctic is a unique treasure," Clinton said. The Obama administration on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell

Programmed Multikopter Flies Autonomously Through Arctic

Alfred Wegener Institute programmed a Multikopter

  How do you get an aircraft in the far reaches of the Arctic Ocean to the goal, if the compass does not provide reliable location data? Engineers aboard the research icebreaker Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute programmed a Multikopter so that he can navigate near the North Pole

Can't Touch This: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling

Photo: White House

 A new report released today by Oil Change International and Greenpeace USA details a clear case against drilling for oil in the Arctic ocean based on climate science imperatives.    The report, “Untouchable: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling,” shows U.S

Shell Readies to Drill in Arctic, Seeks Modified Permit

MSV Fennica. Photo by Arctia Shipping

Shell has informed the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) that it is set to restart its controversial hunt for Arctic oil, three years after the company’s last ill-fated venture north, reports The Guardian.  

Iceland Left out of Arctic Fishing Accord

Iceland left out

  Iceland was not involved in the creation of the new joint cooperation agreement on fishing in the Arctic Ocean, and insists it should be included. The five nations involved in the agreements since 2008 all have coastal boundaries with the Arctic Ocean

US Senator Introduces Bill to Stop Arctic Drilling

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (official portrait)

A piece of legislation aiming to stop offshore Arctic drilling was introduced last week by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. The legislation, entitled Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, would prevent new or renewed leases for the exploration, development or production of oil

'Kayaktivists' Take Shell Arctic Protest Nationwide

Noble Discoverer transits Puget Sound after its departure from the Port of Everett, Wash., June 30. Noble Discoverer was the last of three oil drilling and support vessels to depart western Washington for the Arctic this summer. (USCG photo by Amanda Norcross)

Environmental activists in the U.S. prepare to take their so-called “kayaktivism” nationwide as they urge lawmakers to revoke oil and gas exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea, says environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group’s “Shell No” day on July 18

Shell Steps Closer to Arctic Drilling

Arctic Challenger Photo Greenpeace

  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the nonlethal, incidental, and unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walrus that result from Shell’s exploratory drilling activities in the Chukchi Sea. The agency gave authorization despite finding information

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