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Arctic Ocean

More Chinese Ships to Use Arctic Route

Photo:  LaRouche PAC

 China will send more ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, says the state news agency Xinhua.   The world's largest maritime carrier China COSCO Shipping Corporation will send more cargo vessels on Arctic voyages through the Northeast Passage. COSCO's freighter Yongsheng set out Saturday in northern port city of Tianjin for Britain.   The ship will travel through the Arctic Ocean shipping route for the third time following voyages in 2015 and 2013, when it became China's first commercial vessel to explore the Northeast Passage.   At least two more huge freighters will travel on the route in August in separate voyages, said the company.   An Arctic trip can be shortened by one third of the conventional Malacca-Suez route. The COSCO said the Arctic shipping route will promote China-Europe trade.   Shorter shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean would save Chinese companies time and money. For example, the journey from Shanghai to Hamburg via the Arctic route is 2,800 nautical miles shorter than going by the Suez Canal.  


Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent  (File photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. This year’s survey is a collaborative effort with Sweden, and Danish scientists will also participate in the research.   The Canadian icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent left Dartmouth on July 22, 2016, for Tromsø, Norway


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


Chinese Icebreaker Transits Northern Sea Route

Photo credit:antarctica.gov.au

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


Sea Ice Plays Pivotal Role in Arctic Methane Cycle

Sea ice forms a natural barrier on the Central Arctic Ocean, limiting gas exchange between water and atmosphere Courtesy AWI

  The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed. Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) report on the newly discovered interactions between the atmosphere, sea ice and the ocean in a recent online study in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports.


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


Arctic Discovery Shocks Scientists

Photo: Arctic Program

 A report from the Washington Post described how high Arctic temperatures had risen by about 36 degrees Fahrenheit last month, coinciding with record-low sea ice levels.   Scientists have just discovered something int he Arctic that could totally change how they see the drastically


Obama's Arctic Ban and Aftermath

Photo courtesy: BP p.l.c.

 US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters.   Vowing that his successor won’t be able to reverse his actions, President Obama on Tuesday used executive authority to permanently ban


Arctic Drilling Ban Gives Canada Leg Up -US Lawmakers

© ggw / Adobe Stock

U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday slammed an agreement made with Canada to ban offshore Arctic drilling, saying Ottawa's plan to review its ban every five years gives Canada a leg up on energy exploration.   U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced a ban on new oil and gas drilling


NOIA Decries Obama Withdrawal of Offshore Areas

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the withdrawal of portions of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans from future oil and natural gas leasing:    “President Obama’s short sighted


Obama Bans New Drilling off Alaska, Part of Atlantic Shore

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in a push to leave his stamp on the environment before Republican Donald Trump takes office next month.   Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf


The Arctic Is In Meltdown

Photo Courtesy: Greenpeace

 The Arctic has lost almost 95% of its older ice cover since 1984, says NASA. The area covered by Arctic sea ice at least four years old has decreased from 1,860,000 square kilometres in September 1984 to 110,000 square kilometres in September 2016.  


Will Naval Operations Heat up in the Arctic?

U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

As diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean expands navigable waters, scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research have traveled to the region to study the changing environment and provide new tools to help the U.S. Navy operate in a once-inaccessible area.  


Electric Motors for Marine Applications

A waterproof motor with stainless steel exterior (Photo: Empire Magnetics)

Empire Magnetics President Richard Halstead discusses the critical considerations necessary for engines operating in Arctic waters.    A large number of vessels sail in more than one ocean, from warmer seas to arctic waters, so motors for marine applications must be versatile enough to


Arctic Shipping a Reality for Asia

Image by The Arctic Institute

 As Western firms wait to for Arctic shipping to show its worth, Asian countries are already betting on the emergence of an Arctic economic rim, reports The Arctic Journal.   For centuries, a harsh climate and ice-choked seas dashed the dreams of sailors attempting to cross the


Foss Maritime: Hard at Work in the Arctic

Glacier Wind in Cook Inlet (Image courtesy of Foss Maritime)

As the oil industry awaits a much-needed rebound, Foss Maritime’s robust presence in the Arctic region underscores its commitment to the region, the environment, and a business plan that looks ahead to the next chapter.   Reports of the death of commercial Arctic activities have been


Cruise Ship Transits the Northeast Passage

Hanseatic in ice water (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)

 Expedition cruise ship Hanseatic has navigated the Northeast Passage for the second time, completing its journey through the Arctic Ocean sea route in the early hours of September 7, 2016. After sailing a total of 5,542 nautical miles, the ship will arrive in Nome on September 10 and


Arctic Sea Ice Melt Continues

Average sea surface temperature measured by satellites using thermal emission sensors, which produce global data adjusted after comparison with ship and buoy data, and sea ice concentration derived from NSIDC near-real-time data for August 7, 2016. Also shown are drifting buoy temperatures at the ocean surface (colored circles); gray circles indicate that temperature data from the buoys are not available. (Credit: M. Steele, Polar Science Center/University of Washington)

As of August 14, Arctic sea ice extent is tracking third lowest in the satellite record, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The southern route through the Northwest Passage appears to be largely free of ice. Despite a rather diffuse ice cover in the Chukchi Sea


Ice Free Arctic?

Photo Credits: NASA/Kate Ramsayer

 Arctic melting slowed enough in midsummer that scientists don't expect this year's sea ice minimum to set a new record. This year’s melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through


Arctic Sea Ice Melt at Higher Level

Image: National Snow and Ice Data Center

 Sea ice is decreasing in the Arctic but year-to-year variability in sea ice extent is large. Ice extent is influenced by atmospheric circulation, with temperatures dictating ice melt, and winds shifting the ice, reports the Nature.   


Ice algae: The Engine of Life in the Central Arctic Ocean

Algae. Pic: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 Algae that live in and under the sea ice play a much greater role for the Arctic food web than previously assumed.    In a new study, biologists of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) showed that not only animals that live directly






 
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