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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

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


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


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


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


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).


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


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 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


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.   


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.  


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


Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Opens Cruise Season to the North Pole

Icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy (Photo: FSUE)

Nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory) owned by FSUE Atomflot has left the port of Murmansk on her voyage to the 'top of the world', the company’s press office said. The 25th season of tourist cruises started on June 4.


Shell Barge Arrives in Alaska

Arctic Challenger. Photo by Royal Dutch Shell

 The Arctic Challenger, an oil spill containment barge, that had left Bellingham, north of Seattle, and was headed toward Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska,  reached port in Alaska on Wednesday, June 10, for a brief stop before heading to the Chukchi Sea to support


Arctic Ocean Acidification May Corrode Animals' Shells

Arctic Ocean experiencing acidification. Photo: NOAA

 Arctic Ocean is facing a dilemma today and that is acidification. Ocean acidification is a result or a chemical reaction which happens when seawater absorbs too much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—reducing its acidity, carbon ion concentration and saturation.  


Imperial Oil/Exxon/BP Gr defer drilling in Canada's Arctic

Photo Chevron

  Imperial Oil Ltd said on Friday it and partners Exxon Mobil Corp  and BP Plc need more time before they can drill an exploratory well in Canadian Arctic waters and are seeking an extension to their exploration license in the region.


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


'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


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


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


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.  


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


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






 
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