Marine link

Arctic Sea

Operation to Liberate the MV Arctic Sea

According to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, eight people of Estonian, Latvian and Russian nationality were arrested during the operation to liberate the Arctic Sea. Investigations revealed that on July 24, 2009, these people boarded the Arctic Sea and using the threat of arms, demanded that the crew change course. Then the Arctic Sea sailed on to an African route indicated by the aggressors and turned off its navigation equipment. Serdyukov reported on the measures taken in accordance with the President's instructions concerning the disappearance of the Arctic Sea and the Russian crew on board. Earlier on during the meeting, Serdyukov reported to President Medvedev that the crew of the Arctic Sea has been released.

Arctic Sea Ice Report

The National Snow and Ice Data Center, sponsored by the University of Colorado and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issued its report on Arctic sea ice. The ice in the Arctic Ocean has reached its minimum extent for 2009 and is starting to reform. This year’s minimum extent is above the record and near-record minimums of the last two years, but lower than the average minimums of the past 30 years. (9/17/09).

Underprepared for Maritime Accidents

NOAA photo: Ice and open water in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska.

The UNH/NOAA said that the existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released on Jan. 29 by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report details findings from a panel of experts and decision-makers from Arctic nation governments

Halt Arctic Oil Drilling Urges UK Parliamentary Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has published the report of its inquiry into Protecting the Arctic. The Environmental Audit Committee calls for a halt on oil drilling until:     •    A pan-Arctic oil spill response standard is in place     •    A stricter financial liability regime for oil and gas operations is introduced that requires companies to prove that they can meet the costs of cleaning up

ABB to Supply Key Equipment for Russian Icebreaker

Depicted: The new icebreaker vessel under construction for Russia’s state shipping company Rosmorport FSUE.

ABB wins $35 million order for next generation icebreaker in Russia’s Arctic. Integrated propulsion and electrical systems to maximize performance and energy efficiency of icebreaker expected to operate in 2 meters of ice at minus 35 degrees Celsius Zurich, Switzerland, October 1, 2012 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently won an order worth $35 million from the Baltic Shipyard Ltd

Russia's Floating Research Station Unfolds in the Arctic

Arctic Research: The University of Alaska Fairbanks

 The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources says that Russia plans to establish a floating research station in Arctic sea. The floating research station “North Pole-41” is already in the making, says the Ministry statement.   The Ministry says that the station will be an important instrument in securing Russian presence in the Arctic and will give Russia the opportunity to set new priorities for the scientific research on the drifting ice.  

Northern Sea Route Ice-free Soon?

EM Bird: Photo credit AWI

Winter measurements by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research point to early and large scale summer melt The Northern Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Russia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Icebreakers Ordered for Neft’s Novy Port Project

Image: Aker Arctic

Aker Arctic’s icebreaker design selected for Gazprom Neft’s Novy Port project   Aker Arctic and Vyborg Shipyard have confirmed a contract for the design of two new icebreakers based on Aker ARC 130 A design. The icebreakers will be used in the oil terminal operated by LLC Gazprom Neft Novy Port in the Gulf of Ob.   The new icebreakers represent a further development of the Aker ARC 130 icebreaker concept originally developed for the Finnish Transport Agency

NOAA Deploys Survey Ships for Arctic Charting Projects

NOAA ships spent the last several days preparing for their Arctic missions. Here, Chief Bosun Jim Kruger (front) works with Jason Kinyon and Lindsey Houska on NOAA Ship Rainier as they get ready to depart this week for the summers first Arctic survey project, in Kotzebue Sound.(Credit: NOAA)

Effort aims to improve navigational safety with updated maps of region   NOAA announced the official launch of its 2015 Arctic hydrographic survey season took place this morning, in Kodiak, Alaska, in a World Ocean Day ceremony which showcased the deployment of the NOAA ships Rainier and Fairweather.   “Most Arctic waters that are charted were surveyed with obsolete technology, with some of the information dating back to Captain Cook's voyages

U.S. Draft Recovery Plan for Threatened Polar Bears

Polar bear Photo WWF

  U.S. wildlife managers released on Thursday a draft plan for stemming the decline of polar bears threatened by melting Arctic sea ice linked to global warming, but the proposal hinges on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are far from assured. Under a plan to be officially submitted on Monday for public comment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is urging cutbacks in carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants generated by the burning of fossil fuels.

Draft Law on Arctic Development

Photo courtesy

  The draft law on the development of the Arctic region will be discussed at a joint meeting of the Presidium of the Advisory Council on the Arctic and Antarctic in the Federation Council and the State Commission on the Development of the Arctic November 20.

Statoil’s Exit from Alaska ‘Disappointing’ -NOIA

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

NOIA President Randall Luthi, issued a statement on Statoil’s decision to exit the Alaskan Arctic, calling the departure “disappointing” yet “understandable” due to a tough economic and regulatory climate.  

Warm Water Mixing up Life in Arctic

Most surprising finding is that the thermally induced changes at the ocean surface can rapidly spread to affect life in the deep seas Courtesy Alfred Wegener institute

  AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North

BSEE Participates in Circumpolar Gap Analysis Workgroup

Workshop Participants Photo BSEE

  Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement staff from the Oil Spill Preparedness Division attended an international workshop last month that focused on how Arctic meteorological and oceanographic conditions can affect traditional oil spill response strategies.

Arctic Ice 'Too Thick' for Shipping Route

Photo: Inhabitat

 Sea ice in the Arctic is still too thick for Northwest Passage commercial shipping route in spite of warming temperatures. This is according to new research from York University.   Despite climate change, Arctic sea ice remains too thick and treacherous, says the study

Russia Builds 'Arc Of Steel'

Photo Credit:  SRAS

 Russia is building an “arc of steel” from the Arctic to the Mediterranean Sea said a NATO commander, in the same vein as Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain metaphor.   Navy Adm. Mark Ferguson, who commands NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, and U

Billions of Juvenile Fish under Arctic Ice

Using a new net, marine biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute have, for the first time, been able to catch polar cod directly beneath the Arctic sea ice with a trawl

  Using a new net, marine biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute have, for the first time, been able to catch polar cod directly beneath the Arctic sea ice with a trawl, allowing them to determine their large-scale distribution and origin

Polarstern Returns from Arctic

Research icebreaker Polarstern

  On Wednesday, 14 October 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern from the Alfred-Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), entered its homeport in Bremerhaven. Since mid-May, over 200 biologists, physicists, chemists, ice physicists

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for

Russian Military Muscling into the Arctic

Russian claims in Arctic. Map by United Nations

 Russia has built a giant military base in the far northern Arctic where 150 soldiers can live autonomously for up to 18 months, AFP quotes the Defence Ministry as saying.   The building erected on the large island of Alexandra Land, which is part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago

Plastic Litter Sea Surface, Even in Arctic

Observations of floating anthropogenic litter in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait, Arctic.

  In a new study, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) show for the first time that marine litter can even be found at the sea surface of Arctic waters. Though it remains unclear how the litter made it so far north

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

North Pole: The Latest Tourist Trap

Dennis Bryant

On August 16, 2015, the geographic North Pole was visited by a Russian surface ship for the one-hundredth time. The Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory) carried 106 tourists from 16 different countries. This was the icebreaker’s seventh cruise to the Pole just this

US Leads Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise

The United States Government, led by the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (USNORTHCOM and Alaska Command), and the Department of State, held Arctic Zephyr, an international Arctic Search and Rescue table-top exercise, at the University of Alaska Anchorage from October 19-22

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

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