Top of the World Telegraph: Vol. 6, Issue 26: 20 October 2010

20 10 2010

Top of the World Telegraph
News from the Arctic
Vol. 6, Issue 26: 20 October 2010

News from around the Region 
 
Maritime 
 
Alaska/United States
Commentary: Hot stuff: Marine operations in the Arctic (Maritime Professional, 10/20/10)
http://maritimeprofessional.com/Blogs/The-Final-Word-with-Joseph-Keefe/October-2010/Hot-Stuff–Marine-Operations-in-the-Arctic.aspx
For the United States and Alaska, Russian shipping through the Arctic raises concern over environmental, military, safety and a raft of other similar issues. The U.S. Coast Guard, as early as 2007, helped bring light to the emerging situation. Now, it is up to Congress and the current administration to ensure that we are ready for what is to come. The esoteric new policies and GAO reports are simply not enough.
 
AP interview: CG admiral asks for Arctic resources (NPR, 10/18/10)
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130638506
The ice-choked reaches of the northern Arctic Ocean aren’t widely perceived as an international shipping route. But global warming is bringing vast change, and Russia, for one, is making an aggressive push to establish top of the world sea lanes. All of which calls for more U.S. Coast Guard facilities and equipment in the far north to secure U.S. claims and prepare for increased human activity, according to Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin, who is in charge of all Coast Guard operations in Alaska and surrounding waters. Related story: Coast Guard Authorization bill signed into law.
 
Canada
Vancouver Shipyards short listed for shipbuilding program (MarineLink, 10/14/10)
http://www.marinelink.com/news/shipbuilding-shipyards335848.aspx
Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. (VSY), part of the Washington Marine Group Shipyards Division, has cleared the first hurdle in the government selection process to be one of two shipyards to build the country’s future Naval and Coast Guard fleet. The Federal Government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) program is worth approximately $35b to the Canadian shipbuilding industry and represents a solid investment in building replacement ships for the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard.
 
Federal service tracking gigantic ice island adrift in Arctic (The [Montreal] Gazette, 10/07/10)
http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Federal+service+tracking+gigantic+island+adrift+Arctic/3639231/story.html
The Canadian Ice Service, the federal agency that monitors the state of the Northwest Passage and other Arctic shipping lanes, has successfully deposited a satellite beacon on a mammoth ice island that broke away from Greenland in August and is now drifting in two pieces in waters off Nunavut’s Ellesmere Island. When the ice island broke away from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier on Aug. 4, the 250-square-kilometre monolith became the biggest free-floating iceberg in the Arctic Ocean in nearly 50 years. In early September, the ice island split in two after it collided with Joe Island in Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Danish-controlled Greenland.
 
Finland
Crisis in shipbuilding industry threatens to engulf Turku region (Helsingin Sanomat, 10/14/10)
http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Crisis+in+shipbuilding+industry+threatens+to+engulf+Turku+region/1135260894350
Turku and the surrounding region will have to make preparations to meet a massive structural change when the giant luxury cruise liner Allure of the Seas is handed over later this year at the Turku shipyard. After the completion of this 1,181-foot and 225,000-tonne floating palace for Royal Caribbean International, the STX Europe yard in Turku has currently no further orders on its books. The structural upheaval that is on the cards in the shipbuilding and metals industry will also spread right down the long sub-contractor chain: something like 160 companies and approximately 600 sub-contractors operate in connection with the yard.
 
Global
New buoy designed to gather information in changing Arctic (PhysOrg.com, 10/13/10)
http://www.physorg.com/wire-news/48403719/fact-sheet-new-buoy-designed-to-gather-information-in-changing-a.html
The new Airborne eXpendable Ice Beacon, or AXIB, buoy was developed as a partnership between the Polar Science Center at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory, U.S. Coast Guard and National Ice Center. It measures such things as air pressure and temperature, winds, upper ocean temperature, ice and snow temperatures and movement of the ice. The buoys will be part of the International Arctic Buoy Program currently collecting and sharing data from more than 100 buoys deployed by 30 institutions from 10 individual countries and the European Union.
 
Larger cruise ships may be banned from Antarctic (MarineLink, 10/11/10)
http://www.marinelink.com/news/antarctic-cruise-banned335794.aspx
According to a report from The Miami Herald, some large cruise ships may be banned from sailing in Antarctic waters starting next year. The IMO has adopted a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in those waters, starting Aug. 1, 2011. Many smaller ships will still operate Antarctic cruises. These ships can land passengers on the continent itself, 100 maximum at a time; larger ships are not permitted to offload any passengers.
 
Region
Kolari-Pajala iron-ore to be shipped from Narvik (BarentsObserver, 10/20/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/kolari-pajala-iron-ore-to-be-shipped-from-narvik.4832894-116320.html
Iron ore from large mines in the Swedish-Finnish borderland will be transported to the Northern Norwegian harbor of Narvik. The mining company Northland says production is forecasted to start in 2012, first at the Kaunisvaara mines near Pajala in Sweden, then at Hannukainen near Kolari on the Finnish side of the border. Local harbor authorities in Narvik say a new iron-ore harbor can be built vis-à-vis the existing LKAB iron-ore harbor in the town, according to the local newspaper Fremover.
 
Crew circles North Pole in one summer (ABC News, 10/13/10)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/15/3038889.htm?section=world
A trimaran sailing boat has circled the North Pole in a single summer season, a feat made possible by global warming and the melting of the Arctic ice cap, the boat’s international crew said. Following in the wake of the Russian ship Peter I, which sailed a similar route at almost the same time, the Norwegian trimaran Northern Passage is the second vessel to ever complete the mythical voyage in the space of a single Arctic summer.
 
Arctic coastal states create sea-charting body (NunatsiaqOnline, 10/07/10)
http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/09101_arctic_coastal_nations_set_up_new_mapping_commission/
Representatives from Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States set up a new Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission on Oct. 6 in Ottawa to develop better nautical charts and improve safety in Arctic waters. Regional hydrographic commissions are formed through the International Hydrographic Organization IHO, an intergovernmental consultative and technical organization with membership from 82 countries. The Arctic has been the only part of the world not covered by an IHO regional commission.
 
Russia
Preparing for next year’s Northern Sea Route season (BarentsObserver, 10/20/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/preparing-for-next-years-northern-sea-route-season.4832790-116320.html
While 2009 was a kind of test year for vessels sailing the entire route from Asia to Europe via the Arctic, this year has been the breakthrough for commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route. At least six convoys with oil tankers will sail the Northern Sea Route from the Barents Sea to the Far East next year, according to the head of Rosatomflot, Russia’s nuclear ice-breaker fleet. In addition, cargo vessels and likely some bulk carriers will sail the route with assistance from nuclear powered icebreakers. The icebreaker fleet has received 15 orders for assistance in 2011 so far.
 
Norilsk-Nickel shipment arrived in Shanghai (BarentsObserver, 10/18/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/norilsk-nickel-shipment-arrived-in-shanghai.4831545-116320.html
The ice-classed vessel Monchegorsk is the first cargo vessel to sail the entire Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance. The Norilsk-Nickel owned vessel sailed from Murmansk on Sept. 15 and sailed via the port of Dudinka on the Taimyr Peninsula to Asia via the north. The diesel-electric cargo vessel Monchegorsk can sail in ice without icebreaker assistance. Norilsk-Nickel has five icebreaking cargo vessels and is now planning to build ice-classed tankers as well.
 
LNG terminal and supply base for Murmansk (BarentsObserver, 10/12/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/lng-terminal-and-supply-base-for-murmansk.4829409-116320.html
Murmansk Governor Dmitri Dmitriyenko has signed agreements on the development of a ten billion RUB LNG terminal, as well as a new oil and gas supply base, in the Kola Bay. The agreements, most of them linked with the development of the Shtokman gas field and the development of local infrastructure, confirm the current major investment interest in Murmansk.
 
 
Telecommunications
 
Canada
Canada plans auctions of 2 radio frequency blocks (Reuters, 10/15/10)
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1520546220101015
Canada will auction two blocks of radio frequency spectrum once potential bidders have the available cash and foreign funding issues are clarified, the federal industry minister said. Most Canadian television is due to switch from analog to digital delivery by August 2011. The 700 megahertz airwaves are considered valuable as they can cover long distances and more easily penetrate obstacles such as thick walls and buildings. The 2500 megahertz frequency allows for more speed and capacity but less easily penetrates buildings.
 
“Zombiesat” threatens Arctic telecommunications (NunatsiaqOnline, 10/11/10)
http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/98789_zombiesat_threatens_arctic_telecommunications/
The orbits of the Anik F2, which carries Northwestel’s satellite traffic, and Galaxy 15, owned by the American satellite provider Intelsat, will track near one another between Oct. 20 and Oct. 25, Northwestel said in a news release Oct. 8. Galaxy 15 is a so-called “zombiesat” that hasn’t responded to commands from its owner since April, according to the online news site spaceflightnow.com, which also reports there’s no risk of a collision with other satellites. Northwestel said it’s working with Telesat Canada, Anik’s owner, to avoid service interruptions, but is setting up plans with emergency measures organizations in Nunavut and parts of the Northwest Territories and Yukon just in case.
 
 
Aviation
 
Russia
Aeroflot up for privatization (BarentsObserver, 10/20/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/aeroflot-up-for-privatization.4832993-116321.html
Russia may sell a minority stake in the state airline company Aeroflot in 2011 as part of its privatization program, said Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. “Now we are discussing the sale of only a minority stake, so that 50 percent plus one share remains with the state.” Earlier this year Russia unveiled a large privatization program in a bid to reduce the budget deficit and improve efficiency and corporate governance at key companies.
 
Boeing: Russia/CIS have demand for 960 aircraft valued at $90 billion through 2029 (ATWOnline, 10/18/10)
http://atwonline.com/aircraft-engines-components/news/boeing-russiacis-have-demand-960-aircraft-valued-90-billion-through
Boeing forecasted that airlines in Russia and the CIS will take delivery of about 960 new aircraft valued at $90 billion over the next 20 years. “New airplane deliveries in the region will be driven largely by the need to retire older, less fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes and regional jets, as airlines replace them with new-generation, more fuel-efficient models,” the manufacturer stated. Boeing predicts that Russia/CIS passenger traffic will grow 4.8 percent annually on average through 2029.
 
 
Other Areas of General Interest
 
Canada
Draft N.W.T. devolution proposal reached (CBC News, 10/15/10)
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/10/15/nwt-devolution-aip.html
CBC News has obtained a copy of a draft confidential agreement-in-principle that lays out the groundwork for Ottawa to eventually hand control over all federally administered land, water and other resources to the government of the Northwest Territories. Under the proposed agreement, the territorial government would be able to pass its own laws with regard to land and resources. However, that control would not extend to lands that N.W.T. aboriginal groups own through land claims. The agreement also lays the groundwork for the sharing of resource royalties between the federal and N.W.T. governments and the territory’s aboriginal peoples. Related article: N.W.T. MLAs divided on devolution deal.
 
Nunavut casts about for vital infrastructure cash (NunatsiaqOnline, 10/15/10)
http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/151010_nunavut_casts_about_for_vital_infrastructure_cash/
Nunavut can move from being a have-not to a have territory, Premier Eva Aariak says, but only if governments, Inuit organizations and the private sector work together to close the territory’s massive infrastructure gap. Aariak made the pitch for a familiar list of infrastructure demands at a Northern economic sovereignty and infrastructure conference in Iqaluit, and said the current lack of harbours and roads is constraining Nunavut’s efforts to grow its economy.
 
Greenland
Greenland will become an industrial force: expert (SIKU News, 10/18/10)
http://www.sikunews.com/News/Denmark-Greenland/Greenland-will-become-an-industrial-force%3A-expert-8123
Greenland’s underground wealth is going to turn society upside down on in a few years, reports Sermitsiaq. Mining and oil companies from around the world are in the process of uncovering the extent of oil and minerals in Greenland’s subsurface lands, and these discoveries will change the Greenlandic society into an industrialized nation in a few years. Engineers and economists in a new transportation commission are already busy drawing lines in a diagram of how Greenland will look like in 25 years, with new ports and airports to support its industrial development.
 
Iceland
Volcano costs Iceland 800 million ISK (The Reykjavik Grapevine, 10/18/10)
http://grapevine.is/Home/ReadArticle/Volcano-Costs-Iceland-Eight-Hundred-Million-ISK
The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano last April shut down air traffic across much of Europe, costing possibly billions of euros in cancelled flights and lost tourist revenue. While Iceland, like other European nations, already was hit with its share of losses from the eruption, the volcano is about to cost the country considerably more. A budget bill proposed by parliament has set aside a total of about 800 million ISK for separate items related to the damage done by the volcano.
 
Region
Russia wants to formalize relation with E.U. (The New York Times, 10/17/10)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/world/europe/18iht-germany.html?ref=world
Ahead of a summit meeting Monday in Deauville, France, between the leaders of Germany, Russia and France, Moscow is asking for regular participation in the European Union committee that is responsible for setting the bloc’s foreign policy. Such an arrangement would mark a major change in E.U.-Russia relations, which have been held back because of divisions inside the 27-member bloc over how to deal with Russia. They might also go some way to meet Russia’s calls for a new security architecture, a move aimed at gaining a greater say in strategic issues in Europe.
 
EU clashes with Greenland over international stewardship of Arctic (The Guardian, 10/15/10)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/15/eu-greenland-stewardship-arctic
The European Union has clashed with Greenland and other Arctic nations over their perceived failure to ensure wider international stewardship over the far north. In response, a Greenland foreign minister accused European countries of “panic reactions” in pushing for a deep-water drilling ban after the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Russia
Norilsk Nickel plans $20 billion program to boost Arctic output (Bloomberg, 10/17/10)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-18/norilsk-nickel-plans-20-billion-program-to-boost-arctic-output.html
OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel’s polar division, the mining company’s biggest earner in the past decade, will spend $20 billion by 2030 to stop production from falling, according to its head Evgeny Muravyov. The polar business has accounted for as much as 80 percent of Norilsk Nickel’s profit since the company’s sale by the state in 1997, and fueled its expansion abroad. Its metallurgical complex north of the Arctic Circle has mined more than $200 billion of nickel, copper, palladium and platinum – based on current prices -since 1935, when prisoners of Josef Stalin’s labor camps began production there.
 
Russian drifting polar station SP-38 opens in Chukchi Sea (RIA Novosti, 10/15/10)
http://en.rian.ru/science/20101015/160956643.html
In the bitterly cold darkness more than a thousand kilometers above the Arctic Circle, a team of Russian scientists inaugurated a floating research station Severny Polyus-38 that will be home to 15 researchers for up to a year. The 15-member expedition will not only continue polar studies but also gather more scientific evidence to reinforce Russia’s claims to the Arctic, which it regards as a “strategic economic asset.” It is hoped that the ice will allow the research station to operate for a year.
 
 
Energy
 
Alaska/United States
Solar power heats up in Kotzebue (The Arctic Sounder, 10/19/10)
http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1042solar_power_heats_up_in_kotzebue
Kotzebue Electric Association is busy installing solar thermal panels on six homes as a joint effort between KEA and the Kotzebue Community Energy Task Force, funded by a grant from the Denali Commission Emerging Technologies fund.  “No one has ever done solar thermal above the Arctic Circle, at least that we’ve heard of,” said Jesse Logan, who works on special projects for KEA. The panels look like the standard solar panels found on rooftops worldwide (including at the Alaska Technical Center in town). The difference is that where standard panels are photovoltaic – they use solar energy to create electricity – the thermal panels use solar energy for heat.
 
Businessman hopes to turn paper into power (Alaska Journal of Commerce, 10/14/10)
http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/101410/Com_bht.shtml
K&K Recycling recently began collecting recycled paper from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, along with the returns of a young recycling program on Fort Wainwright. Fairbanks businessman Bernie Karl expects Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Greely to participate in the months ahead, providing a steady source of recycled biomass. To make his project work, Karl needs to burn at least 5,000 tons of recycled paper, cardboard and wood per year. He said it’s an achievable amount, since roughly 75 percent of garbage can be burned cleanly. By the end of 2011, Karl said, the carbon dioxide emissions from the process will be pumped into greenhouses to help grow vegetables and grow algae for biofuel production.
 
Agency releases new Chukchi drilling assessment (Associated Press, 10/13/10)
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hfc96O1f3W1VbJMX1ovX8sma_nDAD9IQF3UO0?docId=D9IQF3UO0
Two months after a judge found flaws in the government’s environmental assessment of petroleum drilling in the Chukchi Sea, federal offshore regulators released a revised analysis that was immediately denounced by environmental and Alaska Native groups. The report analyzed the most viable natural gas development and production scenario for Chukchi leases rather than a minimum scenario. It concluded that certain missing environmental information was not essential for going ahead with the lease sale, such as how a spill might affect a specific species. Related story/audio link: New analysis of Chukchi Sea development released.
 
White House lifts ban on deepwater drilling (The New York Times, 10/12/10)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/us/13drill.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th
The Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling, but it will be weeks or months before drilling resumes while industry and government regulators scramble to meet strict new rules intended to prevent another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. The freeze was intended to address lax safety and environmental regulation that contributed to the BP crisis. Department of Interior regulators have written new protective measures that they believe will allow offshore operations to resume safely. Related article: Alaskans call for end to Arctic drilling freeze.
 
Sluggish economy curtails prospects for building nuclear reactors (The New York Times, 10/10/10)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/business/energy-environment/11power.html?th&emc=th
Just a few years ago, the economic prognosis for new nuclear reactors looked bright. The prospect of growing electricity demand, probable caps on carbon-dioxide emissions and government loan guarantees prompted companies to tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they wanted to build 28 new reactors. The economic slump, which has driven down demand and the price of competing energy sources, and the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation has changed all that, at least for now.
 
Canada
Feds slammed for stance on Mackenzie Valley project (The Vancouver Sun, 10/15/10)
http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Feds+slammed+stance+Mackenzie+Valley+project/3673973/story.html
A joint review panel assessing a $16.2-billion northern pipeline proposal has chastised the federal government for lacking transparency in an attempt to reject environmental protection measures recommended for the project in the Mackenzie Valley. In correspondence made public, the chairman of the panel, Robert Hornal criticized numerous recommendations from the government, including its suggestions that the environmental protection measures should be rejected on the grounds that they would “constrain future development in the North.”
 
Canada needs to diversify its energy markets, say energy security experts (Calgary Herald, 10/14/10)
http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Canada+needs+more+energy+customers+experts/3670282/story.html
Canada needs to diversify its market for oil, natural gas and electricity while at the same time ensuring open access to our largest trade partner, the United States, said speakers at an energy security conference. Government intervention in energy projects could become more of a probability as Canada seeks to secure and diversify market access, according to policy experts.
 
Ottawa studying energy of flammable snowballs (CTV News, 10/11/10)
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20101011/ottawa-energy-101011/
The federal government spent $3.9 million over the last three years to study a frosty power source: flammable snowballs. Methane gas hydrates are frozen clumps packed with natural gas that can be found in many regions of the world. The global supply is thought to be so vast that some estimate it could contain more energy than all other known fossil fuels combined. The Mackenzie River delta, in the Northwest Territories, churns above one the planet’s most-concentrated reservoirs of hydrates, according to Natural Resources Canada’s website. One expert estimates the Canadian Arctic holds anywhere from 21 to 707 trillion cubic metres of natural gas in its hydrates.
 
Quebec, Newfoundland square off over offshore oil (The Globe and Mail, 10/11/10)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-newfoundland-square-off-over-offshore-oil/article1752623/
Straddling a disputed offshore boundary more than 450 metres below the surface of the sea, Old Harry is the site of what Quebec’s Minister of Natural Resources, Nathalie Normandeau, estimates is two billion barrels of oil and as much as five trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The site remains one of the largest untapped hydrocarbon reserves in Eastern Canada and a potential source of billions of dollars in annual revenue for the two provinces.
 
Finland
Land-based wind turbines profitable within five years (Helsingin Sanomat, 10/18/10)
http://www.hs.fi/english/article/iTurun+Sanomati+Land-based+wind+turbines+profitable+within+five+years/1135260979140
According to a fresh report produced by the Aalto University, land-based wind power plants can become profitable even within five years, the Turku-based daily Turun Sanomat writes. Based on cost predictions, the government’s energy support payouts to new power stations will decrease starting next year. The support is believed to become obsolete after 2015. The move will save the state hundreds of millions of Euros.
 
Norway
Top marks for Norway’s ‘Oil Fund’ (Views and News from Norway, 10/18/10)
http://www.newsinenglish.no/2010/10/17/top-marks-for-norways-oil-fund/
The U.S.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics awarded Statens pensjonsfond utland (the official name of the Oil Fund) 97 out of 100 points when measuring its structure, ownership, responsibility and management. That put Norway at the top of the list, followed by California’s state pension fund (Calpers), with 95 points, and New Zealand’s Superannuation Fund with 94 points; then Canada’s Pension Plan, The Alaska Permanent Fund and the Wyoming Permanent Mineral Trust Fund.
 
Region
Russian oil exploration in Icelandic waters one step closer (The Reykjavik Grapevine, 10/19/10)
http://grapevine.is/Home/ReadArticle/Russian-Oil-Exploration-in-Icelandic-Waters-One-Step-Closer
Russian Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko has asked oil companies in his country to begin work with Iceland in the search for oil in the so-called Dragon Zone, located in the northeast corner of Icelandic fishing waters. Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir said that Russia was welcome to make an offer for drilling rights in the Dragon Zone when the international auction for those rights opens next year.
 
Nunavut eyes Greenland oil search (CBC News, 10/19/10)
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/10/19/greenland-arctic-oil-boom-nunavut.html
Nunavut is closely watching an Arctic oil and gas search unfolding off the coast of neighbouring Greenland, where at least one exploration company says it has found oil and gas. Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak said while Greenland is 10 years ahead of Canada in realizing the potential for offshore oil and gas, she is concerned with the risk of potential oil spills near Canadian Arctic waters. “The federal government should establish stronger working relationships with Greenland and Denmark on environmental issues and protection for our shared waters,” she said.
 
Russia
The Siberian energy rush (Fast Company, November 2010)
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/150/the-15-trillion-treasure-at-the-end-of-the-world.html
The Yamal Peninsula is one of the last frontiers of Russia, a vast wilderness covered in permafrost, nearly devoid of roads or permanent settlements, and divided by huge, ice-choked rivers navigable just six weeks a year. Years ago, geologists and engineers verified the existence of rich natural-gas deposits at Bovanenkovo through three-dimensional seismic imaging and exploratory drilling into the permafrost. Then, beginning in 2008, Gazprom brought in building supplies and constructed a 684-mile-long pipeline under the frigid Kara.
 
LNG construction on Yamal in 2012 (BarentsObserver, 10/19/10)
http://www.barentsobserver.com/lng-construction-on-yamal-in-2012.4831915-116320.html
Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek plans to start construction of an LNG production plant on the Yamal Peninsula in 2012.
In June 2010 Novatek and Gazprom signed a project cooperation agreement on construction of a LNG plant on Yamal. The project is expected to cost 18-20 billion USD.  Both Novatek and Gazprom control huge gas reserves at Yamal. Gazprom is proceeding with the development of its Bovanenkovo field located on the west side of the peninsula, while Novatek is planning production at its South Tambey field on the eastern side of the peninsula. Related article: Explosion at Arctic Russia gas field injures 13.
 
Technology
New research confirms global surface winds are slowing, blames land use changes (Scientific American, 10/19/10)
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=new-research-confirms-global-surfac-2010-10-19
A new study in Nature Geoscience concludes that the widespread “atmospheric stilling” has more to do with what’s happening on the ground than it does changes in general atmospheric circulation – specifically, increased “surface roughness” due to land-use changes may be responsible for the slow-down. The authors built on previous studies indicating such a trend by analyzing surface wind data from 822 wind stations in Europe, Asia and North America. The effect on wind farms is not yet known.
 
 
UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)
 
Arctic shelf research missions continue (The St. Petersburg Times, 10/18/10)
http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=32749
As the flagship of the Russian polar fleet, the Akademik Fyodorov, returns from a research expedition in the Arctic Ocean aimed at finding evidence that areas of the continental Arctic shelf belong to Russia, governments continue to dispute the issue, mediated by the UN. The debate over the Arctic continental shelf gained momentum this year, with Russia, Canada, the U.S., Denmark and Norway all vying for a piece of the oil in the Arctic. Just ten years ago, little interest had been expressed in the “dead land” of the Arctic, until it suddenly became a strategic political target due to the high oil resource potential of the Arctic Ocean.
 
 
Fisheries
 
NOAA can deny U.S. port entry to illegal fishing vessels (Fishermen’s News Online, 10/20/10)
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2010/10/noaa-can-deny-port-entry-to-illegal.html
A new federal rule will allow NOAA’s assistant administrator for fisheries to deny a vessel entry into a US port or access to port services if that vessel has been listed for engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by one of the world’s international fishery management organizations. The new rule, which takes effect Oct. 27, is part of international efforts to address IUU vessels, which often flout other rules as well, including labor rights, habitat protection, safety-at-sea and food safety requirements.
 
Canada’s marine ecosystems face threat: report (CBC News, 10/20/10)
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/10/20/marine-report-card.html
A multi-year study by the federal government has produced a troubling report card on the health of Canada’s marine environments, with major changes detected in all three oceans. The 2010 Canadian Marine Ecosystem Status and Trends Report, part of a larger project launched in 2006 to gauge Canada’s progress in protecting all of its species, examines nine regions across three oceans. Vanishing sea species, warming water temperatures and a new wave of contaminants have struck Canada’s marine ecosystems, according to the document from the federal Fisheries Department.
 
Drastic cut to blue whiting fishing quota (IcelandReview, 10/20/10)
http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=29314&ew_0_a_id=369191
The combined quota of coastal states that catch blue whiting in the North Atlantic was drastically decreased from 540,000 to 40,000 tons at a meeting in London. The coastal states agreed to follow the quota recommendations of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in full.
 
Bering Sea crabbers support conservative catch limits (Fishermen’s News, 10/12/10)
http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.com/2010/10/bering-sea-crabbers-support.html
The harvest for Alaska’s premiere crab fishery – red king crab at Bristol Bay – will be limited to just under 15 million pounds, a drop of 7.5 percent from last year. The annual catch quotas are based on extensive crab stock surveys done each summer by state and federal fishery scientists. Bering Sea veteran Jim Stone said industry stakeholders might differ on some of the data, but “they applaud Alaska’s conservative stance on setting the harvest limits.”
 
Audio: Researchers share results from Arctic Ocean Diversity Project (APRN, 10/07/10)
http://aprn.org/2010/10/07/researchers-share-results-from-arctic-ocean-diversity-project/
Alaska based researchers are sharing results from a decade long survey of sea life compiled by 2,700 scientists. It’s one of the largest scientific collaborations ever conducted. Oceanography professor Russ Hopkroft is one of three University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers who led an Arctic Ocean Diversity Project. The Arctic marine data base consists of a quarter million species. It includes previously identified life as well as new discoveries from recent years field work in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas and the Canadian Basin. Hopkroft says the UAF team identified 71 previously unknown life forms.
 
 
Climate Change
 
New documentary recounts bizarre climate changes seen by Inuit elders (The Globe and Mail, 10/19/10)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/movies/new-documentary-recounts-bizarre-climate-changes-seen-by-inuit-elders/article1763952/
Observations by Inuit elders are detailed in a groundbreaking new documentary, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, by acclaimed Nunavut filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and environmental scientist Ian Mauro. The documentary is the first to ask Inuit elders to describe the severe environmental changes in the Arctic they are seeing and to do so in their own language.
 
Big changes predicted in Alaska climate by 2100 (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 10/18/10)
http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/9951596/article-Big-changes-predicted-in-Alaska-climate-by-2100?instance=home_lead_story
More than half the ecosystems in Alaska will look much different by the end of the century, according to a new study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Changes in climate could alter the habitat of many species of plants and animals, skewing their range and population across Alaska.
 
 
Links and Resources
 
Canadian Council of International Law Annual Meeting, Oct. 28-30, Ottawa, http://www.ccil-ccdi.ca/ – This year’s conference theme is Northern and Arctic issues including climate change and the arctic, boundary issues, resource exploitation (notably energy), northern peoples, international arctic shipping, geopolitics of the Arctic, human rights, and the (de)militarization of the Arctic.
 
 
 
From the Telegraph wires
 
 
From the Telegraph wires provides readers the opportunity to share their views on a specific news article and/or notify readers where other published news articles on Arctic issues can be found by electronic means (e.g., web link).  Please direct all inquiries to nhemsath@institutenorth.org. We look forward to your input.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: