The Arctic This Week - News for January 15 - 22, 2012

News for 15-22 January, 2012

Norway Arctic gas pipe must be privately funded -govt

These future discoveries are a key plank in Norway's plan to keep the combined oil and gas output broadly steady "for decades to come", Borten Moe added. "But it is not the government that is going to spend money on this infrastructure project, it is private investors," he said.
Reuters / / 19 Jan 2012

Arctic Snoehvit LNG output back up -Statoil
Norway's Statoil has resumed production at its Snoehvit gas field in the Arctic after a shutdown on Jan. 11 due to a problem with the onshore processing plant's safety system.
Reuters / / 20 Jan 2012

“Cold Front: Conflict Ahead in Arctic Waters,” by David Fairhall (Book Review)
In David Fairhall’s evocative new book, “Cold Front,” the issue is not whether the polar ice sheet will melt — because in his mind it surely will — but what happens then.
T. Rees Shapiro / / 20 January 2012

Scientists fire salvo in Canada's bid to control Arctic seabed
Canadian scientists have quietly accomplished something likely to prove far more effective than espionage or military posturing in affirming — and extending — Canada's sovereignty in the North: They've published two academic studies about Arctic Ocean geology that lend solid support to the country's ambitious claims for new undersea territory in the region.
Randy Boswell / / 20 January 2012

Arctic Canada caught on 1919 silent film
...the HBC wanted rid of the land, and were looking for people to settle on it. And thus a memo from HBC executives - the film should be "advertising the Company and incidentally its lands, without appearing to do so".
Chris Nikkel / / 21 January 2012

Low temperatures enhance ozone degradation above the Arctic
further cooling of the ozone layer may enhance the influence of ozone-destroying substances, e.g. chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), such that repeated occurrence of an ozone hole above the Arctic has to be expected.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres / / 19 January 2012

Arctic Methane Outgassing on the East Siberian Shelf
if buried gas hydrates destabilise, what could result is accumulations of pressurised methane capped off by permafrost, which because it is degrading might lose its effectiveness as a gas-trap.
John Mason / / 19 January 2012

Abnormalities found in pipeline in Canada's Northwest Territories
First Nation members are concerned, particularly due to the fact that part of Enbridge's pipeline has been buried underwater for 30 years near the confluence of the Liard and Mackenzie Rivers.
CBC News / / 18 January 2012

Russian rivers freshening the water of Alaska's Beaufort Sea
Fresh water sloshing into the polar sea from the great rivers of Russia has been collecting on the Alaskan and Canadian side of the Arctic, adding the equivalent of 10 feet of freshwater to the central Beaufort Sea between 2003 and 2008, according to a new study published this month in Nature.
Doug O'Harra / / 18 January 2012

Spy caper may be linked to territorial disputes in the Arctic
Delisle had access to sensitive information, including locations of ocean sensors that help authorities monitor ship movements. That type of information could be useful to a country, such as Russia, if it wanted to try to navigate waters without being detected, he said.
Douglas Quan / / 18 January 2012

China’s New Strategic Target: Arctic Minerals
As policymakers in Washington focus on China’s expanding presence in Africa and growing assertiveness in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean region, Danish diplomatic assistance is opening the gate for China to establish a strategic foothold in the Arctic.
Andrew Erickson, Gabe Collins / / 18 January 2012

Arctic Plants Face an Uncertain Future
The results of this study will have important implications for the future of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Currently, the Red List regime is a measure to identify threatened species and promote their conservation.
Science Daily / / 17 January 2012

A New Security Architecture for the Arctic: An American Perspective
Heather Conley with Terry Toland, Jamie Kraut and Andreas Osthagen / / January 2012

Arctic Oil Exploration: Shell Awaits New Giant Icebreaker
The $200m Aiviq is the largest vessel ever built by Chouest, and will be among the most advanced and powerful, non-military icebreakers on the waters.
Susan Buchanan / / 17 January 2012

Frozen Arctic Sea plays host to Sino-India rivalry
In the past few years, both India and China have shown keen interest in the Arctic. Besides scientific research, mainly relating to climate change, they are also interested in potential access to the vast hydrocarbons and other natural resources buried in the region.
Dinesh C. Sharma / / 17 January 2012
While the DOD has begun to assess the capabilities needed to better operate in the Arctic’s harsh environment, the report said, it needs to better prepare to meet the challenges of navigating in the Arctic, where the U.S., Russia and other nations are competing for control of potentially valuable resources.
John Vandiver / / 17 January 2012

Denmark names first Arctic envoy
Denmark, which is planning to lay a claim to the North Pole sea bed, on Tuesday named its first permanent envoy to the resource-rich Arctic.
AFP / / 18 January 2012

Norway says Arctic gas pipeline could open by 2020
Norway's Statoil and other energy companies that would bear much of the cost have been encouraged by recent petroleum discoveries in the western Barents and a treaty with Russia that opens part of the central Barents for exploration.
The skill of the CMIP3 models (as a group) in simulation of observed Arctic sea ice motion, Fram Strait export, extent, and thickness between 1979 and 2008 seems rather poor.
Kwok, R. / Journal of Geophysical Research / Vol. 116, 2011

High hopes for Dreki oil
New samples are impressive and could increase interest in the area.
(no author listed) / / 16 January 2012

Some Russian environmental 'hot spots' removed from blacklist
For the first time, three so-called "hot spots" (extremely polluted areas) have been removed from a list of 42 hot spots in northwest Russia.
Eva Elke / / 16 January 2012

Arctic Council considers its future roster 
Countries such as China, India and Brazil want "observer" status out of interest in potential access to the vast hydrocarbons and resources in the region and the cost/savings of using shorter arctic shipping routes...
United Press International / / 16 January 2012

Posted Sunday, January 22, 2012 by Tom Fries