The Arctic This Week: 10 November – 16 November 2012

By Tom Fries The Arctic This Week – 10 November – 16 November 2012

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Pressed for time this week? Here’s what you should focus on.

The assault on RAIPON was major news this week, and it drew lots of press. For my money, the best debrief comes from Bellona. They’re not the first on the scene, but they often do the most comprehensive reporting.

Members of an Alaska Native community have been on trial for illegal fishing for king salmon in this disastrous season. Jill Burke in Alaska Dispatch writes a truly impressive briefing on the case, “…in which civil disobedience, hunger and cultural preservation are intertwined, tangled with state laws, river management and divided emotions.” Read the article, and maybe take a few moments with the comments as well. Without my noticing it, Ms Burke actually garnered two Reads of the Week this week, the second of which looks at what we know, and what we don’t know, about walrus behavior when sea ice is unavailable to them.

The US Arctic Research Council (in association with others) published a new report: “Oil Spills in Arctic Waters”. It’s a comprehensive look at the research going on in the US on the effects of and mitigation measures for potential oil spills in the Arctic marine environment. The USARC also offers a lengthy list of recommendations for further research. The report itself is well worth reading, but if you don’t have the requisite time, then turn instead to a thorough, concise debrief from Kyle Hopkins in the Bellingham Herald (also published elsewhere).

Finally, we’ll pick up once again the issue of broadband connectivity in the Canadian North. Peter Nowak writing in the Globe & Mail does a wonderful, narrative piece on the issue and the companies who are to be blessed or blamed for their roles in the situation.



In the weird ongoing reckoning taking place within the Russian military, now a Murmansk ship-repair firm has been “taken…by storm” by Russian police, who appear to have found evidence that the company overcharged the military by 10 million rubles for services performed (BN). Murmansk and its White Sea neighbor Arkhangelsk will soon be the proud operators of three South African-designed patrol boats for the customs service (defenceweb), and Murmansk, along with Bodø, Norway, hosted this week’s joint computer-simulated “Vigilant Skies 2012” exercise, geared to fine-tune information exchange between NATO and Russian systems under the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (BO). Also aloft, Finland has reiterated that its participation in Scandinavian patrols of Iceland’s airspace next year will consist of nothing more than surveillance flights (EOTA).


The Ottawa Citizen picked up and echoed the earlier news that Norway’s navy is fighting a losing battle against the country’s oil and gas industry for skilled personnel, but that ongoing challenge didn’t stop Norway from sending the frigate KNM Thor Heyerdahl on a run to Svalbard to “show presence and ensure sovereignty” in the surrounding waters (BO). And, though Norway’s military personnel numbers are waning, numbers of individuals requesting search-and-rescue services in the country have risen sharply in recent years (IceNews). 

[North America]

A piece in the LA Times reviewed the many ways in which the US is finding itself – in terms of both military and civilian infrastructure – somewhat less than ideally equipped to play a prominent role in the Arctic. Similarly, an internal government letter picked up by the Canadian Press indicates that Canada’s defense budget is unlikely to grow in the near future, leaving it perhaps poorly equipped to make good, rapidly, on promises to expand its Arctic footprint ( One part of that is, of course, the question of whether the country can, or ought to, invest in F-35s. An analyst in believes they’re the right weapon for asserting Canada’s sovereignty over its northern reaches. 

Despite waning funding for Arctic endeavors, the US Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire is doing some fascinating work, or so it would seem in a really interesting piece from Wired. The US Coast Guard last week pulled five crewmembers from a grounded tugboat in Bering Sea waters, leaving the tug and a barge to be dealt with later (Maritime Executive).



A firestorm was ignited by the news on 12 November that Russia’s Ministry of Justice had ordered the closure of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, or RAIPON, on an assortment of seemingly technical grounds. Barents Observer seems to have gotten to it first, with a competent backgrounder and history. Then, on the 14th, RAIPON sent a letter to the Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) of the Arctic Council asking them to communicate their opposition to the decision to the Russian government (debrief of the letter’s contents via NN). The following day, the SAO – weirdly, including Russian representative Anton Vasiliev (NN) – “expressed concern” about the decision. The SAO used language that seems carefully chosen not to give offense (BO). Apparently Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed some measure of disagreement with the decision (G&M), indicating division within the ranks of Russia’s government. Good overviews of the whole situation came later in the week from Nunatsiaq News and, as is to be expected, from Bellona

Perhaps related to the RAIPON issue, Norway’s Foreign Ministry has expressed concern about the Russian government’s branding of Ivan Moseev, an advocate for Russia’s northern indigenous Pomors, as a traitor (BO). Since the Norwegian government is doubtless loth to get involved too deeply in what appears, legally, to be an internal Russian affair, Amnesty International’s Norway chapter will be keeping an eye on it as well (BO). The Kola Ecological Center in Apatity also has some connections with Norway, but the NGO has no plans to register as a foreign agent (BO). 


If you’ve got the cash for it, I’d bet Oran Young’s new piece in The Polar Journal is probably worth your time to read. If anyone would like to share a copy with me, I’d be delighted to dive into it myself. The ISN blog meanwhile published the suggestion (which some will see as heretical and others as practical) that big oil – and, by implication, other private-sector actors – might one day reasonably be included in the Arctic Council as observers. 

The first director of the Arctic Council Secretariat was appointed this week; our congratulations to Magnús Jóhannesson (Iceland MFA). Lastly, a fascinating rumination on the value, or possible lack thereof, of crowd-sourced simulations of Arctic (and other) futures comes from Phil Steinberg via Royal Holloway University.  


In the European North, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev met this week with Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and President Sauli Niinistö (YLE). The meeting is covered delightfully by Barents Nova, which chose to highlight the fact that President Niinistö uses a Nokia cell phone while PM Medvedev is an iPhone devotee. Cooperation in the Barents region is also supported at the regional level by an apparently amicable relationship between newly-minted Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun (BO). came out with a thoughtful response, from the Canadian perspective, to Al Jazeera’s massive piece “The Battle for the Arctic” this week. At the provincial/territorial level, Québec is either streamlining its bureaucracy or making it worse by instituting a new northern development secretariat, which will have a coordinating function (NN), and in the Yukon legislature the NDP and Yukon Party are sniping at one another over possible changes to the Oil and Gas Act which, as the NDP sees it, will lead to an undermining of aboriginal rights (CBC). 

Finally, if inches of newsprint are anything to judge by, India’s interest in becoming an accepted Arctic actor seems to be gradually picking up as well ( 



Three retired high-ranking military officers published a decisive opinion piece in Alaska Dispatch calling on the US government to begin confronting climate change as a threat to national security as real as Al Qaeda. A thick, newly-released report on the connection between climate and security via National Academies Press (click here to download the pre-pub version) doesn’t mention the Arctic, but Mia Bennett draws the connection for you in Eye on the Arctic. You’ve also got a fresh edition of the “Witness the Arctic”, as a PDF, from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Arctic Sciences, which has a wealth of interesting articles worth your time to read. 

The Huffington Post is the latest to try to explain, with admirable nuance and clarity, the simultaneous growth of ice in the Antarctic and catastrophic melt in the Arctic, and a recent modeling run from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Norway suggests, perhaps strangely, that the northern portion of the Greenland ice sheet might be more susceptible to melt than the southern half (NN). To explore the re-growth of this winter’s ice, you’ll likely want to mess around with a fun new visualization tool from NOAA with which you can track sea ice in Alaskan waters.

In Norway, the University of Tromsø will soon be host to a new, handsomely-funded Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (UArctic), and the government of Norway has also decided to merge two existing directorates into a large new Environmental Directorate (AB). 

In Fairbanks, air quality has been dangerously poor because of particulates (FNM), and an interesting webinar from University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) doctoral candidate Katie Villano-Spellman via APECS covers the incorporation of citizen-science components into research.


Oiled animals that have been coming ashore on St Lawrence island in the Bering Sea are still puzzling researchers looking for the source (ADN), while walruses are likely to change their behavior in unknown ways as a result of receding sea ice (FNM). In general, it seems as though the disappearance of sea ice from locations that are useful and traditional as walrus feeding-grounds may mean that the giant creatures are forced to spend substantially more time ashore (EOTA). 

Delays in the return of adequate sea ice in Hudson Bay and elsewhere also mean that polar bears are staying on shore longer, getting hungrier, and turning to human settlements in their search for food (CBC). This, of course, is dangerous for both sides of the interaction. Alaska Dispatch took an opportunity to recap earlier observations of polar bears camping out on a giant tabular iceberg in Baffin Bay. By the time you read this it will already be too late to enjoy Polar Bear Week, which despite all the social-media enthusiasm in this article from didn’t really pop up in my Twitter scanning that much. Meanwhile the WWF and Coca-Cola have partnered up once again on their winter-time “Arctic Home” campaign, which raises money “to engage local communities to help conserve and sustainably manage the high Arctic” ( Some observers see issues with the campaign, primarily because of nutrition issues in northern communities and the engagement of Coca-Cola. 

On, briefly, to caribou: officials are concerned about a potential overharvest of the Fortymile Caribou Herd near Fairbanks, Alaska, as the animals appear to be spending lots of time hanging out near the Steese and Taylor Highways, making them easy targets (FNM). The animals are critical in Canada as well, and various stresses on their populations are causing changes in behavior, disease frequencies, etc (Radio Canada International). 

The Alaska Bird Observatory in Fairbanks closed its doors this week, as chronicled in a mournful article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and Bewick and Whooper swans are clearly being shot at in astonishingly high numbers at some point during their autumn migration from Arctic climates down to the UK (IceNews). A new national park in Nunavut on Bathurst Island would help to protect wildlife and land there (CBC), and at a much more domestic level the town of Fort Smith, NWT, is getting desperate for another animal-control officer to help deal with its stray-dog problem (CBC). 


Carey Restino neatly summarizes the various weather issues that make it tough for industries of any kind to operate in the Alaskan Arctic (Arctic Sounder). / We are wishing good luck to the Martin Bergmann, a research vessel owned by the Arctic Research Foundation, as it deals with similar weather conditions while overwintering in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (NN). / Abiotic features of rocks from Svalbard may be similar to those found in a Mars meteorite, making it seem less probable that those features indicate the presence, even long ago, of life on Mars ( / NASA’s Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment is seeking new members for its Science Definition Team to help design and define their research projects ( 



People loved Al Jazeera’s “The Battle for the Arctic” documentary about the perceived Arctic resource rush, which came out this week. It’s fun to watch, nicely produced, and a great way to spend 20 minutes. More seasoned readers will probably be more interested in the US Arctic Research Council’s new report, also released this week, which provides a massive quantity of information about ongoing efforts to understand the likely effects of an Arctic marine oil spill. The report also offers a lengthy-list of recommendations for what should be done to prepare, many of which boil down to: We need to have more information (read an outstanding overview from the Bellingham Herald). The report is doubtless the result of countless hours of labor, and is well worth the reading, but it may be most significant for the mere fact of its existence; with the myriad of different ongoing efforts, it would seem that there’s a tacit understanding that an oil spill in the Arctic marine environment is, at some point, likely. 

Arctic Portal also delivered an impressively comprehensive primer on the many different moving parts of Arctic oil and gas development, while Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace, writing in Yes! Magazine, argues for a struggle against the oil majors and their efforts to exploit hydrocarbons in the Arctic and elsewhere. The IEA’s recently released prediction that the price of oil will continue to rise for the next five years (AB) is unlikely to help the oil majors appreciate Mr Naidoo’s case.

Also worthy of note is the US Department of Justice’s USD 4.5bn settlement with BP, the largest corporate criminal fine ever levied in the US (RIAN, HP). Whether this figure will have any impact on companies’ financial projections for Arctic offshore projects remains to be seen.

[Scandinavia & Russia]

Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe took the time to appear at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC this week for an hour-long interview; video and audio are available here. The Kingdom’s Petroleum Directorate also announced that it might not reach its 1.6mn barrels per day average for 2012 (Platts). Missed targets might become a regular thing in Norway if the IEA’s prediction that Arctic oil and gas will not be a major part of world production until at least 2035 proves correct (AB), but Shell’s new head of Norwegian operations, Tor Arnesen, is undissuaded, saying that his company is eager to pursue expanded production in the Barents ( 

Statoil is also eager to keep pushing forward, and the company is seeking rigs that it can use for projects in the Barents in the near future (Upstream). It is also, contrary to earlier reporting, pursuing continued involvement with the Shtokman project (Upstream). Related side note: Total is also holding on to its stake in Shtokman (BO). Norway’s next-door neighbor Sweden may meanwhile be considering ways to get in on the shale-gas boom (EOTA). 

In Russia, the increased share of state ownership in the “new Rosneft” may not be the best thing for the company’s health (Valdai Club). The deal itself is debriefed tidily in the Telegraph. Novatek, meanwhile, has agreed in principle to a partnership with Rosatom to help exploit its Arctic resources.

[United States]

Jen Dlouhy’s excellent reporting on the future of Shell’s Arctic efforts continued with another post on the challenges ahead (, while Senator Mark Begich will apparently soon submit legislation that would expand the benefits of Alaska’s Natural Gas Pipeline Act to include “any natural gas project bringing North Slope gas to market, period” ( Also on the North Slope, the Umiat oil field will see increased activity this winter as equipment is trucked in to prepare for spudding of four wells ( Other new North Slope activity: ExxonMobil has received the right-of-way to build a 22-mile pipeline connecting its Point Thomson project to the Badami pipeline, owned by BP ( Nearby, a USD 29mn research project is looking at the ins-and-outs of exploiting methane hydrate as an energy source (FNM). 


The debate over extractive-industry regulation in Canada’s North gets feistier with each passing day. This week, the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce expressed clothes-rending distress over the dramatic scaling-down of the Sahtu fracking project (NWT C of C), while environmental groups say the environmental-review process, which has been blamed for the decision to scale down, is appropriate to the risks involved in such projects (CBC). In Yukon, proposed changes to the Oil and Gas Act (see “The Political Scene” as well) are generating some fairly hard-core resistance from the Liard First Nation (CBC), the Council of Yukon First Nations, and two Kaska First Nations (CBC). Meanwhile Yukon Energy is considering replacing some of its diesel generators in Whitehorse with new ones powered by LNG, which would be a substantial shift in the city’s public energy “diet” (WS).


[Talvivaara leak]

Frantic work continued on the 10th and 11th of november at the Sotkamo nickel mine, owned by Talvivaara, to construct further dams to contain leaking waste water (YLE). Measurements taken on Monday indicated rising presence of heavy metals in the surrounding landscape, but no dangerous levels of radioactivity (YLE). The leak seems to have been successfully plugged, finally, on Wednesday (EOTA). Talvivaara’s CEO Harri Natunen said that all costs for the cleanup would be borne by the company (YLE), but Mr Natunen was ushered out of his position just hours after his statement. He was replaced by former Talvivaara CEO Pekka Perä (YLE). The mess drove Finns in Helsinki to take to the streets on Wednesday for a “Stop Talvivaara” protest (YLE), and on Friday the Finnish Council of State met to discuss what further steps should be taken with regard to the spill (YLE).

[Canada and elsewhere]

Sabina Gold and Silver Corporation announced that it would road-show positive results from its summertime explorations for gold in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut (NN). In the same territory, the Jericho diamond mine seems as though its financial problems might be insoluble in the near term (NN); owner Shear Diamonds Ltd is looking for a way out of existent and growing debts, as well as other problems. Next door in the Northwest Territories, prepared remarks from Minister David Ramsay look at the past, present and future of the mining industry as a driver of the Northwest Territories’ economy (Petroleum News). 

This week saw the near-sale (not signed yet?) by BHP Billiton of its Ekati diamond mine to Toronto-based Harry Winston for the nice, round sum of CAD 500mn. The mine has, on average, produced six percent of the world’s rough diamonds, by value, over the past five years (EOTA). Existing agreements with the mine’s unionized workers would remain in force despite the sale (CBC). Finally to Yukon: Yukon Zinc Corporation has pleaded guilty to safety violations that led to the death of a worker in 2010 at the Wolverine silver-zinc mine. The company has accepted a fine of CAD 150,000, which is the maximum allowable (CBC). 

In Russia, fertilizer company PhosAgro seems to be pursuing acquisition of the remaining 15% of shares in OAO Apatit that it does not already own (BN).



Increased traffic along the Northern Sea Route this year is catalogued briefly by Tanker Operator, while Barents Observer provides a tidy analysis of the NSR’s place in a world of shipping choke-points. It’s well worth reading. Importantly, Rosatom and Novatek have successfully struck an agreement on shipping from the Yamal LNG plant out along the NSR – the companies will be cooperating not just on shipping but on the development of mutually-beneficial infrastructure as well (BO, Upstream, BN). The agreement runs 15 years and covers a total of 17mn tons of LNG to be shipped by 2020. In general, Rosatom’s ongoing and planned development of a fleet of nuclear icebreakers to keep the NSR open to shipping year-round is exciting to watch (BO), but poor Murmansk Shipping has lost Norilsk Nickel as its primary client, and will likely continue to operate with heavy losses unless it can find another plum buyer for its services (BO).


The year’s depressing runs of king salmon in Alaskan waters meant a loss of an estimated USD 16.8mn for the state’s industry, though the net impact, when related industries are included, is likely to be much greater (ADN). In stark contrast, this year’s red king crab harvest in Alaska is a profitable one (Dutch Harbor Fisherman), and the Alaska Crab Coalition and Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers announced this week that they’d be merging, uniting all independent Bering Sea and Aleutian Island crabbers under one trade organization (Cordova Times).

The nasty fight over alterations to historical Community Development Quotas (CDQ) in Alaska is pitting two of the six CDQ bodies in particular against one another. The Coastal Villages Region Fund, which would like to see reallocation according to population only, is on the offensive against the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association (AD). Looking at a different element of Alaska’s commercial fisheries, the manager of the Alaska Seafood Cooperative published a piece via the Institute of the North on the efforts of Alaska’s flat-fish fisheries to work more efficiently and with less harm to the sea-floor ecosystem.

In Russia, one of the companies implicated in a fish-importing antimonopoly investigation has opted to join the trade organization that instigated the investigation, which may lead to a reconciliation (BN). If you can’t beat ‘em…

[Doing Business]

Heather Exner-Pirot delivers a thoughtful article on the various anchors that are holding back innovation in the context of Canada’s North (EOTA), and what it might take to create the sort of “virtual city” that could prompt greater innovation in northern communities. Northern Public Affairs meanwhile shines a light on the tangled web of decisions and interests that need to be understood and, if possible, untangled before good decisions are made to support economic prosperity in the Northwest Territories. 

In Russia and northern Norway, the Business Safari program is working towards putting entrepreneurs and businesspeople face-to-face, hoping to generate benefit for both regions (BN), but poor Murmansk even under its new leadership has been selected as one of the least business-friendly regions in Russia (Sacramento Bee). Governor Marina Kovtun nevertheless bravely pitched the region as a development opportunity for rare earth minerals, platinum and aluminum at a conference in Oslo this week (BN).

[Other industries]

The tourism industry in Arviat, Nunavut is getting a small boost from the federal government, though the comments on the article would suggest that there might be more than a lack of funds holding back the development of a local industry (NN). Meanwhile a new firm focused on the development of games in indigenous languages has started up in Pangnirtung (NN). In more sad news for Murmansk, a big EuroChem plant that’s been generating tax revenues for the region may change its tax address in the near future (BN). And in Finland, the fur industry is looking at substantial public sentiment in favor of stricter regulation (YLE).



Alaskan Yup’ik fishermen who fished for king salmon illegally are in court defending their actions, saying that fishing for kings is an element of their religious freedom. Alaska Dispatch’s coverage of the legal issues and the legal history involved is really fascinating. A similar issue has cropped up in Nunavik, where hunters may have taken more beluga whales than allotted under their quota for the year (EOTA), and, if you’re up for more whale-hunting literature, you can dig into an interesting short article from Alaska Dispatch on the taking of an unusually large bowhead whale in Barrow, Alaska this year. In Nunavut, the government is encouraging harvesters of country food to apply for grants supporting the distribution of country food to needy individuals in the territory (NN). 

The latest edition of UAF’s magazine “Agroborealis” covers a ton of interesting current issues in farming in Alaska’s interior. Enjoy! Note: I can’t tell if this is up-to-date or actually a year old. If it’s last year’s edition, my apologies for the mistake. Elsewhere in the North, hard liquor sales are up 50% year-on-year for the Feb-Sep period in Norman Wells, NWT (CBC). 


A new hospital in Nome, Alaska is three times larger than the old one, which will hopefully mean that fewer cases will have to travel to Anchorage for treatment (AD). At Murmansk’s hospital, however, optimism is tougher to come by: Vague charges of improper construction methods are being leveled by investigators against the hospital itself and against the construction firm responsible for recent upgrades (BN). 

In Canada, the Hay River, NWT health authority has decided to replace some current mental-health counselors with others having at least a Master’s degree in counseling (CBC), and mental health is just one of the issues about which organizations in Nunavut are attempting to create an open discussion. The Embrace Life Council and a division of the Mounties are sponsoring a contest to get young people to draw, or write about, the impact of suicide, mental health or substance abuse on themselves and their communities (NN). Substance abuse – in particular, of synthetic marijuana – is becoming a serious problem in the tiny community of Little Diomede in the Bering Sea, where officials this week intercepted a package of the stuff before it reached its intended recipient on the island (AD). 

Lastly, in Nunavik health officials are encouraging greater awareness of diabetes, its risk factors and its complications (NN).

[Housing, transport, communications]

New standards for northern infrastructure in Canada, including those related to permafrost degradation, are being developed by the Standards Council of Canada. The country’s perceived failure to institute a national housing strategy is the subject of a damning report by The Wellesley Institute ( and of a court case in Ontario Superior Court (Vancouver Observer), while a proposed 13% power rate hike in Yukon is a matter for ongoing debate, with the two sides lining up as you might expect (CBC).

Yakutia Airlines has become the first Russian airline other than Aeroflot to pick up the Moscow-Dresden route (, and the company also released pictures this week of its new Sukhoi-100 Superjet ( While Yakutia Airlines expands, Canada’s First Air is closing its jet pilot base in Yellowknife and shifting the affected pilots, for the most part, to Edmonton (CBC). 

Russia is working on developing stable communications infrastructure for the Northern Sea Route with the launch of a Meridian-series telecom satellite from Arkhangelsk this week (BO), while some of the specific challenges that are keeping  faster, cheaper broadband out of the hands of Canada’s northern residents and entrepreneurs are covered beautifully in an article from the Globe & Mail. I’m grateful to Mr Nowak for giving this problem the kind of investigative, narrative treatment it needs.


Yellowknife, Fort Smith and Inuvik will all reap benefits from a CAD 8.6mn injection of federal funding for adult education, announced by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency on Tuesday (CBC). / Pop singer Elisapie Isaac, who hails from Nunavik, released a new album this week that’s garnered some attention in the Canadian press (CBC).


This isn’t news by any stretch of the imagination, but I was captivated by a reflection from Bob Eley, sports editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, on his 33rd anniversary with the paper. What a pleasure to read about someone who loves his job so much. On the news front, UAF self-reported (minor, all things considered) NCAA infractions involving 17 students over a four year period; the NCAA is investigating, seemingly as a formality (FNM). Elsewhere in Alaska, bears are getting ready to den for the winter, which means bear-heavy trails in some parks are gradually reopening to human traffic (AD).

What a strange little world curling is. I have not taken the time to Google all of the terms I would need to know to interpret this brief article on the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships from the Whitehorse Star, but you may wish to.

Lastly, Rovaniemi announced this week that it would be hosting the Winter Swimming World Championships in March of 2014 ( If you need more wackiness in your life, book your hotel room now for the best rates!


A great narrated photo essay came from Daniel Beltrá of his trip aboard Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise to observe the shrinking Arctic ice cover. Other photo series came from National Geographic (of various Arctic and Arctic-ish landscapes) and from Etienne de Malglaive (of Operation Nunalivut), 

There were also several single photos worth a peek. Check out (1) Yakutsk in winter, (2) a polar bear in a snowstorm on Spitsbergen, (3) divers below Arctic ice, (4) the Lofoten, (5) sunset in Iqaluit, (6) Tromsø’s famous Arctic cathedral, (7) a dinghy in the snow on the shores of the frozen Mackenzie River and (8) the prow of a ship crashing into winter-storm waves. 


Now to those pieces that fit nowhere else. 

An assortment of superstitions, catalogued here in Nunatsiaq News, accompanied the seasonal hunting of polar bear in Inuit communities. / The Whitehorse garbage-truck Santa Claus, a longtime tradition, may be in danger (CBC). Care to help save it? “Like” it on Facebook. / Thanks to Iceland Review for aggregating links to many films of Iceland’s wild landscapes in a single post. / An article re-published in Alaska Dispatch covers a North Slope tourism adventure, and another from tells the tale of a visit to Svalbard.  / A First Nation in the Northwest Territories is looking for an equal partnership with Parks Canada in the management of a new proposed national park in the NWT (CBC). / Talkeetna may be home to an arsonist (ADN). / Should Iceland be renamed to OMGWTFLand? You decide. (HP)


Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
Aftenbladet (AB)
Alaska Dispatch (AD)
Alaska Native News (ANN)
Anchorage Daily News (ADN)
Barents Nova (BN)
Barents Observer (BO)
Bristol Bay Times (BBT)
BusinessWeek (BW)
Canadian Mining Journal (CMJ)
Eye on the Arctic (EOTA)
Fairbanks News Miner (FNM)
Financial Times (FT)
Globe and Mail (G&M)
Huffington Post (HP)
Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN)
Moscow Times (MT)
Natural Gas Europe (NGE)
New York Times (NYT)
Northern News Service Online (NNSO)
Northern Public Affairs (NPA)
Nunatsiaq News (NN)
Ottawa Citizen (OC)
RIA Novosti (RIAN)
Russia Today (RT)
Voice of Russia (VOR)
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Washington Post (WP)
Whitehorse Star (WS)
Winnipeg Free Press (WFP)