The Arctic This Week: 27 October - 2 November 2012

By Tom Fries The Arctic This Week – 27 October – 2 November 2012

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

Alexey Eremenko, writing in the Moscow News, offers an excellent long piece looking at who could benefit, politically and economically, from pursuit of hydrocarbons in the Russian Arctic. Other than a little math that I couldn’t follow, it’s an ambitious, candid article with few words wasted. Complementing Mr Eremenko’s article is a piece from Chris Wickham with Reuters that will appeal to the technophile in all of us. It looks at new technologies under development to help clean up spills under Arctic conditions, and considers whether investment flows into such R&D are stable or not. Finish up the oil-&-gas reporting for the week with an article from Claudia Cattaneo in the Financial Post; she considers whether, and how, the port of Churchill, Manitoba could be an easier alternative, when compared with yet-to-be-built pipelines, for exporting Canadian oil to the world market.

Now to a couple of political pieces that are well worth reading. First, the Institute of the North gives a concise overview - with many thoughtful, novel recommendations - of Alaska’s potential role during the upcoming (2015) US chairmanship of the Arctic Council. It’s good reading; well done. Jim Bell of Nunatsiaq News also gets high marks for an article on Leona Aglukkaq’s stated positions as she prepares to head Canada’s time atop the Arctic Council. Minister Aglukkaq’s statements are of course official and thus hardly revolutionary, but these are important bullet points for one to have in mind, and they’re nicely organized.


[North America]

Let’s begin with a good article from Joël Plouffe that touches several different elements of this year’s Operation Nanook, including the critical role of Canadian Rangers in this and other such events (Vanguard). Also from Canada, an unsurprisingly oblique press release indicates that the Government is talking with industry about how precisely to service the Arctic patrol ships it’s invested in (

A warm welcome back to port in Juneau, on its way to Seattle, goes out to the crew of the USCGC Healy, the US’s only working polar icebreaker, which has been out for the past two years (Juneau Empire). The Coast Guard also concluded its operation Arctic Shield near Alaska’s North Slope, a good debrief of which comes from Alaska Dispatch. In addition to its nautical adventures, the Coast Guard has helped with inland rescues when necessary (AD). Meanwhile the Alaska National Guard has elected to divest its armory on Little Diomede Island back to the community itself; Senator Murkowski accompanied National Guard representatives on a trip to the island (ANN).


A confusing article from Russia Beyond the Headlines seems unsure of how to describe or categorize recent military activity by Russia in the Arctic. Suffice it to say there has been some, and you might just need to have a go at the article yourself. A much better article from Barents Observer takes a look at a titanium-hulled nuclear sub used to gather a half-ton of rocks from the Arctic seabed to assist in proving Russia’s claim to the Mendeleev Ridge. The sub is apparently supposed to be a secret, although Naval Today has further information on it as well. Barents Observer also suggests that the submarine Severodvinsk has a welter of technical issues that will need to be dealt with before it’s commissioned. The site points as well to yet another vessel being overhauled for the Indian navy by Russia. This time it’s a submarine, the INS Sindhurakshak, and after the Vikramaditya debacle one can only wish the Indian navy good luck (BO). 

Naval Today has other reports on Russian equipment this week as well. Final tests of the diesel-electric St Petersburg submarine have been postponed until 2013 (NT), while the nuclear Yury Dolgoruky is apparently ready for commissioning to the navy (NT) and a new hydrogen-based power plant is undergoing tests within the hull of the B-90 Sarov (NT). [Side note: It sounds like many of these subs are built starting from half-finished hulls of old sub projects that got de-funded. Is that true of other navies as well? I find it surprising.] Lastly from Russia, the rescue ship Igor Belousov, constructed in part to respond to future disasters such as that of the Kursk, was launched this week in St Petersburg (NT).

Lastly, an article in The Diplomat suggests that China’s military shipbuilding capabilities are something that the US and other Western powers should be wary of in the future. That’s doubtless something to keep an eye on, but one has to raise a skeptical eyebrow, in light of the many breakdowns and delays mentioned above, when reading that “China’s military shipbuilding technical capabilities can likely become as good as Russia’s are now by 2020”. 


After a painfully drawn-out decision-making process, Finland announced that its jets would be joining those of Norway and Sweden on patrols of Iceland’s airspace (EOTA). The decision, announced at the Nordic Council meeting in Helsinki, may not have large support from within the ranks of Finland’s military. 

Perhaps surprisingly, Norway’s navy appears to have problems similar to those of its North American colleagues. Lack of funding (BO) and the departure of trained staff for better-paying jobs (BO) mean that the navy is feeling less than able to work at its maximum potential.


The collection of “big-think” articles in the political sphere this week includes a hawkish exposition in Foreign Policy of the idea that the Arctic may, as the ice cap gradually vanishes, become similar politically to the Mediterranean upon the opening of the Suez Canal, or the Caribbean after the Panama Canal. I’m unconvinced, but read it for yourself. Another article from Eurasia Review says little that we haven’t heard before about China’s interest in the Arctic, while a longer (and hopefully more thoughtful) piece on the country’s Arctic strategy comes from the Polar Journal ($). 

On to things I like better. My thanks to Institute of the North for its concise overview - with many thoughtful, novel recommendations - of Alaska’s potential role during the upcoming (2015) US chairmanship of the Arctic Council. It’s good reading; well done. Nunatsiaq News also gets high marks for an article on Leona Aglukkaq’s stated positions as she prepares to head Canada’s time on top of the Arctic Council.

[EU, Scandinavia, Russia]

Kathrin Keil, writing for TAI, analyzes the virtues and challenges of EU involvement in Arctic policy (Part 1 and Part 2), while an interview by Christoph Seidler (Spiegel Online) with Norway’s new Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide gives some good insight into that country’s approach to the Arctic as a resource base, an environmental treasure and a political theater. Norway’s northernmost citizens, meanwhile, are apparently taking liberal advantage of an agreement permitting Norwegian citizens who live near the Russian border to visit Nikel and Zapolyarny visa-free (BO). Relatedly, Russia is looking at upgrading its border facilities in the North, with a particular focus on land borders with its Scandinavian neighbors and maritime points-of-entry on the Northern Sea Route (BN). Russia is also looking to extend its maritime territory outward; the expedition to collect geological evidence supporting its claim to the Mendeleev Ridge has returned (VOR, NT).

A new paper from Damien Degeorges argues convincingly that mutual benefit would accrue to both Denmark and Greenland from working together in Arctic business and politics. The piece needed the attentions of an English-language editor before its release, but it is generally readable and interesting nonetheless.

[North America]

In Canada, negotiations between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Deline First Nation are slowly moving in the direction of self-government for the Deline community (GNWT), while in Yukon it looks as though an adversarial relationship is developing between the territorial government and several First Nations over plans for the disposition and management of the Peel watershed (Yukon News). In Nunavut, the government has proposed a plan to put the languages of Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English and French on equal footing in the territory (NN), and Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, spoke to Canada’s House of Commons about the need for well-directed federal funding to Inuit communities (ITK).

In Alaska, upcoming elections mean a contest between incumbent Don Young and challenger Sharon Cissna for Alaska’s sole congressional seat. An interview with radio station KUCB covers Don Young’s plans for Unalaska’s future, while an eighth-grader in Fairbanks was lucky enough to interview Governor Sean Parnell (FNM). The latter is an appealing interview on both sides, free of screaming and of accusations of malicious intent or poor character. Amazing these days, in American politics.


As ice extent begins to expand for the winter again, a NASA photograph captured swirls of remaining bits in the ocean waters off of Greenland ( It isn’t just sea ice that’s been melting quickly; terrestrial snow cover has been much lower in the spring in recent years as well (Nature). But if your primary interest is in sea ice cover, and how prediction could best be conducted in the years ahead, take a look at a pre-publication paper from the National Academies Press. For much smaller-scale ice research, check out a quick piece on Alaska’s “lake stars,” which appear at the start of the winter freeze (ADN).

An upcoming conference in early 2013 will be taking a look at Arctic marine ecosystems and how they are changing (ADN). The most popular, white-furred members of that ecosystem are apparently setting up housekeeping at least sometimes on tabular icebergs out at sea, rather than on land (BBC). This might help explain why Julia Whitty, reporting for Mother Jones from the USCG Healy, appears to have seen neither ice nor bears at any point during her Arctic voyage this summer. (Click here for another recent post from Ms Whitty.) Beluga whales, those other pale northerners, have been tagged and tracked this summer and fall by scientists, and you can follow their adventures via the Oceans North website. You could also take a look at the potential response of Little Auk populations to climate change via

Wildlife conservation officers in some Nunavut communities appear to be too thinly spread (NN), while veterinarians undertook a mass-sterilization effort of dogs in Nunavik to help with long-term population control (CBC).

Plans to merge the British Antarctic Survey with a separate oceanographic research institute have drawn both scrutiny and criticism (Guardian), and I believe I saw at the end of the week that those plans had been scuttled. Another British initiative studying the travels of, and changes to, one of the Petermann ice islands is recapped briefly by the Guardian as well. 

Elsewhere in Europe, a new journal for the Barents region is looking at its first issue in 2013 (BO). Meanwhile a medieval thread connecting the European and North American Arctic exists in evidence that Norse trappers apparently landed on Baffin Island ( More ancient still – Axel Heiberg Island’s petrified forests may soon enjoy official protection (NN). In other Canadian news, the specific site for the yet-to-be-built Canadian High Arctic Research Station is under discussion (NNSO). 

Finally, this week also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Japanese Polar Institute (in Norwegian, in auto-translated English), 



With the great poverty of Things to Talk About in Arctic Energy, you can imagine my relief at hearing that Russia is doing what it can to jolt the Shtokman project back in to existence. Gazprom applied to the relevant federal bureau for an extension of its license (BO), and President Putin, during a meeting with Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun, expressed a belief that the project would be underway by 2017 (BO). The enormous Russian gas major also announced this week that it was increasing its investment plans for this year by one-quarter, up to a total of $31bn (Reuters), and that it believes tax cuts for Arctic projects should be expanded to include Prirazlomnaya (BO), which is currently excluded. 

On Tuesday, Gazprom started gas production from the Bovanenko field on the Yamal Peninsula, from which an expected production of ≈4 trillion cubic feet per year (Business Recorder) might eventually bring 70bn rubles of annual tax revenue to the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area ( Plans for the future development of another large field in Yakutia and of a Pacific pipeline to take gas to Vladivostok (project price ≈$24.4bn, expected completion date 2017) might enable the company to tie itself more closely to growing Asian markets (VOR, Seattle Times). 

In a strange sideline, Gazprom’s telecommunications arm (I didn’t know they had one) is also getting ready to launch two new satellites (RIAN). 

Gazprom of course is not the only Russian hydrocarbon company of note, a fact which becomes clear as we watch Novatek work to expand its footprint in the European market. After gaining a significant foothold in a July deal with Energie Baden-Württemberg, the company is pressing hard for permission to export gas from an LNG project (run jointly with Total) on the Yamal peninsula (Reuters, Fox). Meanwhile Rosneft’s efforts to strengthen its partial stranglehold on offshore licenses in the Russian Arctic may eventually face surprising resistance from the government (BO). Such a development might well disappoint the company’s newly-minted partner BP. BP’s CEO Bob Dudley says that there are no specific plans for BP-Rosneft joint Arctic exploration as yet (Platts), but concern about what such plans might eventually entail was nonetheless covered, in the most general possible way, by Deutsche Welle

In other Russian news, I’m surprised at an article from the Moscow News that lumps Russia’s Arctic oil & gas projects together with the Sochi Olympics, the recent APEC summit in Vladivostok and the 2018 World Cup as “gravy trains” delivering easily-embezzled funds to corrupt officials. Can one write things like this in Russia? The article is pleasingly numbers-heavy, though not all the math is clear. 

Three other minor items of note: Plans for an oil refinery on the shores of the Kola Bay have been sent back for revision because of inadequate environmental protections (BN); the recently-repaired reactor #1 at the Kola nuclear power plant shut down almost immediately after being re-started (BO); the vessel Ob River, the first LNG carrier to traverse the Northern Sea Route, has made it to France (Platts).


Shell concluded its Arctic drilling efforts for 2012, and this occasioned competent end-of-season wrap-ups from Jen Dlouhy ( and Kim Murphy (LA Times), both of whom have done indispensable reporting on the project. The Wall Street Journal also offered a short, attractive video wrap-up. Nearer to Prudhoe Bay, news that an important permit had been issued to ExxonMobil for its Point Thomson oil/gas project, Alaska’s largest undeveloped field, garnered headlines as well (AD, ADN). Alaska might, however, be losing the international race to become a gas supplier of choice (EOTA). 

On the political side of things, Alaska’s Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is undertaking some fairly aggressive marketing in favor of reduced taxes on oil producers. It hopes thereby to entice speedier and more thorough development ( 1 and 2). The particular argument from Tara Sweeney, SVP for External Affairs for the ASRC, can be read in full in Juneau Empire.


Probably the most important headline this week is that Statoil CEO Helge Lund has not had a weekend off in eight years (AB). I’d like to make some sarcastic comment or other, but that would do this good article (if a little on the cheerleading, rah-rah side) an injustice. It’s worth a read. Another important personality, new Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, was interviewed by Christoph Seidler of Spiegel Online (in English, in German) about the country’s engagement with Arctic offshore projects. The interview drew a strong response from Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace in NRK (in Norwegian or auto-translated English) pointing out that, as recently as 2011, a small spill two hours from Oslo was cleaned up with brooms, shovels and buckets.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has suggested that shortages of skilled labor, offshore equipment and offshore-services staff may gradually lead to compromised safety at offshore platforms (Upstream). But no matter; European demand for Norwegian gas looks likely to grow in the decades ahead (Reuters). New research into spill-cleanup technologies is the subject of a fascinating article from Reuters, while the idea that dish soap might be the best solution to scrub down oil-covered polar bears (EOTA) has a flavor of absurdity to it, accurate though it might be.

In other news from Norway, the fate of 125 employees of Seadrill in Stavanger will be decided and communicated this week (AB).

[Renewables and other news]

Those Norwegian counties in which wind energy is produced are beginning to look to the industry as a potential source of tax revenues (AB), while Swedish furniture giant IKEA is preparing to invest ≈€1.5bn in wind farms, solar technology, etc. on its way to 100% renewable energy by 2020 (AB). Russia is facing a couple of basic challenges that it will need to overcome before renewable energy becomes a practical source of power for the country (Valdai Club), while the Northwest Territories is home to efforts to find creative energy solutions, including applying smart-grid technology on a local scale (Arctic Energy Alliance) and deploying bioenergy more broadly (Arctic Energy Alliance). In Nunavut, prices for gas and heating fuel will not rise from last year, which is certainly good news for residents (NN).


For an overall (rather one-sidedly positive) look at recent mining news in Canada, feel free to check out the fall issue of Canadian Mining Magazine. In Nunavut, a major potential iron mine is considering using LNG instead of an unmentioned alternative to produce power. The change might cut costs per ton of ore by as much as 16% (NN). Outside investors are meanwhile interested in Peregrine Diamonds’ exploration work in Nunavut and the NWT, sinking an additional $10mn into shares of the project this week (CBC). In Yukon, a copper mine 220 km north of Whitehorse looks, in a feasibility study, as though it’ll be profitable enough to warrant development (CMJ), while another mine near Carcross has unexpectedly found itself rejected as a client for an existing railway (Yukon News). 

Finally we look to Québec, where the Lac Otelnuk iron project (one of the 15 largest ore deposits in the world?) is being fast-tracked for production (NN). In the same province, Fednav (Montréal-based) has contracted with Japanese shipbuilders to produce a Polar Class 4 ice-breaking bulk carrier to move between a major Nunavik nickel/copper project and markets in Europe (Mining Weekly). 

Next door in Alaska, the news this week was that the Bering Straits Native Corporation purchased the Alaska Gold Company from NovaGold Resources. Alaska Business Magazine catches the deal coming and going, reporting both from the purchaser’s point of view and from the seller’s point of view

Lastly, one news item from Russia: A Severstal-owned factory in Karelia has opted to begin paying taxes to next-door-neighbor Vologda Oblast instead (BO). This is doubtless a blow to Karelia’s government coffers. I didn’t know one could simply elect to do that.


[European fisheries]

Russia has elected to press the issue of what it sees as Norwegian overfishing of salmon stocks off of Finnmark (Fish & Fly), while a perceived cartel of Russian importers of Norwegian salmon is being scrutinized by the Russian antimonopoly service (BN). The two countries are nonetheless cooperating on salmon farming (BO), illustrated with a nice picture from Barents Nova

The state-owned trawler fleet in Arkhangelsk is up for privatization in the near future, and it is possible that the company’s catch quotas in the Barents are the real prize (BO). Some are concerned that the new owner will abandon the port facilities and workers currently associated with the fleet. 

[North American fisheries]

No single stressor appears to be to blame for the precipitous decline in king salmon returns to Alaskan waters this year (Alaska Journal), and the WWF, writing through Fast Company magazine, takes a more holistic look at what mining in Bristol Bay, “America’s fish basket”, could do to several key fish populations there. United Fishermen of Alaska is opposed to development of the Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay watershed, and is wondering as well how to encourage more control of the sea otter population, which it sees as a threat to fish populations (Tundra Drums). Meanwhile the competition between Alaskan and Russian crab on international – in particular, Asian – markets sounds like something out of a true-crime novel (BBT). Lastly, thanks to NOAA’s work modeling Alaskan fish habitat, you can now go “surfing” along the Alaska coastline from the comfort of your couch (Capital City Weekly).


It appears as though Murmansk’s commercial seaport is likely to be taken over by the Siberian Coal Energy Company, which may be considering shifting its exports from more-expensive Baltic ports to Murmansk (BN, BO). Despite this large purchase, the Murmansk region seems likely to be looking at economic stagnation over the next three years (BO, BN). 

Elsewhere, the WWF and Fednav released a report this week looking at best practices in Arctic shipping (report here, press release here). Fednav has also, as mentioned above, contracted with Japanese shipbuilders to produce a Polar Class 4 ice-breaking bulk carrier to move between a major Nunavik nickel/copper project and markets in Europe (NN). Halifax, Nova Scotia is considering how it can enjoy a piece of the future Arctic-shipping pie (Chronicle-Herald), and Churchill, Manitoba is quietly working on publicizing itself as an alternative export terminus for Canadian oil, less likely to be snarled in legal battles than the proposed pipelines (Financial Post).

[Other economic/business news]

Swedes are increasingly looking to even-richer-neighbor Norway as a place to find jobs (EOTA), while residents of the Greenlandic town of Maniitsoq are wondering what the impact of a planned Alcoa smelter would be; lower unemployment, probably, but what would an influx of foreign workers mean (Epoch Times)? In Iceland, the central bank is convinced that the risk of investing in the country has diminished markedly (IceNews), and the country’s tourism industry appears to be bustling, at least according to airport data (IceNews).

In North America, a new brewery has opened its doors in Fairbanks (FNM), and a glassworks in Yellowknife is garnering international recognition (HQ Yellowknife). Meanwhile Up Here Business has been profiling successful northern businesswomen in a series of enjoyable interviews: here with Tracy Medve (formerly of Canadian North airline); here with Jennifer MacGillivray of Dowland, a construction firm; here with Helen Klengenberg, the first Inuk to get an MBA; and here with Ethel Blondin-Andrew, chairperson of the Sahtu Secretariat Inc. 



There’s an ongoing and fairly dramatic shortfall in housing in Nunavut; the Nunavut Housing Needs Survey indicates a current shortfall of 3,580 units. But the money to build them simply isn’t there, and it doesn’t look as though more is coming in anytime soon (NN). The Government of Nunavut itself needs 907 new units for its staff alone, and doesn’t think it’s possible to do anything near to that with the $5mn it has allotted (NN). “Sea cans” (shipping containers) are likely to be used on occasion, in a pinch, to serve as temporary housing as well as cold storage or animal shelters (NN).


The Institute of the North posted a heads-up on an upcoming conference on Arctic transportation infrastructure; it looks fascinating, and I’m sorry I can’t be there myself. In the Northwest Territories, people seem to be asking the tough questions about where limited resources should be used to add or improve roads to remote communities (EOTA), while in Alaska the isolated Dalton Highway between Fairbanks and the North Slope was at least partially blocked during a winter storm by a truck (FNM). 

Near-misses with fuel for heating and transport may again make headlines this winter; the island community of St George appears to have cobbled together a solution for now, though it didn’t look good for a few weeks (AD). Similarly, residents of Carcross, Yukon are petitioning to have a diesel backup generator installed to deal with power outages (CBC). 

Improvements to communications infrastructure are often also slow in coming, but a fiber optic line may soon be going in to Yakutsk (, and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency announced that it would be supporting the Nunavut Information and Communications Technology Summit, which took place this week, to the tune of $110,000 (Press release). Arctic Fibre’s proposed fiber-optic line from London to Tokyo via the Northwest Passage was also reviewed (again) this week in the Globe & Mail, with no real status update.


First, on food security, it looks as though the number of individuals using food banks in Canada’s North has grown dramatically over the past four years (CBC), and the CBC interviewed Amber Hyshka about an idea to make it easier for grocery stores and restaurants to donate left-over food. Some subsistence fishermen in Alaska are facing criminal charges for defying state bans on fishing for king salmon this spring (ADN), while wet weather has destroyed 5% of Sweden’s potato harvest, with particularly harsh impact on northern farmers (EOTA).

In Nunavut, MLA Moses Aupaluktuq is dissatisfied with the government’s proposed plan to tackle domestic violence (NN), while a Canada-wide program to put internationally-trained midwives to work may bring some such staff to Nunavut as well (NN). MLA Jeannie Ugyuk says that early childhood care in Nunavut is in need of substantially more support to serve the territory’s needs (NN), and other MLAs are pointing to serious problems with the health care facilities in Sanikiluaq and Arctic Bay (NN). Meanwhile in Yukon, the communities of Dawson City and Watson Lake will be home to two new acute-care facilities, though staffing those facilities may prove to be an issue (CBC).

Lastly, to news from elsewhere than Canada: Norway’s health minister says the country is heading in the direction of the US in terms of rates of obesity and diabetes (Tremble, Norwegians. Tremble.) (IceNews). A recent study concludes that the cost to the Alaskan economy in 2010 of drug and alcohol abuse was slightly north of $1bn (FNM). 


The Government of Nunavut’s $16.9mn education budget this year will go mostly to existing facilities (NN), while Nunavut Arctic College will be looking at a new residence hall and daycare center in Cambridge Bay at the cost of $6.5mn (NN). The twin desires to, first, set standards for passing each grade level and, second, to keep kids in school can often work against each other, and the practice of “social promotion” is a topic of debate in Nunavut (EOTA). In Alaska, educators on the North Slope are working on developing a curriculum that incorporates locally-appropriate real-world examples to help convey important educational concepts (

Dechinta University in the NWT, which focuses on “Northern and aboriginal courses” seems to garner rave reviews from its students (NNSO).


It would seem that many Iqaluit residents enjoyed the recent performance by the National Arts Centre orchestra (NN), while the crew of young Inuit from Arviat behind the Nanisiniq film made an impression in Washington, DC both as part of the 18th Inuit Studies Conference (Nanisiniq blog) and with a presentation on multimedia and Inuit youth at the Ashoka Foundation (Nanisiniq blog). Also in Washington, the first solo show of an Inuvialuk sculptor, Abraham Anghik Ruben, is running through January at the National Museum of the American Indian (CBC).


The Arctic Children and Youth Foundation is working on an online platform to collect and publicize the opinions and knowledge of young people across Canada’s aboriginal Northern communities (NN). Incorporating traditional knowledge in modern policy-making processes is an ongoing challenge (Arctic Portal). 


An Iqaluit swimming pool is closed indefinitely for repairs (NN), but the Rankin Inlet ice rink has reopened after vandals wrecked it by driving the Zamboni around the ice-less rink back in August (CBC). The entrepreneurially-minded John Chabot has taken advantage of the NHL lockout in the US to bring NHL players north of 60 and run some games for charity (CBC). Similarly, the Whitehorse Rapids Speed Skating Club hosted a skate-a-thon Sunday to raise money for the Kid’s Recreation Fund (WS).

Finally, it seems we should all just assume that professional cyclists are doping in one way or another; Norwegian cyclist Steffen Kjærgaard, formerly a member of the US Postal team and others, has confessed to doping at various points during his career (IceNews). I no longer find it possible to feel indignant at such things.


Check out these groups of photos: a recent rescue operation in the Barents Sea (gcaptain); a slick and excellent series from Chris Packham (Telegraph); a group from Michael Davies from the area around Pangnirtung, and; Greenland’s iceberg parade, from Mark Vogler.

Next take in these single photos of: (1) a small bay in the closed military city of Liinahamari; (2) a gorgeous vista near Iqaluit; (3) Tromsø in the early morning; (4) the winter sky over Vardø; (5, 6) more beautiful Tromsø vistas; (7) sunset in Norway; (8) another Iqaluit landscape; (9) winter boots; and (10) the Gold Coast, from Clare Kines.


Now to those pieces that fit nowhere else. 

A Nunavut Heritage Centre in Iqaluit looks like it’s not coming anytime soon (NN). / The North Pole (the city in Alaska) issued an air-quality alert this week (FNM). / The Nenets Autonomous Okrug appears to have managed a budget surplus of a billion rubles (BO). / The reality TV shows filmed in Alaska pull down some significant cash in state subsidies, particularly when compared with the money paid out to Alaskan workers in salary (FNM). / Samia Wadmar challenges Google Streetview (Up Here) and revels in the absence of an IKEA in Yellowknife (Up Here). / The town of Nikolskoye welcomed Russia’s farthest-east church this week (RIAN). / The history of the supernatural in the Arctic is a long and fascinating one (BBC). / Iceland might, or might not, be awaiting a big earthquake (IceNews). / Five firefighters in Pangnirtung received awards for long and distinguished service (NN). / Churchill, Manitoba employed helicopters, fire trucks, armed men and so on to protect the city’s trick-or-treating children from marauding polar bears on Halloween (WSJ). / A large earthquake off of the Queen Charlotte Islands prompted tsunami warnings in Alaska (FNM). / Fairbanks’s ghost hunters were profiled on the occasion of Halloween (FNM). / A man in Yakutia successfully panned $3mn worth of gold before it was taken from him by the police (RIAN). 


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)