The Arctic This Week 2013: 16 February 2013 - 22 February 2013

© Clare Kines, used with photographer's kind permission
The Arctic This Week 2013:08

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Thanks for joining us this week! As always, all editorial choices, opinions and any mistakes are the authors’ own. To comment or to request a back issue, feel free to contact Tom or Kevin directly.

Reads of the Week

If you’re pressed for time this week, we think you’ll find these Reads of the Week deliver the biggest bang for your buck.

First, take a moment and print out this one-page chart of the world’s important icebreakers, courtesy of the US Coast Guard. Hang it up next to your desk; it’s a great reference document and will save you repeated trips to Wikipedia in the midst of your reading/writing.

Three large reports / strategy papers likely to be core documents for future discussion of Arctic environmental policy, strategy and research were released this week. The first, from the US’s National Science and Technology Council, lays out a five-year plan for the most important inter-agency Arctic research efforts to be conducted in the US. The second is the 2013 Yearbook from the UN Environment Programme; it’s got a substantial section focused on potential responses to ongoing changes in the Arctic. The last, which will require some Google translating if you don’t read Russian, covers Russia’s strategy for development of its Arctic region until 2020.

Move on to several crisp articles that will require somewhat less of your time and attention than any of the documents above. The first, from TAI’s own Kathrin Keil, looks at the Arctic “races” for sovereignty and resources, and concludes that nobody’s competing very ambitiously in either one. The second is an excellent and forcefully argued opinion piece from Russia Beyond the Headlines suggesting that Moscow’s efforts to direct the development of Siberia have been almost completely wrong-headed, and should be revamped.

The last articles we’ll turn to are distinguished more by their fascinating information than by style. Harald Loeng writes in Barents Observer on the many reasons for which Arctic fisheries are unlikely to become a booming industry in the ways that some expect. Nunatsiaq News gives a concise and informative overview of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Greenland and the role that mining is likely to play in that race. Couple that with an excellent opinion piece from Martin Breum and Jorgen Chemnitz in the NYT arguing that fears of Chinese engagement in Greenland’s mining sector are, at best, misdirected and misinformed.

A quick note of thanks as well to Clare Kines for the use of “Still Water,” our feature photo this week.

The Political Scene


TAI’s own Kathrin Keil provides an excellent article debunking the idea that either of the two “races” for the Arctic (for sovereignty, for resources) is much of a race at all. Jan-Gunnar Winther, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, shared a similarly-toned but more general statement (in Norwegian, Google-translated) from this year’s World Economic Forum; he catalogs 5 myths about the Arctic, 5 contributions the region makes to the globe as a whole, and 5 critical steps forward. A similarly interesting but longer read comes in PDF form from the Arctic NGO Forum; they’ve published outcomes from the last meeting in Haparanda, Sweden on oil & gas in an Arctic context. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg met in Oslo to discuss energy cooperation and economic development; a “who’s-who” of German energy companies was in attendance as well (Norwegian Gov’t). Further south, a combined meeting of the foreign ministers of the Nordic states, Baltic states and Visegrad Group took place in Poland; the meeting focused on “Security and Defence Policy, Eastern Partnership and energy and transport cooperation” (Foreign Ministry of Finland).

The interest of Asian countries in the Arctic continues to hit headlines as well. India’s own lobbying efforts for observer status are covered in the New Indian Express; the country seems to be focusing its application primarily on the scientific contributions it can make (Sunday Guardian). China meanwhile may be considering the development of nuclear-powered icebreakers of its own, though that has not been openly stated (Smart Planet). Our thanks to Vijay Sakhuja of India’s Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict who brought all three of these articles to our attention this week.

Also of possible interest is an upcoming conference in Oslo, hosted by the Economist, to look at issues of Arctic trade, energy and environment. More on the conference is also available from Arctic Portal.


The announcement of John Duncan’s resignation led to statements of ambivalence about his tenure, mostly of the “he did his best with a tough portfolio; things could be better” variety (EOTA). There was much speculation early in the week about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s possible choices as a successor to hold the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. By the end of the week, New Brunswick MP Bernard Valcourt (who appeared nowhere on the long list of potential candidates shared early in the week in the National Post) had been appointed to fill the vacant slot (CBC). A brief biography and tally of those who are pleased and displeased by the appointment is to be had from Nunatsiaq News, and Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, simply said he is looking forward to meeting the new Minister in the near future.

At the more local level, the Northwest Territories’ devolution process continues, with both enthusiasm about the assumption of greater control over resource development (and the revenues that it brings) and concern that particular pieces – the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act in particular – will not ultimately come to the territorial government (Capital News). In the Yukon, the relationship between First Nations and the Canadian government was held up by Professor Ken Coates as a slow but successful example of how such entities can – and should – work together (Yukon News – definitely worth a read). Much remains to be done on that front, though, as claims emerged this week of willful, systemic neglect of abductions and abuse of aboriginal women by the RCMP (CBC). Questions are also bubbling up about Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson’s residence; does he actually live in Nunavut (APTN)?

Looking ahead to Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a fascinating collection of video interviews with some of Canada’s key players in Arctic issues is well worth the time that it takes to peruse ( To each is put the question: Should Canada push Arctic development?


It was a big week for big documents, and Russia was not to be left out of the fun. The government released a major strategy document on Arctic development covering the next few years. The original document, in Russian, apparently “guarantees state support to the development of infrastructure for transport, industry and energy, as well as to scientific, scientific-technical and innovational activities” (writes Trude Pettersen in Barents Observer). A truly outstanding piece from Russia Beyond the Headlines argues that Moscow’s current words and deeds in terms of Siberian development are entirely wrong-headed, while in Murmansk corruption purges continue apace (BO) and the federal inspector in the region resigns to go work in St. Petersburg (BN). Russia and neighbor Finland are meanwhile trying to work together to combat cross-border crime (YLE).


Alaska’s Senator Mark Begich went through a laundry list of key issues for Alaska, including the development of genetically-modified salmon and the need to build out oil-&-gas service industries in the state (Homer Tribune). / A thorough article from Nunatsiaq News covers the upcoming parliamentary elections in Greenland and what effect they may have on plans for mining on the world’s largest island. / Iceland’s debate about whether to join the EU seems as yet unresolved; one MP thinks it’s a bad idea to abandon the process (IceNews).


We’ll start with a brief return to the article from Kathrin Keil, in which she observes that few companies (other than Shell) or countries are truly “racing” ahead on Arctic energy development. Instead, a cautious, wait-and-see attitude seems to be the norm. The UN Environment Program cautioned against such a “rush” to develop Arctic oil and gas and called in a statement released this week for a full environmental assessment to be conducted prior to any Arctic resource development (Reuters).


Juneau continues to tweak proposed changes to the state’s oil tax. This week the State Senate took a crack at it, modifying Governor Sean Parnell’s plans that, according to some critics, took too much of a cut at lower prices and too little at higher prices. The changes are meant to boost the state’s oil production (and thus the state government’s coffers) which has languished in recent years due to the slow pace of new production (FNM). The state isn’t necessarily hurting: the Permanent Fund reached a record high of $45 billion this week (ADN). Parnell also proposed streamlining state permitting processes for oil and gas projects (ADN). Modifying the state’s oil taxes is a controversial and difficult proposition, with representatives of smaller Alaska oil companies offering mixed assessments of Parnell’s and the state’s proposed adjustments this week (ADN). Senate Democrats, meanwhile, complain that it is almost impossible to discuss modifications to the current tax plan when the Revenue Department takes up to six years to perform oil and gas company tax audits (ADN).

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed and finalized the new management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska this week, setting aside one half for conservation and opening the other for oil and gas development (ADN). And in a sign that the current administration remains committed to the principle of Arctic energy development despite its critique of Shell’s performance during its 2012 drilling season, the plan gives the green light for a pipeline to funnel oil drilled offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Earth Justice applauded the Department of the Interior’s decision as balanced (press release). Industry and pro-development politicians were less enthused. Alaska’s Congressman Don Young saw the plan as pandering to environmentalists by restricting development (press release).

The Coast Guard has officially turned over the matter of safety and environmental violations on Shell’s Arctic drilling rig the Noble Discoverer to the Justice Department. Anchorage Daily Newsthis article by Jennifer DlouhyFuel FixAlaska DispatchCordova TimesAPRNFuel FixADN

Susitna-Watana hydro dam, a project that could cost over $5 billion and satisfy half the energy demand of southern Alaska (ADN).

VORGlobal TimesRussia Beyond the HeadlinesPrensa Latina

Dances with BearsBloomberg


first articlesecond articleJohnson’s Russia ListBO

Canadian International Council

Lucien Bouchard says that Quebec is shutting down investment by suspending shale gas exploration in the province. Bouchard says Quebec’s visceral opposition to fracking is more emotion than reason, and interestingly points to lingering distrust between French and English Canada as source of some of the high emotions. See this article in the Globe and Mail for some insight on the debate. Anti-fracking groups also protested in front of the Yukon Legislature this week (CBC).

Ottawa announced new financial penalties this week meant to help encourage increased pipeline safety and limit spills (CBC).


IOS InterMoor AS secured a contract from Eni Norge to provide mooring services for developmental drilling at the Barents Sea Goliat oilfield (Energy Global). Norwegian company Inocean unveiled its new design for a purpose-built Arctic drillship. See a description of the plans and some of the ship’s special features in an article from Shipbuilding Tribune.

Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced that his country welcomed German involvement in developing Arctic energy resources in advance of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week (Fox Business).

A well-written article by Andrew Higgins in the New York Times looks at Iceland’s geothermal energy strategy as the country seeks to find ways to export the almost unlimited energy it can generate from the earth’s heat.

While Gazprom has stuck to its outdated long-term contracts for supplying gas to the European market, Norwegian Statoil is showing increased flexibility in its contract and pricing arrangements and is beginning to displace Russian supply in the still-weak European markets (Platts).

Science, Environment & Wildlife

Arctic Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme released its 2013 Yearbook: Emerging Issues in our Global Environment on the occasion of the Global Environmental Ministerial Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. The thick document devotes a substantial chunk to the Arctic, and recommends: delaying any resource development until further research has been conducted; reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide; including indigenous peoples and “other stakeholders” in discussions of long-term policy responses; and accelerating scientific research (UNEP). The UNEP released as well a concise but information-rich “backgrounder” on the state of the Arctic.

This week also saw the publishing of the Arctic Research Plan for 2013-2017 from the US’s National Science and Technology Council. There is far too much in it to give a summary here; see the summary from the White House for an overview. For more resources on US Arctic environmental science, you can check out NOAA’s Arctic theme page as well.

With so much environmental & science policy under discussion this week, researchers themselves have been busy, too. A fascinating bit of serendipitous research is being conducted on a 46-year time series of air samples from northern Finland. Though the weekly air samples were taken to monitor any possible fallout from Soviet/Russian nuclear tests in the Arctic, they of course provide a fascinating resource for analysis of the changing environment over that same time period (Clarkson U). An international group of researchers is tracking biological responses to disappearing sea ice off of Alaska (U of Maryland), German scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute and Max Planck Institute are trying to discern the impact of increasing quantities of algae in the Arctic food web (Max Planck Inst.,, and researchers from Denmark’s Aarhus University are building a new, “ultra-modern” research station at Station North in Greenland ( Scientists working in/with Canada may be feeling less support, as the important fight over confidentiality rules in Arctic science continues to smolder (CBC, Vancouver Sun). You’ll want to read a long but important memorandum (warning – 7.1MB) from the Information Commissioner of Canada on the subject.

Standing alone, a sharp-toned article from Forbes points out that our short-sightedness on climate change (witness this debate in Finland over raising carbon prices, here reported in EOTA) means that spending billions of dollars on tardy mitigation measures to protect areas threatened by sea level rise is “pretty much already a foregone conclusion”. Sad, but true. Also horrifying is this simple then-and-now image of Alaska’s Muir glacier in 1941 and 2004, from NASA. It seems impossible.


At the upcoming CITES meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, the US is expected to propose the upgrading of polar bears to Appendix 1 of the Convention. If the US succeeds in the face of opposition from Canada, Norway and Denmark, it will put strict limits on international trade in polar bear parts or products. With its usual quality, the Economist gives a succinct overview of the array of voices on both sides, and the ways in which Inuit may lose out if the US is successful. Terry Audla, president of ITK, made a video statement laying out the key objections that Inuit have to the idea.

WWF Russia has begun a fundraising and awareness campaign with the protection of polar bears from habitat loss, poaching and pollution as its end goal (RIAN), while Defenders of Wildlife published a quick post on the importance of understanding the Arctic food web, from top predators down to the tiniest ocean creatures. For those who keep a look-out for polar bears in Arviat, Nunavut, close shaves are a matter of course, but their work seems to be effective (Radio Canada International). Also on land, it appears that large herbivores have a role in helping plant species adapt to a changing climate (Examiner). If you’d like to learn about polar bears, caribou, other Arctic wildlife and the people who depend on it in the most delightful way possible, and particularly if you’ve got young children, there’s a new game “The Great Arctic Hunter” available online which I’d recommend.

An easy post on one beluga whale and the aurora borealis comes from the Vancouver Aquarium’s CROW project, while the people and polar bears of Sanikiluaq have been making good use of a group of ice-trapped beluga whales, hauling them ashore before the beasts drown (NN, National Post). Final details of a new narwhal management plan for Nunavut are meanwhile being ironed out in a series of meetings and through the gathering of local input (NN).

Aloft, ptarmigans and gyrfalcons in the Yukon aren’t showing the population peak that biologists had expected and hoped for this year (AD). And in the realm of the very smallest Arctic creatures, new research has brought a little more clarity to the process by which Arctic Springtails manage to dehydrate and freeze in the winter, then miraculously rehydrate and come back to life in spring (Planet Earth Online, via


The Canadian Museum of Nature hosted a panel addressing the knowledge deficit within Canada about the Canadian Arctic. / The wild sounds made by sea ice on the move are the subject of a fascinating post from Mark Brandon on his blog. / A lengthy blog post in Discover Magazine covers the content of the Arctic Frontiers conference quite thoroughly, drawing out two particular “polar paradoxes” worth considering.

Military / Search-&-Rescue

It’s been a quiet week for military news, but I’m so grateful for the US Coast Guard’s simple, recently updated one-pager on the world’s icebreakers. This is another one to print out and put on the wall. Also coming out of North America was the news of the sad death of Cpl. Donald Anguyoak, a Canadian Ranger killed in a snowmobile accident during a military exercise near Gjoa Haven in Nunavut (CBC).

On the European side of the Arctic, more detail comes from Barents Observer about the observational flights of the Arctic – in particular, of the Northern Sea Route – to be conducted by the Russian military with greater frequency this year. Trude Pettersen also gives readers a bit of insight into a recent comprehensive security assessment, or “threat evaluation” from the Norwegian government’s security apparatus. The evaluation identifies several ongoing or possible targets for foreign espionage. Nearby, Finland has apparently not conclusively decided to take part in patrols of Icelandic airspace; the debate will need to wait until late spring (EOTA).



Xstrata Zinc Canada is entering Nunavut's Kitikmeot region to begin exploratory drilling operations for zinc, lead and copper (CBC). Xstrata is looking to revive the Bathurst road and port plan to help support its mining operations there, which it hopes will begin producing in a few years.

Avalon Rare Metals expressed frustration after a three-day hearing on its planned Nechalacho project at Thor Lake in the Northwest Territories. The company received considerable criticism from First Nations groups that accused the company of not involving them enough in the development process (EOTA).

 The Nunavut Impact Review Board is still waiting to hear from Shear Diamonds on the company’s plans for the Jericho Diamond mine. The mine has been shuttered due to declining diamond prices and a recent inspection revealed several unresolved environmental problems at the site (CBC).

Women in Baker Lake, Nunavut are learning some basic social-science skills to help them study the impact of the rapid development of the region’s mining sector on local communities (CBC).

The Yukon Environmental Board gave the go-ahead Victoria Gold’s Eagle project, which includes an open-pit gold mine and camp housing to support up to 400 workers (CBC).

The mayor of Grise Fiord, Nunavut’s northernmost community, said his town would no longer support Canada Coal Inc.’s exploration for coal on Ellesmere Island, which could be a significant setback for the company (NN).


New prospects for a large gold ore deposit in Yakutia were announced this week (VOR). The region, already a large gold producer, will add another 200 tons of gold to its balance sheets with this new project (RIAN).

As part of an plan to encourage economic development in the Murmansk region, deputy governor Aleksey Tyukavin discussed plans for a new titanium and rare earth metals mining and processing facility in Afrikanda that will be managed by Arcmineral Service Mining Company (BN).


In spite of recent revelations of financial difficulties at the Kaunisvaara mine, outside Pajala in Northern Sweden, residents of the remote region remain bullish on the mine’s future and its potential economic and social impacts. Proof of the mine’s benefits to the local population were detailed by local residents and politicians in an article for Radio Sweden, including 50 new babies, plenty of employment and even roundabouts being constructed to handle all the increased traffic (EOTA).

Martin Breum and Jorgen Chemnitz pushed back against the opinions expressed by analysts and think tanks that Greenland is handing over its sovereignty to China by allowing the country to invest billions in the islands mining sector in an excellent op-ed for the New York Times.


State geologists are mapping and cataloguing Alaska’s vast mineral resources, paying attention to critical strategic minerals which are rare and vital to military and civilian technology (Juneau Empire).

Fishing, Shipping and Other Business News

General Business News

Murmansk is hoping to attract more investment in 2013 with continued progress on a chem-tech cluster, a new mining complex, and several governmental initiatives to make Murmansk more enticing to investors (BN). The country as a whole is preparing to implement a range of changes to its rules for foreign investment which will make it possible for foreign-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from state support as much as their native peers (BN). Ivan Makhortov, a young businessman interviewed in Barents Nova, suggests that the business environment in Russia is not so very different from that of other countries, but that managers from abroad working in Russia should think of it as “upgrading your car for the off-road driving.” Russians are certainly doing their part to boost the economies of their Nordic peers; tourism and shopping spending by Russians in Finland grew by a whopping 39.5% from 2011 to 2012 (BO). Iceland is also making slow strides forward; Fitch has upgraded Iceland’s sovereign credit rating to BBB (IceNews). And the island nation has also initiated what seems like a promotion agency for Icelandic companies as ideal service providers to a hoped-for mining and hydrocarbon boom in and around Iceland (Arctic Portal).

Fisheries & Shipping

Blessings upon Harald Loeng for his logical, no-BS article in Barents Observer about the prospects for Arctic fisheries (Spoiler alert: They’re not so hot.). It’s so nice to read real details. Another excellent article (even Google-translated from the Norwegian) talks about the reasoning behind, and expectations for, an NOK 21 million investment into research on cod development ( Next door in Russia, the head of the Federal Fisheries Agency is on the hot seat for (alleged) forgery (BN).

In shipping, an absolutely fascinating post from John Helmer on the move by Sovcomflot to establish a de facto monopoly on shipping of LNG via the Northern Sea Route is just a fantastic read, rich with relevant detail. A good post from Mia Bennett on Foreign Policy Blogs gives one a little more insight into the recently-released study of prospects for an Alaskan deep-water port.


Nunavut’s Nunasi Corp. sold one of its subsidiary businesses focused on security screenings to a separate company. This is part of an ongoing restructuring which, it is hoped, will return the company to profitability (NN). / Alaska Communications has closed its office in Fairbanks, though layoffs are not anticipated or desired (FNM). / An enthusiastic article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner makes one wish one had the money to fly to Fairbanks this year to watch the northern lights. / Up Here Business celebrated its Frozen Globe awards – for a full debrief of the winners, go here. Congratulations to all!

Education, Health, Culture & Society


Norway welcomed two significant developments in the last few days. First came the announcement that the University of Tromsø and Finnmark University College would be merging to form a new “Arctic University” with the U of Tromsø brand (BO). Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it would expand a scholarship plan for international students interested in the High North to include candidates from South Korea and Japan (BO).

In Canada, an important conversation took place in Iqaluit on Inuit education research, a necessary step towards implementing the National Strategy on Inuit Education. A group including representatives from Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut as well as academic colleagues met to decide “how research on Inuit education should be conducted and some of the priority areas for research” (ITK). The complexity of the needed research and some of the challenges that Inuit students face were highlighted by Mary Simon and Annie Popert (NN). Last week was also Inuit Language Week in Nunavut. The comments in this article from Nunatsiaq News seem to suggest that Inuit languages often lose out to English, particularly in larger communities.


The community of Watson Lake is struggling with addiction to alcohol and drugs (Yukon News), against which little headway has been made in the recent past. Watson Lake and neighbor Dawson City are also looking at potential delays in construction of new hospital facilities, due to disagreements between contractors and sub-contractors (CBC). Across the border in Yellowknife, NWT, this week saw a bust of 9 people suspected of distributing crack cocaine in the city (CBC). The difficulty of securing even reliable Medevac service from Nunavut’s northern communities has become obvious in an ongoing dispute (NN), and new data show rates of stillbirth among Inuit mothers in Nunavik that are 2.5 times as high as they are among non-aboriginal women in Quebec (NN).


Canadian MP Carol Hughes says that housing and homelessness are serious issues in Canada, and the country needs a national housing strategy (Chronicle Journal). Not helping the situation is a recent cut made to subsidized housing in Yellowknife; it seems like one more sting from a sluggish economy (CBC).

When it comes to transport, Air Greenland has upped the number of flights on its Nuuk-Iqaluit route due to unexpectedly high demand for personal travel (IceNews). Concern is meanwhile gnawing at watchers of Yakutia Airlines; its growth rate has dropped below the Russian average, and has sunk for the past two years in a row (Anna Aero). In a fascinating suggestion for cargo transport, the Transport Committee in Canada’s House of Commons has suggested that the country revisit plans for using blimps/airships to service the country’s northern communities in particular (CBC). The intriguing idea, however, suffers from a world of issues that seem likely to keep it simmering indefinitely without strong government backing.


What could be more American and Alaskan than snowmachines and barbeque (FNM)? While attention has been lavished on sled dog races lately, snowmachines got their moment in the sun this week with the running of the 2,000 mile Iron Dog race from Big Lake to Nome (ADN). See the race’s website for updates and rankings.

Traditionalists will doubtless be more interested in the Yukon Quest debrief. Normand Casavant of Whitehorse won the Vet’s Choice award for taking the best care of his dogs (CBC), and Quito, the 6-year old lead dog of Allen Moore’s winning team, collected the Golden Harness (FNM). Jeff Richardson of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says of the Quest that it was “a highlight of [his] 20-year reporting career”. Lessons learned from the exceedingly athletic Alaskan sled dogs are contributing to better care for military dogs in Afghanistan as well (a wonderful article from EOTA).

The Daily Mail took particular interest this week in a promotional video put out by a Siberian ski resort showing a group of young women snowboarding at the resort in bikinis. The Mail, as to be expected, provides a link to the video and declares a snowboarding in swimwear at temperatures of -40c to be a “new fad.” A quick look at the video (yes, I watched it, but only in the interest of providing insightful analysis) shows that conditions were definitely spring-like and sunny, with slushy snow and blue skies – hardly -40c. Clever marketing scheme, though! Lastly, the always-fun-to-read Craig Medred takes a mail-clad fist to Wired magazine for some liberties taken in reporting on fat-tire bike racing in Alaska (AD).


Start with a photo collection that I missed late last year of historical photos of Alaska’s Arctic natives (Daily Mail) and another of Oymyakon, the “coldest inhabited place on earth” (HuffPost).

Then move on to individual photos of: the Rovaniemi 150 (@leepeyton); sunshine through a winter tree in Tromsø (@beardandthebobble); Longyearbyen (@darkseason); a lovely Norwegian Arctic scene (@sophieneechan); Oldervick, Norway (@vibranttravels); a vista of Tromsø from a mountaintop (@mvpgeo); snow-removal equipment at Inuvik Airport (jimbob_malone on Flickr); a strange natural phenomenon in the Northwest Territories (nwtarcticrose on Flickr); a ridiculous sundog over Fairbanks, Alaska (@newsminer); a winter scene in Yakutsk (Guardian); a “cinemagram” of a dogsled (thedak) and a photo of dogsledding taken from above (@benhortonphoto); two photos of the trapped beluga whales being hauled ashore and prepared in Sanikiluaq (Madeleine Redfern on pinterest); a video of the opening festival from the Rovaniemi Design Week (Lapin Kansa); and lastly a new video of a Northern Lights hunt in the neighborhood of Tromsø (Matt Aucott on vimeo).

The Grab Bag

Most of all, you’ll want to check out these wonderful, whimsical, revolutionary 10 historical maps of the Arctic (Canadian Geographic). / Rovaniemi Design Week took place this past week. / Travel to Spitsbergen is becoming cheaper and easier from Oslo and London’s Gatwick airport; I wish I was more certain that that will be a blessing for Svalbard (Independent). / Ping-pong ball mayhem took place in Fairbanks on Saturday (FNM). / Take a sail down memory lane for the awful, deadly Murmansk Run of World War II (OC). / A Sami-themed coffee house has opened its doors in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Minnesota Public Radio). / The average Norwegian has EUR 25,000+ in the bank (IceNews). / A musician who plays on instruments made from ice brought his skills to Iqaluit (NN). / Belief in “earth eggs” from which albino caribou or, occasionally, other animals would hatch persists in some areas to this day (NN Taissumani).

This week’s credits:

Tom Fries: Politics, Science, Military, Fishing/Shipping, Education/Health, Infrastructure, Images, Grab Bag
Kevin Casey: Energy, Mining, Sports

Abbreviation Key

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)
Christian Science Monitor (CSM)
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)
Naval Today (NT)
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)