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NSR, may be developed jointly by Russia and Asian Countries
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 09 January 2015 09:52

Map of Arctic sea routes and SAR areas (source: Arctic Portal) Map of Arctic sea routes and SAR areas (source: Arctic Portal)As recently reported by TASS, a Russian news agency, "Russia may develop the Northern Sea Route jointly with Asian countries , which are interested in the shortest route for supplies from Asia to Northern Europe", as stated by the  Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev . "I suppose that it is not absolutely correct to develop the Northern Sea Route by Russia only. The project is huge and requires a lot of money. It does not only facilitate transportation from the Far East, but also from China, South Korea, Japan, and, correspondingly, our neighbors must have a chance to join this project if they are interested in it, but, obviously, Russia must hold a controlling stake," he said. 

Although in 2014 Arctic shipping thawed, with a decrease of about 50% on the total number of vessels sailing through Arctic waters, the potential cargo transportation via the Northern Sea Route is estimated at 50 million tons per year, according to the Russian news agency.

The Northern Sea Route can cut the voyage distance from South Korea to northern European countries by up to 7,000 kilometers from the 22,000-kilometer journey when using the conventional shipping route through the Indian Ocean, it is far less congested than the route via the Suez canal, and maybe be exempted by piracy attacks. 


Read more at TASS

Upcoming event: Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, 18-23 Jan. 2015
Other News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:12

Arctic Frontiers 2015 poster (source: 9th Arctic Frontiers conference will be held in Tromsø, Norway, with the title: Climate and Energy, from Sunday 18 January to Friday 23 January 2015.

The earth is in the midst of major climate changes. The Arctic is experiencing the impact of these changes more and faster than other parts of the globe. Processes starting in the Arctic may have deep and profound impacts on other parts of the globe. At the same time the Earth's population is rising and with it the global energy demand. New and greener energy sources are gaining market shares, but still the energy mix of the foreseeable future will have a substantial fossil component. The Arctic is expected to hold major oil and gas resources, while the regions green energy potentials are less explored. How will the Arctic's energy resources contribute to the global energy mix in the decades to come? How will the climate changes impact the Arctic environment and societies? And where will we find a balance between the planet's energy demand and the necessity to reduce CO2 emissions? The Arctic Frontiers conference is a central arena for discussions of Arctic issues. The conference brings together representatives from science, politics, and civil society to share perspectives on how upcoming challenges in the Arctic may be addressed to ensure sustainable development. Arctic Frontiers is composed of a policy section and a scientific section.

The 9th Arctic Frontiers science section Climate and Energy will address three main themes:

Arctic climate change – global implications,

Ecological winners and losers in future Arctic marine ecosystems

The Arctic's role in the global energy supply and security.

(from Arctic Frontiers 2015 official website) 


Read more here.

Register here.

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Climate change: 2014 has been a very warm year
Climate Change News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 08:56

Ice (source: Getty Images)Ice (source: Getty Images)2014 has been a very warm year in the Arctic. According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), for instance, 2014 has been the second warmest year ever recorded in Finland after 1938 (when it was just 0.15 degrees Celsius warmer): temperatures were 1,6 C  higher than long term average (1981- 2010) . In addition, meteorologists  recorded  an unusually long summer, 50 days of heat  (14 days more than usual), a mild winter, and, in some areas, October hits warmer than midsummer.  In a note released by the FMI last December, "over the past 166 years, the average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees. During the observation period, the average increase was 0.14 degrees per decade, which is nearly twice as much as the global average."


In the meanwhile in Alaska, data released on January 1 by the National Weather Service have showed that average temperatures around the country were above normal. For Anchorage, 2014 was the first calendar year without  the official temperature falling below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7 C).


In Greenland, the Polar Portal Season Report 2014 released by Danish Arctic research institutions (DMI, DTU, GEUS) considered year 2014 in above average for the amount of melting from the Greenland Ice Sheet in the period since 2002, but, on the other hand, Arctic sea ice was strengthened in 2014. 

The report highlights the  most important results of climate monitoring in the Arctic in 2014 as :
• The Greenland Ice Sheet contributed approximately 1.2 mm to sea-level rise;
• Below average reflection of sunlight is associated with increased melting from the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2014;
• The surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet was lower than normal, but not record low;
• Arctic sea ice strengthened in 2014;
• A new temperature record was established in west Greenland in June 2014;
• There were no exceptional changes in the movements of glacier fronts in Greenland.


Read more: Alaska Dispatch News, Arctic Journal

Greenland: audit investigation eventually published
Other News
Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 11:08

 Greenlandic flagGreenlandic flagThe audit investigation that caused the resignation of the first female Greenlandic Prime Minister, Aleqa Hammond (Siumut party), was eventually published by the Inatsisartut (Parliament of Greenland) audit committee on December, 30th  2014. In addition to Mrs. Hammond, the audit investigation has shown that other 6 members of the Greenlandic Parliament (Ane Hansen, Anthon Frederiksen, Mimi Karlsen, Ove Karl Berthelsen and Steen Lynge) have misused public funds for private expenses during their offices, from 2009 to 2014 (read the report here).


The audit was actually ready in November 2014. Notwithstanding the pressure to publish the document before new elections were held, due to a legal impasse (only the Inatsisartut can publish the audit) , the document was stored in a security box until a new government would have been formed. 

Once the new parliament has been formed, the document was opened by the Parliamentarian Audit Committee on December 17th 2014, and the government was given time until the 6th of January to comment it (before publishing it) . However, a letter sent by the newly appointed Prime Minister, Kim Kielsen explained that "the Government will only be able to submit its comments to the Audit Committee on the report by Friday, January 16", but the Parliamentarian Audit Committee was encouraged to publish the long-awaited report  before receiving the comments. Therefore, the report was published on December, 30th 2014, 

At today's date, while awaiting for Inatsisartut's comments, almost all the parliamentarians have paid back their debts with the public Treasure.  Only the former chairman of the Greenland Government and member of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kuupik Kleist is currently refusing to pay it back. Accordingly with the report, Mr. Kleist, after repaying an amount of about 25,000 DKr on September 30 2014,  still own the Tresure 20,200 DKR improperly spent to pay the travels of his family. 



Read more: (in Greenlandic and Danish)



Arctic Co-operation Programme 2015-2017: call for projects
Other News
Written by Federica   
Monday, 05 January 2015 08:57

icelandic horses (source: Getty Images) icelandic horses (source: Getty Images) The Nordic Council of Ministers has opened up a call for project applications called " Arctic Cooperation Programme".
The deadline for application is January, 23rd 2015.
As described by the NCM, "the objective of the Arctic Co-operation Programme is to support processes, projects and initiatives that will help promote sustainable development and benefit the people of the Arctic under the conditions generated by globalisation and climate change. The Arctic stands on the threshold of major changes, which will affect Arctic societies and the Arctic people in a number of important areas. Consequently, the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Co-operation Programme for 2015-2017 has a "people first" approach with a focus on contributing in a concrete way to exploring new paths and possibilities for the populations in the Arctic region in a changing environment, both socially and otherwise.
The Arctic Co-operation Programme is designed to help collate and co-ordinate the work relating to the Arctic within the framework of the Nordic Council of Ministers and its institutions. Within the overall objectives and focus areas introduced below, the following will be prioritised in the period 2015-17:
Activities that include Arctic and Nordic involvement and are within the frameworks of the objectives focus areas and criteria set by the Arctic Co-operation Programme.
Activities that follow up on and disseminate the results from Nordic initiatives concerning the Arctic, including results from the Arctic Co-operation Programme 2012-2014.
Activities that are in line with current political priorities, including those of the ministerial councils' and of the countries' Arctic strategies, etc."



Apply and Read more here.


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