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Press Release: Arctic Nations Sign Declaration to Prevent Unregulated Fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean
Other News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 17 July 2015 08:41

Dry fish in Greenland (photo: Silje Bergum Kinsten/ fish in Greenland (photo: Silje Bergum Kinsten/ five states that surround the central Arctic Ocean – Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of Greenland, the Kingdom of Norway, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America – met in Oslo on July 16 to sign a declaration to prevent unregulated commercial fishing in high seas portion of the central Arctic Ocean.

The declaration acknowledges that commercial fishing in this area of Arctic Ocean – which is larger than Alaska and Texas combined – is unlikely to occur in the near future. Nevertheless, the dramatic reduction of Arctic sea ice and other environmental changes in the Arctic, combined with the limited scientific knowledge about marine resources in this area, necessitate a precautionary approach to prevent unregulated fishing in the area.

To that end, the five countries stated in the declaration that they intend to authorize their vessels to conduct any future commercial fishing in this area only once one or more international mechanisms are in place to manage any such fishing in accordance with recognized international standards. They also intend to establish a joint program of scientific research with the aim of improving understanding of the ecosystems of this area.

The declaration further acknowledges that other states may have interests in preventing unregulated high seas fisheries in this area, and suggests the initiation of a broader process to develop measures consistent with the declaration that would include commitments by all interested states.

The declaration builds on U.S. action in 2009 to prohibit commercial fishing in its Exclusive Economic Zone north of the Bering Strait until better scientific information to support sound fisheries management is available. The United States initiated this five-state process consistent with congressional direction under Public Law 110-243, which calls for the United States to take steps with other Arctic nations to negotiate an agreement for managing fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Implementation Plan for the 2013 National Strategy for the Arctic Region, which commits the United States to prevent unregulated high seas fisheries in the Arctic.


For further information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  or click here. 


DISCLAIMER: The above press release has been published in its full length and has not been edited by Arctic Portal. 

Chinese Cargo MV.Yongsheng has started its Second Arctic Voyage
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 16 July 2015 08:51

Distance Saving between Asia and EU using the Northern Sea Route (map:, based on DNV GL) On July 8th 2015, the Chinese general cargo Yong Sheng, has started its second Arctic voyage. The cargo left Dalian Port in Liaoning Province (People's Republic of China) and it is expected to arrive at Varberg Port in Sweden around the middle of August and back to China by October. The Yong Sheng will follow the Northern Sea Route, off the coasts of the Russian Federation. 

Accordingly with Vessel Finder, Cosco (the Chinese logistic company that owns the cargo) said the Arctic route will significantly shorten the shipping distance between China and Europe/North America, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, while improving energy efficiency and operational costs.

MV.Yongsheng completed the landmark Arctic voyage from Dalian to Rotterdam in 2013. The cargo left  the Taicang Port on August 15th, 2013, and reached  the Port of Rotterdam via the Arctic Northeast Passage on September 10th, 2013, covering a total distance of 7, 931 miles, instead of the usual 10,711 miles through the Suez Canal. Therefore, the Arctic route shortened the voyage 2,780 miles, which means a saving of approximately 9.12 sailing on an avarage speed of 12,7 knots (as the MV.Yongsheng), leading to a saving of about 252 tons of fuels. 


(Source: Vessel Finder

Call for Abstracts: "Global Eyes on the New Arctic: Impacts of Rapid Warming on Ecosystems, Society & Policy"
Other News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 09:14

Iceland (Photo:Johannes Jansson/ (Photo:Johannes Jansson/, the Sea Ice Action Team and the National Academies' Polar Research Board have convenend a call for abstracts for the Session #8477 of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, titled "Global Eyes on the New Arctic: Impacts of Rapid Warming on Ecosystems, Society & Policy". 

The AGU Fall Meeting will be held in San Francisco (CA) on 14-18 December 2015, and it will bring together Earth and space sciences community for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edgeAmerican Geophysical Union - Fall Meting 2012 science, much of which has not yet been published.  The AGU Fall meeting is now in its 48th year (for more information, please click here).

The session  "Global Eyes on the New Arctic: Impacts of Rapid Warming on Ecosystems, Society & Policy" is organized by Lauren M. Everett, Jennifer Ann Francis, Hajo Eicken, and Henry Huntington.

Session Description

Once considered a frozen and desolate region, irrelevant to all except those who live and/or work there, the Arctic has recently become a literal and figurative "hot spot" of interest to the world. Rapid disintegration of sea- and land-ice is hampering indigenous ways of life and disrupting natural systems while also creating new opportunities for commerce and other human activities. This session will illuminate our rapidly evolving understanding of the effects of system-wide Arctic change on physical, ecological, societal, and political domains well beyond traditional Arctic boundaries and vice-versa.

Session Guest Speakers:

- Julie Gourley, U.S. Senior Arctic Official at the U.S. State Department
- Larry Hamilton, Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire
- Brendan Kelly, Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientistat the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Andrew Revkin, Senior Fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies and The New York Times Dot Earth blogger


Abstract submission deadline: Wednesday, 5 August 2015 (11:59 p.m. EDT)


For further information, please click here.



3 PhD Projects on Permafrost Thawing at The Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (Canada)
Other News
Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 09:10

(photo: Getty Images) (photo: Getty Images) The Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Québec, CANADA, is now advertising 3 PhD projects on permafrost thawing.

General Description

The general objectives of our team are to i) quantify the influence of turbulence, thermal structure, oxygen, carbon and nutrient concentrations, and activity of GHG producers and consumers on the emissions of GHG by ponds and lakes associated to permafrost thawing in arctic and subarctic regions, ii) determine how climatic conditions, permafrost thawing, primary production and light regime are affecting GHG emissions through their action on the spatial organization and lability of carbon, and on limnological conditions and microbial activity, and iii) establish if GHG emissions from these ecosystems have the potential to represent a positive feedback mechanism on climate, or in other words if its the old carbon mobilized by permafrost thawing or the young carbon recently fixed by plants and algae that predominantly fuel microbial respiration.


The student will have to hold a university degree in biology, ecology, microbiology (PhD 1&2) or molecular biology (PhD1). An experience in limnology or oceanography, basic knowledge in physics or chemistry, and fieldwork experience in the North are assets.


Prof. I Laurion, INRS, Univ Quebec, Canada


C. Lovejoy, U. Laval (PhD1), M. Rautio, UQAC (PhD2), W.F. Vincent, U. Laval (PhD3).

Description of the projects

PhD1 - Seasonal variations in flux and pathways of methane production and consumption in small thaw lakes

Studies show the importance of GHG emissions at spring thaw and during the autumnal overturn period, when gases stored under the ice cover in winter or in the hypolimnion in summer are released to the atmosphere. Moreover, the methane coming from winter ebullition (lakes with talik) could dissolve in water underneath the ice cover, and be converted to CO2 by methanotrophic activity before spring thaw. The availability of the different carbon pools to microbial degradation can also vary seasonally (e.g., as a function of primary production, peat erosion or hydrology), as well as with limnological conditions (e.g., as a function of oxygen content or microbial photostimulation), which can control methanogenic and methanotrophic activity. We will test the hypothesis that spring is a critical period for CH4 emissions, a period when the emitted carbon is the oldest and mainly coming from hydrogenotrophy, while it is during the summer peak of primary production that acetotrophy and methanotrophy are most active. This will be tested by quantifying CH4 production and consumption genes, and characterizing CH4 and CO2 stable isotopes, limnological properties and organic matter at strategic seasonal periods between spring thaw and autumnal mixing.

PhD2 - Priming effect on terrestrially-derived carbon mobilized by permafrost thawing in small lakes

The expected stimulation of primary production with climate warming could bring more labile carbon to arctic aquatic systems, and accelerate the consumption of allochthonous carbon coming from peat decomposition associated to permafrost thaw, leading to higher greenhouse gas production through priming effect. We will test the hypothesis that priming effect significantly increases the mineralization of allochthonous organic matter, but also increase the proportion of young carbon emitted as greenhouse gases. A series of experiments will be conducted incubating under ambient conditions different proportions of leachates produced from young and old carbon for hours to days, and during which specific biomarkers and chromophoric dissolved organic carbon will be analysed using state-of-the-art methods. The CO2 produced will be collected at the end of incubation for 14C dating.

PhD3 - Sunlight effects on the carbon mobilized by permafrost thawing in small lakes

Sunlight plays a dominant role on the transformation of dissolved organic matter (DOM), particularly in shallow and humic arctic ponds. This transformation includes: i) direct DOM photomineralization into CO2, ii) partial photooxidation producing less labile compounds, iii) stimulation of microbial utilization of partially photooxidized compounds, and iv) dark bacterial mineralization. We will test the hypothesis that photooxidation significantly accelerates the mineralization of the organic matter mobilized by permafrost thawing, and that climate warming brings a larger production of CO2 through photooxidation. A series of experiments will be conducted in varying permafrost aquatic systems where water will be incubated with or without sunlight, and on sterile on untreated water. These processes will be followed over a few days, measuring CO2, dissolved organic carbon, chromophoric DOM properties, microbial abundance and activity, and water column spectral irradiance. Future changes in mobilized carbon will be modeled through simulation of different scenarios in ice cover, DOM, incident light and mixing regime.

How to apply

Please send your documents in one PDF file This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

• a cover letter

• a complete resume

• names and contact information for two references

• a copy of published papers

• a list of all publications

• all university transcripts including the most recent one

YOPP Summit: Live Broadcast from Geneva!
Other News
Written by Federica   
Monday, 13 July 2015 08:30

Iceberg (photo:Silje Bergum Kinsten/ (photo:Silje Bergum Kinsten/ Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Summit will be hosted from today, July 13th 2015, to Wednesday, July 15th 2015, at the WMO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

The mission of YOPP is to enable a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond, by coordinating a period of intensive observing, modelling, verification, user-engagement and education activities. YOPP is one of the key elements of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP).

PPP is a long-term initiative by the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) together with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), with the participation of research centres, universities, institutions and initiatives from all over the world, set up to understand and evaluate predictability and enhance prediction information and services in polar regions.

The polar regions have been attracting more and more interest in recent years. The main reason is concerns about amplification of anthropogenic climate change. Furthermore, increased economic and transportation activities in polar regions are leading to more demands for sustained and improved availability of integrated observational and predictive weather, climate and water information to support decision-making. However, partly as a result of a strong emphasis of previous international efforts on lower and middle latitudes, many gaps in weather, sub-seasonal and seasonal forecasting in polar regions hamper reliable decision making.

In order to achieve its goals the Polar Prediction Project shall strive to enhance international and interdisciplinary collaboration through the development of strong linkages with related initiatives; strengthen linkages between academia, research institutions and operational forecasting centres; promote interactions and communication between research and stakeholders; and foster education and outreach.


The YOPP Summit, which is currently hosted in Geneva,  is a key element in the planning for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). The purpose of the Summit is:

  • to give an overview about the present level of planning,
  • to identify stakeholder expectations and requirements,
  • to develop priorities,
  • to define intensive observing periods,
  • to agree on the YOPP data legacy,
  • to coordinate planned activities, and
  • to gather formal committments from parties interested in YOPP.

The results of the Summit will be used to finalize Version 2.0 of the YOPP Implementation Plan. The YOPP Summit will be attended by scientists, stakeholders as well as representatives from weather and climate prediction centres, international bodies and funding agencies.


Download the agenda and and briefing documents

Live streaming of all plenary sessions is available here.


(Source: PPP)

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