Arcticportal News
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: Sermitsiaq.ag (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.

 

 
Might be increased tensions in the Arctic, ex-NATO Secretary General says
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 02 January 2015 13:14

Former Danish Prime Minister and former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (source: wikipedia) Former Danish Prime Minister and former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (source: wikipedia) In a recent interview to Anders Fogh Rasmussen released by bigthink.com, the ex-NATO Secretary General has briefly discussed rising tensions in the Arctic region due mainly to the effects of climate change. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 27 November 2001 to 5 April 2009 and was the 12th Secretary General of NATO from 2009 to 2014, agreed with the Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (see the interview with President Grímsson here) about rising potential tensions in the Arctic as consequence of climate change. Accordingly to the Danish politician, there is no doubt that climate change will have a major impact on the geopolitical balances in the Arctic. Climate change will open up new sea lines, and bring new opportunities for explorations of natural resources in the Arctic, holding potential for increased tensions in the High North. As an indication of this potential tensions -- including military tensions -- in the area, Rasmussen mentioned the increased military presence in the Arctic announced by president Putin last December, and suggested that NATO should stay prepared also in this situation, since art.5 of NATO, covers the all NATO territory, including NATO Arctic territory. Hopefully, the ex-NATO Secretary General concluded, these tensions can be resolved peacefully, for instance within the Arctic Council.

 

See the interview here

 
The 21st International Symposium on Polar Sciences
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 11:47

lce (source: Getty images) lce (source: Getty images) The 21st International Symposium on Polar Sciences will be held by the Korea Polar Research Institute in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea on May 19-20, 2015.

The International Symposium on Polar Sciences has been held every year since the launch of our Antarctic research and has served to bring polar scientists together providing an international forum for exchanging, sharing ideas and opinions. The theme of the 2015 symposium is "Polar Region as a Key Observatory for the Changing Globe and Beyond" and the Korea Polar Research Institute is inviting scientists to share their knowledge towards the changes in the polar region. Abstract can be sent between January 26th–March 20th, 2015. 

The overview and preliminary program of "The 21st International Symposium on Polar Sciences" will be provided on the symposium website from January 23rd, 2015.

 

Read more here.

 

 

 
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