Federal cabinet minister Leona Aglukkaq wears a number of hats. She is Minister of the Environment as well as Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Being a member of a Harper cabinet, the latter is of course the top hat. She illustrated this in her recent two-year term as chair of the Arctic Council, the organization that brings together eight northern countries to
Arrest that Man, He’s From Russia!
They sure know how to pick their opportunities.
At the very moment NATO leaders are in Wales fretting over what to do with Vlad Putin and the future of Ukraine, America’s brass are floating the idea of establishing a “multi-purpose sensor chain” across the vast Canadian Arctic.
Exactly what they have in mind isn’t immediately clear but would entail sensors that could detect and track aircraft, ships and even cruise missiles as well as a missile attack from North Korea. It’s not the same as stationing missile interceptor batteries on Canadian soil (Read more…)
Via Greenpeace International: Shell’s global advertising deal with LEGO is part of a carefully thought-out strategy by Shell to buy friends who can make its controversial Arctic drilling plans look acceptable and misleadingly associate it with positive values. LEGO is one of the most beloved and admired toy companies in the world, and Shell knows […]
This week, Deutsche Welle Living Planet broadcast the first of my audio diaries from the Students on Ice 2013 Arctic Expedition. This first audio postcard captures the reflections of Canadian high school student Gerrit Wesselink as he travels up the western coast of Greenland and across the Davis Strait to Baffin Island and the eastern Canadian Arctic. Gerrit talks about his experiences on the trip, which include polar bear sightings, zodiac cruises in a field of giant icebergs and witnessing first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Arctic.
DW Living Planet is an award-winning international program that explores environmental (Read more…)
Inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-was-warned-about-arctic-patrol-ships-high-price-1.1859387
I was fortunate to participate on the Students on Ice 2013 Arctic Expedition this year, which was a tremendous experience. We traveled up the west coast of Greenland by ship and across the Davis Strait to the Eastern Canadian Arctic. I produced a short audio documentary based on the experiences of two of the students on the journey and it aired on CBC Ottawa Morning this past Monday.
Click the audio player above to check it out or right click here to download!
by Gareth on July 24, 2013
Reading this press release about a new paper in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology spoiled my day. It might not be obvious to a casual reader just glancing through the morning news — but a couple of paragraphs leapt out at me:
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations recently reached 400 parts per million for the first time since the Pliocene Epoch, three million years ago. During this era, Arctic surface temperatures were 15-20 degrees Celsius warmer than today’s surface temperatures.
Ballantyne’s findings suggest that much of the surface warming likely was due to ice-free conditions in the (Read more…)
The Great Arctic Flush
By Paul Beckwith
A massive cyclone is forecast to develop in the Arctic, as shown on the image below, from the Naval Research Laboratory.
Within 2 weeks the Arctic Ocean will be completely transformed. The cyclone that appears 6 days out on both the US and European ten day forecasts will massacre the sea ice in what I call “The Great Arctic flush”.
The image below is a forecast for speed and drift on July 27, 2013. More images, including animations, on Arctic sea ice can be viewed at http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html Last August, (Read more…)
Wikileaks has been a great source of information that governments and corporations wanted to deny or keep secret. Now Greenpeace has modelled a site, Arctic Truth, for whistleblowers who work in the world of arctic drilling for oil. As climate change turns the frozen north into accessible waters oil companies want to move in and further the reach of their harmful industry. Even people in the industry are realizing how dangerous it is to drill closer to the north pole than ever before and have started to speak up.
The website is intended to shield the identities of whistleblowers (Read more…)
All is well as we approach the PostArctic era. Here are some images originally shot at the Arctic Circle in Norway by Canadian artist Sarah Anne Johnson.
Taken from here.
Sarah Anne Johnson: Alien Arctics
“The agreement asks so little of Canada, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US, that it is effectively useless” by Greenpeace | Feb.4, 2013: WASHINGTON – On the eve of the Arctic Council environment minister’s meeting, a leaked copy of the Council’s much-heralded oil spill response agreement reveals deeply inadequate measures READ MORE
The U.S. National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its updated Arctic Report card earlier this week. Like many other recent reports about the condition of the north, the canary in climate change coal mine, the news is sobering; new records have been set for snow extent, sea ice extent and ice sheet surface melting. [...]
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland speaks at the Arctic Imperative Summit, 2012 in Girdwood, Alaska. Well worth the 30 minute listen – this is one politician that speaks the truth to power. Wake up, folks! Thanks to Doug Grandt, climate warrior extraordinaire, for sharing this link.
“Scientists say this year’s record declines in Arctic sea ice extent and volume are powerful evidence that the giant cap of ice at the top of the planet is on a trajectory to largely disappear in summer within a decade or two, with profound global consequences.
“This extreme melting offers dramatic evidence, many scientists say, that the region’s sea ice has passed a tipping point and that sometime in the next decade or two the North Pole will be largely ice-free in summer.”
For more info, check out this article on the Environmental News Network: Climate Change News: Arctic
Since satellite tracking began in 1979 the lowest readings of Arctic sea-ice have all been within the last six years. This year has seen a record breaking retreat of sea-ice with weeks of summer still ahead and more melt likely on the way.
The US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado said that the 2007 record was broken on Sunday with two or three weeks of the melt season still remaining, suggesting that this year’s sea ice will retreat substantially further than at any time in the satellite era. The snow and ice centre said that
. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Arctic ice cap melt: record low in 2012
Stephen Harper has acquired a house in the Canadian Arctic and he is moving there permanently. Arctic deserves him and he deserves Arctic and being there he will be keeping an eye on the Arctic and its sovereignty.
Aw, is Harp making the inspiration meter go thud again? “Those who want to see the future of this country should look north,” the prime minister told a gathering of Conservative supporters.
“Because that great national dream — the development of northern resources — no longer sleeps. It is not down the road. It is happening now,” Harper said in a speech at this small outpost south of Whitehorse. “The North’s time has come, my friends, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
That great national dream of developing northern resources no longer sleeps, yes. Gotta tell ya, when I
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: On great national dreams
There’s not much good news to write about today, as a bubble of cold air from the Arctic moves into central North America. Brace yourself for some record-breaking cold if you (like me) live in that region. But that’s not the worst of it by a long shot; unfortunately this could mean that warmer southern [...]
August 2012, Arctic ice extent models.png
As the extent of Arctic sea ice declines to levels unrecorded since satellite monitoring began, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has released a new analysis that shows the situation to be worse by far than even the most pessimistic models predicted.
It's a perverse endorsement of one of the most popular denier memes – that you can't rely on climate models because the world is too complicated to be reduced to a compilation of computer data. But, thanks to the expertise (and conservative nature) of the scientists behind this work, the models
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Arctic Ice Decline Much Worse Than Expected
A TASTE OF SHELL GAMES TO COME IN THE ARTIC: Shell Loses Control Of Arctic Drilling Rig In Alaskan Harbor By Climate Guest Blogger on Jul 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm Photo: Teresa Derrick-Laxfoss
by Kiley KrohRoyal Dutch Shell’s preparedness to drill offshore in the harsh and remote Arctic Ocean this summer has been called into question by a series of recent events.Over the weekend, the company’s drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, appears to have come dangerously close to running aground near Dutch Harbor, where Shell’s fleet has been assembled. The Noble Discoverer is one of (Read more…)
There's a saying that trouble comes in threes. Earlier this week, the International Energy Administration announced that emissions reached a record high last year, increasing by 1 Gt worldwide. At the Bonn climate talks, experts have warned that the window to curb a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees is swiftly drawing to a close.
To cap it off, NOAA released the news that carbon dioxide levels have reached a new milestone this spring, tipping the scales over 400 ppm, a concentration the world hasn't seen in the last 800,000 years.
Scientists are seeing these high
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: 400 PPM Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Breach The Arctic
NASA has shown repeatedly that the Actic icecap is melting, and melting faster than climate models predict. This new visualization is stark and should be of obvious concern, simply because of the impact on sea levels. Now there is a potentially new threat. The process of shrinkage may cause a chemical reaction that could poison the Arctic ecosystem with mercury.
The disappearance of old, thick ice in the Arctic means an increase in bromine released into the atmosphere. The new, thinner ice has more salt and this is where the bromine comes from. As it melts it interacts
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Shrinking Arctic Ice May Cause Mercury Poisoning
About this: “Ottawa to auction exploration rights in massive area in the North.” Looks like it’s go time in the Arctic: “…the sheer magnitude of what is on the block is a clear signal that some in the oil patch are contemplating a return north, because parcels aren’t made available unless companies request them. In that sense, the current bidding round is a remarkable turnaround for an industry whose plans were, until late last year, halted by a National Energy Board review into offshore Arctic drilling.”
The Globe report is missing a major angle, however, the environmental
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Arctic drilling on the horizon
This story isn’t funny: “Army struggles with shortage of Arctic parkas, tents…” But the photo accompanying it certainly is! Maybe Harp can lend his parka out to the army, he sure looks warm in that shot. Nice find by Canadian Press.
The Arctic is supposed to be a pet project of the Prime Minister’s yet we read about basic shortages like this. Is there anything more ridiculous that we could expect to hear than this?
The emperor has no clothes…oh wait.
Who knew a video of an Arctic research station, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut, could be so oddly compelling. Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s the circumstances where a key Canadian scientific research asset in the Arctic is denied the $1.5 million it needs to sustain its operation and will have to shut down. That is largely due to the discontinuation of government funding to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, which had been covering three-quarters of the station’s costs, and the end to the International Polar Year program.
Drummond said the
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Late night