Posts Tagged ‘Artic Circle’

‘Unprecedented’ ozone hole opens over Canadian Arctic

October 3, 2011 Comments off


Euan Rocha / Reuters

Euan Rocha / Reuters

A view of the tundra landscape in Nunavut, at the rim of the Arctic Circle.

A massive Arctic ozone hole opened up over the Northern Hemisphere for the first time this year, an international research team reported Sunday.

The hole covered two million square kilometres — about twice the size of Ontario — and allowed high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation to hit large swaths of northern Canada, Europe and Russia this spring, the 29 scientists say.

The discovery of the “unprecedented” hole comes as the Canadian government is moving to cut its ozone monitoring network.

Environment Canada scientist David Tarasick, whose team played a key role in the Read more…

Arctic “death spiral” or dead sensor?

August 8, 2011 Comments off


As many readers have noted, one of the Arctic sea ice extent plots on our WUWT sea ice page took a Serreze style nosedive today:

According to DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute), this is the source of the data:

The ice extent values are calculated from the ice type data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 30% are classified Read more…

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Near Record Arctic Ice Melt Opens Up Shipping Lanes

August 4, 2011 Comments off


Russian icebreaker '50 Years of Victory' reaches the North Pole on 01 July. Photo - T. Alekseeva

Russian icebreaker ’50 Years of Victory’ reaches the North Pole on 01 July. Photo – T. Alekseeva

Icebreaker-free shipping through the Northern Sea Route can now proceed following a near-record rate of Arctic ice melt, Russia’s environmental agency announced on Wednesday.

The Federal Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring Service said that an expansive area of the Northern Sea Route has allowed for the opening of shipping lanes fit for cargo traffic between Europe and Asia.

A Belgium-owned tanker ship has already successfully transported oil condensate through the Bering Strait to a port in China.

The Northern Sea Route, sometimes referred to as the Northeast Passage,  is a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait and Far East. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and parts are free of ice for only two months per year.

However, a 56% decline in ice extent in many areas has now left enabled marine shipping to continue through to the middle of autumn.

Bloomberg reported last month that Russia plans to revive a Read more…

‘Ice Wars’ heating up the Arctic

July 17, 2011 Comments off


Click to play
Scrambling for a piece of the Arctic pie

Editor’s note: CNN correspondent Kaj Larsen recently visited the Arctic to observe the U.S. naval exercise known as ICEX. His experience is part of the CNN documentary “Ice Wars,” which will air at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN Presents.

(CNN) — On a small, floating piece of ice in the Beaufort Sea, several hundred miles north of Alaska, a group of scientists are documenting what some dub an “Arctic meltdown.”

According to climate scientists, the warming of the region is shrinking the polar ice cap at an alarming rate, reducing the permafrost layer and wreaking havoc on polar bears, arctic foxes and other indigenous wildlife in the region.

What is bad for the animals, though, has been good for commerce.

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost — combined with advances in technology — have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice.

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a Read more…

PHOTOS: $29 Cheez Whiz? High Arctic food costs

February 13, 2011 Comments off

These grocery shelves in the High Arctic community of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, have people talking this week — $38 for cranberry cocktail, $29 for Cheez Whiz, and a whopping $77 for a bag of breaded chicken.

Arctic Bay-based MLA Ron Elliott, who represents three of Canada’s most northern communities, said he is concerned about already high food prices going up even more in the High Arctic.

“It’s sort of the talk of the town,” he told CBC News on Thursday. “You go in and people are pointing [things] out, and it’s obvious to see that this has gone up, and that’s gone up.”

Arctic Bay, NU

While groceries in Canada’s remote northern communities are generally more expensive than elsewhere in the country, due to shipping costs, Elliott said prices in his communities have skyrocketed since the federal government changed its northern food subsidy program in the past year.

Elliott said the new subsidy program, called Nutrition North, does not cover food items that are considered not to be healthy or perishable, although those items used to be covered under the government’s old Food Mail Program.

Elliott said the price hikes are hurting the most vulnerable people in his region, like elders and those on social assistance.

Even some healthy foods that are subsidized are still Read more…