Posted on August 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Melting Arctic sea ice has spurred plans for a global Polar Prediction Project. @bberwyn photo.
Can the world find a realistic way to deal with changing conditions at the ends of the Earth?
FRISCO — Climate scientists and policy makers from around the world last month agreed on an international action plan to help minimize the risks — and identify opportunities — associated with rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.
The agreement came at a mid-July conference, when stakeholders from around the world finalized plans for the Polar Prediction Project, which aims to accelerate and consolidate research, observing, modelling, verification and educational activities.
With the Arctic warming about twice as fast as the rest of the world, there is growing interest in the polar regions, where changes will affect the rest of the world. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, Arctic shipping, Arctic tourism, climate change, global warming, Polar prediction project | 7 Comments »
Posted on May 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Commercial shipping in the Arctic likely to boost invasive species threats.
Commercial shipping likely to bring unwanted visitors to region
FRISCO — The opening of transarctic shipping routes will increase the risk of invasive species spreading between the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans, scientists warned this week, calling on stakeholders to develop preventive strategies early in the game.
As Arctic sea ice melts away in a warming world, the two oceans will be directly connected for the first time in about 2 million years. Cargo ships often carry invasive species, biologists with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center wrote in a commentary published May 28 in Nature Climate Change. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic shipping, climate change, global warming, invasive species | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
The fastest navigation routes for ships seeking to cross the Arctic Ocean by mid-century include the Northwest Passage (on the left) and over the North Pole (center), in addition to the Northern Sea Route (on the right).
New study looks at Arctic sea ice projections and also explores geopolitical issues
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A new study helps quantify some of recent speculation about shipping routes through the Arctic, indicating that, in 40 years, normal seagoing vessels will be able to navigate previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic Ocean without the help of icebreakers.
The Arctic ice sheet is expected to thin to the point that polar icebreakers will be able to navigate between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by making a straight shot over the North Pole, according to UCLA geographers Laurence C. Smith and Scott R. Stephenson. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming, world news | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, Arctic shipping, climate change, global warming, North Pole, Northern Sea Route, Northwest Passage | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Bowhead whales. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
Impacts to marine mammals a big concern with more traffic in Bering Strait
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Conservation experts and indigenous people in the far north urged caution as trans-Arctic shipping increases in the formerly ice-choked waters of the Arctic ocean.
The rapid increase in commercial ship traffic poses a significant risk to the region’s marine mammals and the local communities that rely on them for food security and cultural identity, according to Alaska Native groups and the Wildlife Conservation Society, who convened at a recent workshop.
“The disappearance of summer sea ice from the region’s coastal areas is leading to major changes in this part of the world,” said Dr. Martin Robards, Director of the World Conservation Society’s Beringia Program and one of the event’s organizers. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic Ocean, Arctic shipping, Bering Strait, climate, global warming, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Marine mammal, Wildlife Conservation Society | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 16, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A National Snow & Ice Data Center view of Blue Marble image for January with country borders and labels; northern limit of forests (green line); International Date Line (dashed black line); and the North Pole referenced (red cross). Click on the image for more images.
Emerging powers eye access to Arctic resources
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Air temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up in the Arctic. With the potential for tapping new energy sources, tourism, shipping routes and other development, several countries are looking to gain political influence over future decisions in the region by seeking spots as permanent observers on the Arctic Council.
India, China and Brazil are all “knocking on the door” of the council, according to a report from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, a public policy think tank that’s hosting the upcoming Arctic Security Conference. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Arctic Council, Arctic energy development, Arctic resources, Arctic shipping, Environment, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Summit County News | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 21, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
The NOAA ship Fairweather will start charting Arctic waters this year. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
NOAA ship to chart waters in anticipation of increased growth in shipping and commerce in Arctic
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Loss of Arctic sea ice has advanced to the point that shipping companies are seriously looking for new routes that could speed commerce through the polar region. But navigational charts for the area are outdated, so the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has sent a survey ship to map the area.
“Commercial shippers aren’t the only ones needing assurances of safety in new trade routes,” said Captain John Lowell, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “The additional potential for passenger cruises, commercial fishing and other economic activities add to pressures for adequate response to navigational risks.” Continue reading
Filed under: global warming | Tagged: Arctic ice melt, Arctic shipping, Environment, global warming, NOAA, Summit County, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News | 1 Comment »