Nikita Ovsyannikov is Russia’s most well-known polar bear scientists. Observing the retreat of the ice due to climate changes from his facility on the Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea, he says: “It is worse for Russian polar bears than the bears in Canada or Greenland because the pack ice is retreating much faster in our waters.”
This summer has once again been all-time-low for the Arctic Sea ice in the waters north of Siberia, and between the islands of Svalbard, Franz Josefs Land and Novaya Zemlya in the Barents Sea. The Arctic Sea ice was in late September 18 percent smaller than previous record from 2007.
Polar Bears will according to Ovsyannikov disappear from the wild within the next 20 to 25 years.
“The best habitat is quickly disappearing. It is extreme. What we are seeing right now is very late freezing. Our polar bear population is obviously declining. It used to be that new ice was thick enough for them to walk on in late October. It now will happen much later,” Nikita Ovsyannikov told Edmonton Journal.
He is also concerned that as pack ice continues to melt, increased shipping through the Northern Sea Route will have a greater impact on Arctic wildlife. “It is inevitable that economic development will continue. So it is up to take as many precautions as possible because a shipping accident in the Arctic would be an absolute disaster for the entire ecosystem.”
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.