International attention towards the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea is increasing because of climate change concerns, the region’s mineral resources and the prospect of increased shipping across the Northern Sea Route. The extent of how these industries influence ocean health is still not fully understood in the Arctic science community.
KIRKENES: The ill-fated Soviet submarine is not yet leaking radioactivity into the Kara Sea, according to scientists visiting the dumpsite. It is, however, urgent to raise the sub for safe decommissioning. Unique and very expensive equipment to dismantle K-27’s reactors is waiting at the naval base Gremikha, but will be outworn in few years’ time.
Eco-groups in Norway fear oil-tankers will run aground and destroy Gjesværstappan, one of Northern Norway’s largest bird rocks that are located a few kilometers from Statoil’s new oil-terminal at North Cape.
A new study of ocean acidification in the Arctic shows that the oceans are more acidic. The last 200 years the average acidity of the surface increased by about 30 percent worldwide, and the Arctic is particularly vulnerable.
A study showing that high levels of mercury might prevent a Svalbard bird from breeding could have rippling implications for other large mammals, including humans, that live in the mercury-rich Arctic.
Ten pre-selected locations in Northwest-Russia are now under consideration, including permafrost sites on Novaya Zemlya and Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Norway wants to have a say before any decisions are taken.
“Ship-to-ship reloading of oil in icy-waters outside Kirkenes is a great example that Norway jeopardizes nature by lowering safety standards in our race for industrialization of the north,” says Lars Haltbrekken, head of the Norwegian Society for the conservation of Nature.