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.
Arctic sea ice has passed its annual maximum extent and is beginning its seasonal decline through the spring and summer. While total extent was not at record low, it remained well below average through March.
KIRUNA: the Arctic Council’s biodiversity group today released the “Arctic Biodiversity Assessment”, a report containing the best available science on the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity and accompanying policy recommendations for biodiversity conservation.
The average temperature in Kirkenes for the month of June reached 12.8°C, which is 4.3°C above normal. But an executive meteorologist said this is not a record high, nor necessarily an indication of climate change.
INARI: Forest expert Trude Myhre with WWF Norway says protecting the unique taiga forest is a key to fighting biodiversity loss and climate change. Recommendations for expanding protected areas were given at the Barents Enviro-Ministers’ meeting.
Brown bears are emerging from their dens in the Pasvik Valley earlier this year than ever before. The bears in Pasvik have been shown to be genetically isolated from their Norwegian neighbours to the west but not the Russian bears to the east. The disconnect, says biologist Alexander Kopatz, is likely due to human influence.
While Russia’s naval yard in Severodvinsk is busy like never before in Post-Soviet times with construction of new submarines, two old submarines on the Arctic seabed cause major concern for nuclear scientists.