Arcticportal News
New Director Appointed for the Arctic Observing Network Program
Other News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 28 May 2015 09:39

Lighthouse in Norway (Photo:Karin Beate Nøsterud, NN – norden.org)Lighthouse in Norway (Photo:Karin Beate Nøsterud, NN – norden.org)PRESS RELEASE BY NSF 

The Arctic Section in the Division of Polar Programs, Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces staffing changes for the Arctic Observing Network program. Dr. Erica Key completed her three-year appointment as the AON Program Director on April 28, 2015. We thank her for her service. Dr. William Ambrose will begin service as new Program Director of the Arctic Observing Network program in the Arctic Sciences (ARC) section on 15 June 2015. Dr. Ambrose will be joining NSF from Bates College, Maine where he holds an appointment as Professor of Biology and has served as Chairman of the Department of Biology. Dr. Ambrose is a long time Arctic scientist with an extensive research career in Arctic benthic ecology and Arctic environmental change. He is experienced in international collaborative research, including serving as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Oslo and Visiting Professor at the University of Tromso.
We welcome Dr. Ambrose to NSF and look forward to working with him to advance the frontiers of Arctic knowledge through the critical observations needed to detect and understand environmental change in Arctic systems.

(Source: arcus.org)

 
How can the EU protect the Arctic? Press Release from the University of Dundee
Other News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 08:26

Yellowknife Airport (photo:Nengye Liu, University of Dundee) Yellowknife Airport (photo:Nengye Liu, University of Dundee) An international panel of experts will come together at the University of Dundee this week to explore how European Union countries can prevent the Arctic from environmental catastrophe.

 

The 2015 EU-Arctic Conference takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May and will bring together academics, practitioners and industry figures. Thirty speakers from 15 countries will discuss the EU's potential to enhance Arctic governance, with WWF, Greenpeace, BP, the European Commission and the Arctic Council among the organisations represented at the conference.

A roadmap for increasing the effectiveness of the EU's action in the Arctic will be drawn at the end of the conference, which is timely as the Council of the European Union has requested proposals from the European Commission for the further development of an integrated and coherent Arctic Policy by December 2015.

Conference organiser Dr Nengye Liu, from the University's School of Law, said, "The protection of the Arctic environment is a stated objective of the EU but what does that mean in practice? The conference will look at what measures can be taken to achieve that goal.

"We are delighted that experts from NGO's, industry, governments and academia will be contributing to this important event, bringing evidence and proposals from the perspectives of international law, international relations, political science, marine biology and other disciplines."

Delegates from the US, Canada, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, China, Singapore, Australia and UK will take part in the conference. The keynote speech will be given by Diana Wallis, former Vice President of the European Parliament and President of the European Law Institute.

Dr Liu and Elizabeth Kirk are leading a two-year study into 'The European Union and the Legal Protection of Marine Biodiversity in the Arctic'. This project will establish how the EU can best use its legal powers to help generate an effective legal system for the protection of marine biodiversity in the Arctic.

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

 

 
Arkhangelsk Sea Trade Port for Sale
Shipping News
Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:24

Arkhangelsk Sea Port Economiya (Source:Sasha Krotov-Wikipedia) Arkhangelsk Sea Port Economiya (Source:Sasha Krotov-Wikipedia) Different news sources have recently reported that the Russian company MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium (read more about MMC Norilsk Nickel here)  has planned to sell the Arkhangelsk sea trade port by the end of 2015. The all-year-round navigation Arkhangelsk sea trade port  is strategically located, as it builds at the beginning of the Northern Sea Route, on the White Sea (North-West Russia), but it is also the shorter exit to the railroad network that are used for the carriages along the transsibirian main line and transport corridor "North-South, making the port one of the main "gate to the Arctic". Accordingly with the Arkhangelsk Port's website , the total length of the berth front is 3,3 km, capable to receive vessels of 9,2 m draught and 175 - 200 m in length, while its container terminal, the only one of this kind in the North includes air-open square of 98.000 sq metres, where 5762 TEUs may be stored at once, includes up to 200 refrigerator containers and 2200 with dangerous cargo. The container terminal capacity is 75.000 TEUs in a year. (read more here). Indeed, the amount of the company in its turnover is 20%.

This is the piece of news as reported by Arctic info:
The Norilsk Nickel company is ready to sell a string of non-core assets, including the Arkhangelsk Sea Port. A Norilsk Nickel company presentation made in London on May 18 revealed that the company intends to sell its stake in the Arkhangelsk port in the course of 2015. Also other socalled none-core assets might be sold, among them the company's gas fields in the Taimyr Peninsula, barentsobserver.com reports. In addition, Norilsk Nickel considers selling the Yenisey River Shipping Company, another key Arctic asset. According to the company press-center, the accumulated sales price for the objects could amount to about $1 billion.
The Arkhangelsk Sea Port, a key regional infrastructure object, in 2014 had a cargo turnover of 1,5 million tons, of which 400 000 tons were goods belonging to Norilsk Nickel. The port is considered a hub of major importance for shipping along the Northern Sea Route and is connected with Belkomur, the projected railway line between Arkhangelsk and western Siberia. Among potential buyers of the Arkhangelsk port are Chinese investors. During a recent business visit to China, representatives of the Arkhangelsk regional administration confirmed that a "principal interest" in the port was displayed by chinese companies.

 

(Source: Arctic InfoArkhangelsk Port

 
EU has approved €2 million five-year EU-PolarNet Programme
Other News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 22 May 2015 10:53

92363985 SmallNorthern Lights photo: Getty Image) The EU-Polar Net has recently confirmed that the EU has granted  €2 million to run the EU-Polar Net for five more years.  The EU-Polar Net is a consortium of 22 European research institutions working on both the Arctic and Antarctic regions., which objectives are to improve co-ordination between EU member polar research institutions, to develop an integrated EU Polar research programme and to create and sustain ongoing dialogue and co-operation with Polar stakeholders (read more here

During this coming 5 years, the  EU-PolarNet "will develop and deliver a strategic framework and mechanisms to prioritise science, optimise the use of polar infrastructure, and broker new partnerships that will lead to the co-design of polar research projects that deliver tangible benefits for society. By adopting a higher degree of coordination of polar research and operations than has existed previously the consortium engages in closer cooperation with all relevant actors on an international level". 

Here you can read the Press Release: 

A new initiative to enhance the integration of Europe's scientific and operational capabilities in the Polar Regions has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

The €2 million five-year EU-PolarNet programme brings together 22 of Europe's internationally-respected multi-disciplinary research institutions to develop and deliver an integrated European polar research programme that is supported by access to first-class operational polar infrastructures. EU-PolarNet will involve stakeholders from the outset to create a suite of research proposals whose scientific outcomes are directly relevant and beneficial to European society and its economy.

Polar issues have been rising up the political agenda across Europe over the past decade. The level of investment now being made by governments is a clear demonstration of how critical polar research is for forming policies, including those relating to climate change, energy security, global food security, innovation and economic growth.

By establishing an ongoing dialogue between policymakers, business and industry leaders, local communities and scientists EU-PolarNet aims to create an Integrated European Research Programme for the Antarctic and the Arctic. This legacy from EU-PolarNet will be sustained into the future by the European Polar Board, all of whose members are integrally involved with the project.

A key role for EU-PolarNet is to cooperate closely with the European Commission to provide support and advice on all issues related to the Polar Regions.

Dr Andrea Tilche, Head of the Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit, in the European Commission DG for Research and Innovation, comments:

"The European Commission welcomes this new Coordination Action which brings together polar scientific communities and other stakeholders. It creates a new "home" where science and innovation on polar issues can be discussed for the benefit of our planet and our societies".

EU-PolarNet is coordinated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. Director, Professor Karin Lochte comments: "EU-PolarNet represents a fantastic challenge for leaders of national polar research programmes. It is our ambition to enhance the high-level of collaboration and cooperation that exists currently across Europe and the rest of the world. Our network is ideally positioned to play a leading international role in forming new partnerships within scientific, business and policy-making communities. The knowledge and discoveries that we make in the polar regions have an impact on our daily lives. This is a very exciting time for polar science."

EU-Polarnet is a Horizon 2020 funded Coordination Action.

 

(for more information, please click here

 
US: The National Security Implications of Climate Change
Climate Change News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:50

President Barack Obama"President Barack Obama" by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (Wikipedia).Yesterday the White House  issued a brief press release to inform that President Obama will address to the United States Coast Guard Academy the importance of acting on climate change and the risks to national security this global threat poses. For the occasion, also the report "Findings from Select Federal Reports: The National Security Implications of a  Changing Climate" (click here to download) has been attached.

Here is the press relase by the White House:

Today, President Obama will travel to New London, Connecticut to deliver the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy. During his speech, the President will speak to the importance of acting on climate change and the risks to national security this global threat poses. The White House also released a new report on the national security implications of climate change and how the Federal government is rising to the challenge.

As the President has made very clear, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, as we are already seeing these threats in communities across the country. We know that climate change is contributing to extreme weather, wildfires, and drought, and that rising temperatures can lead to more smog and more allergens in the air we breathe, meaning more kids are exposed to the triggers that can cause asthma attacks.

But as the President will stress, climate change does not respect national borders and no one country can tackle climate change on its own. Climate change poses immediate risks to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters and resulting in humanitarian crises, and potentially increasing refugee flows and exacerbating conflicts over basic resources like food and water. It also aggravates issues at home and abroad including poverty, political instability and social tensions – conditions that can fuel instability and enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is assessing the vulnerability of the military's more than 7,000 bases, installations and other facilities to climate change, and studying the implications of increased demand for our National Guard in the aftermath of extreme weather events. Two years ago, DOD and DHS released Arctic Strategies, which addresses the potential security implications of increased human activity in the Arctic, a consequence of rapidly melting sea ice.

But we also need to decrease the harmful carbon pollution that causes climate change. That is why, this summer, the EPA will put in place commonsense standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, the largest source in the United States. Today, the U.S. harnesses three times as much electricity from the wind and twenty times as much from the sun as we did since President Obama took office. We are working with industry and have taken action to phase down HFCs and address methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. By the middle of the next decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and we have made unprecedented investments to cut energy waste in our homes and buildings. And as the single largest user of energy in the United States, DOD is making progress to deploy 3 gigawatts of renewable energy on military installations by 2025.

 

See the video of the President's Commencement Address at the Coast Guard Academy here.

(Source: The White House

 
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