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May 15 - May 21, 2017

By Ella Daly, Pavel Devyatkin, Helen Hallang, Vincent-Gregor Schulze, Yashwinie Shivanand, and Ryan Uljua

May 25, 2017

Welcome and thanks for joining us this week! We hope that you find TATW interesting and entertaining to read. If youre not a subscriber yet, you can sign up here. As always, all editorial choices, opinions and any mistakes are the authors own. Anything that we missed? Please feel free to share material with us if you think it deserves inclusion in TATW.

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As part of our ongoing collaboration with High North News, Mieke Coppes wrote about the release of the latest report from Canadas Special Representative on Arctic Leadership, Mary Simon and Doris Friedrich tackled the issue on how scientists can best connect with a wider audience.

As always, check out last weeks Take 5, a quick 5 minute breakdown of the 5 most important circumpolar stories published by TAI every Friday.

Happy with TATWs new look? Got Feedback? We would love to hear it! Reach out to Andreas Raspotnik for any suggestion or criticism.



Switzerland and ICES become Arctic Council Observers, while members agree to international scientific cooperation
Upon the conclusion of the Arctic Council last week, we saw Switzerland obtain Observer Status, as did the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) (TAJ, Xinhua Net, TAJ). The Fairbanks Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Co-operation was also signed by the eight Arctic Council member governments (IISD). By and large, it seems that climate change continues as a steadfast priority of Arctic despite minor objections from U.S. representatives (Arctic Deeply).

Trump pledges to build icebreakers, but its unclear how theyll be funded
Speaking at a commencement ceremony at the Coast Guard Academy, US President Donald Trump pledged to build new icebreakers for the Coast Guard for use in the polar regions. However, Trump offered no details about how they will be funded or whether his vision differs fundamentally from a plan established during the Obama administration (AD). The Coast Guard has not built a heavy polar vessel in four decades and they currently rely on just two vessels in the polar seas (Scientific American).

Arctic Challenge 2017 military exercise kicks off off
More than 100 aircrafts from 12 nations will crowd the skies over northern Finland, Sweden and Norway between May 22 and June 2. In addition to the three Nordic nations, aircrafts and military personnel from the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States will participate (IBO).

Disappointment over Canadian inquiry into missing Indigenous women
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, a commission established to examine systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women, has been given several failing reviews by the Native Women's Association of Canada for lack of progress, open communication, and outreach (CBC). The inquiry has even been called a fortress of bureaucratic incompetence by some critics for its lack of results (CBC). Despite this, the commission moves forward and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada has been invited to participate along with families from across the Inuit regions of Canada (CBC).



Second wind (TAJ).
A kingdom divided against itself (TAJ).
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most Arctic of them all? (AD).
UN launches Year of Polar Prediction for Arctic, Antarctic weather-watching (NN).
Arctic exploration opened for Indonesia: Russian academic (Antara News).
From the south, keen interest in Arctic and Arctic Council (Arctic Sounder).
Putin is running Arctic circles around the United States (Bloomberg).
Chinas New Silk Road and the Arctic (The Diplomat).

Finnish FM says Arctic Council should be free from political tensions (Xinhua Net).

Putin explains how Russia is going to deal with Arctic development (TASS).
Russias Reservations About Chinas Silk Road (Jamestown).
Italian oilmen remain committed to Russian Arctic drilling (IBO).

United States
Trumps climate stance looms over Arctic meeting (Normangee Star).
Lobbying by Trump Interior Department Nominee Raises Concerns (Bloomberg).
Tillerson gives nod at Arctic meet to climate change action (First Post).


Russia: Arctic Exploration Opened for Indonesia (Netral News).
Gas company expands into Gydan tundra (IBO).

United States
Icewine reaches target depth (PN).
Kenai Loop compression pushed to 2018 (PN).
A major challenge: State processing massive amounts of seismic data under exploration tax credits (PN).
Alaska up for first offshore lease since 2008 (Newsline).
Alaska Senate proposes $288M for oil subsidies, cash for King Cove road (Arctic Sounder).
CH2M Hill subsidiary to cut 147 jobs after losing North Slope contract (AD).

Yellowknife aims for biggest pellet heating system in N.W.T. (CBC).
1Q drilling down: North Slope development drilling down sharply in first quarter of 2017 (PN).

Delays over safety clearance, building permit for Fennovoima nuclear project in Finland (Eye on the Arctic).
Barents round under 'official fire' (Upstream).

Rebalancing acts: OPEC meets to get the oil market under its control (TAJ).


United States
Trump pledges to build icebreakers but doesn't say how he'll pay for them (AD).
U.S. Icebreaker Fleet Is Overdue for an Upgrade (Scientific American).
Trump pledges to build Coast Guard icebreakers, but its unclear how different his plan is from Obamas (WP).
Trump Announces Funding For Icebreakers At Coast Guard Commencement (WNPR).
Coast Guard poised to get needed icebreakers (The Day).
USCG Forges the Future of Navigation (Marine Link).
GOP rep presses Trump for block buy of Arctic icebreakers (The Hill).
Zukunft: Changing Arctic Could Lead to Armed U.S. Icebreakers in Future Fleet (USNI News).
Former Pentagon chief: Arctic drilling order could threaten security (The Hill).
Governor Walker Welcomes U.S. Navy to Alaska (TAJ).

Halifax's first Arctic patrol ship to be pieced together this summer (CBC).
First of Irvings Halifax-made patrol ships nearly ready (Chronicle Herald).

Russian Military Deploying Nearly 200 Troops to Arctic for Mystery Mission (Sputnik).

Military exercise Arctic Challenge 2017 set for take off (Eye on the Arctic).
Training like theyd fight: For neutral Sweden and Finland realistic training involves siding with Nato (TAJ).
Arctic Challenge 2017 set for take off (IBO).
The NATO of the New North (CIMSEC).

US, Russia Arming their Icebreakers as War in the Arctic Looms (China Topix).
NATO May Revive Cold War-Era Command to Block Russia (News Max).


'Off site' arsenic contamination a growing public concern in Yellowknife (CBC).
Yukon gives $1.6M to mineral exploration projects (CBC).
1 injured in explosion at Yukon's Minto Mine (CBC).
Goldstrike, Newmont move toward Plateau (PN).
CopperBank funds Pyramid drilling (PN).

United States
Even a smaller mine could face development hurdles (Arctic Sounder).
Villages to get multimillion-dollar payments from mine owner (Daily News Miner).
Mine operator to donate millions in profits to 11 northwest villages (KTOO).
Settlement puts Pebble back in play (PN).
AIDEA finds potential sites for Alaska-based graphite refinery (PN).
Pebble door opens: EPA agrees to lift pre-emptive restrictions, allowing normal permitting (PN).

Russian mining companies to face new land restoration rules (TASS).


Earth sciences, climate and weather
4.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Yukon, B.C. border (CBC).
Arctic environment on verge of major shift (Geographical).
Faced with climate change, Canadian Arctic residents fear their way of life is melting away (PRI).
Warm Arctic Fuels Second-Warmest April on Record (Climate Central).
Plastic trash rides ocean currents to the Arctic (Science News for Students).
Land height could help explain why Antarctica is warming slower than the Arctic (ScienceDaily).

Wildlife and ecology
Stop feeding and gawking at roadside bears, Yukon groups urge (CBC).
Contaminants in animals provide clues about the health of the north (AD).
Wildlife and Scenery Are Big in Alaska (Creators).
Under the Pole: Divers explore depths of the Arctic to study sharks and glow-in-the-dark species (IB Times).
New Drone Footage Shows One Way Narwhals Use Their Tusks (Smithsonian).
The reindeer island that disappeared (IBO).
Rush Hour in the Bering Strait (Scientific American).

Environmental management
Arctic stronghold of worlds seeds flooded after permafrost melts (The Guardian).
The Arctic Bunker That Protects The Worlds Seeds Is Thawing (Co Design).
Norway Boosts Defense Of Arctic 'Doomsday' Vault Against Climate Change: Here's How (Tech Times).
Dont panic, humanitys doomsday seed vault is probably still safe (WP).
Pragmatic Environmentalism in the Russian Arctic (World Policy).
First Arctic clean-up expedition of the year heads towards Franz Josef Land (IBO).
Russian Arctic cleanup expedition departs for Franz Josef Land (TASS).
Reports Assess Status, Protection and Threats to Arctic Marine Environment (IISD).
Leaked Draft Shows How U.S. Weakened Climate Change Wording in the Arctic Declaration (InsideClimate News).
What Indigenous Cultures Can Teach Us About Managing Arctic Change (Arctic Deeply).
Report: Melting of Arctic sea ice taking heavy toll on marine species (APM).

Research and university news
Expedition of the century (TAJ).
RV Polarstern expedition - How is climate change affecting fauna in the Arctic? (TAJ).
Long-term research project planned for Arctic coastline (The Arctic Sounder).
NASA Releases Results of Expanded Annual Arctic Ice Survey IceBridge (Nature World News).
Researchers Race to Understand Black Carbons Impact on Thawing Tundra (Arctic Deeply).


N.W.T. fishing lodge seeks $3.2 million for power corp.'s impacts on lake (CBC).
Russian Arctic National Park to adjust boundaries for fishing industry (
Copper River salmon are swimming their way toward Anchorage markets this week (AD).
Cod, haddock markets receive North Arctic supply boost after price hikes, strong demand (UCN).
Managing Alaska's Fisheries In Warming Oceans (KYUK).

Yamal LNG talks ice trials with shipowners as project gears up (TW).
Protecting ships, people and the polar environment (Splash 24/7).
Amid decline in regional freight, a new shipping company opens in Arkhangelsk (IBO).
Cleaner Fuels Could Lower Risk for Arctic Shipping (Global Trade).
State of the Arc: Yamal's icebreaking LNG carriers (TW).
Oblique icebreaker Baltika breaks ice in the Arctic (Port News).

Economy, Business and Technology
'Our town can't handle a hit like that': Hay River looks to GNWT to help recover $1.3M owed by NTCL (CBC).
Arctic Business Incubator ppnar kontor i Pite - rekryterar Gran Carlson (My NewsDesk, In Swedish).
Finlands first (TAJ).
Company to boost Kotzebue summer chum operation (Arctic Sounder).
Norwegians and Icelanders let Alaskans in on the secrets to economic prosperity (IBO).

Arctic may become a promising part of the new federal tourism program (
Tourism booms in Norways Arctic (News in
Ultimate adventure: wealthy Chinese tourists do the North Pole (South China Morning Post).
Sydney to become home port for polar cruise company (CBC).
Cruise from Greenland to Nunavut full of Arctic wonders (Toronto Sun).


Polar Explorers Day celebrated across Russia
First announced by the Russian Federation Council in late 2012, Polar Explorer Day celebrates past and present explorers and their contributions to the study and development of Polar regions. It was celebrated on May 22 this year with an official ceremony including explorer Artur Chilingarov and a picture exhibition ( The day may even become a national holiday throughout Russia (

Climate change exacerbates mental health problems in Labradors Inuit communities (EOTA).
Dancing towards the light (CBC).
'I wanted my son to live': Inuk lawyer leaves Nunavut to treat teenage son's PTSD and depression (CBC).

Youth and Education
Science fair junkie: Nunavut woman selected as 1st Inuk ambassador for Canada-wide science fair (CBC).
Vet med scholars share science in the remote Arctic (University of Calgary).
Voices of youth: Meet Cambridge Bay's 1st mayor's youth advisory council (CBC).
N.W.T.'s 'bush university' celebrates 11 new grads and leaders of tomorrow (CBC).
Reindeer and language revitalization: Inuit students visit Finland's Sami people (CBC).
First Nations teaching farm in Dawson City expands, adds animals (CBC).

Gwichin Leaders Launch "Protect our Homelands" (Common Dreams).
Inuit homelessness the subject of brother and sister documentary (CBC).
Grappling With Low Living Standards in Canadas North (Arctic Deeply).
Hazmat suits required: 116 Nunavut public housing units need heavy duty mould clean-up (CBC).
A quarter of Nunavut's population faces moderate to severe food insecurity, report says (CBC).
Arctic Council Launches New Fund for Indigenous Groups (Arctic Deeply).
The power of six (TAJ).

OPINION: Critics attacking Native whaling are allies of conquest (The Arctic Sounder).
There's more than one way to cook a reindeer (AD).
N.W.T.-brewed beer hits shelves across Canada, sells out quickly in Yellowknife (CBC).
Finding a new voice: Juno winner Grey Gritt vies for Indigenous Music Award for solo album (CBC).
Diga in Denmark: Behchoko musician to record newest album in isolated Danish barn (CBC).
Book review: Laline Paulls chilling tale for our times (The National).
Lofoten International Art Festival (e-flux).


Yukon gov't 'looking at options' for Dawson City airport runway (CBC).

Roads, railway and digital infrastructure
Kobylkin suggests introducing state contracts for Arctic professions (
Dempster Highway fibre optic line cost could soar to $80M, twice the original estimate (CBC).
State looks for help fighting blob oozing toward Dalton Highway (AD).
Funds Secured for Road from Kotzebue to Cape Blossom (knom).
Famous Canadian Ice Road Melts for the Last Time (Desmog).

Ports and maritime infrastructure
Residents rail against U.S. company as Port Churchills future is on the line (FP).
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