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Fieldwork in the High Arctic found cataclysmic impact of climate change happening 70 years ahead of what the scientific models expected.


 During the month of December 2021 two warnings of impending sea level rise were issued by highly respected groups of climate scientists. These are professional scientists who do not deal in hyperbole. Rather, they are archetypical conservative serious-minded scientists who follow the facts.

The most recent warning on December 30th is of deteriorating conditions at the Arctic and Greenland.

The second warning is the threatening collapse in Antarctica of one of the largest glaciers in the world.

As these event unfortunately coincide so close together, one at the top of the world, the other at the bottom, should coastal cities plan to build sea walls? An article by M. Farquharson, et al in Geophysical Research Letters d/d June10, 2019 stated: “Observed maximum thaw depths at our sites are already exceeding those projected to occur by 2090.” In other words, fieldwork in
the High Arctic found cataclysmic impact of climate change happening 70 years ahead of what the scientific models expected.

 Counterpunch 7th Jan 2022

 https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/07/when-to-build-sea-walls/

January 13, 2022 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Climate change destroying homes across the Arctic

Cracked homes, buckled roads and ruptured pipelines are likely to become common in and near the Arctic as warming temperatures cause frozen ground to thaw, new findings say. Five million people live on Arctic permafrost including in Russia, North America and Scandinavia.

Climate change is causing the Arctic to warm two-to-four times faster than the rest of the planet.

 BBC 11th Jan 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59915697

January 13, 2022 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

A second great nuclear ice breaker for Russia to keep the Northern Sea Route open

Second giant nuclear icebreaker handed over to Rosatomflot, The “Sibir”
will add to the rapidly growing fleet of powerful icebreakers tasked to
keep the Northern Sea Route open for year-round shipping. The acceptance
certificate was signed at a ceremony onboard the icebreaker at the Baltic
Shipyard in St. Petersburg on December 24, Rosatomflot informs.

 Barents Observer 25th Dec 2021

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2021/12/second-giant-nuclear-icebreaker-handed-over-rosatomflot

December 27, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, technology | Leave a comment

Climate change has crashed Earth’s ”air – conditioners” – the North and South poles.

Though the continent stays frozen for much of the year, rising temperatures in the Pacific have changed how air circulates around the South Pole, which in turn affects ocean currents. Warm, deep ocean water is welling up towards coastlines, lapping at the ice sheet’s weak frozen underbelly, weakening it from below.

“This is triggering the beginnings of a massive collapse,” Scampos wrote in an email from Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, where he is preparing for a field trip to Thwaites Glacier’s failing ice shelf………………………………….

Climate change has crashed Earth’s ‘air-conditioners’, risking rest of planet, The Age , By Sarah Kaplan, 16 Dec 21,   The ice shelf was cracking up. Surveys showed warm ocean water eroding its underbelly. Satellite imagery revealed long, parallel fissures in the frozen expanse, like scratches from some clawed monster. One fracture grew so big, so fast, scientists took to calling it “the dagger”.

“It was hugely surprising to see things changing that fast,” said Erin Pettit. The Oregon State University glaciologist had chosen this spot for her Antarctic field research precisely because of its stability. While other parts of the infamous Thwaites Glacier crumbled, this wedge of floating ice acted as a brace, slowing the melt. It was supposed to be boring, durable, safe.

Now climate change has turned the ice shelf into a threat – to Pettit’s field work and to the world.

Planet-warming pollution from burning fossil fuels and other human activities has already raised global temperatures more than 1.1 degrees Celsius. But the effects are particularly profound at the poles, where rising temperatures have seriously undermined regions once locked in ice.

In research presented this week at the world’s biggest earth science conference, Pettit showed that the Thwaites ice shelf could collapse within the next three to five years, unleashing a river of ice that could dramatically raise sea levels.

Up north, aerial surveys document how warmer conditions have allowed beavers to invade the Arctic tundra, flooding the landscape with their dams. Large commercial ships are increasingly infiltrating formerly frozen areas, disturbing wildlife and generating disastrous amounts of rubbish. In many Alaska Native communities, climate impacts compounded the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to food shortages among people who have lived off this land for thousands of years.

“The very character of these places is changing,” said Twila Moon, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre and co-editor of the Arctic Report Card, an annual assessment of the state of the top of the world. “We are seeing conditions unlike those ever seen before.”

The rapid transformation of the Arctic and Antarctic creates ripple effects all over the planet. Sea levels will rise, weather patterns will shift and ecosystems will be altered. Unless humanity acts swiftly to curb emissions, scientists say, the same forces that have destabilised the poles will wreak havoc on the rest of the globe.

“The Arctic is a way to look into the future,” said Matthew Druckenmiller, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre and another co-editor of the Arctic Report Card. “Small changes in temperature can have huge effects in a region that is dominated by ice.”

This year’s edition of the report card, which was presented at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting on Tuesday, describes a landscape that is transforming so fast scientists struggle to keep up. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as the global average. The October to December 2020 period was the warmest on record, scientists say.

Separately on Tuesday, the World Meteorological Organisation confirmed a new temperature record for the Arctic: 38 degrees in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk on June 20, 2020.

These warm conditions are catastrophic for the sea ice that usually spans across the North Pole. This past northern summer saw the second-lowest extent of thick, old sea ice since tracking began in 1985. Large mammals like polar bears go hungry without this crucial platform from which to hunt. Marine life ranging from tiny plankton to giant whales are at risk.

“It’s an ecosystem collapse situation,” said Kaare Sikuaq Erickson, Inupiaq, whose business Ikaagun Engagement facilitates cooperation between scientists and Alaska Native communities.

The consequences of this loss will be felt far beyond the Arctic. Sea ice has traditionally acted as Earth’s “air conditioner”; it reflects as much as two-thirds of the light that hits it, sending huge amounts of solar radiation back into space.

By contrast, dark expanses of water absorb heat, and it is difficult for these areas to refreeze. Less sea ice means more open ocean, more heat absorption and more climate change.

“We have a narrow window of time to avoid very costly, deadly and irreversible climate impacts,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Rick Spinrad said.

Record highs have also sounded the death knell for ice on land. Three historic melting episodes struck Greenland in July and August, causing the island’s massive ice sheet to lose about 34 trillion kilograms. On August 14, for the first time in recorded history, rain fell at the ice sheet summit…….

Though the Greenland ice sheet is more than a mile thick at its centre, rain can darken the surface, causing the ice to absorb more of the sun’s heat, Moon said. It changes the way snow behaves and slicks the top of the ice.

The consequences for people living in the Arctic can be dire. …………..

In Antarctica, University of Colorado-Boulder glaciologist Ted Scampos said “climate change is more about wind changes and ocean changes than warming – although that is happening in many parts of it as well.”

Though the continent stays frozen for much of the year, rising temperatures in the Pacific have changed how air circulates around the South Pole, which in turn affects ocean currents. Warm, deep ocean water is welling up towards coastlines, lapping at the ice sheet’s weak frozen underbelly, weakening it from below.

“This is triggering the beginnings of a massive collapse,” Scampos wrote in an email from Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, where he is preparing for a field trip to Thwaites Glacier’s failing ice shelf………………………………….

For many Arctic residents, climate change is a threat multiplier – worsening the dangers of whatever other crises come their way. Another essay in the report card documents the threats to Alaska Natives’ food security caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Quarantine restrictions prevented people from travelling to their traditional harvesting grounds. Economic upheaval and supply chain issues left many supermarkets with empty shelves.

But the essay, which was co-written by Inupiaq, Hadia, Ahtna and Supiaq researchers, along with experts from other Native communities, also highlights how Indigenous cultural practices helped communities stave off hunger. Existing food sharing networks redoubled their efforts. Harvesting traditions were adapted with public health in mind………………….

Though no place on Earth is changing as fast as the Arctic, rising temperatures have already brought similar chaos to more temperate climes as well. Unpredictable weather, unstable landscapes and collapsing ecosystems are becoming facts of life in communities around the globe.

None of this represents a “new normal,” Moon cautioned. It’s merely a pit stop on a path to an even stranger and more dangerous future.

Global greenhouse gas emissions are on track to keep rising. Governments and businesses have not taken the steps needed to avert catastrophic warming beyond 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. There is every reason to believe that instability at the poles – and around the planet – will get worse.

But achieving the best case climate scenarios could cut the volume of ice lost from Greenland by 75 per cent, research suggests. International cooperation could prevent garbage from getting into the oceans and alleviate the effects of marine noise. Better surveillance and early warning systems can keep people safe when melting triggers landslides and floods.

“There’s such a big range and difference in what the future of the Arctic and the future anywhere on our globe can look like,” Moon said. “It all depends on human actions.”

The Washington Post   https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/climate-change-has-crashed-earth-s-air-conditioners-risking-rest-of-planet-20211215-p59hny.html

December 16, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, ARCTIC, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Norway faces up to fast increasing radiation risks. Drones monitor the nuclear ships, icebreakers, submarines that clutter the Arctic

Norway deploys radiation drones along its coast amidst nuclear emergency concerns
Five Coast Guard ships are soon to carry drones with sensors capable of detecting radioactivity in case of a maritime accident involving a potential release from a reactor-powered civilian or military vessel.  Barents Observer, By

Thomas Nilsen, December 03, 2021  A sharp increase in nuclear-powered vessels and ships with radioactive materials pose an increasing risk of accidents, a recent radiological- and nuclear risk assessment study for the Arctic Council concludes.

The risk is moderate and increasing in regards to nuclear-powered vessels and floating nuclear power plants, the report reads.

Now, authorities take action and deploy drones with radiation detectors on board Norway’s fleet of five Inner Coast Guard patrol vessels, from the North Sea region in the south to the Barents Sea in the north.

The danger is obvious. A worst-case scenario is a nuclear-powered vessel with a reactor leakage drifting at sea or running aground with a wind direction towards populated areas. In northern Norway, nine out of ten inhabitants live less than four kilometers from the sea.

A drone can help measure levels of radiation in close vicinity to the vessel in distress without exposing any of the emergency response teams to danger. The Coast Guard is already on 24/7 watch and plays an important role in emergency preparedness. 

Nuclear-powered icebreakers are more frequently sailing between the yard in St. Petersburg and their homeport in Murmansk, like this weekend when the newest icebreaker, the “Arktika“ sails around Scandinavia a few nautical miles off the coast.

The civilian nuclear-powered “Sevmorput is also regularly sailing between the Far East and St. Petersburg via the coasts of Siberia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia and Finland loaded with seafood and other products. The ship is 33 years old and is not allowed to make port calls to countries outside Russia. 

Every now and then, cargo vessels bring spent nuclear fuel or radioactive substances to the port of Murmansk.

Caused by increased military tensions, both NATO and Russian nuclear submarines are more frequently patrolling the strategically important North Atlantic. Allied submarines even make port calls to harbors in Norway, like this spring when “USS New Mexico” came to Tromsø in a high-profile visit. 

Detailed emergency response plans were made ahead of the submarine’s visit. For Norway, which has a comprehensive network of radiation detectors on land, the challenge however is what to do if something happens at sea. …………………….

Submarines and icebreakers 

Norway’s Inner Coast Guard includes the five vessels “Nornen”, “Tor”, “Heimdal”, “Njord” and “Farm”. The latter has Kirkenes as homeport and sails the waters closest to Russia’s Kola Peninsula where several tens of nuclear-powered submarines are based as well as being home to the increasing Arctic fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Two brand new icebreakers, powered by two reactors each, will be added to the fleet before the end of the year. The first is this weekend en route along the coast of Norway from St. Petersburg to Russia’s ice-covered waters around the Yamal Peninsula and the Kara Sea. ………..

Circumpolar cooperation 

Two years ago, the Norwegians and Americans sailed north to Svalbard together with Russian experts from the emergency response unit of Rosatom, working on remote-controlled systems for measuring radiation in case of accidents. 

Collaboration on nuclear accident preparedness is a priority for all circumpolar nations which agree that shared resources in sparsely populated areas benefit all………

“We never know where accidents might happen. But with the Coast Guard and their skills on operating drones, we are about to become world-class in preparedness,” Aas-Hansen elaborates. …….

“The new drone detectors for radiation are unique. What we learn from this is something we absolutely will share with other nations,” says Øyvind Aas-Hansen. He underlines that cross-sector collaboration with other agencies in Norway has brought the project forward………

Large nuclear exercise in 2022 

In May 2022, the partners will test the systems in a large international Arctic radiation exercise in the area around Bodø, northern Norway…….

Sharp increase in reactors 

The Barents Observer has published an overview (pdf) listing the increasing number of reactors in the Russian Arctic. The paper is part of Barents Observer’s analytical popular science studies on developments in the Euro-Arctic Region.

According to the list, there are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plant.

Looking more than a decade ahead, the number of ships, including submarines, and installations powered by reactors is estimated to increase to 74 with a total of 94 reactors, maybe as many as 114. Additional to new icebreakers and submarines already under construction, Russia is brushing dust of older Soviet ideas of utilizing nuclear power for different kinds of Arctic shelf industrial developments, like oil- and gas exploration, mining and research.

Although Russia’s existing “Akademik Lomonosov” and four planned floating nuclear power plants are to operate on the coast of the Chukotka Peninsula thousands of kilometers east of the European Arctic, maintenance, testing and change of spent nuclear fuel elements will take place at the Atomflot base in Murmansk, a city with about 300,000 inhabitants a few hours drive from the border to Norway. 

“By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet,” the paper reads.

Also, existing icebreakers and submarines get lifetime prolongation. The average age of the Northern Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarines has never been older than today. Several of the submarines built in the 1980s will continue to sail the Barents Sea and under the Arctic ice cap until the late 2020s.

Serious accidents happen 

In recent years, two serious accidents in Russia’s northern waters have shaken the world.

On July 1, 2019, a fire broke out on the top-secret deep-diving submarine Losharik on 60 nautical miles from Russia’s border to Norway. The submarine was at the time working on the seabed in the Motovkiy Bay, just north of the important navy bases of the Northern Fleet. All 14 sailors on board were killed in the fire that likely started in the batteries.

Losharik was powered by one nuclear reactor and operated on a secret mission for GUGI, the Main Directorate for Deep-Sea Research, a top-secret unit directly subordinated the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

No leakages of radiation were reported at the time. 

Later that summer, on August 8, a serious radiation accident happened in the waters just outside Nenoksa naval missile test site on the southern shores of the White Sea.

Five Rosatom experts were killed and at least three others injured as a Burevestnik missile exploded. The Burevestnik is a nuclear-powered cruise missile currently under development by the Armed Forces. The small reactor is aimed at giving the missile “unlimited range”.

Shortly after the blast, radiation levels in the nearby city of Severodvinsk were measured to be several times higher than background for about half an hour, the Barents Observer reported. The data was based on the public automated monitoring system in Severodvinsk with eight sensors in town and at the Zvezdockha shipyard.

While normal background in the town with a population of 190,000 is around 0.11 µSv/h (microsievert per hour), the levels measured at the monitor on the Lomonosov Street near Lake Teatralnoye peaked at 2 µSv/h, nearly 20 times higher gamma radiation than normal. That, though, is still way within permissible levels for population exposure.

Fears more accidents 

In its annual threat assessment report the following year, Norway’s Intelligence Service warned that more accidents with Russia’s reactor-powered weapons systems could happen.

“The development will bring, additional to the military challenges, also challenges related to both environment and security. In 2019, about 25 Russians were killed during military activity near Norway,” the Intelligence Service Director Morten Haga Lunde said and added:

“I consider the risk for more such unintended incidents in our neighborhoods to be big in the years to come.”

 

December 6, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Melting Arctic sea ice linked to ”worsening fire hazards” in Weatern USA

 Arctic sea ice melt has driven an increase in “fire-favourable
weather” across the western US over the past four decades, according to
new research.

The study, published in Nature Communications, finds that low
Arctic sea ice levels during July to October have knock-on impacts in the
atmosphere that push the jet stream northwards. This tends to bring hotter
and drier conditions in the western US over the following autumn, resulting
in more frequent and intense fires in the region, the authors find.

They add that this mechanism may strengthen over the coming decades as the
Arctic melts further, making the western US “even more susceptible to
destructive fire hazards”.

 Carbon Brief 25th Nov 2021

November 27, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Greenland to reinstate its ban on uranium mining

Within weeks, Greenland’s parliament, the Inatsisartut, is expected to
pass a bill reinstating a ban on uranium mining that was lifted in 2013
following pressure from mining companies. “The Greenlandic minister with
responsibility for minerals has publicly stated that a ban on uranium
mining will put an end to all future uranium mining, full stop,” Mariane
Paviasen, a Greenland MP and leading activist in the anti-uranium mining
movement, Urani? Naamik (Uranium? No), told Green Left.

 Green Left 20th Oct 2021

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/greenland-set-restore-uranium-mining-ban

October 23, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, politics | Leave a comment

Russian and American nuclear wastes in the Arctic may release radiation as global heating melts the ice.


Climate change: Arctic’s unknown viruses’ and nuclear waste,  A rapidly warming Arctic could cause the spread of nuclear waste, undiscovered viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria, a report has found. BBC, 2 Oct 21,

It said potential radioactive waste from Cold War nuclear submarines and reactors and damage from mining could be released as the ice melts.

The nine million square miles of Artic dates to about a million years old.

Co-author Dr Arwyn Edwards from Aberystwyth University said much of the Arctic is still unknown.

Writing in Nature Climate Change, Dr Edwards co-authored report with academics from universities in the United States and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The Arctic houses a diverse range of chemical compounds whether through natural processes, accidents or deliberate storage.

Nuclear waste, viruses and chemicals

Thawing permafrost, or permanently frozen land, has widely been seen as a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions as massive stores of Arctic soil carbon are released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, as well as causing abrupt change to the landscape.

However, the research found the implications are more widespread and less understood – with potential for the release of nuclear waste and radiation, unknown viruses and other chemicals of concern.

Between 1955 and 1990, the Soviet Union conducted 130 nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and near surface ocean of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago off the coast of north-west Russia.

The tests used 224 separate explosive devices, releasing about 265 megatons of nuclear energy and more than 100 decommissioned nuclear submarines were scuttled in the nearby Kara and Barents seas.

Despite a Russian government launching a strategic clean-up plan, the review notes the area has tested highly for the radioactive substances caesium and plutonium, between undersea sediment, vegetation and ice sheets.

The United States’ Camp Century nuclear-powered under-ice research facility in Greenland also produced considerable nuclear and diesel waste.

Decommissioned in 1967, waste was left in the accumulating ice, which faces a longer term threat from changes to the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The 1968 Thule bomber crash in the same country also dispersed huge amounts of plutonium on the Greenland ice sheet……………………..

The report said despite its findings, it is still poorly understood and largely unquantified and further in-depth research in the area is vital to gain further insight into the risks………..   https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58724710

October 2, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, environment, radiation | Leave a comment

Greenland moves toward a stricter ban on uranium mining.

Greenland has taken the first step towards outlawing uranium mining after lawmakers there proposed a stricter version of a ban that the country’s national assembly overturned in 2013. Only July 2, the elected government began a month-long public consultation period for a proposed bill that, in addition to mining uranium, would prohibit the feasibility studies and exploration activities that must be completed before a mining project can be considered for a license to begin operation.

According to proposal, Naalakkersuisut, the elected government, is hoping that a reinstatement of what was known as the zero-tolerance policy, to achieve its goal of ensuring that “Greenland neither produces nor exports uranium.”

 Artic Today 14th July 2021

July 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, opposition to nuclear, politics | 1 Comment

Collaboration between Russia and Europe finally cleans up the most dangerous nuclear ship in the Arctic.

After 27 Years, Lepse No Longer Poses a Nuclear Threat to the Arctic,  High North News, PETER B. DANILOV 17 June 21, Last week, the Russian service ship Serebryanka delivered the last spent-fuel bundles from the Lepse floating maintenance base to an Atomflot storage site in Murmansk, completing the final stage of securing the nuclear waste……. To ensure the dismantling of the Lepse floating maintenance base, it was necessary to specially develop new technologies and equipment and make innovative decisions,” said FSUE Atomflot Director General Mustafa Kashka.

In July 2020, the Lepse floating maintenance base’s main batch of spent nuclear fuel was unloaded at the Nerpa shipyard. A total of 620 spent-fuel bundles were extracted and unloaded.

Lepse was regarded as the most dangerous nuclear vessel in the north and the Norwegian environmental NGO Bellona began the work of securing the spent nuclear fuel onboard the vessel in 1994.

……….. The project to dismantle and dispose of the Lepse Floating Maintenance Base is multilaterally implemented.

In 1996, the project was included in the EU’s TACIS program (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), which involved the allocation of funds for the inspection of the state of spent nuclear fuel.

Since 2008, the project has been carried out in the framework of a Grant Agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Rosatom, and JSC NFC Logistics Centre (the project’s customer and coordinator).

The EBRD has provided 54 million euros from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Fund (NDEP). https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/after-27-years-lepse-no-longer-poses-nuclear-threat-arctic

June 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, politics international, Russia, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Ice sheets melting, ocean currents, and the risk of climate tipping points

Ice sheets and ocean currents at risk of climate tipping points can
destabilise each other as the world heats up, leading to a domino effect
with severe consequences for humanity, according to a risk analysis.


Tipping points occur when global heating pushes temperatures beyond a
critical threshold, leading to accelerated and irreversible impacts. Some
large ice sheets in Antarctica are thought to already have passed their
tipping points, meaning large sea-level rises in coming centuries.

The new research examined the interactions between ice sheets in West Antarctica,
Greenland, the warm Atlantic Gulf Stream and the Amazon rainforest. The
scientists carried out 3m computer simulations and found domino effects in
a third of them, even when temperature rises were below 2C, the upper limit
of the Paris agreement.

Yhe study showed that the interactions between
these climate systems can lower the critical temperature thresholds at
which each tipping point is passed. It found that ice sheets are potential
starting points for tipping cascades, with the Atlantic currents acting as
a transmitter and eventually affecting the Amazon.

 Guardian 3rd June 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/03/climate-tipping-points-could-topple-like-dominoes-warn-scientists

June 5, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Australian-Chinese company Greenland Minerals to be thwarted in its bid for uranium and rare earth mining in Greenland.

Telegraph 17th April 2021, Overlooking the small fishing town of Narsaq, next to painted houses and slow-moving icebergs, lies one the last great untapped deposits of rare earth materials. About a quarter of the world’s rare earth minerals are thought to be found here, deep in the southern fjords of Greenland, providing key ingredients needed to build everything from wind turbines or electric vehicles. These deposits are crucial to Britain’s dream of developing the technologies required to become a green economy while reducing our rare-earth reliance on China.

But one man could be about to scupper the UK’s plans. Múte Bourup Egede, the 34-year-old leader of the Left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party, won a snap election in Greenland lastweek. At the heart of his election campaign was a pledge to halt the Kvanefjeld project by Greenland Minerals, an Australian company with Chinese ownership.

But for Greenlanders, strategic relevance was eclipsed by concerns surrounding the mine’s uranium contents. The territory’s anxieties around radioactive materials can be traced back to the 1968 Thule plane crash, when a US plane carrying nuclear bombs crashed into the sea ice in Greenland’s north. Even though the nuclear material did not
detonate, as part of clean up efforts the US Air Force collected 1.6m gallons of contaminated snow.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/04/17/battle-rare-earth-minerals-turns-radioactive/

April 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, AUSTRALIA, politics, Uranium | Leave a comment

Opposition to uranium and rare earths mining – party wins Greenland election

Left-wing party opposed to rare earth mining project wins Greenland election,  A left-wing environmentalist party opposed to a controversial mining project won a clear victory in Greenland’s parliamentary election, according to results released Wednesday. https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210407-left-wing-party-opposed-to-rare-earth-mining-project-wins-greenland-election 7 Apr 21,

With 36.6 percent of the vote, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) was ahead of Siumut, a social democratic party that has dominated politics in the Danish territory since it gained autonomy in 1979.

“Thank you to the people who trusted us to work with the people in the centre for the next four years,” IA leader Mute Egede said on KNR public television after the results were announced.

IA, which was previously in opposition, is expected to grab 12 out of the 31 seats in the Inatsisartut, the local parliament, up from eight currently.

But without an absolute majority, the most likely scenario is that IA joins forces with smaller parties to form a coalition.   Siumut, which headed the outgoing government, was partly weakened by internal struggles. It gained 29.4 percent of the vote, still two percentage points higher than its results in the 2018 election.

The dividing line between the two parties was whether to authorise a controversial giant rare earth and uranium mining project, which is currently the subject of public hearings.

The Kuannersuit deposit, in the island’s south, is considered one of the world’s richest in uranium and rare earth minerals — a group of 17 metals used as components in everything from smartphones to electric cars and weapons.

IA has called for a moratorium on uranium mining, which would effectively put a halt to the project.

Divisions over Kuannersuit originally triggered the snap election in the territory after one of the smaller parties left the ruling Siumut coalition.

Opponents say the project, led by the Chinese-owned Australian group Greenland Minerals, has too many environmental risks, including radioactive waste.

Egede told KNR he would immediately start discussions to “explore different forms of cooperation” before forming a coalition government.

The 34-year-old, who has been a member of the Inatsisartut since 2015, took over the reins of the left-green party a little over two years ago.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Putin amassing, testing, huge military arsenal in the Arctic

Daily Mail 5th April 2021, Satellite images appearing to show Russia beefing up its military presence
in the Arctic have emerged just days after three of Moscow’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines smashed through the polar region in a show of strength. The images show the Russian military has been rebuilding and expanding numerous facilities across the Arctic in recent years.

From
revamping runways to deploying additional surveillance and air defence assets, the satellite images reveal a continuous effort to expand Moscow’s capabilities in the polar region.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9436661/Satellite-images-Putin-amassing-testing-huge-military-arsenal-Arctic.html?ito=email_share_article-top

April 8, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia planning to dispose of highly dangerous nuclear reactor cores of submarine at bottom of Kara Sea

March 22, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment