"As a member of the U.S. delegation, I’ve had a back-row seat on four years of talks leading to the culmination of this landmark accord. When I left the conference room where delegates had just politely applauded and shaken hands last December, I wondered what the next steps would be to translate this miracle into reality."
Via U.S. News
"Scientists say what's happening is unprecedented, part of a global warming-driven vicious cycle that is likely playing a role in the roughing up of Europe and the U.S. Northeast with strong, icy storms."
"Although it is shrouded in the darkness of a 24-hour polar night, temperatures in the Arctic have soared well above freezing this week, marking the hottest temperatures recorded in the region during winter, according to scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute."
"Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat, the Native group organized to provide a unified representation and leadership of Arctic Native interests to state and federal policymaking efforts, has raised objection to the inclusion of critical subsistence whaling waters in a recently proposed gas lease draft for the Outer Continental Shelf"
Via Science Nordic
"But while we humans react slowly to the problem at hand, evidence suggests that animals are on the move- on land, sea, and in the air. And in the cold Arctic, invasive species are drawn to regions where they could not previously have survived."
"When it came to the 100 or so Alaskans who showed up to the meeting, there were no surprises. Outside, a group of protesters gathered, waving signs and chanting about the potential environmental consequences of offshore drilling. Inside, a pro-industry group had rented a room by the meeting to hold their own mini-rally, during which speakers extolled the economic promise of oil development off Alaska’s shorelines."
"The recent international agreement to prevent unregulated fishing in the international waters of the Arctic Ocean is based, in part, on the fact that we know next to nothing about the fishes that live there. We don’t know how many there are, we don’t know much about their life cycle, we don’t know how they use different habitats. We certainly don’t know how all that will change as sea ice continues to retreat and the waters continue to warm."
Via The Guardian
"Bermuda-based firm Teekay is investing in six ships to serve the Yamal LNG project in northern Russia. A similarly designed vessel owned by Sovcomflot made the same passage last August. This small and growing Arctic-ready fleet can operate independently of icebreaker escorts, which are also in high demand."
Via BBC News
"Norwegian fishermen are worried that their fish stocks may lose their reputation for being untouched by pollution. Most of the large plastic waste there comes from discarded fishing gear. And boat owners admit it will take hundreds of years to overcome a few reckless decades of using the sea as a dump."