Conference tries to strike environmental balance in Arctic

arctic frontiersThe Arctic Frontiers forum in Tromsø. (Photo: Alberto Grohovaz / Arctic Frontiers 2017)

TROMSØ, Norway ­­– Prime minsters and foreign ministers of Nordic countries are convening in this city to balance economic interests and environmental harm in the Arctic at talks that began Monday.

But Norwegian environmentalists are apprehensive that big money projects in the region frequently derail political statements of ecological good faith.

Climate change, melting ice and nearly monthly new record high temperatures are hardly the stuff of science fiction, but a daunting reality. The message of leaders of many countries bordering on the Arctic has been focused on balancing economic development with environmental priorities.

As Arctic Ice Melts and Humboldt Bayfront Land Sinks, Arcata Braces for Sea Level Rise

Paul Mann, Mad River Union

LEVEE PROTECTION: Humboldt Bay crept up the levees during a recent record high tide. The water behind this levee just east of the Mad River Slough is from rainfall. 


The latest data on climate change reinforce Arcata’s nascent drive to prepare for sea levels that one day will submerge its coastline.

NASA has new evidence of vital Arctic sea ice disappearing at historic rates, as North Pole air temperatures soar some months to 35 degrees above average. 


November 2016 was the second-warmest November in 136 years of modern recordkeeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 

And each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, dating to 1880.

Scientist wins royal award for work in Arctic

An Edinburgh scientist has won royal recognition for his pioneering glaciological work in the Arctic.

Pete Nienow, of Edinburgh University, received the Polar Medal, previously given to Sir Captain Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary.

The medal is approved by The Queen and is given to those who have undertaken expeditions in extreme hardship.

It is also given to explorers who make an important contribution to scientific knowledge of the Polar regions.

It was first awarded in 1904 as a reward to those who took part in Captain Scott's first expedition to Antarctica. 

Prof Nienow is a glaciologist specialising in how glaciers and ice sheets respond to climate change.