Alaska & Arctic Issues
Welcome to the Arctic & Alaska Section of the ADC Website
The Arctic and Alaska have been warming over the last several years. The melting of the glaciers is taking place at an alarming rate. (It appears that this warming trend is hitting not only Alaska and the Arctic but other areas where frozen oceans and land areas have prevented the exploitation of natural gas, oil, and other natural resources by various countries and private oil corporations, like Shell Oil.)
Recent Research by the ADC has led to some interesting findings with regard to both Alaska and the Arctic areas. It appears that many government agencies and leaders in the United States have discussed how the natural resources of these areas could be exploited if these areas were artificially warmed.
Missing in all recent discussions of climate change and global warming are the impacts of aviation induced water vapor (a highly potent greenhouse gas), into the atmosphere through jet engine combustion. New NASA and university studies, some of which are presented below, show that aviation has a huge warming impact on all parts of the Earth most prominently having a negative impact in the Alaska and Arctic areas by artificially warming these areas.
This has led to many countries staking out claims to these warming areas in Alaska and the Arctic. Oil and gas companies are applying for permits to drill in these areas (the U.S. has already given Shell Oil permits to drill and in 2012, have approved questionable oil spill mitigation measures). Many countries are competing with each other for the monetary prize, military advantage, and other benefits from the warming of these areas.
The ADC has worked to document these various interests, the financial rewards of exploiting these areas, the ecological hazards, military advantages, advantages to shipping commerce, and other interests.
We hear the climate change/global warming manta all the time with crisis warnings day-in and day-out without closely examining the water vapor/aviation impact issues. These dire warnings are designed to drive the impetus for a new carbon tax and for a multitude of climate remediation or geoengineering schemes to be implemented which could make the situation much worse.
More information Available in the ADC Categories Section: http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/content/categories
Instead of working with Boeing and other corporations, along with the military to reduce the amount of water vapor and toxic emissions produced by rockets and jet engines, a major source of warming over these cold areas, geoengineers like David Keith and Ken Caldeira, are working to add additional water vapor into the atmosphere to produce aluminum oxide or sulfur particles in the atmosphere. (This process happens when the water vapor is mixed with various gases like aluminum oxide gas.)
Some areas in the world are turning colder or freezing while those areas where there are natural resources to be tapped for $Billions in profits are warming. Jets producing excessive water vapor could be used to continually warm these area...and we may be seeing their impact on an almost daily basis as they criss-cross our skies releasing excessive water vapor and producing man-made clouds.
The information presented below and videos is for your own research into this topic. It should be noted that many studies are showing that aviation and rockets emissions are having an enormous impact on the Earth's Atmosphere along with the water vapor (a powerful greenhouse gas), that they produce.
Alaska & Arctic Issues
82A 2007 Arctic Melt Ocean Summer Sea Ice Graphic NYTimes October 2, 2006-See Entire Article.pdf
82A 2007 Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts NYTimes October 2, 2007.pdf
82A 2008 Arctic Becomes Island Area Telegraph UK News August 31, 2008.pdf
82A 2009 Arctic Experts Confirm Open Water Circling Arctic NYTimes Revkin September 6, 2009.pdf
82A 2010 Arctic Report Card Update for Greenland Summary October 19, 2010.pdf
82A 2010 NOAA Arctic Report Card 2010 Update Sea Ice Cover summary October 15, 2010.pdf
82A 2011 Arctic Also Sees Heat Wave-On Course for Record Ice Melt July 20, 2011 MSNBC News.pdf
Arctic & Greenland Issues
82B 2007 Arctic Circle Oil Rush-Melting Icecaps are Giving Way to Oil-Rich Waters August 8, 2007 CNN Money News.pdf
82B 2007 Arctic Circle Oil Rush-Melting Icecaps Hot Zone 2007 CNN Money+Graphic August 8, 2007.pdf
82B 2008 Arctic USGS Report The Arctic May Hold 90 Billion Barrels of Undiscovered Oil+Gas Next-to-Energy News July 24, 2008.pdf
82B 2011 Alaska Arctic Villiage is Torn by Plan for Oil Drilling NYTimes October 25, 2011.pdf
82B 2011 Alaska Drilling by Shell Oil Should be Stopped North Slope-Alaska-Obama ADM Supports Drilling AUG 17, 2011 NYTimes.pdf
82B 2011 How Much Oil is in Alaska-No One Knows-Would it Go to United States MSNBC News http___www.msnbc.msn.pdf
Natural Gas, Natural Resources & Oil Drilling
Frontline 2012: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/alaska-gold/
Frontline - Behind the Insatiable Global Demand for Copper Alaska Issues - 2012:
82C 2010 Arctic 2010 Betting on Change - the Melting Arctic April 26, 2010 Need to Know PBS Interesting Video+Article.pdf
82C 2011 Alaska North Slope Shell Oil Received Preliminary Permits to Drill Offshore Oil Wells NYTimes October 25, 2011.pdf
82C 2011 Arctic Oil Drilling+Shale Oil+Gas Drilling Headline News June 22, 2011 Reuters News U.S. House Speeds Up Permitting Process.pdf
82D 2007 Arctic-The Hot Zone August 8, 2007 CNN Money+Graphic Oil Rich Waters Around Arctic Circle-Heating UP for Grabs.pdf
82D 2008 Canada BBC News July 30, 2008 Canadian Arctic Sheds Ice Chunk-Melt.pdf
82D 2008 Canada Widening Arctic Patrols-Melting August 27, 2008 Government Pollution.pdf
82D 2009 Canada Unveils Arctic Strategy July 26, 2009 CBCNews Canada-Russia+Denmark.pdf
82D 2011 Arctic Oil+Gas Policy Recommendations-Reforming Canada's Approach to Regulating Offshore Projects SEPT 2011 PEW Report.pdf
82D 2011 Canada Becoming Arctic Ready PEW Report+News Article September 9, 2011.pdf
82D 2011 Canada+U.S. Trend Toward Deeper Offshore Oil+Gas Lease Blocks in Canadian Beaufort SEat 1986-2011 PEW Report SEPT 2011.pdf
82D 2011 Canadian Oil and Gas Reference Map From PEW Report September 2011.pdf
82DZ 2010 Canada Open Arctic to Nato - Plans Massive Weapons Buildup-Check out Natural Resources August 29, 2010 BLNews.pdf
EPA & U.S. Department of the Interior
82E 2010 EPA Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski Press Release-Shell's Planned Oil Exploration of the Chukchi Sea January 7, 2010.pdf
82E 2011 Alaska Arctic-U.S. Interior Department Closer to Approving Shell Oil Permit to Drill in Arctic off Alaska-Oil NYTimes OCT 20, 2011.pdf
82E 2011 Arctic-EPA Approval of Shell Oil Pollution in the Arctic Ocean Challenged-Offshore Oil Drilling October 24, 2011 EarthJustice News.pdf
82EZ 2011 Arctic-Stop Shell's Arctic Drilling Plans-Warming in Arctic+Extract Natural Resources Will Increase July 7, 2011 Greenpeace Alert.pdf
82EZ 2011 EPA Air Pollution Loophole Challenge by EarthJustice Website November 25, 2011.pdf
NOAA "TAKE" Permits & Maps (Impacts on Marine Mammals)
82F 2007 Alaska Shell Offshore Inc September 10, 2007 Letter to NOAA Marine Mammal Take Request to NOAA.pdf
82F 2007 Conoco Philliips Alaska Inc. U.S. Federal Register NOAA Take January 5, 2007 Notice - Taking of Marine Mammals.pdf
82F 2010 NOAA Arctic Update-Tracking Recent Enviromental Changes-U.S. Navy+U.S. Coast Guard October 15, 2010.pdf
82F 2011 Arctic-NOAA Swamped With Requests for Arctic Weather+Information June 21, 2011 Anchorage Daily News.pdf
82F 2011 Arctic-NSIDC National Snow+Ice Data Center-Sea Ice Website October 28, 2011.pdf
82F 2011 NOAA Arctic-Cold Continents-Atmosphere Summary March 7, 2011.pdf
82F 2011 NOAA Incidental Take Authorizations-Alaska NOAA Website July 7, 2011 Note U.S. Navy Issues.pdf
82F 2011 NOAA National Ice Center Website November 24, 2011 http___www.natice.noaa U.S. Navy+U.S. Coast Guard.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA Afghanistan Snow+Ice Chart MAP Tuesday, November 22, 2011.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA Asia+Europe Snow+Ice Chart MAP Tuesday, November 22, 2011.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA IMS Sea Ice Chart November 22, 2011 Website.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA IMS Total Ice Chart November 22, 2011 Website Graph.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA Northern Hemisphere Snow+Ice Chart MAP Tuesday, November 22, 2011.pdf
82FN 2011 NOAA United States Snow+Ice Chart MAP Tuesday, November 22, 2011.pdf
82G 1998 U.S. Army Addendum NGIC-1147-101-1998 Study Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons Letter DEC 13, 2006 .pdf
82G 2000 Arctic Ozone Damage Likely by 2020 According to British Scientists BBC News October 26, 2000.pdf
82G 2006 Arctic Haze-Current Trends+Knowledge Gaps October 2006 Abstract.pdf
82G 2006 ENN News NASA Ozone Pollution Spurs Arctic Warming March 15, 2006.pdf
82G 2009 Changes in Earth Ozone Layer Predicted to Increase UV Radiation in Tropics+Antarctica SDNews SEPT 16, 2009.pdf
82G 2011 Arctic-Unprecedented Level of Ozone Loss IGSD Report October 5, 2011 No Mention of Aviation Impacts.pdf
H.A.A.R.P. & H.I.P.P.A.S. Programs in Alaska
(High Altitude Auroral Research Program - Note Use of Natural Gas in Alaska)
82H 1975 HAARP U.S. Naval Research Lab Abstract 1975 Ionosphere Symposium.pdf
82H 1976 Alaska Science Forum Barium March 3, 1976 Atompsheric Releases of Barium Gases and Trimethylaluminate TMA.pdf
82H 1993 HAARP U.S. Naval Research Lab Electromagnetic Interference Study July 19, 1993.pdf
82H 2006 U.S. Navy NRl Sensors Measure Airglow in the Upper Atmosphere November 6, 2006 Could this be Linked to H.A.A.R.P.pdf
82H 2010 Alaska HAARP U.S. Navy Military Scientists Study Ionosphere February 26, 2010 Navy + Air Force.pdf
82H 2011 Arctic Intercomparison-Cloud Simulations of Arctic Mixed-Phase Boundary Clouds During Study FEB 4, 2011 66-606-1-PB.pdf
Historical & Current Information on Aviation Impacts on Alaska & the Arctic
The Negative Impacts of Aviation on the Global Atmosphere & the Aviation Impacts on Alaska & the Arctic Regions
82J 2000 Alaska Influence of Aviation Traffic on High Level Cloudiness Report November 17, 2000.pdf
82J 2000 Aviation-Environment Aviation Effects on Global Atmosphere-Potentially Significant-Expected to Grow Abstract FEB 2000.pdf
82J 2005 U.S. Navy NRL Study Finds Space Shuttle Exhaust is Source of Mysterious Clouds in Antarctica July 6, 2005.pdf
82J 2009 NASA Jet Aircraft Emissions Contribute to Global Warming-20% in Arctic DEC 21, 2009 Nature News Stanford Study.pdf
82J 2009 NASA Research-Aerosols May Drive A Significant Portion of Arctic Warming April 9, 2009 SDNews.pdf
82J 2011 ACS Study Air Traffic Poised to Become Major Factor in Warming-Water Vapor+Emissions May 31, 2010 SDNews.pdf
82J 2011 Examining Aircraft Measurements for Connections of Precipitation to Aerosol Particles Abstract Canada April 3, 2011.pdf
Climate Change (Note the Increasing Number of Worldwide Weather Modification Programs)
82K 2008 Alaska Glacier Growing October 16, 2008 DailyTech-Asher.pdf
82K 2010 Arctic UN Report Urges Action to Save Arctic Biodiversity News Release October 27, 2010.pdf
82K 2011 Arctic Also Sees Heat Wave on course for Record Ice Melt-Interactives MSNBC News July 22, 2011 http___www.msnbc.msn.pdf
82K 2011 Arctic Chill Descended on Europe+U.S. = Warm Winters in Canada-Greenland January 24, 2011 NYTimes.pdf
82K 2011 NOAA Alaska Snow+Ice Chart MAP Tuesday, November 22, 2011.pdf
82K Arctic Chill Descended on Europe+U.S. = Warm Winters in Canada-Greenland January 24, 2011 NYTimes.pdf
Laws - Lawsuits - Regulations - Legislation
82L 2009 Arctic U.S. Interests 2009 Report Law of the Sea.pdf
82L 2010 Arctic UNEP Protecting Arctic Biodiversity-Limitations+Strengths of Environmental Agreements Report.pdf
82L 2010 Legal Battle for the Arctic Heats Up August 20, 2010 CBC News Canada-Many Countries Staking Claims.pdf
82L 2011 Proposed Oil Drilling off Alaska Coast Prompts Environmental Impact Studies Washington Post August 22, 2011.pdf
82L 2011 Prosecutors Seek to Revoke BP Alaska Probation November 16, 2011 San Luis Obispo Tribune News.pdf
Items in the News
82N 2011 Orange Goo Baffles Remote Alaska Village APNews August 6, 2011.pdf
Alaska & The Arctic - Foreign Countries
82Q 2009 North Pole May Belong to Denmark-Early Mapping Data Suggests Scientists March 12, 2009 CBCNews Canada.pdf
82Q 2011 Arctic-Russia to Deploy Thousands of Troops to Protect their National Interests in Arctic MailOnline July 1, 2011.pdf
82Q 2011 Denmark Prepare to Claim North Pole-Tug-of-War With Canada+Russia+U.S. Globe News May 18, 2011.pdf
82Q 2011 Many Nations+U.S. Race to Carve Up Natural Resources in Arctic as Warming Melts Ice BBC News May 12, 2011.pdf
82Q 2011 Nations Race to Carve Up Melting Arctic-West Coast Greenland-Oil+Other Natural Resources Warming Prize May 12, 2011 NYTimes.pdf
82Q 2011 United States+Other Countries to Carve Up Melting Arctic for Natural Resources May 12, 2011 news.bbc.co.pdf
82QZ 2010 Canada Open Arctic to Nato - Plans Massive Weapons Buildup-Check out Natural Resources August 29, 2010 BLNews.pdf
Oil Spills & Other Disasters in Alaska, the Arctic & Other Regions
82S 2008 Alaska-Arctic Independent August 31, 2008 North Pole Circumnaviagted-Warming Benefits Military+Natural Gas & Oil Extractions.pdf
82S 2008 Arctic Warmng NYTimes September 7, 2008 Shipping Routes Open Warming Alaska+Arctic to Navy Advantage.pdf
82S 2008 Experts Confirm Open Water circling Arctic September 6, 2008 NYTimes.pdf
82S 2009 Arctic-Commercial Passage Nearing Goal September 4, 2009 NYTimes Revkin.pdf
82S 2011 Arctic Northest Passage Russia-Putin Key Shipping Route+Modernise Arctic Infrastructure September 23, 2011 AFPNews.pdf
82S 2011 Arctic Warming Revives Dream of Sea Route in Russian Arctic NYTimes October 17, 2011 Entire Article-Exxon Mobil Deal.pdf
82S 2011 Arctic Warming Revives Dream of Sea Route in Russian Arctic NYTimes October 17, 2011 Page 1.pdf
Tundra - Wildlife - Trees - Plants
82T 2010 Arctic Tundra is Being Lost as Far North Warms January 11, 2010 by Sherwonit Environment 360.pdf
U.S. Navy Circumnaviation - Commercial Shipping & Foreign Military & Commercial Interests
82V 2009 Navy NOAA Completed Marine Mammal Survey of Navy Gulf of Alaska Training Area May 11, 2009.pdf
450WV 2008 NOAA Final Listing of Weather Modification Programs Spreadsheet 08WXMOD5.pdf
450WV 2009 NOAA Final Listing of Weather Modification Programs Spreadsheet 09WXMOD5.pdf
450WV 2010 NOAA Final Listing of Weather Modification Programs Spreadsheet 10WXMOD5.pdf
450WV 2011 NOAA Interim Listing of Weather Modification Programs Spreadsheet 11WXMOD5 as of July 7, 2011.pdf
For Additional Information Please Visit the Weather Modification Section of this Website: http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=weather-modifications
MMMAP of U.S. & Foreign Countries - Weather Modification Programs:
U.S. Government Positions & U.S. Navy Interests
82X 2009 Navy Alaska Training Activities+Take Request for Letter of Authorization from NOAA March 3, 2009 Report.pdf
82X 2009 POSTER NAVY VS NATURE POSTCARD.pdf
82X 2009 U.S. Navy NRL Rocket Experiment CARE II Planned - No Date Given - Using Aluminum Oxide Press Releases November 9, 2009.pdf
82X 2011 Arctic Warming Foreign+U.S. Interests to Carve Up Arctic for Natural Resources BBC News May 12, 2011 Cables.pdf
82X 2011 President Obama Backs More Alaska Oil Drilling-Interior Secretary Salazar States McClatchy News August 9, 2011.pdf
82XZ 2010 Environmental Groups Decry obama Plan to Lift Moratorium on Offshore Oil Drilling April 1, 2010 Democracy Now Transcript.pdf
82XZ 2010 Oil Drilling-Obama Administration Democracy Now Transcript+Video April 1, 2010.pdf
82XZ 2011 Alaska Oil Drilling Questions-Permits+Other Issuse Mother Jones August 17, 2011 EPA Regulations-Questions.pdf
82Z 2009 Alaska Great Photography Bigwoofs 2009.pdf
82Z 2009 Jeremy Rifkin Exclusive Interview With EenVandaag March 7, 2009 Video.pdf
82Z 2011 A Global Warming Story You haven't Heard About Black Carbon-Soot from Aviation+Other Sources Earth Justice Website NOV 25, 2011.pdf
82Z 2011 Alaska Photograph NYTimes.pdf
82Z 2011 Arctic Ice Melt Model Study Blames Humans For Half of Melting AUG 15, 2011 McClatchy News.pdf
82Z 2011 Arctic Oil Drlling Shell Game - No Spill Plan-Just Drill Baby Drill - Shell Oil October 7, 2011 Website http___earthjustice.pdf
Geoengineering: Destroying The Atmosphere with Rosalind Peterson - Uploaded by TheAlexJonesChannel on Feb 25, 2012 - Global Geoengineering Governance: Currently the U.S. Government, our military, NASA (other U.S. agencies), any city, county, state, private individuals, corporations, foreign governments, and foreign corporations, can initiate any type of geoengineering or weather modification experiments without public knowledge, consent, government restrictions or public debate. (Water Vapor produced by Aviation is contributing to warming of area like Alaska & the Arctic according to recent university studies. NASA notes that jet contrails turning into man-made clouds exacerbates global warming since water vapor is a greenhouse gas.)
Lesley Stahl goes to the top of the world where the next battle over oil and mineral resources is shaping up as the region becomes more accessible due to climate change. (U.S. Navy & Russia now engaged in cold war tensions in this area of the world.)
The following is a script from “The Arctic Frontier” which aired on Oct. 2, 2016. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Rich Bonin and Ayesha Siddiqi, producers.
What actions should we take in Challenging the Arctic Drilling Permits?
"...We should be challenging Shell Oil’s plans as the most vulnerable part of their plan is spill response in Arctic conditions. Shell Oil, and other oil companies like BP, use the oil spill training response center in Cordova, Alaska as their “proof” that they know how to respond to an oil spill. The problem with that is the training center in Cordova does not allow for training under Arctic sea ice conditions or extreme temperatures.
The reason that oil is shipped from nearby Valdez is because that portion of Prince William Sound never freezes and has no pack ice or other problems found in other areas. The only ice they see is calved from glaciers. No one has a clue how to clean up an oil spill that has occurred under Arctic conditions.
Shell has placed a lot of equipment up there and it all looks good on paper. Shell Oil and other companies should be challenged on their inability to conduct any research and training under the conditions that are to be found in the Arctic before any drilling takes place in those colder regions.
It should be emphasized that Arctic pressure ridges in the ice often deflect ice down into the ocean floor to depths of fifty or more feet. What would happen if a pressure ridge were to deflect ice down to a well manifold and strip the manifold off? This could be an ugly disaster. And this issue is never addressed by Shell or other oil companies.
In addition testing of the injection of drilling/mud/cement into a well to cap it for future production is suspect at best. The materials that go into plugging a hole, cement/drill mud/binders/ all have far different behavioral characteristics under the extreme cold seen up north in the Arctic region. Thus, estimates on what would happen under Arctic conditions are at best a guess. These questions need to be answered through performing research in the Arctic rather than after an accident occurs..." CS & RP
News Item - April 16, 2012
Yahoo & AP News – April 16, 2012
As Ice Cap Melts, Militaries Vie for Arctic Edge
By ERIC TALMADGE | Associated Press – April 16, 2012
In this March 19, 2011 photo released by the U.S. Navy, crew members look out from the USS Connecticut, a Sea Wolf-class nuclear submarine, after it surfaced through ice in the Arctic Ocean. The U.S. and other countries are building up their military presence in the Arctic to help exploit its riches - and protect shifting borders. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Cmdr. Christy Hagen)
In this Monday, March 12, 2012 photo, a sentry patrols beside the USS Connecticut, a Sea Wolf-class nuclear attack submarine, during a port call at a U.S. naval base at Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan. The submarine took part in exercises at the North Pole in 2011 to improve the U.S. Navy's operations in the Arctic. To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
In this Monday, March 12, 2012 photo, Sonar Technician James Corriveau, of Boston, Mass., cleans the weapons shipping hatch on the USS Connecticut, a Sea Wolf-class nuclear attack submarine, during a port call at a U.S. naval base at Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan. The submarine took part in exercises at the North Pole in 2011 to improve the U.S. Navy's operations in the Arctic. To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
In this Monday, March 12, 2012 photo, Commander Ian Johnson stands in front of the USS Connecticut, a Sea Wolf-class nuclear submarine, during a port call at a U.S. naval base at Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan. The submarine took part in exercises at the North Pole in 2011 to improve the U.S. Navy's operations in the Arctic. To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
March 19, 2011 photo released by the U.S. Navy, crew members look out from the USS Connecticut, a Sea Wolf-class nuclear submarine, after it surfaced through ice in the Arctic Ocean. The U.S. and other countries are building up their military presence in the Arctic to help exploit its riches - and protect shifting borders. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Cmdr. Christy Hagen)
YOKOSUKA, Japan(AP) — To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate changeis long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.
By Arctic standards, the region is already buzzing with military activity, and experts believe that will increase significantly in the years ahead.
Last month, Norwaywrapped up one of the largest Arctic maneuvers ever — Exercise Cold Response — with 16,300 troops from 14 countries training on the ice for everything from high intensity warfare to terror threats. Attesting to the harsh conditions, five Norwegian troops were killed when their C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed near the summit of Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain.
The U.S., Canadaand Denmarkheld major exercises two months ago, and in an unprecedented move, the military chiefs of the eight main Arctic powers — Canada, the U.S., Russia, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland — gathered at a Canadian military base last week to specifically discuss regional security issues.
None of this means a shooting war is likely at the North Pole any time soon. But as the number of workers and ships increases in the High North to exploit oil and gas reserves, so will the need for policing, border patrols and — if push comes to shove — military muscle to enforce rival claims.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas is in the Arctic. Shipping lanes could be regularly open across the Arctic by 2030 as rising temperatures continue to melt the sea ice, according to a National Research Council analysis commissioned by the U.S. Navylast year.
What countries should do about climate change remains a heated political debate. But that has not stopped north-looking militaries from moving ahead with strategies that assume current trends will continue.
Russia, Canada and the United States have the biggest stakes in the Arctic. With its military budget stretched thin by Iraq, Afghanistan and more pressing issues elsewhere, the United States has been something of a reluctant northern power, though its nuclear-powered submarine fleet, which can navigate for months underwater and below the ice cap, remains second to none.
Russia — one-third of which lies within the Arctic Circle— has been the most aggressive in establishing itself as the emerging region's superpower.
Rob Huebert, an associate political science professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, said Russia has recovered enough from its economic troubles of the 1990s to significantly rebuild its Arctic military capabilities,which were a key to the overall Cold War strategy of the Soviet Union, and has increased its bomber patrols and submarine activity.
He said that has in turn led other Arctic countries — Norway, Denmark and Canada — to resume regional military exercises that they had abandoned or cut back on after the Soviet collapse. Even non-Arctic nations such as France have expressed interest in deploying their militaries to the Arctic.
"We have an entire ocean region that had previously been closed to the world now opening up," Huebert said. "There are numerous factors now coming together that are mutually reinforcing themselves, causing a buildup of military capabilities in the region. This is only going to increase as time goes on."
Noting that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, the U.S. Navy in 2009 announced a beefed-up Arctic Roadmap by its own task force on climate change that called for a three-stage strategy to increase readiness, build cooperative relations with Arctic nations and identify areas of potential conflict.
"We want to maintain our edge up there," said Cmdr. Ian Johnson, the captain of the USS Connecticut, which is one of the U.S. Navy's most Arctic-capable nuclear submarines and was deployed to the North Pole last year. "Our interest in the Arctic has never really waned. It remains very important."
But the U.S. remains ill-equipped for large-scale Arctic missions, according to a simulation conducted by the U.S. Naval War College. A summary released last month found the Navy is "inadequately prepared to conduct sustained maritime operations in the Arctic" because it lacks ships able to operate in or near Arctic ice, support facilities and adequate communications.
"The findings indicate the Navy is entering a new realm in the Arctic," said Walter Berbrick, a War College professor who participated in the simulation. "Instead of other nations relying on the U.S. Navy for capabilities and resources, sustained operations in the Arctic region will require the Navy to rely on other nations for capabilities and resources."
He added that although the U.S. nuclear submarine fleet is a major asset, the Navy has severe gaps elsewhere — it doesn't have any icebreakers, for example. The only one in operation belongs to the Coast Guard. The U.S. is currently mulling whether to add more icebreakers.
Acknowledging the need to keep apace in the Arctic, the United States is pouring funds into figuring out what climate change will bring, and has been working closely with the scientific community to calibrate its response.
"The Navy seems to be very on board regarding the reality of climate change and the especially large changes we are seeing in the Arctic," said Mark C. Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences University of Colorado. "There is already considerable collaboration between the Navy and civilian scientists and I see this collaboration growing in the future."
The most immediate challenge may not be war — both military and commercial assets are sparse enough to give all countries elbow room for a while — but whether militaries can respond to a disaster.
Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the London-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said militaries probably will have to rescue their own citizens in the Arctic before any confrontations arise there.
"Catastrophic events, like a cruise ship suddenly sinking or an environmental accident related to the region's oil and gas exploration, would have a profound impact in the Arctic," she said. "The risk is not militarization; it is the lack of capabilities while economic development and human activity dramatically increases that is the real risk." End
Democracy Now Video April 1, 2010
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New York Times-October 25, 2011 - Article + Video
"...With the Obama administration having lifted a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic and elsewhere, Shell Oil has received preliminary permits to drill exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska as soon as next summer...Yet Shell’s rigs would work in the same sea where people here have hunted migrating endangered bowhead whales for thousands of years and still do, trekking from this thin spit in the Chukchi Sea across the frozen ocean each spring and slipping into the water in sealskin boats, deliberately doing things traditionally even as they have embraced change in other ways..."
NOAA 2010 Report: Record high temperatures across Canadian Arctic and Greenland, a reduced summer sea ice cover, record snow cover decreases and links to some Northern Hemisphere weather support this conclusion.
January 12, 2011 on CNN: Ice Wars. Click on photo to start video.
C-SPAN2 Book: "Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores"
December 6, 2011 by Greg Palast - About the Program: Greg Palast presents his investigation of the BP oil spill and talks about the corruption he says permeates the oil industry, the financial sector, and government. This event, held at the Silver Spring Civic Building in Maryland, is hosted by WPFW (Pacifica Radio).
Huffington Post - April 16, 2012 - Arctic Climate Change Opening Region To New Military Activity
The New Modern Gold Rush for the Arctic - Video Huffington Post - New Sea Lanes
Oil & Natural Gas - Environmental Price & Fight over who owns these resources. International Business Times
BBC News - U.S. Exxon $500Billion deal Russian oil company to drill for oil in the Arctic also gives Russian state owned Oil Company access to a stake in oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. (BP deal failed)
Royal Dutch Shell Profits Rising (Video), has sent an oil rig to the Arctic Waters off Alaska - Wants to drill 6 exploration wells.
EPA has upheld the oil drilling permits after attempts by Environmental Groups to Stop Shell's oil drilling projects. Reuters 2012
See Reuters video on damage in Niger River due to oil spill deep sea at Royal Dutch Shell, huge fish kill, 13 villages affected by the oil spill from offshore oil drilling leaks. Oil spills are common in this region from offshore oil drilling. 2012.
Shell Oil Quote: "At Shell, we believe Alaska has significant untapped potential and will play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenge in the future. It holds great opportunity that comes with great responsibility..." May 27, 2012
Shell Website Video. http://www.shell.us/home/content/usa/aboutshell/projects_locations/alaska/
May 2, 2012 Shell Article: Shell Receives Final Incidental Harassment Authorizations 05/02/2012
On May 2, 2012, "NMFS awarded Shell final IHA’s for its planned 2012 exploration programs in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas". "...On May 2, 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) awarded Shell final Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHA’s) for its planned 2012 exploration programs in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas..."
New York Times - May 23, 2012 - "New and Frozen Frontier in Alaska Awaits Shell Offshore Oil Drilling"
Greenland’s Unfrozen Future - September 18, 2012 - By Shayla Harris and Andrew Testa - Greenland’s receding ice has exposed vast deposits of valuable minerals and new opportunities for an island in economic decline. Article: Race Is On as Ice Melt Reveals Arctic Treasures