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US Government Halts New Offshore Arctic Drilling

Government blames sinking oil prices and Shell's lack of success in the Arctic Ocean

(Newser) - In bad news for the Alaskan economy but good news for polar bears, the US government blocked new offshore drilling in Alaska's Arctic Ocean and refused to extend two existing leases for Arctic drilling on Friday, the New York Times reports. The Interior Department cancelled auctions for drilling rights... More »

To Catch Russia in Arctic, Obama Wants Icebreakers

In Alaska, president will underscore exploration opportunities we're missing

(Newser) - President Obama yesterday painted a nearly apocalyptic future for Alaska unless global warming is reined in, reports the AP , and today he's going to touch on the flip side of that: The melting Arctic also raises all kinds of exploration and commerce opportunities, and Obama will push for more... More »

Obama: Go Ahead, Shell, Drill Deeper for That Arctic Oil

Environmentalists lambast decision, saying it will 'worsen climate disruption'

(Newser) - President Obama has disappointed a slew of environmental activists by giving Shell the green light yesterday to drill deeper in the Arctic for oil, Quartz reports. The approval issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement expands the oil company's current permissions, allowing it to drill even further... More »

Russia Has Just Claimed a Chunk of the Arctic

Including the North Pole

(Newser) - Russia, the US, Canada, Denmark, and Norway all want to grab a part of the Arctic, and Russia in 2001 became the first to submit its claim to the UN—a claim that was sent back due to lack of evidence. The country now says it has that evidence, reports... More »

Greenpeace Being Fined $2,500 an Hour for This

13 protesters are dangling from an Oregon bridge to stop a ship

(Newser) - Greenpeace is trying to prevent a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving Oregon to go drill for oil in the Arctic in a most unusual—and, it now seems, expensive—way. The protesters have since yesterday been dangling from St. Johns Bridge over the Willamette River using ropes and pulleys.... More »

Stranded Explorers Became More Than Cannibals

Scientists finally learn the lengths British shipmen went to survive

(Newser) - Call it cannibalism-plus. Scientists have learned that a group of British Navy shipmen stranded in the Canadian Arctic in the mid-1840s didn't just cut the flesh off their fellow crewmen's bones to survive, they also cracked those bones to suck out the marrow. Reporting in the International Journal ... More »

We May Never See Another 'True' Trek to the North Pole

Climate change, logistics may do in human-powered 90N travel

(Newser) - The good news: There are hearty adventurers in this world wiling to endure the multimonth trek to the North Pole across nearly 500 miles of frozen tundra while pulling a 300-pound sled in the name of exploration. The bad news: None of them may ever get the chance to do... More »

Researchers Studying Arctic Ice Feared Drowned

Two Dutch scientists encountered thin ice in an unexpected area

(Newser) - Two Dutch researchers are presumed to be drowned while exploring an area of the Arctic where they expected to find thick ice. Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo were last heard from on Tuesday, when Cornelissen left a jokey voicemail about how it was so warm near Bathurst Island that... More »

Denmark: North Pole Is Ours

Country is latest to claim portion of Arctic Circle

(Newser) - The latest country to make a claim for the North Pole: Denmark. Back in 2007 , Danish scientists surveyed a 1,240-mile-long underwater mountain range beneath the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia, and by 2012 they concluded that Greenland's continental shelf is connected to the ridge, the AP reports. As... More »

Russia Restoring Abandoned Arctic Base

Sends ships to New Siberian Islands amid international push for resources

(Newser) - Russia left an Arctic base behind in 1993, but with countries increasingly eyeing local natural resources, it's headed back. Russia has sent an anti-submarine ship, a pair of amphibious vessels, and a tanker, among other vessels, to the New Siberian Islands, the BBC reports. "The main aim" of... More »

1st Arctic Dwellers Lived There for 4K Years

The Dorsets never mixed DNA with other peoples, study says

(Newser) - An ancient people lived in the Arctic a thousand years ago, leaving behind few clues to explain their heritage or sudden disappearance. Now a new DNA study sheds light on the so-called Dorset people, saying they migrated from Asia around 3000 BC and became the first settlers in the North... More »

Canadians Set Out to Claim Arctic Territory

But territory could belong to Russia or Denmark

(Newser) - How far would you go to claim what’s yours? Well, this weekend Canada sent two ice-breakers to the North Pole to claim oil and natural gas-filled territory that could belong to two other countries. The Canadian government released a statement Friday saying the goal of the exploration is two-fold:... More »

Last Stable Part of Greenland Ice Sheet No Longer Stable

It's losing 10B tons of ice every year

(Newser) - A startling change uncovered in the world's second-largest ice sheet means rising sea levels are set to accelerate, researchers warn. A new study finds that the northeast Greenland ice sheet, once thought to be the only remaining stable part of the ice sheet, has been shedding a staggering 10... More »

Hating Winter? Blame the Weaker Jet Stream

And climate change may be the cause, says Rutgers scientist

(Newser) - A change in the world's so-called jet stream may be causing our incredibly bitter winter, with a little help from climate change. Professor Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University gave a talk in Chicago yesterday saying that the jet stream—a high-speed air current in northern latitudes—has been weakening... More »

Russia Tossing Charges Against Greenpeace Activists

They could be home for New Year: rep

(Newser) - Yesterday, Pussy Riot members left prison under Russia's new amnesty measure ; today, the country's charges against at least some Greenpeace activists are being dropped. RT reports that at least three of 30 crew members from the organization's Arctic Sunrise ship have seen charges dropped; the same will... More »

Researcher's 1959 Note Found in Remote Arctic

Request from message in a bottle finally carried out

(Newser) - It's not your usual message-in-a-bottle story, but maybe more fascinating for just that reason. Two researchers in the remote Canadian Arctic found the bottle tucked into a mound of rocks on Ward Hunt Island, reports Popular Science . The note inside had a simple request: Measure the distance from the... More »

Putin's 2014 Goal: Station Lots of Military in Arctic

BBC terms it 'one of his most direct orders yet' regarding the region

(Newser) - Canada is planning to claim the North Pole as part of its territory, and Russia has something to say about that: Oh, heck no. President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to boost its presence in the Arctic, and though he's discussed the idea before, the BBC calls... More »

Canada to Claim North Pole

Move sets up clash with Russia, Denmark

(Newser) - Santa better be a hockey fan—Canada is gearing up to claim the North Pole, along with a vast surrounding area of the Arctic, according to the Globe and Mail . The country is due to submit a territorial claim to the UN this week and sources say Prime Minister Stephen... More »

Arctic Hasn't Been This Warm in 44K Years

Maybe even far longer, according to new study

(Newser) - The Arctic's current warming trend is the worst it's experienced in at least 44,000 years—and possibly even longer—a new study has concluded. Scientists examining vegetation in the Canadian Arctic found recently-exposed moss that, based on radiocarbon dating, was between 44,000 and 51,000 years... More »

Russia Hits Greenpeace Activists With Piracy Charges

Could face 15 years in jail; more activists to be charged

(Newser) - Greenpeace said today that five of its activists who were detained after protesting at a Russian oil platform have been charged with piracy and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. The environmental group said in a statement that activists from Brazil, Britain, Finland, and Sweden... More »

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