Arctic

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US judge opposes to Arctic and Atlantic oil and gas leasing

A federal judge in Alaska has overturned US President Donald Trump’s attempt to open vast areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas leasing, noting that this attempt was ‘unlawful’ and ‘a violation of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act’.

Hong Kong proposes new regulation on seafarer training for ships in polar waters

The Government of Hong Kong proposed to make a new regulation under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance to include the latest seafarers’ training requirements as described in the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters of the International Maritime Organization into local legislation. Hong Kong has also proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation.

How STM helps ships navigate through ice

When sailing in the Gulf of Bothnia, which is full of ice, many additional concerns compared to sailing in a plain liquid sea will occur. The thickness of the ice affects the speed and the fuel consumption of the vessel, while there is always the risk of getting stuck. Sea Traffic Management, through the Winter Navigation Service, aims to give a solution to this problems and help ships navigate safely.

Russia permits 28 foreign ships to transport LNG via NSR

The Russian cabinet gave permission to 28 foreign-flagged vessels to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas condensate via the Northern Sea Route, which runs along the Russian Arctic coast, according to the Russian government.

IMO’s Sub-Committee agrees on Polar life-saving appliances guidelines

In light of the Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 6) meeting conducted by IMO’s Sub-Committee on 4-8 March 2019, the participants agreed to draft interim guidelines on life-saving appliances and arrangements for ships operating in polar waters, to ensure they meet the needs for survival in the harsh and specific conditions in Polar waters.

Banning HFO from Arctic gets closer

IMO has been pushed to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) for use and carriage as a fuel in the Arctic. However, on the one hand some want the ban to take place as soon as possible. On the other hand, many are those that support the idea of not banning HFO before knowing the result of an assessment of the impacts, regarding both the environment and the economy of Arctic indigenous and local communities and industries.

KfW IPEX-Bank to finance Royal Arctic Line transport vessels

KfW IPEX-Bank will be providing EUR 16.43 million to Royal Arctic Line to finance two more transport vessels. In November 2018, KfW IPEX-Bank agreed a pre- and post-delivery financing for two similar vessels for the Greenland shipping company, which are currently being built at the Zamakona shipyard in Spain. With delivery planned at the end of 2020 and 2021 respectively, the newbuild transport vessels will replace older ships in the Royal Arctic Line fleet.

US’s only heavy icebreaker returns from Antarctic

The crew of US’s only heavy icebreaker, Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, returned to Seattle on Monday, March 11, after supporting Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, the US military operation to resupply the US Antarctic Program. The crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star experienced flooding, an electrical outage, electrical switchboard issues and an incinerator fire, before accomplishing their mission.

Better observational technique needed to understand the Arctic

A white paper published by the EU-PolarNet touches upon some of the most pressing issues that the Polar Regions face nowadays. There regions are the fastest warming areas on Earth and their natural physical processes impact climate conditions and affect lives and livelihoods across the world. If these processes are changed due to global warming, they could lead to changes across the planet with unknown impacts.

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