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September 3, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 2, 2010

Wikinews Shorts: September 2, 2010 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: September 2, 2010

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, September 2, 2010.

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Shorts: Abbas, Netanyahu to meet regularly[]

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have agreed to meet again in 10–11 days within the region, and every two weeks thereafter, according to U.S. Middle East diplomat George Mitchell. The two leaders are engaged in the first direct talks between the nations in more than two years, hosted by Israel’s ally the United States in Washington, DC.

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In brief: Fuel tanker aground in Northwest Passage[]

Friday, September 3, 2010

No oil is reported leaking from the Woodward’s Oil fuel tanker The Nanny aground in the Northwest Passage off the coast of Nunavut. The 110 metre (360 ft) tanker was carrying 9 million liters (2.4 million gallons) of diesel fuel to remote settlements in Canada’s Arctic regions when it grounded on a sandbar. Last week the cruise ship Clipper Adventurer struck an uncharted rock in the same region, trapping 110 tourists and crew aboard for the two days it took the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker to reach the ship. On August 27th another Woodward’s tanker, the Mokami, ran aground near Pangnirtung.

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Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2010/Fuel tanker aground in Northwest Passage

Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2010/Fuel tanker aground in Northwest Passage

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Friday, September 3, 2010

No oil is reported leaking from the Woodward’s Oil fuel tanker The Nanny aground in the Northwest Passage off the coast of Nunavut. The 110 metre (360 ft) tanker was carrying 9 million liters (2.4 million gallons) of diesel fuel to remote settlements in Canada’s Arctic regions when it grounded on a sandbar. Last week the cruise ship Clipper Adventurer struck an uncharted rock in the same region, trapping 110 tourists and crew aboard for the two days it took the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker to reach the ship. On August 27th another Woodward’s tanker, the Mokami, ran aground near Pangnirtung.

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January 25, 2010

Inuk hunter adrift on arctic ice floe

Inuk hunter adrift on arctic ice floe – Wikinews, the free news source

Inuk hunter adrift on arctic ice floe

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Stranded on a floe since it broke loose while he was snowmobiling across it on Friday, 39 year-old David Idlout is huddled in a tent dropped by rescue planes awaiting the arrival of a rescue helicopter that is scrambling from CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia, the closest rescue helicopter to Resolute, Nunavut.

While many places are experiencing cold temperatures, much of the Arctic has had an unusually mild winter. Too much so for professional hunter and hunting guide Idlout, who was out checking if conditions had improved after a cold snap. The breakaway floe is just more evidence conditions are still too warm, the ice too soft.

Idlout’s survival gear included a satellite phone, and he called his wife Tracy Kalluk as soon as he became aware the floe had broken free and was drifting into the Northwest Passage. She in turn contacted local authorities in the population 252 remote village, who got in touch with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, based in Trenton, Ontario

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre scrambled two Hercules aircraft which were able to drop gear to the stranded man on Friday. The floe has been moving into the water between Griffith and Cornwallis Islands, and is approximately 15 kilometres from Resolute Bay. The supplies included a tent, stove, and additional communications gear including a locator beacon.

Now well into his third night on the ice, Idlout’s rescue is expected within hours. An earlier attempt was delayed when the helicopter, after its long journey from its home base, experienced mechanical failures when trying to lift off from Resolute. Weather conditions are not helpful either, as Resolute remains under blizzard warning with poor visibility and 50 km winds. His wife is speaking with Idlout every two hours, and expects the helicopter to lift him off the ice early Monday local time.



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June 28, 2008

The North Pole may possibly be ice free by summer

The North Pole may possibly be ice free by summer

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

An azimuthal map of the North Pole

The National Snow and Ice Data Center based in Boulder, Colorado said that there will be a 50% chance that the already thin ice on the North Pole will melt away this September as a result of the on-going global warming.

The center’s senior researcher Mark Serreze said that in September of 2007, ice on the north pole retreated to record levels, opening the Northwest Passage for the first time in shipping history.

Serreze added that every year, ice in the North pole has been thinning year after year. The scenario where the pole will be ice free will depend on this year’s weather and climatic conditions.

The center observed that the last year’s weather conditions in the north were sufficient to clear the lanes of the Northwest passage and for this year, the situation will be depending on what the weather will be.

He also assured the public that the lack of ice in that region should not concern everyone since it won’t be bringing any immediate consequences. He said, “the North Pole is just another point in the globe, but it does have this symbolic meaning. There’s supposed to be ice at the North Pole. The fact that we may not have any by the end of this summer could be quite a symbolic change.”

The scenario of an ice-less Arctic has been seen as far back as five years ago but the rate of melting was not expected to happen in a matter of five years.

Serreze also corrected those saying that the melting of Arctic ice is just part of a “historic cycle.”

He adds that as far back as 30 years ago, their earliest climate models have suggested that the very first sign of an impact from global warming would have been the melting of Arctic ice.

Their studies also reveal that the ice could return given conditions wherein the planet will cool down.



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September 16, 2007

Arctic ice levels at record low opening Northwest Passage

Arctic ice levels at record low opening Northwest Passage

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

This animation is comprised of Envisat ASAR mosaics of the Arctic Ocean for 2005, 2006 and 2007 and highlights the changes in sea ice. The ice-free areas appear as dark gray and the sea ice areas as light gray.
Image: ESA.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), 200 satellite images from the Danish National Space Center (DNSC) indicate that the Arctic ice levels are at an all time low, since the first images taken in 1978, and as a result the Northwest Passage has completely opened up for the first time since humans began to record history.

The images have shown the melting of the ice has “dramatically increased” more than previously thought and that by 2030, all of the summer ice could be gone with the region being completely ice free by 2070. Researchers call it an “extreme” situation and say that the ice is now shrinking at a level of about three million square kilometers a year, up from one million square kilometers per year in 2005.

“The strong reduction in just one year certainly raises flags that the ice may disappear much sooner than expected,” said DNSC spokesman Leif Toudal Pedersen in a statement.

The new findings have put Canada and the United States at a standoff, both laying claim to the passage because it could be a valuable resource for the shipping industry. The passage goes through the boundaries of both nations. In 1985 diplomatic relations on the passage were strained after a U.S. icebreaker passed through without the U.S. notifying Canadian officials.

As a result, the Canadian military is building two new bases at both ends of the areas they claim to be theirs. There will also be at least six new naval patrol ships built, that will be stationed in the passage.

The U.S. claims that regardless which country boundaries the passage passes through, the waterway should be open to anyone who wants to use it.

“We believe it’s an international passage,” said U.S. President George W. Bush.

Denmark, Norway, and Russia all also lay claim to the vast amounts of minerals, natural gas, and oil.


Sources

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Northwest Passage#Effects of climate change
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December 23, 2005

Canadian Conservatives vow to defend Arctic sovereignty

Canadian Conservatives vow to defend Arctic sovereignty

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Members of a Canadian naval boarding party during a sovereignty exercise in the Canadian Arctic.

The Conservative Party of Canada leader Stephen Harper today made bold claims about the Canadian Arctic region at a campaign stop in Winnipeg, “The single most important duty of the federal government is to protect and defend our national sovereignty.” . The prime minister-hopeful stated, “There are new and disturbing reports of American nuclear submarines passing though Canadian waters without obtaining the permission of —or even notifying — the Canadian government.”

Harper promised a significant increase in military presence in the Canadian region, which has had notable soveriegnty disputes with the United States, Russia, Denmark and Norway. “You don’t defend national sovereignty with flags,” Harper said. “You need forces on the ground, ships in the sea, and proper surveillance.”

Among other promises, Harper stated he would station three armed naval heavy ice breakers in the area of Iqaluit with 500 regular force personnel, recruit 500 more Canadian rangers, and build a new army training center in the area of Cambridge Bay on the Northwest Passage.

File:Stephen Harper voa.jpg

Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

“As prime minister, I will make it clear to foreign governments — including the United States — that naval vessels traveling in Canadian territorial waters will require the consent of the government of Canada,” Harper stated.

The Conservative Party Website states this ““Canada First” Northern Strategy will increase surveillance, navy, army and air force presence”.

The Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservatives’ most powerful rival in the election, quickly posted a rebuttal on their website. They claim Stephen Harpers stated defense budget of $5.3(CAD) billion over 5 years is not enough to afford the two polar icebreakers, which the Liberal party claims will cost $3(CAD) billion with the party estimating an upkeep of $150(CAD) million per year. “Where does Mr. Harper plan to find another $1 billion?” the party asked in their rebuttal.

The Arctic may be an important issue in the future for Canadians, as scientists expect the fabled Northwest Passage of the Arctic to open up for year round shipping by 2050 as a result of global warming. According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, trade routes from Europe to the Far East could save 4000 km through the passage, as compared to the current routes through the Panama Canal.

Canada last flexed its muscle in the Arctic in 2004 in its most massive Arctic exercise ever, with six hundred personnel from the three services (army, air force, navy) involved in a large exercise in the Baffin Islands.

Canadians are scheduled to go to the polls on January 23, 2006 in an early election as a result of a non-confidence motion in parliament against the former ruling Liberal party.

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