More than 2 million people have joined the movement to Save the Arctic since it began earlier this year, and last night 3 million more got to see why.
On ABC Nightline – the top-rated late night program in America – correspondents Cecilia Vega and Alex Waterfield showed the stark contrasts in what they called “The Battle for the Arctic.” Continue reading →
Thanks for the 2 million signatures for Saving the Arctic.
When you’re as far north as we are right now, communications come to you like telegrams; they’re few and far between, and only the most important make it through. So when Steve, the radio operator on board the Arctic Sunrise, hand-delivered me a message today, I knew it was going to be good. “Two million people have now signed the petition to protect the Arctic!” Continue reading →
The Arctic Sunrise navigates through the Arctic during the lowest sea ice level on record
Two of the scientists traveling with Greenpeace on the Arctic Sunrise are Dr. Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), and Nick Toberg, an ice scientist at Cambridge University. I asked them what research they would be able to do on the ice, and for some insight into why Arctic sea ice is so important, and what impact the melting would have on our climate.
What will you be doing on the ice? Julienne: I’ll be measuring ice thickness – it’s a more important measure than ice extent as it tells you about volume (total) loss. I can measure thickness in different spots by drilling with a hand augur, which can go two metres deep. I also hope to look at snow thickness, whether there are melt pools on the ice and whether they are frozen. As the ship is traveling we will also measure the ocean temperatures.
Nick: We will test impact of ocean waves as they hit the ice edge, using buoys fitted with accelerometers. This will fill in the missing physics of how the strength of the waves adds to the ice breaking up and melting. Broken ice reflects sunlight less well as the sun’s rays are absorbed into the ocean beneath. The lack of ice creates even stronger waves which break the ice up more the following year. Continue reading →
I have been staring out at the Chukchi Sea for days, looking for a blow, a flip, a jump, anything that moves. I am hoping to find whales and seals while Greenpeace marine biologist John Hocevar and his co-pilots survey the seafloor with a small two-person research submarine in the Shell’s proposed drill sites. Continue reading →
Greetings from the Chukchi Sea, way up in the Arctic north of Alaska, where the team aboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza is using a small submarine to study the seafloor in the area Shell hopes to begin drilling for oil this summer. During what we believe to be the first research submarine dives ever in the Chukchi Sea, we were surprised to discover large numbers of corals in the midst of Shell’s proposed drill site.
I leap from our small boat into the surf to step onto the beach at Pt. Hope, the longest continually inhabited place in North America, and the community on Alaska’s most north western point. The Mayor, Steve Oomittuk, waits at the top of the sandy bluff to welcome the first boatload of Greenpeace visitors coming ashore from the Esperanza, anchored a few miles off the point. We’ve come to visit with the community, to hear from the people who live on the edge of the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic, where Shell plans to begin drilling for oil in a few weeks time. We’ve been invited to have a meeting with the community. We want to tell them of the research we will be doing here, taking a small submarine down into the Chukchi to see what life is at risk on the seafloor close to the sites where Shell plans to drill. We want to hear what they have to say about drilling in their waters. Continue reading →
I have been at the mercy of a scientist these past couple days. Kelly Newman, pictured, is an acoustician, a scientist specializing in the study of sound, from the University of Alaska, and with hydrophones we’ve been out in an inflatable boat doing audio recordings for her Ph.D. research. Today we were recording along the ice edge here in the Chukchi Sea deep in the Arctic. We’re floating just a few miles from where Shell is planning to drill for oil this summer. Continue reading →
When Shell lost control of its drill rig Noble Discoverer last week near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, many wondered, “How on earth could they have let that happen?” Shell spokespeople in Anchorage claimed that the vessel “drifted near shore,” despite numerous eyewitness accounts that the ship ran aground and became stuck until a tug boat pulled it free. Photographs quickly emerged that call Shell’s claims into question.
It’s no surprise that a huge oil company bent on profits from Arctic drilling would mount a desperate effort to control public perception of such an accident. But because this happened in a protected harbor instead of miles from shore, Shell’s dubious claims must contend with eyewitnesses, photographs, journalists, and a US Coast Guard investigation. So far, the Coast Guard has said that, “While the vessel master reported he did not believe the vessel grounded, this cannot be confirmed by the Coast Guard at this time” and media accounts state that the investigation may take weeks or months.
However, key questions remain about the scope of the Coast Guard’s investigation. Continue reading →
One million signed to save the Arctic in just four weeks! Across the world Greenpeace activists have been peacefully protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling plans in gas stations, offices and online.
One of them is Tereapii Williams, bosun onboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. From his home on the Cook Islands he has come to the Arctic with the rest of the crew to save his family’s “big air conditioner”.