courtesy: Deutsch Roemer
By Doris Friedrich, Seth Myers and Ryan Uljua October 7, 2015
In the biggest news item to come across the desks of Arctic-watchers in months, Royal Dutch Shell announced last week that it was halting its controversial drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea (Reuters, BBC). In a statement released by the company, Shell cited three main factors in its decision to walk away from offshore Alaska: poor results from the ‘Burger J’ well, the high costs of drilling in the Arctic, and the unpredictable regulatory environment in the American Arctic. In addition to poor global oil prices, a number of analysts have singled out the tricky regulatory atmosphere in the American Arctic as one of the biggest reasons behind Shell’s decision to abort operations (Arctic Energy Center). Shell’s decision to completely abandon its play in the Arctic, including sealing and abandoning its Burger J well site and “ceasing all further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future”, came as a surprise to many observers (PN).
Deborah Gordon and Victoria Herrmann, September 17, 2015
As U.S. President Barack Obama toured Alaska on a campaign to promote aggressive climate action, the White House has sought to raise awareness of the devastating effects environmental shifts have had in the Arctic. Between visiting with tribal leaders, hiking to the receding Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, and viewing the overwhelming impacts of coastal erosion in two rural Alaskan communities, there has been a lot of unsettling ground to cover. President Obama’s sojourn north is a strong message on the importance of inclusivity in the climate change conversation. And yet, despite his efforts to engage a wide variety of local representatives, one key stakeholder remains absent in the official agenda: the oil industry. Offering the petroleum industry an invitation to discuss climate change mitigation and adaptation in a region that many believe is melting because of their business model is counterintuitive and controversial. But it is essential.  
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Photo: Deutsch Roemer
By Doris Friedrich, Mike McCormack, Seth Myers and Ryan Uljua September 2, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Alaska this week, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to travel north of the Arctic Circle. The trip was primarily focused on climate change.
courtesy of Karsten Bidstrup
Heather Exner-Pirot, August 18, 2015
The US recently reached the 100 days milestone of its Arctic Circle Chairmanship. What has been achieved, what have been the main weaknesses and how should the Chairmanship move forward?
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Photo: © Ida Jahr
Kathrin Keil, September 8, 2015
When the German Foreign Office asked me in March whether I would like to become a member of the Working Group on Sustainable Arctic Development, of course I did not hesitate.
courtesy of Karsten Bidstrup
Victoria Herrmann, July 29, 2015
In April, Secretary of State John Kerry accepted the 2015-2017 Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Andreas Østhagen, May 27, 2015
For a decade, journalists and scholars have been engaged in debates on the potential for conflict over Arctic resources and territory.
Victoria Herrmann, June 11, 2015
Today, the phrase ‘Arctic energy’ has become synonymous with snowy oil rigs, icy ocean exploration, and Greenpeace activists. The recent conditional approval of Shell’s plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea has reinforced this narrow delineation.
Victoria Herrmann, April 25, 2015
In 1958, the U.S. Army released an educational film on the Distant Early Warning System. The system, known as the DEW line, was built as a series of radar sites.
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Illustration: Juan M. Sarabia
Andreas Østhagen & Andreas Raspotnik, April 22, 2015
The city of Bodø, North Norway’s second largest community, recently saw a number of relatively unfamiliar visitors: Members of the European Parliament (MEP).
Flickr/Mads Phil
By Victoria Herrmann April 16, 2015
Globalization, urbanization, and demographic shifts present Arctic policy makers and residents with the opportunity to reinvent circumpolar development for the 21st Century. Download Full Report
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Graphic: Kathrin Keil
By Kathrin Keil, February 2, 2015
Next to all Arctic researchers these days are confronted with the notion that multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches are inevitable for the future progress of Arctic research.
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Arctic Council
Sebastian Knecht, April 14, 2015
When government representatives will gather for the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Iqaluit they will again have to decide on a number of applications by non-Arctic states.
Photo: US Navy/Kevin Elliott
Opinion - Arctic Security
By Victoria Herrmann, January 23, 2015
On Tuesday night President Obama took the Senate floor with almost half of the country approving of his economic actions – the most since his hope-filled early months in office. And for good reason. Unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels since 2008.
Photo: Overland Andersen / UD
Conference Report
By Kathrin Keil, January 26, 2015
After two days of policy talk, Arctic scientists from various disciplines filled the auditoriums of the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. Here some highlights of the key note speeches.
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Photo: Deutsch Roemer
By Marc Jacobsen and Andreas Raspotnik
Photo: USCG/DoD
Opinion - United States
Victoria Herrmann, December 15, 2014
A lot has changed since the United States has last held the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 1998. What was once seen as a closed theater of the Cold War has been transformed into a global hot spot for scientific research.
Map: The Arctic Institute
Defense and Security
By Andreas Østhagen, April 30, 2014
Canada’s recent decision to boycott an Arctic Council task force meeting held in Moscow is a direct example of how the Ukraine conflict is starting to impact Arctic cooperation. Given its prominent position in the Arctic, however, Russia is integral to most schemes for the region’s future development.
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Photo: EU Parliament
European Union
By Andreas Raspotnik and Andreas Østhagen, March 17, 2014
Three years after the European Parliament’s (EP) last resolution on Arctic issues[1], the European Union’s (EU) parliamentary institution has adopted yet another non-binding resolution dealing with the EU’s northern neighbourhood in its plenary session on Wednesday, March 12th.
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Photo: The Arctic Institute
Coast Guard
Andreas Østhagen, October 9, 2014
Coast guards are the maritime workhorses of coastal states, intent on protecting their sovereign rights to fisheries and petroleum resources, while also safeguarding lives and the environment.  In an Arctic Klondike, this institution does the heavy lifting.
Photo: Timo Palo
Arctic Council
By Matthew Willis and Duncan Depledge, September 22, 2014
Global coverage of Arctic geopolitics since 2007 has fed simplistic narratives about the potential for conflict in the region in ways that the eight Arctic states have struggled to counter.
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Arctic Shipping
Malte Humpert, October 31, 2014
Expectations are high that Arctic shipping routes, particularly the Northern Sea Route (NSR), will rival traditional shipping routes
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Map: The Arctic Institute
Arctic Shipping
Kathrin Keil and Andreas Raspotnik, October 22, 2014
The Russian and Norwegian Arctic are gaining notoriety as an alternative maritime route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and as sources of natural resources.
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Map: Patrick Kelley
Arctic Shipping
By Malte Humpert, November 23, 2013
Every time Arctic sea ice extent reaches a new record low a host of new reports and studies predict a rapid increase in shipping activities in the Arctic. Expectations are high that Arctic shipping routes, particularly the Northern Sea Route, will rival traditional shipping routes.
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Photo: MFA Norway
European Union
By Andreas Raspotnik and Andreas Østhagen, May 22, 2014
Although currently occupied with more urgent issues affecting the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood, the Council of the European Union, adopted its latest conclusion on the Arctic.
Photo: Kaet44
By Marc Jacobsen, July 28, 2014
One of the first things the Greenlandic politicians will be confronted in with when they return to Inatsisartut, is a legislative proposal by the current Naalakkersuisut that may limit the public’s right to access documents.
Map: Patrick Kelley
By The Arctic Institute, September 1, 2014
The Arctic Institute’s weekly newsletter The Arctic This Week (TATW) is sent out to 1850 subscribers in 85+ countries. To receive your free copy you can sign up by clicking here. To learn more about TATW please click here.
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Map: The Arctic Institute
By Malte Humpert, September 21, 2014
The Arctic Institute maintains a database of custom-produced Arctic maps in infographics. The archive includes maps about Arctic shipping, ice extent, oil and gas resources, legal boundaries, permafrost, international trade and many more. For a full gallery please click here and here.





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