Arctic News Roundup: 30 March – 5 April

[Photo via Pixabay]
by Mingming Shi

1) Marc Lanteigne, Chief Editor for Over the Circle, penned an introductory article on the importance of the internet in the Arctic, especially under the current global situation. The piece summarised the state of connectivity in the far north, using cases from Finland, Greenland and Nunavut. 

2) Morgunblaðið, an Iceland-based news agency, reported the story of how the Icelandic President, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, and his family have handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, the President has issued two mock ‘presidential decrees’ to his family members, and has adjusted to the current social distancing directives suggested by experts, including in terms of delaying visiting his retired mother.

3) According to RÚV, the national broadcasting company in Iceland, the country has sold lamb meat to China for the first time. Currently, there is only one local company which has obtained the licence for lamb sales to China. The first shipment involved approximately twenty tons of meat, and appears to have been well-received in the Chinese market.

4) CBC News in Canada selected a series of photos from readers of the week. These eight pictures were taken in the Northern part of the country, featuring local scenery such as dancing northern lights, an eagle enjoying its hunting harvest, to the social lives of inhabitants in the High North cheering up their communities during the difficult time of the COVID-19 outbreak.

5) The Economist published a comment about the winter of 2019-20, the warmest-ever recorded in the northern hemisphere on land. One of the variables used in the study was  the phenomenon of ‘Arctic oscillation’ during northern winters, a term describing a natural phenomenon of the air pressure between the North Pole and lower latitudes. 

6) An article on the current situation of COVID-19 in Greenland was published on Arctic Today, written by Martin Breum, a Danish journalist on Arctic affairs. The piece gave a concise overview of the general situation of the pandemic on the island, noting that a small number of infected cases has been found in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, but the rest of island was still free from the virus. To cope with the circumstances, a ban, set by the Greenlandic government, on normal entry into or exiting from Nuuk has come into force.

In addition, Greenland has temporarily cut most of its transportation ties with outside. It is not the first time that Greenland has suffered from imported deadly diseases, as this also happened back in the Danish colonial period. The article notes that nowadays, even though Denmark is still assisting Greenland, its former colony, in many ways, including medical support, Greenland itself has developed a much more modern and advanced healthcare system.