Arctic News Roundup: 5-11 April

Rigorous snowfall measurement research conducted by Mingming Shi [Photo by Steingrimur Jón Guðjónsson]

by Mingming Shi

1) While many continue to watch the Fagradalsfjall volcano, the Icelandic news service RÚV reported that the volume of snowfall in the country during the 2020-21 winter season was at its lowest level in forty-four years, with many regions throughout Iceland reporting higher-than-average temperatures.

2) Greenland held its parliamentary elections on 6 April. Out of the 31 seats in total in the country’s Parliament (Inatsisartut), then-opposition party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) earned twelve, giving it the right to form the next government coalition, with another five political parties shared the rest. According to the news service KNR, IA has begun to negotiate with possible partners to form the next government. The election was watched carefully outside of Greenland given that a major issue during the campaign was whether to halt plans for a uranium and rare earths mine in southern Greenland, a stance IA supports.

3) The Greenland Integrated Observing System (GIOS), a scientific research partnership, has been established [pdf], featuring local studies of atmospheric conditions, hydrology, the ice sheet, biology, permafrost, sea ice and snow, and space weather. Several educational and research institutes in both Greenland and Denmark are responsible for its creation and oversight.

4) In light of the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Norway, a webinar entitled The Changing Arctic was announced, with the event to take place on 14 April this month. A number of specialists on regional affairs in the High North have been invited to present their work on various related topics.