Arctic News Roundup: 24-30 May

Fjords in Troms og Finnmark, Norway [Photo by Marc Lanteigne]

by Mingming Shi

1) According to Scientific American, Greenland’s thawing glaciers are suspected to be one of the sources of mercury pollution in the nearby fjords. This element can cause damage to marine systems and human health. However, at present, as the researchers have explained, there are still numerous potential causes to be investigated in order to better comprehend the situation.

2) The Arctic Institute published an introductory article, discussing conflict in the High North, given the US and some other Arctic states’ further military interests and policies in the region. This piece outlines the incentives for modern militarisation, including eagerness to develop regional natural resources and strengthening national capacities. Nevertheless, this is taking place alongside concerns such as the deterioration of the Arctic environment.

3) As the British news service The Independent has reported, Arctic regions in Russia are witnessing an unprecedented heat wave this month, and in some cases temperatures over 30°C. The Russian Arctic, including many parts of Siberia, have experienced higher than normal temperatures over the past few years, with the city of Verkhoyansk actually reaching 38°C in 2020.

4) The Danish Institute for International Studies / DIIS (Dansk Institut for Internationale Studier in Danish) published a commentary on the relationship between Denmark and Greenland in light of the 300th anniversary of Hans Egede’s missionary journey to Greenland. The authors analysed the variants of this dynamic under several circumstances, including for example, how the relationship has been altered from the perspective of decolonisation and the further pursuit of independence in Greenland, as well as the role of Greenland in Arctic politics.

5) CBC, a Canada-based news service, shared the story of Pepper, a German shepherd finding her own way to reunite with her family in Nunavut. Pepper’s family left home in Rankin Inlet, for a funeral of a family member in Whale Cove, by snowmobile. However, the dog decided to follow them even though she was supposed to stay at home, and amazingly, Pepper finally managed to make her way to Whale Cove, a small community seventy kilometres from home and met up with her family again.