Arctic News Roundup: 7-13 June

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories [Photo by Marc Lanteigne]

by Mingming Shi

1) As RÚV has reported, this summer Iceland is preparing to launch its largest array of roadworks projects since the country’s banking crisis of 2008. According to Vegagerðin, (the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration), planned changes include road restructuring measures to improve driver safety, as well as a potential bridge at Ölfusá.

2) According to the Greenlandic news service KNR, Mette Frederiksen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, expressed her wishes to grant Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both part of the Danish Kingdom, more representation at the Arctic Council. In addition to promising a ‘more prominent and active role’ for both governments during Council proceedings, the Danish leader also called for Greenlandic representatives to speak first at future Council meetings, followed by the Faroe Islands and then Denmark. Greenland also would be the main signatory to any future Council declarations. Greenlandic representation in the Arctic Council had been a political sore point between Copenhagen and Nuuk under previous governments, including in 2013 when then-Greenlandic Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond opted to boycott the Council Ministerial meeting in Kiruna over what it saw was unfair treatment.

3) Researchers have begun to look more closely at the phenomenon of snow changing colours during spring months, including to shades of red, (which has often prompted nicknames like ‘glacier blood’ or ‘watermelon snow’). As described in the New York Times, although these odd colourations are commonly caused by algae blooms, climate change, including warming temperatures and extreme weather, as well as agricultural and sewage runoff, can also affect the appearance and intensity of algae within snow and ice.

4) An internship position, for a duration of ten-twelve months, full time, is being advertised at the Arctic Council Secretariat, located in Tromsø, Norway. Please check for details at this link.

5) Pele Broberg, the Minister for Industry, Trade, Foreign Affairs and Climate of Greenland, was invited to an online discussion [video] hosted by the Arctic Circle as part of the organization’s Virtual lecture series. Broberg described the development and further ambition of Greenland’s foreign relations. In addition to confirming that a representative office would be established later this year in Beijing, the Minister also emphasized the significance of strengthening the country’s relationships with other Asian partners such as Japan.