The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and nearby state- and Alaska Native-owned lands on the western part of Alaska's North Slope hold much more oil than previously believed, according to a new report issued Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey. The new USGS estimate, influenced by exploration successes in the region and produced in accordance with an order from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, put the mean estimate for technically recoverable oil in those onshore areas at 8.7 billion barrels.
The decline of Alaska's biggest caribou herd appears to have stopped, biologists studying the herd report.The Western Arctic Caribou Herd, which numbered 490,000 in 2003 but dropped to less than half that a decade later, appears to have stabilized and is showing signs of increase, state and federal biologists told an advisory panel last week.
There will be no commercial fishing in international waters of the Arctic Ocean for at least 16 years under a landmark 10-government agreement reached on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The agreement will close off the 1.1 million-square-mile international zone in the center of the ocean — an area known as the "Arctic donut hole."
Months after dozens of walruses and thousands of birds died in mysterious circumstances in the Bering Sea, scientists have discovered a clue in the case: positive test results for algal toxins associated with warm waters. Four walruses and five seabirds were carrying saxitoxin, an algal biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. Whether the saxitoxin contributed to the deaths is unknown and unlikely to be determined, but it is a sign of changes in the Bering Sea, where waters are now warmer than they were in the past and where sea ice has been running at record lows for this time of year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
This spring, I spent close to two weeks flying over central Nunavut, peering out the window of a small plane at the rolling tundra below, looking for and counting caribou to monitor their numbers.The Qamanirjuaq barren-ground herd were arriving on their tundra calving grounds to give birth after migrating from winter ranges in the boreal forest. At times caribou dotted the landscape all the way to the horizon.
A provision to allow oil and gas exploration in a portion of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge passed the U.S. Senate as part of the Republican tax bill early Saturday morning. The controversial provision, which was added by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, survived a push in October led by Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington state Democrat, to remove it. It also required some last-minute revisions to satisfy arcane Senate procedural rules. Alaska's congressional delegation praised the provision's inclusion in the final version of the Senate bill.
Beaufort Sea polar bears are spending more time on land — and becoming more exposed to land-based diseases, scientists find
Polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea are spending more time on shore as Arctic sea ice diminishes — and are increasingly exposed to disease pathogens associated with land animals as a result, according to newly published research. The first documented signs of the polar bears' exposure came from measures of antibodies in the animals' blood.
A controversial plan to open Alaska’s Arctic refuge using federal budget bill moves a step closer to reality
Oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge came a step closer to reality on Wednesday with conditional approval from a Senate committee. On a party-line 13-10 vote, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved legislation sponsored by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski that would fold approval of ANWR oil and gas leasing into the broad tax bill being considered by Congress and promoted by the Trump administration.
Politicians from around the globe are this week meeting in Bonn, Germany for talks on how to implement the Paris agreement to fight climate change. The agreement aims to limit warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Reaching such goal would require to keep a large proportion of existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Norway, however, has no plans to leave possible Barents Sea oil under ground. In its 23rd licensing round, oil companies were offered new acreage and exploration drilling has already started.