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Alaska Wilderness League

Grassroots Fighters for the Arctic Refuge Take the Case to DC

By Rebekah Ashley

Even though our day-to-day existence may be far removed from Arctic Alaska, we must stand for the protection of the Arctic Refuge and ask our representatives to do the same.

Most Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, a majority of us "strongly oppose it." This broad public concern echoed through the halls of Congress during Alaska Wilderness League's Wilderness Week, when more than 25 people from around the country (as far as Alaska and as young as six months) convened in Washington, DC, in late May to advocate for the protection of the Arctic Refuge. Collectively, our group met with more than 60 offices in just three days.

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Climate
Firefighters battle a blaze in a forest in western Sweden, the worst-hit country. Mats Andersson / Getty Images

The Arctic Is Burning: Wildfires Rage from Sweden to Alaska

There are currently 11 wildfires blazing in the Arctic circle, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

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Oceans
The Barents Sea in Norway has become a warming "hot spot." Ilkka Jukarainen / CC BY-ND 2.0

'Atlantification' of Arctic Ocean Speeds Up

The Arctic Ocean is warming so rapidly that it may soon transform into an upper arm of the Atlantic Ocean, researchers say.

A study published this week in Nature Climate Change shows how the Barents Sea in Scandinavia, where Atlantic waters enter the Arctic basin, has become a warming "hot spot," with temperatures spiking 2.7 degrees F since 2000.

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Energy
Sow and cub polar bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Alan D. Wilson/ Nature's Pics Online / CC BY-SA 3.0

Feds Receive First Application to Explore ANWR for Oil

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management office in Alaska received a plan to conduct extensive, 3-D seismic testing in search of oil on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) this winter.

The plan—submitted by surveying services SAExploration, Inc. and its partners Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation—is the first step in opening up Alaska's pristine refuge for oil exploration and drilling, the Washington Post reported.

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Climate
April 2018 Temperature. NOAA

We Just Experienced 400 Straight Months of Unusual Warmth

April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) announced Thursday.

That means the last time Earth was cooler than that average was December 1984—the same month Band Aid released "Do They Know It's Christmas."

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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Steven Chase, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Investors Controlling $2.5 Trillion Stand With Indigenous People Against Trump Plan to Drill 'Sacred' Arctic Refuge

By Julia Conley

An indigenous group was joined by investors controlling trillions of dollars in assets on Monday as they called for fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them to end efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—making clear that harming the protected land is bad for business as well as destructive to indigenous groups' land and the environment.

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Food
Warming water puts fish on the move. Fishermen adapt, or fall behind. Here, a boat cruises Canada's Mackenzie River. Leslie Philipp/ Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Fish and Fishermen Already Moving to Survive Climate Change

By Amy McDermott

The Inuvialuit and Gwich'in peoples spend their summers fishing off the coast of Canada's Yukon Territory. For generations, they've trekked from towns around the Western Arctic to a spit called Shingle Point, where the Mackenzie River's braided flows spill off North America into the Beaufort Sea. The nutrient-rich waters at the mouth of the Mackenzie are fat with marine fish, drawn in by the brief abundance of Arctic summer. Indigenous families subsist on these fish and other wild resources throughout the warm months.

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Politics
A launch from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the low-lying Marshall Islands that is vulnerable to sea level rise. U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Watered Down Climate Report for Trump-Era Publication, Draft Reveals

A Department of Defense (DOD) report on the potential impacts of climate change on U.S. military infrastructure paradoxically downplayed the importance of climate change, an earlier draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post and publicized Thursday revealed.

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Climate
Sea ice in the Bering Sea on April 29, 2013 (left) and at an historically low level on April 29, 2018 (right). NASA Earth Observatory

Record Low Bering Sea Ice Causes 'Natural Disaster' for Alaskan Communities

The impacts of the Arctic's warmest winter on record are being felt into the spring.

As April drew to a close, scientists confirmed that sea ice in the Bering Sea, the body of water between Alaska and Russia, was at 10 percent of normal levels, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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