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Climate
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. NASA

Not Enough Ice to Drill the Arctic! Offshore Oil Drilling a 'Disaster Waiting to Happen'

Last month, the Trump administration approved the first offshore oil drilling development in federal Arctic waters, which environmentalists fear will ramp up carbon pollution that fuels climate change.

But here's the ultimate irony: Hilcorp Alaska's project—which involves building a 9-acre artificial drilling island in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea—has been delayed because of the effects of climate change, Alaska Public Media reported.

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Animals
A pod of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) in central Baffin Bay. Narwhals are the most vulnerable animals to increased ship traffic in the Arctic Ocean. Kristin Laidre / University of Washington, CC BY-ND

Arctic Ship Traffic Threatens Narwhals and Other Extraordinary Animals

By Donna Hauser, Harry Stern and Kristin Laidre

Americans often associate fall with football and raking leaves, but in the Arctic this season is about ice. Every year, floating sea ice in the Arctic thins and melts in spring and summer, then thickens and expands in fall and winter.

As climate change warms the Arctic, its sea ice cover is declining. This year scientists estimate that the Arctic sea ice minimum in late September covered 1.77 million square miles, tying the sixth lowest summertime minimum on record.

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Animals
Mother and baby sperm whale. Wikimedia Commons

Sighting of Sperm Whales in Arctic Waters 'Really Shocking'

Sperm whales live in all the world's major oceans, but they tend to stay away from extremely cold waters near the poles. So you can imagine the surprise when scientists spotted a pair of these whales farther from their usual range.

World Wildlife Fund-Canada Arctic species specialist Brandon Laforest and his guide Titus Allooloo saw the whales near Pond Inlet, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic in September, the CBC reported.

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Climate
GLACIER: A Climate Change Ballet. Rob Cannon

Watch: How to Dance Like a Glacier

By Jeremy Deaton

Eighteenth century French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre once wrote, "A fine picture is but the image of nature; a finished ballet is nature herself." Noverre was arguing for the immediacy of dance. Twenty-first century American choreographer Diana Movius took his words literally.

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Brazil, home to the Amazon, is one of five countries that control 70 percent of the world's remaining wilderness. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

5 Countries Control 70% of the World’s Remaining Wilderness

This week began with the disturbing news that human activity has caused a 60 percent decline in wildlife since 1970.

Now, a group of researchers from the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have released a stunning map showing that just five countries are home to more than 70 percent of the world's last, undisturbed wilderness areas.

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A drilling project off Alaska will be located in a polar bear habitat. Roderick Eime / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Arctic Oil Drilling Project Approved by Trump Administration

The Trump administration's unrelenting quest for Arctic oil and gas took a major step on Wednesday as it approved an energy company's controversial production plan.

Hilcorp Alaska received the green light to build the Liberty Project, a nine-acre artificial drilling island and 5.6-mile underwater pipeline, which environmentalists warn could risk oil spills in the sensitive Beaufort Sea and threaten polar bears and Arctic communities.

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Oceans
A melting ice floe in the Arctic Ocean. U.S. Geological Survey

Nations to Sign Groundbreaking Arctic Ocean Fishing Ban

The U.S. and nine of the world's largest fishing economies will sign an agreement Wednesday in Ilulissat, Greenland that bans commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean for the next 16 years.

"This is the first multilateral agreement of its kind to take a legally binding, precautionary approach to protect an area from commercial fishing before that fishing has begun," the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Monday.

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Climate
Sgt. Jerry Rushing / U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Defense Department Is Losing the Battle Against Climate Change

By Daniel Ross

A rock seawall protecting the Air Force's Cape Lisburne Long Range Radar Station on the North East Alaska coast is under increasing duress from extreme weather patterns affecting Arctic sea ice—nearly $50 million has been spent replacing vulnerable parts of the wall already.

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Climate
A polar bear stands on an ice floe off the northern shores of the Svalbard Archipelago. Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images / Getty Images

Arctic Sea Ice Summer Minimum in 2018 Is Sixth Lowest on Record

By Robert McSweeney

Arctic sea ice has reached its summer minimum extent for the year, clocking in at 4.59m square kilometers (sq km) (approximately 1.77m square miles), which puts it joint sixth lowest in the 40-year satellite record alongside 2008 and 2010.

The twelve smallest summer lows in the satellite record have all occurred in the last twelve years.

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