Monday 11th of December 2023

the battle for the north pole...

north pole

NATO’s Trident Junction 18 exercise took place in Norway in late October and early November and was the largest Western exercise since 1980. It was the first exercises, in the winter conditions in the Arctic zone, after the announcement of United States to withdraw from the INF Treaty. It is likely NATO would to open a second front against Russia in the Arctic, in addition to the Baltic region. The purpose of this Arctic ballistic corridor is to facilitate the naval and air offensive against Moscow. For example, once withdrawn from the INF Treaty, the United States could place intermediate-range and medium-range ballistic missiles on the territory of some NATO member states in the Arctic. Taking advantage of a lower number detection systems at the northern border of Russia.

From the north of Norway, a NATO member country, the distance to Moscow is 1500 km, and 1000 km to St. Petersburg. The distance between the Svalbard archipelago, administered by Norway, and Moscow is 2000 km. The distance to Russian border from Greenland, which belongs to Denmark, another NATO member country, is 1500 km from and 3000 km between Greenland and Moscow. The distance from Canada’s North, a NATO member country, to the Russian Arctic coast is 2300 km, and 3900 km to Moscow, by North Pole route.

Due this reason, Russia was forced to adopt measures to protect the Arctic.

The Anti-Ballistic radars Voronezh DM/ M at Dunayevka (Kaliningrad enclave) and Lekhtusi (St. Petersburg) have been updated to compensate the deactivation of Skrunda (Latvia) radar. These Russian radars have a range of 6,000 km. The Volga anti-ballistic radar located at Hantsavitchy (Belarus) has a range of 2000 km and has been upgraded. Another Russian anti-ballistic radar Voronezh VP, operates in Olenegorsk, Kola peninsula ( at border of Finland). Another new-generation Daryal-type radar was placed at Pechora, in the Arctic Circle. Finally, in 2018 a new radar was made operational in the island of Novaya Zemlya.

All these early warning and control radars operate in an alert network (code 590), controlled by the 29b6 Container system, located in Nizhny Novgorod (250 km north-east of Moscow).Although the detection range of the 29b6 Container is only 3000 km, it has multiple dedicated storage memory facilities and servers, using the latest generation microprocessors and satellite communication equipment. All Russian antiballistic radars are OTHR type( Over the Horizon Radar). For very long distance detection, they use the ionospheric reflection of electromagnetic waves.

Russian Air Force has begun the restoration and modernization of seven airfields near the Arctic Circle, abandoned after 1990. Fighter squadrons equipped primarily with MiG-31 aircraft have been redeployed.

The 80th and 200th independent motorized brigades, belonging to the 14th Russian Arctic Army Corps are resposnable of the defense of the regions Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nenets.

In cooperation with the Russian Northern Fleet and the VI-th Air force& Air defence army, of course. They received T-80 MBT, BTR-82A APC, 2S19 Msta self-propelled howitzers, and Trekol 39294 an amphibious vehicle. Trekol was equipped with special large tubeless tires that allow to move on sand, ice, snow and swamps. Troop transport vehicles IFV was replaced with DT-30 Vityaz, arctic multi-purpose articulated tracked carrier with a speed of 60 km/h.

DT- 30 vehicles was adapted like platforms for mobile Arctic- antiaircraft systems such as Tor-M2DT, Pantsir-S1, and anti-tank systems such as 9K114 Shturm. The reconnaissance and Special Operations units of both brigades operate on type TTM 1901 and As-1 snowmobiles, equipped with air conditioners and GPS in the cockpit, Snowmobiles may be carried in the cargo bay of a Mi-8/17 helicopter.

Valentin Vasilescu
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global warming and political cooling...

The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia.

Starting in 2019, foreign warships will only be able to sail along the Northern Sea Route after notifying Russian authorities, Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the National Center for Defense Management of Russia, said.

"To eliminate the legal vacuum in terms of the use of the Northern Sea Route, interdepartmental work has been organized to improve Russian legislation, which will result in the notification of the nature of navigation of foreign warships. The work will be completed by the beginning of the navigation (when the waterway becomes passable) in 2019," said Mizintsev.

READ MORE: Japan, Finland Ready to Cooperate in Development of Northern Sea Route

In June 2015, Russia announced development plans for the Northern Sea Route for the period 2015-2030.


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The Northern sea route is only possible due to GLOBAL WARMING. See:

a quarter of a nobel prize...


and other related articles on this site.

cold war #2 warming up...


From Stephen F. Cohen


‘War With Russia?’, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warning - akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed “a journalistic alert-system” - not a prediction.

Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The book’s overarching theme is informed by past and current facts, not by any political agenda, ideological commitment, or magical prescience.

The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of dusk. - Hegel

To restate that theme: The new US-Russian Cold War is more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor that the world survived. The chances are even greater that this one could result, inadvertently or intentionally, in actual war between the two nuclear superpowers.

Herein lies another ominous indication. During the preceding Cold War, the possibility of nuclear catastrophe was in the forefront of American mainstream political and media discussion, and of policy-making. During the new one, it rarely seems to be even a concern.

In the latter months of 2018, the facts and the mounting crises they document grow worse, especially in the US political-media establishment, where, as I have argued, the new Cold War originated and has been repeatedly escalated. Consider a few examples, some of them not unlike political and media developments during the run-up to the US war in Iraq or, historians have told us, how the great powers “sleepwalked” into World War I:

- Russiagate’s core allegations—US-Russian collusion, treason—all remain unproven. Yet they have become a central part of the new Cold War. If nothing else, they severely constrain President Donald Trump’s capacity to conduct crisis negotiations with Moscow while they further vilify Russian President Vladimir Putin for having, it is widely asserted, personally ordered “an attack on America” during the 2016 presidential campaign. Some Hollywood liberals had earlier omitted the question mark, declaring, “We are at war.” In October 2018, the would-be titular head of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, added her voice to this reckless allegation, flatly stating that the United States was “attacked by a foreign power” and equating it with “the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

Clinton may have been prompted by another outburst of malpractice by The New York Times and The Washington Post. On September 20 and 23, respectively, those exceptionally influential papers devoted thousands of words, illustrated with sinister prosecutorial graphics, to special retellings of the Russiagate narrative they had assiduously promoted for nearly two years, along with the narrative’s serial fallacies, selective and questionable history, and factual errors.

Again, for example, the now-infamous Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman for several months in 2016, was said to have been “pro-Kremlin” during his time as a lobbyist for Ukraine under then-President Viktor Yanukovych, when in fact he was pro–European Union. Again, Trump’s disgraced national-security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, was accused of “troubling” contacts when he did nothing wrong or unprecedented in having conversations with a Kremlin representative on behalf of President-elect Trump. Again, the two papers criminalized the idea, as the Times put it, that “the United States and Russia should look for areas of mutual interest,” once the premise of détente. And again, the Times, while assuring readers that its “Special Report” is “what we now know with certainty,” buried a related acknowledgment deep in its some 10,000 words: “No public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump’s] campaign conspired with Russia.” (The white-collar criminal indictments and guilty pleas cited were so unrelated that they added up to Russiagate without Russia.)

Astonishingly, neither paper gave any credence to an emphatic statement by the Post’s own Bob Woodward—normally considered the most authoritative chronicler of Washington’s political secrets—that, after two years of research, he had found no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Nor were the Times, the Post, and other print media alone in these practices, which continued to slur dissenting opinions. CNN’s leading purveyor of Russiagate allegations tweeted that an American third-party presidential candidate had been “repeating Russian talking points on its interference in the 2016 election and on US foreign policy.” Another prominent CNN figure was, so to speak, more geopolitical, warning, “Only a fool takes Vladimir Putin at his word in Syria,” thereby ruling out US-Russian cooperation in that war-torn country. Much the same continued almost nightly on MSNBC.

For most mainstream-media outlets, Russiagate had become, it seemed, a kind of cult journalism that no counterevidence or analysis could dent and thus itself increasingly a major contributing factor to the new Cold War. Still more, what began two years earlier as complaints about Russian “meddling” in the US presidential election became by October 2018, for The New Yorker and other publications, an accusation that the Kremlin had actually put Donald Trump in the White House. For this seditious charge, there was also no convincing evidence—nor any precedent in American history.

- At a higher level, by fall 2018, current and former US officials were making nearly unprecedented threats against Moscow. The ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, threatened to “take out” any Russian missiles she thought violated a 1987 treaty, a step that would certainly risk nuclear war. The secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, threatened a naval “blockade” of Russia. In yet another Russophobic outburst, the ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, declared that “lying, cheating and rogue behavior” are a “norm of Russian culture.”

These may have been outlandish statements by untutored political appointees, but they again inescapably raised the question: Who was making Russia policy in Washington - President Trump, with his avowed policy of “cooperation,” or someone else?

But how to explain, other than as unbridled extremism, the comments by Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Moscow, himself a longtime professor of Russian politics and favored mainstream commentator?

According to McFaul, Russia had become a “rogue state,” its policies “criminal actions” and the “world’s greatest threat.” It had to be countered by “preemptive sanctions that would go into effect automatically”—“every day,” if deemed necessary. Considering the possibility of “crushing” sanctions proposed recently by a bipartisan group of US senators, this would be nothing less than a declaration of permanent war against Russia: economic war, but war nonetheless.

- Meanwhile, other new Cold War fronts were becoming more fraught with hot war, none more so than Syria. On September 17, Syrian missiles accidentally shot down an allied Russian surveillance aircraft, killing all 15 crew members. The cause was combat subterfuge by Israeli warplanes in the area. The reaction in Moscow was indicative- and potentially ominous.

At first, Putin, who had developed good relations with Israel’s political leadership, said the incident was an accident caused by the fog of war. His own Defense Ministry, however, loudly protested that Israel was responsible. Putin quickly retreated to a more hard-line position, and in the end vowed to send to Syria Russia’s highly effective S-300 surface-to-air defense system, a prize long sought by both Syria and Iran.

Clearly, Putin was not the ever-“aggressive Kremlin autocrat” unrelentingly portrayed by US mainstream media. A moderate in the Russian context, he again made a major decision by balancing conflicting groups and interests. In this instance, he accommodated long-standing hard-liners in his own security establishment.

The result is yet another Cold War trip wire. With the S-300s installed in Syria, Putin could in effect impose a “no-fly zone” over large areas of the country, which has been ravaged by war due, in no small part, to the presence of several foreign powers. (Russia and Iran are there legally; the United States and Israel are not.) If so, this means a new “red line” that Washington and its ally Israel will have to decide whether or not to cross. Considering the mania in Washington and in the mainstream media, it is hard to be confident that restraint will prevail. In keeping with his Russia policy, President Trump may reasonably be inclined to join Moscow’s peace process, though it is unlikely the mostly Democrat-inspired Russiagate party would permit him to do so.

Now another Cold War front has also become more fraught, the US-Russian proxy war in Ukraine having acquired a new dimension. In addition to the civil war in Donbass, Moscow and Kiev have been challenging each other’s ships in the Sea of Azov, near the newly built bridge connecting Russia with Crimea. On November 25, this erupted into a small but potentially explosive military conflict at sea. Trump is being pressured to help Kiev escalate the maritime war - yet another potential trip wire. Here, too, the president should instead put his administration’s weight behind the long-stalled Minsk peace accords. But that approach also seems to be ruled out by Russiagate, which by October 6 included yet another Times columnist, Frank Bruni, branding all such initiatives by Trump as “pimping for Putin.”

After five years of extremism, as demonstrated by these recent examples of risking war with Russia, there remained, for the first time in decades of Cold War history, no countervailing forces in Washington - no pro-détente wing of the Democratic or Republican Party, no influential anti–Cold War opposition anywhere, no real public debate. There was only Trump, with all the loathing he inspired, and even he had not reminded the nation or his own party that the presidents who initiated major episodes of détente in the 20th century were also Republicans - Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan. This too seemed to be an inadmissible “alternative fact.”

And so the eternal question, not only for Russians: What is to be done? There is a ray of light, though scarcely more. In August 2018, Gallup asked Americans what kind of policy toward Russia they favored. Even amid the torrent of vilifying Russiagate allegations and Russophobia, 58 percent wanted “to improve relations with Russia,” as opposed to 36 percent who preferred “strong diplomatic and economic steps against Russia.”

This reminds us that the new Cold War, from NATO’s eastward expansion and the 2014 Ukrainian crisis to Russiagate, has been an elite project. Why US elites, after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, ultimately chose Cold War rather than partnership with Russia is a question beyond my purpose here. As for the special role of US intelligence elites - what I have termed “Intelgate” - efforts are still underway to disclose it fully, and are still being thwarted.

A full explanation of the post-Soviet Cold War choice would include the US political-media establishment’s needs - ideological, foreign-policy, and budgetary, among others - for an “enemy.” Or, with the Cold War having prevailed for more than half of US-Russian relations during the century since 1917, maybe it was habitual.

Substantial “meddling” in the 2016 US election by Ukraine and Israel, to illustrate the point, did not become a political scandal. In any event, once this approach to post-Soviet Russia began, promoting it was not hard. The legendary humorist Will Rogers quipped in the 1930s, “Russia is a country that no matter what you say about it, it’s true.” Back then, before the 40-year Cold War and nuclear weapons, the quip was funny, but no longer.

Whatever the full explanation, many of the consequences I have analyzed in War With Russia? continue to unfold, not a few unintended and unfavorable to America’s real national interests. Russia’s turn away from the West, its “pivot to China,” is now widely acknowledged and embraced by leading Moscow policy thinkers. Even European allies occasionally stand with Moscow against Washington. The US-backed Kiev government still covers up who was really behind the 2014 Maidan “snipers’ massacre” that brought it to power. Mindless US sanctions have helped Putin to repatriate oligarchic assets abroad, at least $90 billion already in 2018. The mainstream media persist in distorting Putin’s foreign policies into something “that even the Soviet Union never dared to try.” And when an anonymous White House insider exposed in the Times the “amorality” of President Trump, the only actual policy he or she singled out was on Russia.

I have focused enough on the demonizing of Putin - the Post even managed to characterize popular support for his substantial contribution to improving life in Moscow as “a deal with the devil” - but it is important to note that this derangement is far from worldwide. Even a Post correspondent conceded that “the Putin brand has captivated anti-establishment and anti-American politicians all over the world.”

A British journalist confirmed that, as a result, “many countries in the world now look for a reinsurance policy with Russia.” And an American journalist living in Moscow reported that the “ceaseless demonization of Putin personally has in fact sanctified him, turned him into the Patron Saint of Russia.”

Again, in light of all this, what can be done? Sentimentally, and with some historical precedents, we of democratic beliefs traditionally look to “the people,” to voters, to bring about change. But foreign policy has long been the special prerogative of elites. In order to change Cold War policy fundamentally, leaders are needed. When the times beckon, they may emerge out of established, even deeply conservative, elites, as did unexpectedly the now-pro-détente Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. But given the looming danger of war with Russia, is there time? Is any leader visible on the American political landscape who will say to his or her elites and party, as Gorbachev did, “If not now, when? If not us, who?”

We also know that such leaders, though embedded in and insulated by their elites, hear and read other, nonconformist voices, other thinking. The once-venerated American journalist Walter Lippmann observed, “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.” This book is my modest attempt to inspire more thinking.

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation.

This article was originally published by The Nation and is adapted from the concluding section of Stephen F. Cohen’s War With Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, just published, in paperback and e-book, by Skyhorse Publishing.

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cold war #2.2349658 warming up...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Sunday the increase in the country's military presence in the Arctic to counter Russia's activities in the region.

"Whether it’s sharpening our skills in sub-zero conditions, learning from longstanding allies like Norway or monitoring submarine threats with our Poseidon aircraft, we will stay vigilant to new challenges", Williamson said, cited by The Telegraph newspaper, adding that the new P8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft would be used to constraint activities of Russian submarines in the region.

Williamson made his statement during a visit to a new base of Royal Marines in the area of Bardufoss in northern Norway.

READ MORE: UK Sends Fleet of Apaches to Arctic as Message to 'Whole Range of Adversaries'

The Royal Marines will also be deploying over 1,000 troops to Norway annually over the 10-year period for training within an agreement between the two states, he added. Nine P8 Poseidon planes will be deployed to the Royal Air Force Lossiemouth airbase in Scotland in 2020 to conduct reconnaissance in the North Atlantic and in the Arctic.


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cold war getting colder...

As Russia bolsters its efforts to secure and tap the Arctic, both the UK and the US have been vowing to meet its “challenge” – a premise that could lead to war, experts say, if their naval powers could muster the capabilities.

“It’s nobody’s lake,” said US Admiral James Foggo in a recent interview with US media – the latest in a string of American warnings against Russia’s northward push. His concern is primarily for “Arctic Council nations – of which we are a member,” and which are not interested in the Northern Sea Route being exploited by adversary powers like Russia and China.

UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson recently joined the chorus of warnings, saying Britain would “stay vigilant to new challenges” by “sharpening our skills in sub-zero conditions, learning from longstanding allies like Norway or monitoring submarine threats with our Poseidon aircraft.”

But Russia is better positioned both legally and physically to oversee the Arctic and, while still dangerous, the bellicose statements carry little weight for the reality on the ice, experts have told RT.

Bravado for domestic consumption

Williamson’s promise to defend NATO’s northern flank from Russia must be viewed “in the context of current UK domestic politics,” believes security analyst and former UK army officer Charles Shoebridge. With Brexit just around the corner, Williamson is drumming up the Russia and China threats so that other European nations aren’t “tempted to turn to the EU for its security, but must continue to rely on the US and UK through NATO.”

Ultimately, he could be aiming just for political gain.

With the UK in political turmoil it often appears that Williamson is even positioning himself as a future candidate to replace Theresa May as PM.

Likewise in the US: James Foggo's “nobody's lake” comment was tellingly lacking in detail as to how exactly the US is going to keep Russia out of the Arctic, says retired colonel Mikhail Khodarenok.

“James Foggo’s statements at this point are of a purely political nature. It’s telling that he never clarified how exactly the US Navy is going to accomplish that task. Are they going to create naval groups in the Arctic Ocean, seize important coastal areas, channels, naval bases and ports? But that means war with a nuclear power, one which would see unrestricted use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Dangerous free-for-all

War can be averted, the experts believe, though the danger of escalation is very real. The situation, according to Khodarenok, is complicated by the vagueness of international law regarding the Arctic.

“James Foggo’s statement is a fresh indication that the Arctic is becoming an arena of global rivalry over transport lanes and natural resources,” Khodarenok said.

World history knows no precedent of such a rivalry playing out without considering military factors.

Shoebridge, on the other hand, believes that when faced with the danger of an armed incident spiraling into “uncontrolled escalation,” cooler heads will prevail.

“Despite the confrontational language they might use, most leaders of most states want to avoid this,” he said.

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ethiopian-style chinese highways at the north pole?...

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned China and Russia to “respect our interests” in the Arctic, or face the consequences.

Frozen and desolate, the Arctic region looks set to be the next frontier for competition between the US, Russia, and China. Speaking at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland on Monday, Pompeo launched a broadside against the US’ competitors in the region, particularly China.

“Arctic seaways could become the 21st century Suez and Panama canals,” America’s top diplomat stated.

“China is already developing shipping lanes in the Arctic Ocean. This is part of a very familiar pattern. Beijing attempts to develop critical infrastructure using Chinese money, Chinese companies and Chinese workers, in some cases to establish a permanent Chinese security presence.”

Although China holds observer status on the Arctic Council, the country is 900 miles from the Arctic Ocean. Nevertheless, melting polar ice means viable sea routes across the region will soon be open, and Beijing has given these consideration in its Maritime Silk Road infrastructure plan. During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in linking Russia’s Northern Sea Route with China’s Maritime Silk Road.

Such a route could slash shipping times from China to the West by several weeks.

Where Beijing sees a business opportunity, Pompeo sees a threat.

“China’s pattern of aggressive behavior elsewhere should inform what we do, and how it might treat the Arctic,” he warned.

“Do we want crucial Arctic infrastructure to end up like Chinese-constructed roads in Ethiopia? Crumbling and dangerous after only a few years. Do we want the Arctic Ocean to transform into a new South China Sea? Fraught with militarization and competing territorial claims.”

Aside from its plans to hook up trade routes with China, Pompeo also warned Russia against militarizing the Arctic region. However, 50 percent of the Arctic coastline is Russian territory, and the region is of key strategic and sovereign importance for Moscow.

Both the US and Russia have flexed their military muscle in the region. NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise last year was the alliance’s biggest drill in Norway in more than a decade, and Russia’s upcoming Tsentr-2019 exercises are poised to be “a serious test of the battle capacities” of the nation’s Arctic forces, according to the Russian military.


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and suddenly the guardian wakes up...

Trump’s bid to buy Greenland shows that the ‘scramble for the Arctic’ is truly upon us


World powers are racing to exploit the vast untapped resources of the Arctic as global heating opens up a new frontier


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Please, we've been on this subject for more than nine months on this line of comments and for about 14 years on this site as a whole... 



no palm trees yet on the new islands...

The Russian navy says it has discovered five new islands revealed by melting glaciers in the remote Arctic.

An expedition in August and September charted the islands, which have yet to be named and were previously hidden under glaciers, said the head of the northern fleet, Vice-Admiral Alexander Moiseyev.

“Mainly this is of course caused by changes to the ice situation,” Moiseyev, who headed the expedition, said at a press conference in Moscow. “Before these were glaciers; we thought they were (part of) the main glacier.Melting, collapse and temperature changes led to these islands being uncovered.”

Glacier loss in the Arctic in the period from 2015 to 2019 was more than in any other five-year period on record, a United Nations report on global warming said last month.

Russia has opened a string of military and scientific bases in the Arctic in recent years, with interest in the region growing as rising temperatures open up shipping routes and make hitherto inaccessible mineral resources easier to exploit.

This summer’s expedition to two archipelagoes – Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya – involved a team of 60 people, including civilians from the Russian Geographic Society, and was the first onboard a rescue towboat instead of an icebreaker.


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preparing for calamity USA...

A new US Army report envisions a bleak near future as a consequence of climate change, with power and water shortages, refugee flows – and also more opportunities for intervention and seizing natural resources in the Arctic.

Behind the dull title of “Implications of climate change for the US Army” lies a 52-page report by a team of scientists outlining apocalyptic scenarios: conflicts driven by hundreds of millions of people displaced by rising sea levels; collapse of the US power grid and transportation; and the inability of the Army itself to provide water for its troops, to name but a few.

Yet it also foresees a greater role the Army can play both mitigating the effects of these changes inside the US, and intervening in the resulting calamities overseas. 


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Now you know why the US do not want to prevent global warming. They have a contingency plan to take over the world from what they have mostly created through their massive emissions of CO2. 


Global warming is real and anthropogenic.



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russian improvements while the planet burns...

Russia has committed substantial material, political and military resources in an effort to turn its Arctic territories into a major driver of economic growth, both through the exploitation of the region’s vast untapped natural resources, and the creation of a new Northern Sea Route for trade between Europe and Asia.

Climate change opens tremendous new opportunities for Russia to strengthen its position in the international arena, Haaretz writes.

Russia, the newspaper notes, benefits from its favourable geographical position near the Arctic Circle, where geologists have estimated up to 30 percent of the world’s natural gas and 13 percent of its oil reserves are situated, trapped under the Polar ice. As the Arctic permafrost melts, these resources will become more accessible, particularly to Russia, which has staked out a large portion of the Arctic by showing that the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of its maritime borders.

Furthermore, Haaretz suggests, changing temperatures are making the waters along the coast of the Russian Arctic territories less hazardous than before, and making the idea of new trade routes through the Arctic Ocean more promising, with countries with ports in the North and Baltic Seas standing to benefit – Russia in particular.

According to one “extreme scenario” found in a 2014 UN report cited by the newspaper, in a situation where Arctic maritime routes are capable of operating ice-free year round, as much as “two-thirds of the trade that passes through the Suez Canal would be diverted to the new shipping routes. In any event, the melting of Arctic icebergs will increasingly open up commercial routes from Russia’s northern shores to East Asia, with vast implications for global trade,” the newspaper notes.


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arctic ice...


Life without ice

Mark C. Urban

Science  14 Feb 2020:

Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 719

For millions of years, Arctic sea ice has expanded and retracted in a rhythmic dance with the summer sun. Humans evolved in this icy world, and civilization relied on it for climatic, ecological, and political stability. But the world creeps ever closer to a future without ice. Last year, new reports documented how record Arctic warmth is rapidly eroding sea ice, and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change detailed the manifold impacts from declining sea ice in a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. As the northern sea ice declines, the world must unite to preserve what remains of the Arctic.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that last year's minimum Arctic sea ice extent was the second lowest on record. Similarly, the Polar Science Center found that 2019 ended with the second lowest Arctic sea ice volume on record. The sea ice is now 40% smaller than it was 40 years ago, and the remaining ice is younger, thinner, and more temporary. Arctic summers could become mostly ice-free in 30 years, and possibly sooner if current trends continue.

Although most people have never seen the sea ice, its effects are never far away. By reflecting sunlight, Arctic ice acts as Earth's air conditioner. Once dark water replaces brilliant ice, Earth could warm substantially, equivalent to the warming triggered by the additional release of a trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The ice also determines who gets rain. Loss of Arctic sea ice can make it rain in Spain, dry out Scandinavian hydropower, and set California ablaze. And declining sea ice threatens wildlife, from the iconic polar bear to algae that grow beneath the sea ice, supporting an abundance of marine life.

Unfortunately, the sea ice conceals not just algae, but also 90 billion barrels of oil and 1.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that neighboring countries would like to claim. If extracted and burned, these fossil fuels would exacerbate climate change greatly. Arctic nations are now racing to find undersea evidence that extends their continental shelves poleward, which would allow them to control these resources and substantiate military claims. If conflicts over Arctic ownership intensify, the thawing ice cap could spark a new—more aptly named—cold war.

To avoid these consequences, the scientific community should advocate not just for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but also for protecting the Arctic from exploitation. The Antarctic shows the way. In the 1950s, countries raced to claim the Antarctic continent for resources and military installations. Enter the scientists. The 1957–1958 International Geophysical Year brought together scientists from competing countries to study Antarctica, and countries temporarily suspended their territorial disputes. Afterward, scientists lobbied national leaders to protect Antarctica in perpetuity. In 1959, 12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty to preserve the continent for peaceful scientific discovery rather than territorial and military gain.

Sixty years later, we must now save the Arctic. A new Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) Treaty—a proposed addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea—would protect the Arctic Ocean as a scientific preserve for peaceful purposes only. Similar to Antarctica, MAPS would prohibit resource extraction, commercial fishing and shipping, seismic testing, and military exercises. So far, only 2 non-Arctic countries have signed MAPS; 97 more need to sign on to enact it into law. Scientists can help—just as they did for the Antarctic—by giving statements of support (at signmaps. org), asking scientific organizations to endorse the treaty, communicating the importance of protecting the Arctic to the public and policy-makers, and ultimately by convincing national leaders to sign the treaty. In particular, Arctic nations must agree that designating the Arctic as an international preserve is better than fighting over it. In 2018, these countries successfully negotiated a 16-year moratorium on commercial fishing in the Arctic high seas, demonstrating that such agreements are possible.

Humans have only ever lived in a world topped by ice. Can we now work together to protect Arctic ecosystems, keep the northern peace, and allow the sea ice to return?


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Science  14 Feb 2020:

Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 719




The Arctic sea ice will have completely disappeared within the next 60 years... new wildlife dynamics will be at play. Read from top.

when breaking the ice means the opposite...

President Donald Trump has instructed his agencies to begin the buildup of a “fleet of polar security icebreakers” that would be fully operational by 2029, citing the need to protect US interests in the Arctic and the Antarctic.

In a memo issued to the State Department, Pentagon, Commerce, Energy and Homeland Security on Tuesday, Trump said the US needs to “develop and execute a polar security icebreaking fleet acquisition program.”

Homeland Security was put in charge of the effort to develop requirements for the build-up with a note that it must not adversely affect the acquisition of Offshore Patrol Cutters for the US Coast Guard. 

The fleet will include “at least three heavy polar-class security cutters (PSC),” and a class of medium PSCs based on the “full range of national and economic security missions” such as resource exploitation and undersea cable maintenance.

The studies will determine the optimal number of icebreakers for “ensuring a persistent presence in both the Arctic and, as appropriate, the Antarctic regions.”

The US currently only has one operational heavy icebreaker, USCGC Polar Star, and one medium icebreaker, USCGC Healy. The Polar Star was built in the 1970s and is quickly approaching obsolescence. Trump instructed the agencies to identify options to “bridge the gap” until the fleet is ready, including buying or leasing vessels from other nations.

Moreover, the fleet will require at least two US basing locations and at least two international ones, which the agencies were ordered to identify and assess in light of the outlined mission. The assessment “shall account for potential burden-sharing opportunities for basing with the Department of Defense and allies and partners, as appropriate,” says the memo.

The State Department was instructed to work with Homeland Security to identify “partner nations” with shipbuilding expertise and capability.

Trump has long had his eye on the Arctic, floating the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark in August 2019. Though the Danes snubbed the US offer, Washington has continued to explore the possibility of acquiring the world’s largest island and the gateway to the Arctic ever since.

His predecessor Barack Obama vowed in 2015 to close the “icebreaker gap” with Russia – which at the time operated 34 such ships, 11 times as many as the US – but nothing came of that initiative. Since then, Russia has built several major nuclear-powered icebreakers, while China also got into the Arctic action by launching its first icebreaker in 2019.

It is highly unlikely the US will ask for any assistance from Russia, which currently has the lead in both the sheer number of icebreakers and the expertise to build and maintain them. Moscow has been bolstering its military and civilian presence in the Arctic for years, both because the northern ocean is its longest frontier and because the receding ice has opened the sea route between Europe and Asia for longer stretches of the year, with great commercial promise.


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playing catch up...

Washington and its allies have been too slow to react to Russian and Chinese expansion in the Arctic, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. Still, the US will “succeed” in entrenching there, he believes.

“I think we have all been a little bit naive to watch not only the Russians but the Chinese interest there continue to become more and more aggressive,” Pompeo told Danish public broadcaster DR on Wednesday.

We are a little late. That's alright, I've been late to parties before and had a great time. We'll succeed.

Expanding into the Arctic has been on the US agenda for quite some time, with the goal accelerating under the Trump administration. Indeed, President Trump prompted international mockery after floating the idea of purchasing Greenland from Denmark last year. The vast island is located almost entirely beyond the northern polar circle.


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There is no "catch up" to do... The Russians have been living in the arctic for centuries and have adapted to be "near the north pole"... Jesus Christ never went there...



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the north pole is dying...


German research vessel to return from 'dying Arctic'

The German Alfred Wegener Institute's Polarstern ship is set to return to the port on Monday, bringing home devastating proof of a "dying Arctic Ocean" and warnings of ice-free summers in just decades.

Researchers coming back from a year-long research expedition in the Arctic have bad news: the Arctic Ocean is dying.

The Polarstern research vessel will dock in Bremerhaven, Germany on Monday after spending 389 days drifting through the Arctic, where scientists gathered more than 150 terabytes of data and 1,000 ice samples. While it will take up to two years to analyze all of the data, the initial reports said the ocean was failing.

Read more: Arctic ice shrinks to 2nd lowest level on record

"We witnessed how the Arctic Ocean is dying," mission leader Markus Rex told AFP. "We saw this process right outside our windows, or when we walked on the brittle ice."

Climate change accelerating damage

The  Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) showed the effect that climate change was having on the Arctic Ocean.

Read more: MOSAiC: Great Arctic expedition starts

Over 70 research institutes from 20 countries took part in the research, which showed an Arctic Ocean in peril. According to Rex, sometimes so much ice had melted that there were large patches of water that "sometimes stretch[ed] as far as the horizon."

"At the North Pole itself, we found badly eroded, melted, thin and brittle ice," he added.

The Arctic plays a key role in the global ecosystem, as it cools tropical air from the south to create weather and air currents. Without the Arctic cooling tropical air, it would change weather systems and conditions throughout the world.

Rex warned that if the warming trend in the North Pole continued, then there could be "an ice-free Arctic in the summer."

The researchers also collected water samples from beneath the ice during the polar night to to study plankton and bacteria to better understand how marine ecosystems function under extreme conditions.


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camp century......


Aggressive U.S. Push for Military Supremacy in the Arctic Could Trigger Nuclear War


By Jeremy Kuzmarov


From 1959 to 1966, the U.S. illegally stored nuclear weapons in Greenland in preparation for a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union and built an underground scientific research center right out of a James Bond movie. 

It resulted in the displacement of natives and has left a residue of environmental destruction in the Arctic that will likely be compounded in Cold War Part II.


On June 2, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. would open its northernmost diplomatic station in the Norwegian Arctic town of Tromsoe, the only diplomatic station above the Arctic Circle. .

The move comes as competition over the Arctic’s resources with Russia intensifies as polar ice melt opens access to rich mineral resources and the new Cold War heats up.

In 2019, then-President Donald Trump had talked about purchasing Greenland in “the real estate deal of a lifetime” that would help secure a land mass a quarter of the size of the U.S.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the offer “absurd,” saying that Greenland was not for sale. (Denmark is Greenland’s sovereign owner.)

Beyond Trump’s self-aggrandizement lay a calculating imperial strategy in which the U.S. would use Greenland, where the U.S. already possesses the Thule Air Base, to project its power into the Arctic—a growing arena of geopolitical and military competition.

In 2018, China launched the Polar Silk Road initiative which sought to align Chinese Arctic interests with the Belt and Road initiative involving the building of new infrastructure and interlinking of China’s economy with its regional allies and countries around the world.

As part of the Silk Road initiative, China began creating new freight routes extending into the Arctic that would better enable extraction of natural resources while launching a new satellite to track shipping routes and monitor changes in sea ice there.

The Russians have also been busy expanding shipping routes into the Arctic that are navigable because of global warming, and have finished equipping six military bases on Russia’s northern shore and on outlying Arctic Island, while planning to open 10 Arctic search-and-rescue stations, 16 deep-water ports, 13 air fields, and 10 air-defense radar stations across its Arctic periphery.

The New York Times reported last year that, in response to Russia’s military build-up near the Arctic Circle, the U.S. government has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the port at Nome on the west coast of Alaska, which could transform into a deep-water hub servicing Coast Guard and Navy vessels navigating into the Arctic Circle.

The Pentagon has further plans to increase its presence and capabilities, with the Army releasing its first strategic plan for “Regaining Arctic Dominance.” The U.S. Air Force has transferred dozens of F-35 fighter jets to Alaska, announcing that the state will host “more advanced fighters than any other location in the world.”[1]

Until now, competition in the Arctic was largely mediated through the Arctic Council, founded in 1996, which includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S., and promotes research and cooperation. But it does not have a security component, and soon all members but Russia will be North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members.

Admiral Alexander Moiseyev, commander of Peter the Great, the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet, accused NATO forces and the U.S. of military actions in the Arctic that increased the risk of conflict.

“There haven’t been so many of their forces here for years. Decades. Not since World War Two,” he told a BBC reporter who told him that NATO blamed Russia for the surge in tension. “We see such activity as provocative so close to the Russian border where we have very important assets. By that, I mean nuclear forces.”


First Ice Cold War

Kristian H. Nielsen and Henry Nielsen,[2] in their recent book Camp Century: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Arctic Military Base Under the Greenland Ice, show that today’s perilous situation has roots in the original Cold War period.

U.S. army engineers then built the subterranean city, Camp Century, under the Greenland ice near the Arctic Circle under the guise of conducting polar research, and explored the feasibility of Project Iceworm, a plan to store and launch hundreds of ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads targeting the Soviet Union from inside the ice.

Described by two Danish journalists as “some monstrous figment of the imagination that could have been featured in an early James Bond film,”[3]Project Iceworm was justified under the 1950s military doctrine of “massive retaliation,” and the Eisenhower administration’s “New Look” policy which advocated for a massive conventional and nuclear arms build-up to counter potential Soviet aggression.

The U.S. had been granted the right to establish military bases in Greenland under the terms of a 1951 Defense agreement signed by Denmark and the U.S. that was based on the terms of NATO.

Two years later, an amendment to the Danish Constitution formally made Greenland part of the unified Kingdom of Denmark, putting the country on an administrative par with a Danish county.

Foreshadowing Trump, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes (1945-1947) had tried to buy Greenland for $1 billion from Denmark but to no avail.

The U.S. at the time aspired to build an “Arctic fortress” in Greenland to protect U.S. territory from any potential nuclear or conventional military attack launched by the Soviet Union.

In 1946, General Henry “Hap” Arnold, commander of the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, described to National Geographic magazine how, in the future, a surprise enemy attack would be able to come “from the roof of the world,” unless “we are in possession of adequate air bases outflanking such a route of approach.”[4]

Arnold’s comments exemplify the American tendency to frame military aggression and imperialist expansion as being purely defensive in nature.

His vision—which won support from many other military leaders of his day and remains the basis of the Pentagon’s strategy—was dubbed the “polar concept.” It was embraced by the Strategic Air Command (SAC), which initiated Operation Nanook involving reconnaissance and mapping in Alaska, the Aleutian archipelago, Siberia and northern Greenland.

In 1951, the Truman administration acquired the still operational Thule Air Base in Greenland after signing an agreement to relocate the local population, which consisted of 27 indigenous Inughuit families, with three weeks’ notice.

In November 1952, the first Lockheed F-94B “Starfire” fighter planes arrived to provide air defense around the Thule base, which was an important component in the U.S. polar strategy.

Part of the aim of the Thule base was to provide refueling for long-range Boeing B-29 “Super-fortress” bombers that could fly directly from the U.S. to the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons, including the hydrogen bomb.[5]

The base also functioned as a radar station. From 1958 to 1965, with secret sanctioning by Danish Prime Minister H.C. Hansen, it illegally stored nuclear weapons, including Nike, Hercules and Iceman missiles with nuclear warheads, which would be able to reach targets in the Soviet Union faster than the Minuteman missiles that were stored in the Great Plains.[6]

In 1958, the U.S. secretly began overflying Greenland with B-52s carrying nuclear devices as part of an airborne alert strategy meant to guarantee that America could initiate massive nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union on short notice.[7] The Thule Air Base was also linked to the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) constructed between 1958 and 1960.

American defense authorities running the U.S. space program had at the time taken a keen interest in northern Greenland, partly as a launching location and practical uplink site for satellites, and partly as a training location for spaceship passengers.


“The City Under Ice”—A Science-Fiction Scenario Come True

In 1960, the U.S. Army began initiating research projects near Camp Thule at the underground, nuclear-powered Camp Century, which was established as a kind of science-fiction scenario come true.

The projects aimed to understand the environment and climate on the ice sheet, thereby enabling the U.S. to better establish and secure its northernmost military position.

The scientists and military personnel were flown into Camp Century on a modest air strip. They lived in underground bunkers that were connected to kitchen and living facilities that included a library as well as their research station through a network of underground tunnels stretching for more then 6,000 feet.[8]

The latter were dug using a Swiss invention, the Peter Plough, that used rotating shovel blades to strip a one-to-two foot layer of snow off the surface, blowing it high into the air and off to one side.

The sub-surface installation of a nuclear reactor within the Greenland ice sheet at Camp Century was an enormous and difficult engineering endeavor that was an astonishing achievement.

The scientists were able to drill to the very bottom of the ice sheet and extract an unbroken core of the ice 1,390 meters (4,560 feet) long, a sample that helped Danish and American glaciologists attain a new and deeper understanding of the Earth’s climate over the past hundred thousand years.

Almost all of the journalists invited to visit Camp Century in the early 1960s celebrated the major scientific achievements while minimizing the Cold War context and military purposes behind the camp.

Characteristic was CBS’s star reporter (and future anchorman) Walter Cronkite, who went to the newly constructed Camp Century in the summer of 1960, and produced a widely viewed television broadcast, “The City Under Ice,” which aired in January 1961.

“The City Under Ice” included an interview with Captain Thomas Evans, the head of Camp Century, who described the Army’s achievement as having conquered “one of the last frontiers on Earth,” by stationing an entire unit insidethe ice sheet.

The program demonstrated that life at Camp Century—“the city under ice”—was quite comfortable and safe even though, during the winter months, the temperature “falls to 70 below zero [-57 Celsius] and the wind howls with a speed of 100 miles [161 km] per hour.”

Cronkite explained to his American viewers that Greenland was a Danish island “on top of the world” and that Denmark, “a fellow NATO member,” had been so kind as to give the Americans permission to set up an important radar station and a large air base at Thule—in addition to Camp Century, located on the ice cap.

Despite these statements, Cronkite primarily underscored the scientific and technological aspects of Camp Century, focusing on the battle to subdue nature, not the Soviet Union.

In accepting this official billing as a “scientific facility,” Cronkite obscured that the scientists working out of Camp Century were involved in acquiring little-known information about the geographical and meteorological conditions in Greenland and the Arctic, which was needed for realizing the polar strategy and establishing U.S. military supremacy in the Arctic.[9]

More forthright was an American journalist writing under the pseudonym “Ivan Colt” who, in an article appearing in October 1960, included a vivid description of missile-launching bases beneath the surface of the ice sheet that would be “able to plaster every major Soviet city, H-bomb depot and missile plant.”

 Audacious Cold War Project

In 1997, a group of Danish historians were able to locate a classified document proving that the U.S. saw Camp Century as the first step toward a colossal sub-surface tunnel system that would enable the U.S. Army to launch a nuclear-missile strike at virtually any target in the Soviet Union.[10]

These missiles would be protected because of their distance from the U.S. mainland, and location in a secret underground facility.

Nielsen and Nielsen write that “Denmark was fully as surprised as Greenland at the revelation of the huge and audacious Cold War project, which had been planned in utmost secrecy by strategists at the Pentagon.”[11]

Health and Environmental Detritus and the Dangers of History Repeating Itself

Camp Century was shut down in 1966, as its sub-surface tunnel system in the Greenland ice sheet was extremely difficult and costly to maintain and the development of Polaris nuclear missiles launchable from submarines made it largely obsolete. However, its remains may soon resurface because of global warming.

Greenland, today a largely self-governing part of Denmark, threatened to bring the case before the UN International Court of Justice if Denmark did not promptly assume responsibility for cleaning up the Camp Century site.

The remaining debris, some 35-70 meters (115-230 feet) beneath the surface of the ice, is known to include not only buildings and structural elements but also radioactive, chemical and biological waste.[12]

Over the years, many workers at Thule Air Base had developed cancers from radiation exposure, as did members of a clean-up crew that was called in to collect snow contaminated with plutonium for transport to the U.S. after a B-52 Stratofortress carrying hydrogen bombs crashed seven kilometers from Thule Air Base in 1968.[13]

The health and environmental detritus is an example of a vast and unrecognized cost of the Cold War arms race that is sadly being reinvigorated today.

As Russia, China and the U.S. compete for renewed control over the Arctic and set up yet more military bases there, the fallout will again be considerable even if the nukes are never deployed, and the tragedy of Camp Century will be repeated.




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