chukchi seas

Ada Blackjack: the real Robinson Crusoe

An Alaskan Inupiat woman named Ada Blackjack was hired in 1921 as a cook and seamstress, to go on an expedition to Russia’s Wrangel Island, north of Siberia. The hope was to claim it for Canada. Four men plus Ada set out. And they reached the island! Unfortunately, the expedition was poorly planned. They soon ran out of rations and were unable to trap enough animals to eat. So, on January 28th, 1923 three men decided to try crosssing 700 miles across the frozen Chukchi Sea to Siberia for help and food. The left behind Ada and one other man who was sick with scurvey. She cared for him until he died, and then Ada was left alone, on a Siberian island, with just the expedition’s cat, Vic.

The three men were never heard from again. But Ada survived. She learned to live in the extreme freezing conditions for seven months! Ada was rescued on August 19th, 1923 by a former colleague of the expedition’s leader. She made no money on the subsequent publicity and books, just her pay for the expedition and a couple hundred dollars from the furs she trapped while on the island. Ada returned to Alaska and lived there till her death at the age of 85.
Trump signs executive order to expand drilling off America’s coasts: ‘We’re opening it up.’
The measure will make millions of acres of federal waters eligible for oil and gas leasing, just four months after President Barack Obama withdrew these areas from possible development.

The assault on our environment, including our oceans, continues with this latest (i.e., today) Executive Order from trump. He’s starting in motion the process to reverse President Obama’s temporary and permanent bans, and the requirements for safety equipment imposed after the Deepwater Horizon spill. He’s also ordering a review of the marine sanctuaries created or enlarged by President Obama.

He will do anything to prove up to his supporters that his first 100 days will be the most productive period of time since the alleged 6 day creation effort by the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity aka God. And we all know that this 100 day effort, if graded, wouldn’t even qualify for an “F.”


President Trump signed an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, as well as assess whether energy exploration can take place in marine sanctuaries in the Pacific and Atlantic.

The “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” will make millions of acres of federal waters eligible for oil and gas leasing, just four months after President Barack Obama withdrew these areas from possible development. In late December, Obama used a little-known provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to bar energy exploration in large portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and a string of canyons in the Atlantic stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia.

Still, even Trump administration officials said it would take years to rewrite federal leasing plans and open up these areas to drilling. And global energy prices may deter investors from moving ahead with additional drilling in the Arctic Ocean in the near term, despite the effort to make more areas eligible for development.

Speaking to reporters Thursday night, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said it would likely take about two years to do a thorough review of what new areas could be put up for auction.

In addition to reviewing what drilling can take place off Alaska and the East Coast, the new directive charges Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to halt the expansion of any new marine sanctuaries and review the designations of any marine national monument established or expanded in the last decade. That includes Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which Obama quadrupled in size last year, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off Massachusetts.

And here’s a summary from the New York Times about trump’s order regarding off-shore drilling safety equipment:

Trump also took aim at regulations on oil-rig safety.

Last year, the Obama administration unveiled a set of regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling equipment, intended to tighten the safety requirements on underwater drilling equipment and well-control operations. In particular, the new rules tighten controls on blowout preventers, the industry-standard devices that are the last line of protection to stop explosions in undersea oil and gas wells.

The 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig was caused in part by the buckling of a section of drill pipe, prompting the malfunction of a supposedly fail-safe blowout preventer on a BP well.


President Obama bans drilling in stretches of the Arctic and Atlantic

  • President  Obama declared vast stretches of the Arctic and Atlantic off-limits for future drilling on Tuesday
  • It’s a move seemingly intended to prevent the future administration of Donald Trump from leasing the areas to oil and gas companies.
  • Obama invoked the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to declare sections of the Chukchi sea under U.S. jurisdiction and the majority of the Beaufort Sea “indefinitely off limits” for future energy extraction.
  • According to the Post, while Trump cannot unilaterally reopen the areas to drilling, it is “not clear” if he could do so with the consent of a Republican-controlled Congress.  Read more

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The Diomede Islands are located in the middle of the Bering Strait between mainland Alaska and Siberia, with the Chukchi Sea to the north and the Bering Sea to the south. 9.3 km (5.8 mi) to the southeast is Fairway Rock, which is generally not considered part of the Diomede Islands. The islands are sometimes called Tomorrow Island (Big Diomede) and Yesterday Isle (Little Diomede) because they are separated by the International Date Line, thus Big Diomede is 23 hours ahead of Little Diomede.

Obama invokes 1953 law to indefinitely block drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans
President Barack Obama used a provision, which Donald Trump cannot easily sweep aside, to block drilling in federal waters.
By Tom DiChristopher

“The law allows a president to withdraw any currently unleased lands in the Outer Continental Shelf from future lease sales. There is no provision in the law that allows the executive’s successor to repeal the decision, so President-elect Donald Trump would not be able to easily brush aside the action.

…The lands covered include the bulk of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic and 31 underwater canyons in the Atlantic.

Canada also imposed a five-year ban on all oil and gas drilling licensing in the Canadian Arctic. The moratorium will be reviewed every five years.

 "These actions, and Canada’s parallel actions, protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region on earth,“ Obama said in a statement.

 ”They reflect the scientific assessment that, even with the high safety standards that both our countries have put in place, the risks of an oil spill in this region are significant and our ability to clean up from a spill in the region’s harsh conditions is limited.


Why 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska

The World Wildlife Fund said walrus have also been gathering in large groups on the Russian side of the Chukchi Sea.

"It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. “The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

Learn more from the Associated Press.

anonymous asked:

Is don't about Ellie Goulding?

The two subspecies of walrus are divided geographically. Atlantic walruses inhabit coastal areas from northeastern Canada to Greenland, while Pacific walruses inhabit the northern seas off Russia and Alaska, migrating seasonally from their southern range in the Bering Sea—where they are found on the pack ice in winter—to the Chukchi Sea. Female Pacific walruses give birth to calves during the spring migration north.

A mass haul out of 35,000 walrus on an Alaska beach

Thirty-five thousand walrus on a beach in Alaska, rolling in filth and the carcasses of their kin. The walrus, almost all of them females and calves, should be spending their summer on the fringes of the Arctic sea ice. Walrus females traditionally spend their summer months nursing newly born calves on the fringes of the sea ice above the shallow waters of the Chukchi Sea. But the ice is gone.

In order to find accessible food sources, they flock to shore. When walrus crowd together in such massive numbers, the threats to life multiply. Any disturbance can cause stampedes that generally kill the young. Disease spreads quickly and the land becomes caked in filth meaning injuries inflicted by stampedes quickly become infected. 

Why they swarm, rather than spreading across the landscape more uniformly, is unknown. But compounding the effects of the haul outs on the population will be the decline of the ecosystem on which they rely. The walrus will return to the ice as it expands back over the shallow seas, but they may find their food source increasingly scarce.

The outlook for the ice, and the consequent fate of the walrus and many other animals that live on the fringes of the ice, is grim. All climate models show that the ice cover will eventually disappear in summer if the planet continues to warm.