Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"Obama to Call for More Icebreakers in Arctic as U.S. Seeks Foothold"

From the New York Times:
ANCHORAGE — President Obama on Tuesday will propose speeding the acquisition and building of new Coast Guard icebreakers that can operate year-round in the nation’s polar regions, part of an effort to close the gap between the United States and other nations, especially Russia, in a global competition to gain a foothold in the rapidly changing Arctic. 
On the second day of a three-day trip to Alaska to highlight the challenge of climate change and call for a worldwide effort to address its root causes, Mr. Obama’s proposals will touch on one of its most profound effects. The retreat of Arctic sea ice has created opportunities for shipping, tourism, mineral exploration and fishing — and with it, a rush of marine traffic that is bringing new difficulties....MORE
One of the better non-specialist Arctic news outlets in our feedreaders is the Barents Observer which was talking about this story two years ago.

Below is the U.S. heavy icebreaker Polar Star which in 2014 was sent to rescue the Antarctic research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy and its faux-savior Chinese icebreaking research vessel Xuě Lóng that had also become trapped, arriving just before the awful decision as to which of the Guardian reporters on board would be cannibalized, was to be taken.

Just kidding, no reporters were eaten; the passengers, crew and the reporters were helicoptered out to the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis before the Polar Star got to them.

Chinese ice breaker stuck too

Last year:

Webcam Aboard the 'Aurora Australis' As It Attempts to Rescue the Scientists/Media/Tourists Aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy