- Mar 2017
The Region that lies beyond the 66.5 degree latitudinal line is widely accepted as the Arctic Circle. However, there are other indicators of an arctic region such as 10 degree celsius as the maximum air temperature, tundra to taiga biomes, or continuous permafrost. Despite these different labeling standards the Arctic Circle encompasses roughly 15% of the earths land area and 5% of the world ocean. Some areas in this region can go upwards of 130 days with out experiencing a sunrise. This period of time is known as a Polar Night, but is only experienced at latitudes north of 72degrees. Rather than Polar Night, much of the Arctic Circle experiences an extremely long twilight due to the gentle angle at which the sun rises and sets. As technology and globalization has improved, exploration in the Arctic Circle has increased substantially. The Arctic is an incredible asset to scientific researchers as we begin to increase our understanding of the region. Its variation in natural landscapes and ecosystems provide researchers with an extremely biodiverse system to study. This region is also home to an abundance of rich raw materials including gold and natural gas. As industrial interest in this region increase, there will also be an increased need for actors with stake in the region to communicate properly. With almost 30 different territories having claims in the Arctic and an estimated 200 million indigenous peoples living in the region, there are constant socioeconomic and political issues that need to be resolved.
1)Burn, C.r. "Where Does The Polar Night Begin?" The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 39, no. 1 (1995): 68-74. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0064.1995.tb00401.x. 2)Marsh, William M., and Martin M. Kaufman. Physical geography: great systems and global environments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 3)Young, Oran R. Arctic Politics Conflict and Cooperation in the Circumpolar North. Hanover: Dartmouth College Press, 2000. 4)"Maritime jurisdiction and boundaries in the Arctic region ..." Accessed March 9, 2017. http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=3A1010B3AB3B42069672D55F84DE5213&CID=1CC31139A229699C242B1B79A318680A&rd=1&h=7tqBibkrhXoO_0f49soB5YPVU1UMalDfYlMRDxGhdv8&v=1&r=http%3a%2f%2fnews.bbc.co.uk%2f2%2fshared%2fbsp%2fhi%2fpdfs%2f06_08_08_arcticboundaries.pdf&p=DevEx,5071.1.
In 2008 The Unites States Geological Survey provided an estimate of how much undiscovered oil there may be in the Arctic. Their assessment stated that there could be as much as 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Arctic. This statistic means that over 20% of the worlds undiscovered oil may be hiding in the arctic. Just because this oil is labeled as recoverable does not mean it can be easily accessed. A study conducted by the National Petroleum Council states that most of the offshore oil in the Arctic can be extracted using existing technology that has already been implemented in other parts of the globe. Since over 80% of the oil projected to be in the arctic is thought to be offshore, the arctic could be a viable option for meeting future energy demands. That being said, the NPC believes further studies must be done to examine the impact of offshore drilling on Arctic ecosystems and technology should be improved before being implemented. The NPC also admits that drilling in the Arctic may not yet be economically viable just yet due to the extreme Arctic conditions that cause transportation, maintenance, and quality complications. Even if the technological and environmental obstacles can be overcome, companies that want to extract oil from this region will still need to lease the land from the governments that lay claim to that land. Though some governments may be eager to extract oil from the arctic, others have decided to halt the process entirely. On December 20th, 2016, United States President Obama announced in conjunction with the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic would be banned indefinitely.
National Energy Board
The National Energy Board or ‘NEB’ is an agency that regulates the construction and operation of pipelines across international boarders as well as the exploration and production activities related to natural Gas and oil. Any provincial regulation that is not regulated under federal or provincial accords is also left up to the National Energy Board. Overall, the ‘NEB’ Regulates roughly 10% of the pipelines in Canada. The ‘NEB’ regulates 955 kilometers of pipeline within the Northern Territories. The ‘NEB’ also assists in environmental assessments that take place within frontier areas and regulates the production of any oil produced in areas impacted by the Nunavut Land Claims Act. Additionally, the ‘NEB’ reports to the federal government on topics such as energy supply, demand, production, development, and trade. The ‘NEB’ consist of no more than 9 members at any given time. Members must be Canadian citizens and they may serve indefinitely. The ‘NEB’ serves as a regulator for its territories for periods of 20 years. The ‘NEB’ may inquire into any accident involving pipelines while seeking out causes for accidents and providing suggestions for the prevention of similar accidents. The decisions and orders made by the ‘NEB’, within its jurisdiction, are considered orders of the Federal Court and are enforced as such. Furthermore, the ‘NEB’ may charge tolls and impose fees on companies that operate within its jurisdiction. However, such charges are subject to the approval of the Treasury Board. Lastly, If the ‘NEB’ is involved in, or discovers any news that may affect others, the board must notify those affected. The ‘NEB’ is also required to hold hearings should the parties involved request such action and all parties must have the correct representation.
Often referred to as ‘Tuk’, Tuktoyaktuk is a peninsula that lies at the bottom of the Beaufort Sea. It is home to just under 900 total residents. The native tongue is english and few residents speak any other type of dialect. This is largely due to the Government ‘Day School’ that was introduced to the area in 1947.<br> Whaling and hunting were primary drivers for the Tuktoyaktuk economy in the past. However, the primary source of income now comes from transportation and tourism. Tourists generally come to visit the Pingo’s that have developed in the permafrost environment around Tuktoyaktuk.