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Posts on ‘August 27th, 2012’

Arctic sea ice hits record low, scientists say

By , Monday, August 27, 5:28 PM

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, the day the sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements. The line on the image shows the average minimum extent from the period covering 1979-2010. Every summer the ice cap melts down to what scientists call its “minimum” before colder weather builds the ice cover back up.

The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a record low Monday, according to the University of Colorado National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is on track to decline further in the next two weeks.The news that the Arctic sea ice cover had shrunk to 1.58 million square miles (4.1 million square kilometers) on Sunday came two days after Royal Dutch Shell’s drill ship, the Noble Discoverer, took advantage of reduced sea ice and started sailing from Alaska’s Dutch Harbor to the Chukchi Sea, in anticipation of final federal approval for oil exploration activities there. The area covered by Arctic summer sea ice usually reaches its low point around Sept. 13, when the region begins to cool. But it has been melting at an unprecedented 38,600 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) per day, and it is likely to decline even further before the ice begins to re-form. The last minimum sea-ice record of 1.61 million square miles (4.17 million square kilometers) was set in September 2007.Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said long-term warming coupled with recent weather conditions account for the new low. He noted that the long-term warming trend has produced more open water, which in turn absorbs more heat and makes the ice thinner.

“The thinner ice cover is then more easily melted during the summer, and more easily broken up by winds and waves from storms, which leads to more melting as well,” Meier wrote in an e-mail. “This year we had a pretty strong storm go through the Arctic in early August, and that certainly has been a big factor in the rapid loss during August. But before that storm, we were already tracking along the 2007 trajectory, so a record may have happened even without that storm because of the long-term trend.” read more

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Shell Seeks to Extend ’12 Oil-Drilling Time in U.S. Chukchi Sea

By Katarzyna Klimasinska on August 27, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is seeking additional drilling time in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska as delays have cost the company about two months of exploration this year.

Shell has spent $4.5 billion to obtain drilling rights, purchase equipment and procure permits from various federal agencies in pursuit of an underwater supply of oil estimated at more than 20 billion barrels.

While the company initially planned to begin in July, ice that remained longer than usual and Coast Guard concerns with a spill-containment barge, the Arctic Challenger, delayed the start and caused Shell to cut the number of wells planned for this year from five to one or two. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Federal scientists still wary of Shell’s Jackpine oilsands expansion

Documents reveal concerns ahead of fall public hearings into northern Alberta mine expansion

The Canadian Press: Posted: Aug 27, 2012 12:18 PM ET

A demonstration tailings pond in Shell’s Muskeg River oilsands mine in northern Alberta. The company’s ability to store the byproducts of oilsands extraction in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment is one of the concerns raised by federal scientists worried about Shell’s plans to expand another of its mines, the Jackpine facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta., . (Handout/Reuters)

Regulatory documents indicate federal scientists still have significant concerns over Shell’s proposed Jackpine oilsands mine expansion north of Fort McMurray, Alta., even as the project heads into public hearings. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell seeks more time to drill exploratory well in Chukchi Sea

Shell says the Arctic Challenger will likely complete renovations in Bellingham, Wash., this week and set sail for Alaska (Handout photo / August 26, 2012)

By Kim Murphy: August 26, 2012, 4:24 p.m.

GIRDWOOD, Alaska — With its bid to launch offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean running up against a deadline to protect against sea ice, Shell Alaska has requested an extension in its window for drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

Peter E. Slaiby, vice president of the Alaska venture, said Sunday that the company has proposed extending the time allowed for drilling in the Chukchi by slightly less than two weeks beyond the Sept. 24 deadline set by the U.S. Department of Interior to allow time for cleanup of any oil spill before the onset of winter sea ice. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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