Renewable Energy in the Arctic–Can it be done?

The Circle 03.15

Posted on 17 August 2015

Renewable energy in the Arctic

Whether it is wind, solar, ice melt or geo-thermal, the topic of renewable energy in the Arctic has generated disbelief, debate and outright scorn.

But as this latest edition of The Circle proves, lowering dependence on costly and contaminating non-renewables in the far north can be economically feasible and better for human, animal and environmental health.

Read about some of the renewable energy success stories here in The Circle–your international portal to news and science in the Arctic.

Valuing Arctic Ecosystems and Biodiversity–The Circle 02.15

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For thousands of years Indigenous peoples of the Arctic have subsisted on its natural resources – fish, grazing grounds for reindeer herding, fresh water from the great Siberian rivers flowing into the Arctic. The far north represents tremendous wealth in its unique biodiversity, culture and, increasingly, in commercial ventures including tourism and shipping.

This issue of The Circle investigates the what, why and how of valuing Arctic ecosystems and biodiversity. Why are we allowing some Arctic ecosystems to be degraded? Is the real value of ecosystems incorporated into economic policies and investment decisions by companies? What ecosystem services are generally missing from policy evaluations and business calculations due to their economic invisibility? Can valuation of ecosystem services be a tool to make the invisible use of nature visible and as such, redirect the economic compass of the Arctic and beyond? What are prerequisites to be met for estimating this true value? What is an appropriate scope and boundary for valuation in the Arctic? Is it wrong to put a dollar value on some of Arctic´s ecosystem services, such as the cultural value that Indigenous peoples place on nature? How can we incorporate cultural and even spiritual values in the decision-making process? Join the debate in this edition of The Circle.

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U.S. at the Helm of the Arctic Council — The Circle 01-15

The Circle 01.15

Posted on 31 March 2015

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This year the United States assumes the Chair of the Arctic Council, following on the heels of Canada’s two-year term and with Finland on deck for 2017.

This edition of The Circle looks at what was accomplished under Canada’s direction, what the US is planning to focus on and what its successor’s expect to be addressed before taking the reins of the Council.

This is a pivotal year for the Arctic and for the Council itself. Find out why in this edition of The Circle as our contributors address the politics, the promises and the issues hinging on this new term of The Arctic Council.

Where the Ocean Blooms — The Circle 04-14

The ice edge is a dynamic zone between frozen cover and open water. In the spring it becomes a garden of plant plankton and ice algae sprouting a smorgasbord for zooplankton which, in turn, is prey for larger animals. But this zone of intense biological production is particularly vulnerable to human impact.

This edition of The Circle examines Ecologically or Biologically Sensitive Marine Areas (EBSAs), the Arctic Ocean’s own critically important blooming gardens.   – See more at:

Cover of The Circle 04.14

Asia in the Arctic

China, India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore were among the countries granted observer status at the Arctic Council at its ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden in May, 2013.

This edition of The Circle delves into why these Asian states feel it is important for them to be at the Council, their interests in the far north, their future plans and the status of their presence in the Arctic today

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Arctic Tourism: boon or bust?

Who benefits and who is compromised by increased travel and tourism to the Arctic? Should travel to the far north be encouraged or should some places be “off limits” or to some degree protected?

There are strong arguments on both sides of the Arctic Tourism debate.

Join the discussion as this edition of The Circle presents the most up-to-date information, insight and opinions from scientists, Indigenous Peoples, tour operators, academics and researchers as they weigh in on travelling to the “beloved place.”

Editor: Becky Rynor

The Status of Polar Bear Populations in Circumpolar Countries

King of the Arctic, cultural symbol, economic commodity, or global warming poster child?
This edition of The Circle examines polar bear populations in Canada, the U.S., Russia, Greenland and Norway, and what these big, carnivorous mammals need to survive in the coming decades. We know almost nothing about polar bears in half the area they range, so more research could, arguably, top the list. What are the long-term effects of climate change, environmental disasters, industrialization in the far north and the cascading effect of all of these on the arctic marine food web and polar bears?
Here, The Circle presents the most up-to-date information, insight and opinions from scientists, Indigenous Peoples, academics and researchers into the plight of the polar bear.
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Exploring The Arctic’s Last Ice Area

The Circle 02.13 The go-to magazine about the Arctic


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The increasing melt of Arctic summer sea ice is a regular headline. What is less well known is that one area of summer sea ice is projected to persist far into the future. This is what WWF calls the Last Ice Area. 

Check out our latest copy of The Circle to find out more about this area, where it is, why it is significant, and potential future management options.

The Circle 2013.02

The Circle:The latest edition of the go-to magazine about the Arctic

The Circle 01.13 Editor: Becky Rynor

The Circle 01.13

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Posted on 07 May 2013  |  0 Comments

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The Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, in May 2013 completes the first full rotation of circumpolar countries chairing the Council since its creation in 1996. Much has changed in the far north since then. This next cycle will be a time to look at how the Arctic Council functions as a regional process, the new challenges and new realities the Arctic faces.

This edition of The Circle explores some of these issues. Authors delve into the readiness of Arctic nations to use the Council to provide environmental stewardship; they reflect the huge responsibility circumpolar countries are feeling towards the people locally and globally who will be affected by the council’s successes or failures while others scrutinize the political will and commitment to balancing sustainable development with protecting and preserving this unique place on the globe.