(UPI, 9 January 2012) -- LINKOPING, Sweden - A Swedish-made unmanned helicopter successfully completed a series of mission flight tests over the Arctic Ocean, its maker says. CybAero AB, the manufacturer of the system, said its APID 60 was put through its paces in search and rescue, and reconnaissance and surveillance in collaboration with the Norwegian Coast Guard and Coastal Agency near the Norwegian village of Vardo. Vardo is located along the Norwegian Polar Sea and gale force winds were blowing when the tests were conducted. "It's one thing to show that you can fly, but quite another to actually perform the task in these harsh conditions," said Andreas Gising, fight operations officer and manager on site in Vardo.
Posted 12 January 2012; 9:17:45 PM. Permalink
(Invest in the Faroes, 3 January 2012) -- Although the Faroe Islands has a population of only 50,000 people, the country has its own University with about 600 students. For the past few years, increased funding to the University has enabled it to develop new courses of study. Some of these relate directly to the Faroese labour market and will thus satisfy the demand for higher education in applied as well as theoretical fields. For example, the University will offer a new degree programme in food science. One of the aims of this programme will be to to improve the applied aspects of the food industry in the Faroe Islands, but it will also aim to develop the industry's opportunities for growth and prosperity. At the same time, the programme will seek to contribute to the scientific side of the food industry while taking into consideration the natural resources in the Faroe Islands, especially the marine resources – the main basis of the Faroese economy. Another course of study that the University of the Faroe Islands is working on developing is in communication and journalism. Until now Faroese people have had to move to Denmark, Norway or other neighbouring countries to pursue higher education this field. The specifics surrounding the degree in communication and journalism are not set in stone yet, but it is likely to be arranged as a Master's level degree programme that can be taken after achieving a Bachelor's degree in the social sciences or the arts. The plan is also to offer the new degree programme as an option for those people that already have an advanced higher education in related fields.
Posted 12 January 2012; 6:28:36 PM. Permalink
(Rheana Murray / New York Daily News, 11 January 2012) -- Dwindling Arctic Sea ice is cutting off polar bears’ food supply, forcing the starving animals to devour their own kind. While cannibalism among polar bears isn’t unheard of, experts say the behavior is becoming increasingly common. “There are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring,” photojournalist Jenny Ross told BBC News. “Particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.” Ross explained how the higher temperatures melt ice more quickly, leaving the bears less time to fuel up on ice-dependent seals, the animals’ main source of food. “Weights of adults are decreasing, litters are smaller, fewer young bears are surviving, and the overall population size is shrinking,” she said. Ross, whose research was published in the January 2012 edition of
Posted 12 January 2012; 10:17:24 AM. Permalink
(Mary Pemberton/Anchorage Daily News, 10 January 2012) -- Shifting ice in the Bering Sea is dramatically slowing a Russian tanker's mission to deliver fuel to the iced-in community of Nome. A Coast Guard spokesman said Monday that an icebreaker and a fuel tanker are encountering "some really dynamic ice" that is slowing the mission and sometimes forcing both vessels to come to a complete stop. But, "As long as we're making progress, we're going to Nome," said Anchorage Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley. A worst case scenario would be that the ice becomes too much for any progress. But Mosley doubts that would be the case since the Coast Guard cutter Healy has the ability to make it all the way to Nome. Jason Evans, chairman of Sitnasuak Native Corp., the company arranging for the fuel delivery by Russian tanker, had no qualms Monday. "I think we are getting to Nome," he said, adding he will be there for the arrival. Nome is in need of diesel and unleaded gasoline after a fall fuel delivery by barge was delayed by a storm that swept western Alaska. By the time the weather had improved, Nome was iced-in and a barge delivery was impossible. ... The Healy, an icebreaker designed to move through ice several feet thick, is leading the 370-foot Renda, a Russian tanker loaded with 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products. The plan was for the two ships to deliver fuel to Nome on Monday, but because of the icy conditions, that arrival date is off. Coast Guard officials are not saying when they expect the vessels to arrive, but it could be later this week. "The dynamics of things make it a pretty intense transit," Cmdr. Greg Tlapa, the executive officer of the Healy, told The Associated Press by satellite phone Monday afternoon as the icebreaker was about 111 miles south-southwest of Nome. ... The ships are in constant communication, with the Healy relaying over VHF radio any speed or propulsion changes and what they are seeing ahead. There's an active duty Coast Guardsman on the Healy who is fluent in Russian, Tlapa said. There's an Alaska marine pilot on board the Renda, and the vessel agent speaks English. "It's slow and steady, but we're making good progress," Tlapa said.
Posted 12 January 2012; 10:15:03 AM. Permalink