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The cost of thawing - No one seems to know how 21,000 tons of fuel spilled into the Pyasina River, but the factors leading up to this catastrophe include thawing permafrost and a failure to address emerging threats to critical infrastructure. It is a problem shared by industrial facilities as well as communities across the Circumpolar North. There is little doubt what the impact will be on the river and the people who depend on it for their livelihoods. In the north we have built, and in some cases continue to build, infrastructure for an Arctic that no longer exists. Engineering the new Arctic will require moving off thawing lands and exercising all measures necessary to prevent spills from happening in the first place. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Norilsk, Krasnoyarskiy, Russia
Siberia Times / June 10, 2020

Toxic fuel from 21,000 ton leak reaches pristine lake, bypassing floating booms, as rivers of diesel pollution cover-up is exposed.

Read article on Siberia Times



Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarskiy, Russia
The Moscow Times / The Moscow Times / June 3, 2020

Wildfires in Russia have burned across a combined area the size of Greece so far in 2020, surpassing official estimates threefold. Experts warn that this year’s blazes could become the most destructive in history.

Read article on The Moscow Times



Vaasa, Ostrobothnia, Finland
Yle Uutiset / June 6, 2020

Train service between Hämeenlinna and Toijala was halted by a fallen tree, while some 13,000 households lost power.

Read article on Yle Uutiset



River Leannan, Co. Donegol, Ireland
Derek Evans / The Irish Times / June 7, 2020

Salmon affected have a characteristic red-spotted rash on their underbelly and may appear lethargic or moribund. In the past few weeks, suspected cases have also been reported in Denmark, Norway and Scotland.

Read article on The Irish Times



Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
Kori Sidaway / CHEK / June 4, 2020

“In the last 36 hours, we’ve received four bear sightings in Saanich,” said Sgt. Damian Kowalewich with Saanich Police. "A lot of our residents are obviously alarmed by this and it’s a higher number of sightings than usual.”

Read article on CHEK



Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Sarah Rieger / CBC / February 12, 2020

Some welcome new visitors have recently appeared in a southeastern Alberta park — otters.

Read article on CBC



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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