LEO Network
The Northern Climate Observer

The Northern Climate Observer


Waves of Trash In 1986, I was a student aboard the RV Westward, a research vessel on a six-week journey through the Sargasso Sea. I remember coming up on deck one morning and seeing a line of full trash bags floating on the ocean surface. They were stretched out every twenty yards or so, for as far as the eye could see. I was completely dumbstruck! The first mate, seeing my expression said, "Some trail huh. Left by the ship that passed last night." I will never forget that. The idea that someone would throw hundreds of bags of trash into the ocean. Who does that? One study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the labels and date stamps on plastic bottles that washed up on the beach. They found that at least on one South Atlantic island, most of the plastic trash came from merchant marine vessels in international waters. Ocean dumping is a global problem, and the number of ships traveling to the Arctic (see Marine Traffic Map) is increasing. Alaska coasts have long had problems with fishing industry trash. But dumping by merchant and other ship traffic is new because of sea ice change and emerging shipping routes. This week, we are featuring an observation from Sharon Nayokpuk, the Tribal Environmental Manager for Shishmaref, Alaska, and a long-time member of LEO Network. On October 6, she observed an assortment of trash washing ashore on local beaches. The US Coast Guard has cited increased shipping through the Bering Strait as a likely cause, apparently by people who have little regard for keeping Arctic waters clean. We know what will happen if strict measures are not taken. By sharing these observations, we hope to encourage policy makers and the shipping industry to find ways to stop the dumping of trash into Arctic seas. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Shishmaref, Alaska
Sharon Nayokpuk / LEO Network / October 6, 2020

"We have been finding plastic bottles, glass bottles, couple life vests, and boots." The Bering Sea has noted an abundance of foreign debris washing up on our shores. Communities like Unalakleet, Gambell, Savoonga and Nome have all reported and documented hoards of this debris.

Read post on the LEO Network



Siberian Times / October 20, 2020

Fellow driver tries to scare the predators away as they climb inside the truck to reach food scraps. All predators look healthy and well fed, however the author of the video suggests that it could have been hunger that made them surround the truck.

Read article on Siberian Times



Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Gloria Dickie / Hakai Magazine / April 5, 2019

Dumps are often chock-full of plastic and, as a new survey shows, polar bears are ingesting a lot of it. In an analysis of the stomach contents of 51 polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, researchers led by Raphaela Stimmelmayr, a wildlife veterinarian with Alaska’s North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, found that 25 percent of the bears had plastic in their stomachs.

Read article on Hakai Magazine



Haines, Alaska, United States
Chilkat Valley News / Chilkat Valley News / October 22, 2020

Two brown bears were killed in Haines last week, bringing the total killed outside hunting season in management unit 1D this year to 26. Bear calls to police have increased by about 600% compared to past years.

Read article on Chilkat Valley News



Matt Miller / Alaska Public Media / October 26, 2020

Scientists believe a massive glacial dam release - or jökulhlaup - recently occurred in Southeast Alaska. But they probably would not have known about it if they had not been tipped off by an observant commercial fisherman.

Read article on Alaska Public Media



Klawock, Alaska, United States
Eric Stone / Alaska Public Media / October 27, 2020

Heavy rains toppled trees and buried roads on Prince of Wales Island Monday. Local and state transportation crews are responding to at least seven landslides blocking roads on the Southeast Alaska island.

Read article on Alaska Public Media



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.

Please forward this newsletter or share it on social media. Join the LEO Network to share your own stories of environmental change.

Connect with us:

Northern Climate Observer

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.

Click here to view back issues of the Northern Climate Observer.


Subscribe Unsubscribe


Northern Climate Observer #451
Jan 19, 2021
Northern Climate Observer #450
Jan 13, 2021
Northern Climate Observer #449
Jan 6, 2021
Northern Climate Observer #448
Dec 16, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #447
Dec 9, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #446
Nov 30, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #445
Nov 23, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #444
Nov 18, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #443
Nov 10, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #442
Oct 29, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #441
Oct 21, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #440
Oct 15, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #439
Oct 9, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #438
Sep 29, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #437
Sep 22, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #436
Sep 14, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #435
Sep 2, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #434
Aug 17, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #433
Jul 28, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #432
Jul 13, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #431
Jul 7, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #430
Jun 29, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #429
Jun 19, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #428
Jun 12, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #427
Jun 4, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #426
May 26, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #425
Feb 26, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #424
Feb 19, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #425
Feb 5, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #424
Jan 30, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #423
Jan 9, 2020
Northern Climate Observer #422
Dec 23, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #421
Dec 12, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #420
Dec 5, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #419
Nov 27, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #418
Nov 16, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #417
Nov 9, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #416
Oct 31, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #415
Oct 17, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #414
Oct 9, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #413
Oct 3, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #412
Sep 24, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #411
Sep 17, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #410
Sep 12, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #409
Aug 27, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #408
Aug 22, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #407
Aug 15, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #406
Aug 8, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #405
Jul 31, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #404
Jul 24, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #403
Jul 15, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #402
Jul 9, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #401
Jul 3, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #400
Jun 26, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #399
Jun 19, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #398
Jun 11, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #397
May 29, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #396
May 22, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #395
May 15, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #394
May 6, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #393
Apr 30, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #392
Apr 22, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #391
Apr 15, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #390
Apr 9, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #389
Apr 2, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #388
Mar 27, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #387
Mar 19, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #386
Mar 5, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #385
Feb 26, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #384
Feb 20, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #383
Feb 5, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #382
Jan 28, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #381
Jan 14, 2019
Northern Climate Observer #380
Dec 26, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #379
Dec 12, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #378
Nov 20, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #377
Nov 12, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #376
Nov 6, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #375
Oct 24, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #374
Oct 15, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #373
Oct 9, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #372
Oct 2, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #371
Sep 27, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #370
Sep 18, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #369
Sep 13, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #368
Sep 4, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #367
Aug 29, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #366
Aug 21, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #365
Aug 7, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #364
Jul 24, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #363
Jul 17, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #362
Jul 9, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #361
Jul 2, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #360
Jun 26, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #359
Jun 18, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #358
Jun 13, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #357
May 22, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #356
May 15, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #355
May 7, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #354
May 1, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #353
Apr 24, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #352
Apr 20, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #351
Apr 9, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #350
Mar 26, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #349
Mar 19, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #348
Mar 12, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #347
Mar 5, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #346
Feb 27, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #345
Feb 19, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #344
Feb 5, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #343
Jan 29, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #342
Jan 21, 2018
Northern Climate Observer #341
Dec 28, 2017
Northern Climate Observer #340
Dec 12, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #339
Dec 4, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #338
Nov 28, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #337
Nov 21, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #336
Nov 13, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #335
Nov 6, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #334
Oct 30, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #333
Oct 23, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #332
Oct 16, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #331
Oct 9, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #330
Oct 2, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #329
Sep 18, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #328
Sep 11, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #327
Sep 5, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #326
Aug 21, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #325
Aug 14, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #324
Jul 31, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #323
Jul 11, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #322
Jul 5, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #321
Jun 25, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #320
Jun 12, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #319
May 29, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #318
May 22, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #317
May 11, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #316
May 8, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #315
Apr 29, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #314
Apr 21, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #313
Apr 14, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #312
Apr 7, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #311
Mar 24, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #310
Mar 17, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #309
Mar 9, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #308
Feb 24, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #307
Feb 17, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #306
Feb 3, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #305
Jan 27, 2017
The Northern Climate Observer #304
Jan 20, 2017