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The Arctic Wire
News from the North

Efforts to move forward with Arctic priorities got a boost with the passage of the federal spending bill last week, which included items Alaska’s lawmakers are calling vital to the Arctic. 

Carey Restino
A number of studies point to an unmistakable warming trend across the Arctic as sea ice thins or disappears, and it was a hot topic at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in San Francisco.Ned Rozell
Clam shells found in the Beaufort Sea floor during a 2010 mapping mission belong to a genus previously unknown to science, according to a new study. The clam shells date back more than a million years.Yereth Rosen

The Shell contractor that broke environmental and maritime safety laws during the oil giant’s troubled 2012 drilling season in Alaska was sentenced on Friday, Dec. 19, to pay $12.2 million in fines and community payments, serve four years’ probation and undergo a company-wide environmental compliance program that will be subjected to the scrutiny of third-party experts.

Erik Hill
Avoid plastic trees, and take steps to keep your real trees fresh and useful, an expert advises. Radio Sweden
Russia's currency and economic woes, which go beyond anything that country's central bank can fix, are already being felt in FinlandYLE News
The volume of cargo shipped through the Arctic route fell by 77 percent this year, and some experts say potential for ship traffic has been overstated.Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer
While the Arctic in 2014 continued its long-term warming, much of the rest of the world was struck by wacky and extreme weather, and studies are underway to determine whether the trends are related, said scientists who released an annual report on the Arctic on Wednesday. Yereth Rosen
The free-fall of the ruble -- and the Russian recession that is expected next year -- will create hardships for neighboring areas of Norway that depend on Russian customers. Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer
The storm-driven inflow of oxygen-rich, salty water will improve circulation and might boost fish stocks, an environmental expert says. YLE News

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