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The Arctic Wire
News from the North

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
The Russian government, interested in expanding territory for oil and gas production, also has designs on the North Pole but says it can work out its differences with Denmark.Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer
Officials in three Nordic countries have taken steps to respond to aggressive aerial moves by the Russian military...Radio Sweden and YLE News
Denmark, citing a connection between Greenland's continental shelf and an Arctic Ocean ridge, joins Canada and Russia in asserting ownership of the world's northernmost point.  Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer
Low oil prices and Russia-related complications are expected to slow "old-school" resource-extraction activity, but changes to permafrost, ice and animal populations continue at their rapid pace. Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle