There are fewer things that will catch your attention quicker than being a sailor on duty in the Arctic’s Barents Sea and having a couple of Russian planes buzzing over your head at just 100 feet! It happened with a Russian helicopter the very next day.
This Cold War-styled flyby activity is unusual enough to catch the attentions of Pentagon officials but the word out of Washington is that “the actions were not hostile.” Col. Dave Lapan told reporters that they were investigating the matter to see if either side stepped out of bounds.
Have we done anything to upset the Russians lately? Let’s hope not.
Just last month, a cruise ship from Canada bound for the Northwest Passage ran aground. One of the passengers said, “It’s the Northwest Passage, and it is a trip on which you are likely to see the most whales, seals, other things like that.” There were no reports of Russian flybys while the passengers waited to be rescued.
Arctic News from NASA indicates that Operation IceBridge (NASA’s airborne mission to observe changes in Earth’s rapidly changing polar land ice and sea ice) is entering its fourth field season in October of this year. IceBridge project scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md are monitoring the data.
According to the NASA website, “IceBridge, is a six-year NASA mission and is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.” I wish NASA could develop a way to stop the meltdown instead of just observing it!
In other Arctic news, the Winnipeg Free Press reports that, “the largest packaged-ice company in the country and second-largest in North America, Arctic Glacier, is grappling with an onerous debt load.” It sounds like the Polar Caps aren’t the only things melting away these days.
If the company were to melt away like the polar ice caps, will the phrase “on the rocks” just simply melt into obscurity?