As Arctic Melts, a Race to Test Oil Spill Cleanup Technology

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, seen here near Barrow, Alaska, is one of two working icebreaker vessels in the U.S. fleet that could be deployed in an Arctic emergency.

Some of the new technology, which included military-style drone aircraft and an unmanned underwater vehicle dubbed the Jaguar by its developers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was designed to hunt and track oil trapped in or under ice. Other devices, such as oil skimmers and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), were more robust Arctic versions of tools that took center stage during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest maritime oil spill in U.S. history.

The infamous BP blowout has cast a long shadow over the industry, leaving many wondering if the Coast Guard (USCG) and the oil industry really are ready to deal with a big spill in the Arctic, where the weather is far worse and any help is much farther away. Add to the mix one more complication: The Arctic Ocean annually freezes into a jumbled, floating mass of ice larger than Canada and Alaska combined.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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