Browsing by Subject "the Arctic"

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  • Mäkelä, Meri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The present retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet will increase the amount of fjords surrounded only by land-terminating glaciers in the future. As in the Arctic, productivity is generally lower at these kinds of fjord systems than in the ones surrounded by marine-terminating glaciers, this will most likely affect the productivity and ecosystem structure of coastal marine areas. Paleorecords of past coastal ecosystems can improve our understanding of the drivers of Arctic coastal ecosystem change and provide possible future scenarios. At present, there are not many high-resolution marine ecosystem reconstructions from the Arctic near-shore areas, and in particular those, which take into account land-derived inputs are lacking. To provide a detailed reconstruction of coastal marine ecosystem change over the Holocene and study its linkages to climate and terrestrial freshwater inputs, organic-walled palynomorphs (including e.g. dinoflagellate cysts and pollen) and some basic geochemistry (including e.g. total organic carbon, C:N ratio, biogenic silica and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen) were examined from two radiometrically dated sediment cores from Young Sound fjord, Northeast Greenland. The results indicate that the near-shore marine ecosystem in Young Sound is clearly influenced by local forcings, such as terrestrial freshwater and organic matter inputs, during the Holocene. The results also illustrate that these terrestrial inputs affect the ecosystem structure and at least some dimension of ecosystem productivity. This study demonstrates that increasing number of fjords with only land-terminating glaciers in the future will affect marine productivity and ecosystem structure in Greenland’s fjord systems, with potential impacts on biodiversity and important fisheries. Studying past ecosystem changes in different fjord systems, and complementing marine records with proxies for terrestrial inputs, would further help constrain the future scenarios along the Greenland shore.
  • Whyte, Breandán (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The past two decades has seen significant shifts (or a rebound) in Russian foreign policy, ranging from Putin’s pragmatic cooperation to a new line of assertiveness under a “rhetoric of resistance” against a perceived US-led Atlantic expansionism. The incommensurate views between Moscow and the Atlantic Community regarding the political layout of the post-Cold War order has seen the emergence of what some would describe as a New Cold War on the European continent. With it has come a renewed focus on Northern Europe and the Arctic. For smaller Nordic countries such as Norway, the collapse of the USSR brough a general optimism that Oslo’s geopolitical position between Moscow and Washington belonged to the past. However, the re-emergence of a Muscovite State capable and willing to assert its interests in opposition to Washington’s hegemonic interests has made it clear that these predictions had not come to pass. During the immediate post-Cold War period, Norwegian foreign and security policy underwent significant shifts in pursuit of its partnership interests vis-à-vis the United States. As such, Norway finds itself increasingly in a squeeze between its partnership interests and increased dependency vis-à-vis United States, and its position as a good neighbour towards Russia. As such, this thesis aims to understand on what grounds Russian perspectives may increasingly come to view Norway as a growing operational piece for US-led ‘post-Cold War expansive Cold War liberal order’?
  • Penttilä, Outi Riikka (2019)
    Recently, the Arctic has transformed from a peripheral region to an area of great interest, for instance in terms of oil drilling. Nonetheless, no legal instrument has addressed the matter of accountability for transfrontier oil pollution damage. This article accordingly evaluates whether the current legal constructs, meaning State responsibility, international liability, civil liability regimes, and multilateral environmental agreements, allow accountability to be established for transboundary environmental harm resulting from hydrocarbon exploitation in the Arctic. It also examines whether these constructions could serve as the basis for future legislative actions. This article treats these four constructions as layers of accountability. After examining all of the layers in their current formulation, this article asserts that the existing layers cannot establish accountability for transboundary environmental damage in the Arctic, nor do they as such offer an effective way to regulate accountability in the future. Therefore, the article concludes that the law of accountability necessitates a new approach, such as a non-compliance mechanism or hybrid system combining elements of multiple layers. Finally, the article calls for immediate legislative actions.