In debating the possibility Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Oil drilling plays a key role in the drunken, silent, role.
The issue is whether oil reserves, especially oil conservation measures will be taken before any drilling takes place, to investigate whether earthquake tests can be accomplished without harming animals as a result of climate change.
A new study raises doubts about the effectiveness of what is considered a state-of-the-art tool to help the industry avoid injuring or disturbing polar bears through dense identification of ice. For more than a decade in Alaska’s northeastern region, research has found that oil companies use airborne devices, known as the homeland, and less than half of their baby cubs, called front-facing infrared or FLIR cameras.
“We wanted to make sure we dropped a warning flag,” said Tom Smith, wildlife environmentalist and lead author of the study at Brigham Young University. Published in the journal Plus One on Thursday. The oil industry “needs to recognize that even with the best conditions, you are about to miss the bear,” added Dr. Smith, who is also a scientific advisor to Polar Bears International, a conservation group that provided some funding for them. Study.
Pregnant polar bears dig deep into the snow at the end of the year and emerge with their cubs in the spring below. The cubes detected during the earthquake survey can be interrupted or crushed, where large trucks cross the land in a grid pattern, with ongoing supply depots and camps for workers.
In Alaska’s northern Opelu, where oil has been mined since the 1970s, only earthquake surveys are allowed in winter when there is enough snow to protect the delicate Arctic tundra.
FLIR cameras, which carry aircraft or helicopters, can detect heat under the snow. But Dr. Smith said the weather conditions should be just fine for the cameras to read well – not too much air and little humidity.
Other factors, such as excessive snow cover, can cause cameras to miss density.
“If the snow on the den is more than a meter thick, FLIR will not see it,” said Dr. Smith. “Heat spreads in snowbank.”
The warming of the Arctic during climate change is likely to further complicate the search, as warmer air contains more heat-dispersed humidity, he said.
Researchers have found that only 45 percent of the 33 dens are located on the FLIR camera, using industry reports from the FLIR survey industry from 20 to 20 2016 and comparing them with on-ground documentation of the dens across the northern ope. Surveys also produced a number of false positives, as exposed soil and sources of rock or sacrificial steel drum could radiate heat that could be interpreted as a sign of DEN.
The Arctic Sanctuary is an important wasteland for polar bears in the South Pole Beaufort Sea sub-population, one of the world’s most endangered. Reducing sea ice coverage, as a result of the rapid warming of the Arctic, has led to a sharp decline in population, as it becomes more difficult for bears to reach the seals and other food.
The potential loss of the Valu population has become a major problem as the Trump administration’s attempt to allow oil spills in the Arctic shelter, the size of South Carolina, is a region that is largely touched by human activity.
A tax bill passed by Congress in 2017 allowed the Department of the Interior to plan to develop 1002 zones of oil in a portion of the shelter on its northern coast. Despite opposition from Democratic lawmakers, threats of legal action by environmental groups and uncertainty over how much oil depends on the region, the administration hoped to start selling leases last year. The New York Times investigation found evidence that only oil was well allowed at the shelter, an oil sprinkled in the mid-sixties to look for oil preservation signs, There were disappointing results.
The lease sale has never been conducted and the administration’s plans are suspended. Although the Department of the Interior prepared the required environmental impact statement before the sale was held, no final decision was made.
According to Leslie Ellis-Butters, an Alaska spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management, an insider that is handling the development of the Lizzie plan, It was It is not unusual for a final decision to be given an impact statement a few months after the statement is concluded. Regarding lease sale status, he added, “By law, the first lease sale needs to be before December 2020, and we are well within that time.”
Proposals for an earthquake survey in the 1002 area are also halted: it was developed by Seismic Services Agency SA Exploration in Houston and several Alaska Native corporations, and environmental groups were even criticized. Some home department scientists said Potentially harmful for polar bears. The department ordered an environmental assessment of the proposal, which is less comprehensive than the environmental impact statement.
Last week, Interior Spokeswoman Carol Dunko said in an email that “the Environmental Assessment (EA) application is pending an update on the management plan from the promoter during the initial draft phase.”
SAE Exploration did not respond to a request for comment. Company Last summer some of its debt consolidated And announced that its Securities and Exchange Commission was under investigation for its accounting practices. The company’s chief financial officer has been fired and its chief executive has resigned.
If an earthquake is to be surveyed at the shelter, another study published by the Department of the Interior has suggested ways that the polar bear can be disturbed.
Study, Published in The Journal of Wildlife Management in December, Computer simulations of survey designs are used to identify when and where seismic tracks travel, usually in early March to avoid known denial zones or to survey them only after bear arrives. It was found that the design of a survey reduced the number of disruptions by more than 90 percent compared to the survey with no specific restriction on space and time.
Ryan R. Wilson, a biologist and author of the study for the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States of Alaska, says it has shown that “if you provide additional information, we can go a long way toward easing the disturbance of polar bears.”
The survey also proved that the FLIR survey could reduce the impact on more densities. Dr. Wilson says he was aware of new research that raises questions about the effectiveness of the FLIR survey, but says his research also considered their limited effectiveness.
The survey design study is currently open for a 60০-day public comment period published by the Department of the Interior, a rare task for academic research. Dr. Wilson said he did not know why the paper was opened for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said it was time to comment It was a way for us to “make people aware of the study and to get feedback on how we can apply the model to the field.”
An environmental group called the Dividers of Wildlife criticized the decision. “The study clearly shows the problem of restoring oil development and protecting these rogue polar bears,” said Robert Dewey, vice president of the agency for public relations, “The comment period gives the industry a chance to try and notorize the study.”