Arctic communities around the world have seen unscrupulous changes over the past century or so. With the emergence of oil, and natural resources in these communities, the economy and way of life in such towns have drastically improved. In particular a focus has been on Hammerfest, Norway which is the most northern city on Earth. Many natives here are seeing changes yeah in, year out. The city of Hammerfest which has a rich history over their 225 years of existence are grateful for the changes that came to their lives due to arctic exploration.
One Hammerfest native who had left and returned to the city in 2012 spoke about his experiences coming back to Hammerfest, “Having left and then returned, I have been able to watch the development of Hammerfest over a number of years, from a busy commercial town to stagnation as a result of the downturn in the fishing industry. The oil and gas activity has certainly helped Hammerfest by fueling such significant new developments, which have helped both modernize and transform the town.” The fishing and oil/gas industry has been providing new opportunities and jobs for the whole town. The thriving city is seeing renovations which have not been available due to funds in the past. It is noted in the Forbes article that over 1,000 jobs have been created over the past few years due to the surplus of fishing, oil, and gas created in Hammerfest. Mayer of Hammerfest explained that prior to the boom in economy, the town itself was suffering with run down schools, streets, buildings, but ever since the arctic exploration started to climb, they were able to renovate schools, streets, buildings, libraries as well as build new buildings around the city.
The town itself also has a growing population due to the job growth. It is also seeing a growth with individuals from ages 20-40 which is fantastic according to the locals since the youth is bringing life into a once dissipated town. This trend is expected to continuously grow since the gas and oil industries are expected to keep rising. The local towns folk are loving the idea of turning a once small town into a booming small city which is a top the Earth.
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The Jiaolong, a manned submersible dove into the South Indian Ocean this earlier this week in search for various valuable metals. The Jiaolong is expected to make several dives into the deep abyss in order to extract different deposits which have left back elements such as cooper, silver, and gold.
According to official media, “Hydrothermal sulfide is a kind of sea-bed deposit containing copper, zinc and precious metals such as gold and silver. Those metals formed sulfides after chemical reactions and came to rest in the seabed in chimney vents.” Until recent official approval, no submersible was able to dive into the abyss of the India Ocean due to protection laws. China has secured all the necessary contracts and permits to move forward with the mission according to NDTV, an Indian news publication. They obtained these contracts way back in 2012 after China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) discovered poly metallic deposits in the ocean.
Although, even though the approval took years before it went through successfully, China had locked up a fifteen year agreement with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to be the only nation to dive in the Southwest Indian Ocean. Having this fifteen year time period is not only beneficial for China since they will have first selection on the deposits on the sea bed, they will also be able to train and physically dive with novice explorers. According to Yu Hongjun, chief commander of the mission, “Jiaolong for the first time also took the second batch of pilot trainees in the diving, which was intended to enable the trainees to learn some skills of submersible operation in active hydrothermal vent and collect samples of hydrothermal fluid, sulfide, rocks, sediment and water.”
The scientists working with the Jiaolong dives have been able to pinpoint various locations where scientists are able to see ‘active hydrothermal vent and polymetallic sulfide in seabed‘. The Jiaolong is named after a mythical dragon since it is diving into depths unknown. The Jiaolong has already dove depths of over 7,000 meters back in 2012.
For more information about the Jiaolong expedition, please visit NDTV‘s article on the subject. And for more information on oceanic expeditions visit http://larrymayerunh.com