US Arctic Research Commission
April 21, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the spring recess through May 2nd.


Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium, today.


13:00-15:00          Policy Influencing Science 

                            Topic 1: Science at Sea


Moderator:   Robert Gagosian, Consortium Ocean Leadership

Location:      Cannon House Office Building, Room 122

Panel:          John Delaney, University of Washington

                  Elizabeth Tirpak, U.S. Department of State

                  Robert Winokur, U.S. Navy


                             Topic 2: Science at the Poles


Moderator:   Jeff Schuffert, Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Location:      Longworth House Office Building, Rom 1732

Panel:          John Farrell, U.S. Arctic Research Commission 

                  Kathryn Moran, Office of Science and Technology Policy

                  Roberta Marinelli, National Science Foundation

                  David Titley, RADM, U.S. Navy


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Pentagon - DefenseUnder Budget Pressure, Defense Officials Scour Programs for Deeper Cuts. Senior Defense Department officials, under pressure from Congress and the White House to pare down their spending plans, said Wednesday they are poised to examine which missions and capabilities they can do without. The White House unveiled a broad deficit-reduction plan this month that would include cuts to planned national security spending, which is comprised mostly of Pentagon programs, by $400 billion over the next 12 years. Some of those savings may come from squeezing greater efficiencies out of Defense programs, but much of it would likely have to come from scaling back the jobs the military is asked to perform, the officials said. 


Warming for a Fight. US, Russian, Canadian, Norwegian, and other counties are realizing the opportunities that will develop as ice decreases in the Arctic.  This article details some of the recent developments among the Arctic governments. Climate Spectator


Scientists Tracking Black Carbon in the Arctic. Researchers from six countries are in the Arctic studying the potential role that soot, or black carbon, has on the rapidly changing Arctic climate. Although the Arctic is typically viewed as a vast white wasteland, scientists believe a thin layer of soot is causing it to absorb more heat. They want to find out if that is the main reason for the recent rapid warming of the Arctic, which could have an impact on the world's climate for years to come. Red Orbit


657 New Islands Discovered Around the World. Here's something you don't see  every day - hundreds of new islands have been discovered around the world. The Earth has 657 more barrier islands than previously thought, according to a new global survey by researchers from Duke University and Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C. The researchers identified a total of 2,149 barrier islands worldwide using satellite images, topographical maps and navigational charts. The new total is significantly higher than the 1,492 islands identified in a 2001 survey conducted without the aid of publicly available satellite imagery. Barrier islands help protect low-lying mainland coasts against erosion and storm damage, and can be important wildlife habitats. The nation with the most barrier islands is the United States, with 405, including those along the Alaskan Arctic shoreline. Ghana Business News 


Wildlife at Risk Face Long Line at US Agency. In February, the Obama administration declared the Pacific walrus to be at risk of extinction because its Arctic habitat was melting. But it declined to list the marine mammal as an endangered species, saying a backlog of other animals faced greater peril. New York Times


Conservation Groups Intervene in Polar Bear Lawsuit. Three conservation groups have intervened in defense of polar bear critical habitat in lawsuits filed by the oil industry and the state of Alaska, the Center for Biological Diversity said today. "If polar bears are going to live to see the next century, we have to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and preserve the Arctic, not turn it into a dirty industrial zone," said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director for the Center for Biological Diversity. The Bristol Bay Times


Iqaluit to Host Polar Bear Conservation Meeting. Canada will discuss polar bear conservation with governments and scientists from four other Arctic nations at a meeting this fall in Iqaluit. The meeting, slated to take place Oct. 24 to 26, will mark the first time the five signatories to the 1973 Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears will meet in Canada's North, where two-thirds of the world's polar bears are based. CBC News


More Russian Tankers to Ply Arctic Route Despite Cost. Russia's Sovcomflot will Russian Tanker - Arctic - Sovcomflotship 3-4 cargoes of stable gas condensate from northwest Russia to Asia via the Arctic sea this year on behalf of Novatek a senior Sovcomflot official said on Wednesday. "We are planning to ship between 300,000 and 400,000 tons this year," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on the Russian Arctic. Reuters Africa


Ice Blog. Blog by Irene Quaile was recently updated to include a number of Arctic resources and will soon publish an interview on Arctic exploration with John Farrell, executive director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.The House and Senate are in recess through May 2nd.

Future Events     


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution (pdf), May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. Topics include: hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates; science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76; geodynamic significance of Arctic magmatism; vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic, and glacial; geology and palaeogeography of the Arctic continental margins; evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology; modern Arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes; recent advances in Arctic research technology. More information email.  


American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14. This policy colloquium brings together a group to consider atmospheric policy. The colloquium will cover policy creation basics, interactions with congressional staff, and information on the current atmospheric policy issues. 


The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21, 2011. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute, Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a forum titled "The Arctic Imperative: Think of the Bering Strait as the Next Panama Canal." The forum will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics just as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade.


4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, June 20-21, 2011.  The symposium is co-hosted by the U.S. icediminisharcticNational Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. This symposium addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies.


Holocene Glacier Variability from the Tropics to the Poles, July 20-27, 2011. Glaciers respond sensitively to climate change. Recent (Holocene) glacier fluctuations are a valuable proxy for terrestrial interglacial paleoclimate conditions. A main challenge for interpreting paleoclimate from past mountain glacier extents is distinguishing local and regional patterns from global signals. Reconstructing Holocene glacier extents involves many disciplines including terrestrial and marine geology, geochronology and glaciology. Organizers hope to facilitate an inter-hemispheric comparison of glacier records including locations in the Tropics, European Alps, American Cordillera, Southern Alps of New Zealand, Himalaya and Polar Regions and to identify future research questions and directions. For additional information contact: Meredith Kelly.  


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011

The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland. The International Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every three years. 

13th Arctic Ungulates Conference (AUC), August 22-26, 2011. The theme of the conference will be "Challenges of Managing Northern Ungulates." The theme Muskokaddresses the difficulties of managing ungulate populations that are faced with the unpredictable effects of climate change and an ever-increasing human presence on the land. The conference will also focus on the challenges associated with developing recovery actions for declining caribou and reindeer populations that are an integral part of Aboriginal cultures and ways of life. 
9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region  Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on  Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchange of practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 


4th International Sea Duck Conference, September 12-16. The conference is held to provide researchers and managers with opportunities to share information, research, and conduct workshops.


Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes. The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future

A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy, on September 20-23, 2011. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Notably, the workshop will be attended by the oil spill work package of the EU ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change and its Effect on Economic Systems). Registration forms are available here


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference permafrostwill be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008.  More details to follow. 


Arctic/ Inuit/ Connections: Learning from the Top of the World, October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.



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