Arctic Update Header
December 29, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will not hold formal sessions, subject to the call of the chairs.


Happy Holidays from the USARC. Daily distribution will resume on January 4th. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents 


submarineBlaze Engulfs Russian Nuke Sub; No radiation leak. A massive fire engulfed a Russian nuclear submarine at an Arctic shipyard Thursday, but there has been no radiation leak, or injuries, officials said. The fire at the Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine occurred while it was in dock for repairs at the Roslyakovo shipyard in the Murmansk region, said Irina Gretskaya, a spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry's branch in the area. Gretskaya said the fire engulfed wooden scaffolding at the yard. "No one has been hurt and there has been no radiation leak," she said. CBS News 


Icebreaker Collects Opportunistic Data Underway. While on passage from the Canadian west coast to the Arctic, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientists from the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) in Sidney, British Columbia were able to collect dozens of high-quality 400m CTD profiles across the Pacific Ocean without stopping or slowing the icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Hydro International 

nuunavutMore European Countries Join Ban on Harp Seal Products: Inuit organization looks into impact on hunting industry. The Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan joined with the European Union (EU) by banning the import of all harp seal products effective last summer, and now the Nunavut government and Inuit are examining how the ban might affect the territory in the  coming year. Ron Brown, manager of Fisheries and Sealing for the Nunavut government, said it is difficult to determine what impact the ban will have on Nunavut, adding his department is still gathering information about it. Northern News Service 


Russian Tanker Making 250 Plus Miles a Day en Route to Icebound Alaska City. A Russian tanker is headed toward Alaska  on a mission to deliver fuel to Nome. Mark Smith, CEO of Vitus Marine, said Wednesday that the tanker is making more than 250 miles a day, and was reported to be 545 miles south-southwest of Attu in the Aleutian Islands. The tanker left Russia loaded with more than a million gallons of diesel fuel in South Korea. The plan is to have it pick up 400,000 gallons of gasoline in Dutch Harbor and then head to Nome. The Coast Guard cutter Healy is on hand to break ice. Fairbanks Daily News Miner 


russian flag"Canada has a good working relationship with Russia with respect to the Arctic." "There is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war," the Russian foreign ministry's representative in Siberia  said smiling as he quoted the Canadian Prime Minister, as reported in a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. Although Stephen Harper never expected that his conversation with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen would be made public, the analysis was entirely correct. Here in Novosibirsk (pop. 1.5 million), people are more interested in trade and investment opportunities than geopolitical conspiracies. The freshly snow-cleared streets are crowded with new Japanese cars; the shop windows filled with the latest European fashions. Most of the students at my lectures are fluent in English; some already have jobs lined up with the Moscow branches of multinational law and management consulting firms. The Toronto Star 


More Views on Climate Risk and Arctic Methane (Opinion) In trying to clarify what's known, unknown, and learnable about the possible contribution to global warming from vast methane deposits beneath Arctic seas, I reached out to a host of scientists working on this question. I also received a lot of reader input, as you can see from the comment threads in the string of posts on this important issue. New York Times Blog


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on research


activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2012.   Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information to follow. 


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. 


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


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research.


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and behavioral health.


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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