Arctic Update Header
November 28, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will resume consideration of the FY 2012 Department of Defense Authorization bill. The House is in recess today and will return tomorrow.  

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


House Must Pick Up After Super Committee: Chamber Likely to Leave Sequester Alone Until 2012. With wreckage of the super committee squarely in their rearview mirror, lawmakers returning to the House on Monday will face a packed agenda with little time to get everything done. Add to the chamber's already busy schedule of GOP jobs and regulatory reform measures the thorny issues of a payroll tax extension, unemployment insurance and the "doc fix" to cover the shortfall in Medicare payments to providers - all of which were supposed to be dealt with by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction - and you have a very busy few weeks ahead. Roll Call


A Better Look at Data Shows Greenland Glaciers on the Go. Using some of the great data sets available today, Mark Fahnestock figured the average winter temperatures of the Arctic from the time he was born until he was 10 years old. He compared that data to the same period in his son's life, finding the Arctic has warmed about five degrees since Fahnestock was his son's age. All that warmth affects things, the scientist said at a recent meeting in Fairbanks. "The glaciers are getting the message," Fahnestock said. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


Oil Whale ExxonOttawa Moves Ahead With High Arctic Military Center: Center will focus on disaster training. The federal government will move ahead with its planned military facility in Resolute, Nunavut. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised an Arctic warfare training facility in 2007. The facility looks like it will now become reality, but with a few changes to the original plan. The new facility will focus mainly on training for disasters. "I think the tragic event of this past fall highlighted the need for being able to have a facility that we can operate out of," said Maj. Bill Chambré with the Department of National Defense. CBC News 


Late Flurry of Migrating Caribou Herd Linger Around Kotzebue. From a massive Arctic storm to late waves of migrating caribou, residents of this Northwest Alaska town are witnessing some of nature's rarer sights this winter. As many as 60,000 caribou of the huge Western Arctic herd are making a late trek down Alaska's west coast, and have surrounded the community of Kotzebue since Tuesday. Alaska Fish and Game wildlife biologist Jim Dau said it's unusual but not unprecedented to see so many animals so close to town. The strange part is how detached these animals are from the rest of the herd. "It's an odd distribution," said Dau. "I've never seen them so dispersed in the fall." Alaska Dispatch 


PappPapp Focuses on Counter Piracy at IMO Assembly, Polar Code. Another important issue for IMO is setting standards, or a Polar Code, to ensure the safety of crews that sail on ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. As the Arctic Ocean becomes increasingly navigable due to diminishing ice, it will offer new routes for global maritime trade from Russia and Europe to Asia and the Americas, saving substantial transit time and fuel costs from traditional trade routes. IMO began work on the Polar Code in 2010 and aims to complete it in 2012. The new Code will include requirements for operations in cold environments and remote areas, communications in high latitudes, training for watch standers and ice navigators and mitigation of the environmental impacts of vessel operations. "We strongly support development of the Polar Code," Papp said. "As the Coast Guard examines the future of our missions in the Arctic, we see the need to establish safety rules for specific regions with particularly harsh climates and unique hazards. Wherever human activity thrives, government has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the people and environment." 


Looking Way Back at the Rate of Arctic Melting. The current rate of sea ice loss in the Arctic is a change without precedent for 1,450 years, a paper published on Thursday by Nature concludes. Scientists from Canada and the United States reconstructed the Arctic sea ice cover back to the year 561 using a variety of factors including ice core samples, tree ring counts and lake sediment analysis and, where available, ice observation records. New York Times 


NOAAStatement from Russell F. Smith III, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries: U.S. priorities for fishermen, science and stewardship achieved at international meeting. Mr. Smith reports that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) made significant progress on key U.S. priorities to improve science, management of fish stocks and their ecosystems, monitoring of fishing activities, and compliance with commission decisions at the recently completed annual meeting in Turkey. NOAA


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events                                   


Airships to the Arctic VI: A Game-Changer, December 5-6, 2011. The sixth Airships to the Arctic conference explores the forward and backward linkages of the emerging airship industry. The introduction of transport airship will require new locations for transshipment and generate economic opportunities that do not exist today. Just as these other modes of transport spawned an array of input suppliers, this conference examines the supply base of the airship industry. Construction of large transport airships will create the need for materials, engines, pilots, avionics and many other large and small input suppliers.  


AGU Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011. The American Geophysical Union's ("AGU") Fall Meeting to connect with colleagues, broaden their knowledge base, and embrace the joy of science.  The groundbreaking research presented at this world-renowned event is critical to advancing our understanding of the natural world and to addressing the challenges society faces as they relate to our science. As an organization, AGU works to unite Earth and space scientists who are dedicated to the common goal: scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity.  One of the most important ways we do this is through the Fall Meeting - an event that embodies who we are as a scientific organization and that is key to helping us achieve our organizational mission, vision and goals. 


National Science Foundation Town Hall Meeting, December 7. The Arctic Sciences Division (NSF) will hold a Town Hall Meeting from 12:00 - 1:30 pm in the ARCUS community room (San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Pacific Room J). Note the change from the AGU program book. The Deputy Director and Program Officers will discuss the Division's portfolio, some recent awards, future directions, and--most importantly--take questions and hear comments from the community. If you have questions, contact


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.


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 Heath, 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.


White House Tribal Nations Conference, December 2, 2011. President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. As part of President Obama's ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President's commitment to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country.  

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)