Arctic Update Header
August 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.


98th Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Today's schedule is as follows:  


9:00 -10:30 A.M. Commission meeting reconvenes (**executive session**):

9:00-9:30 Staff Reports

9:30-10:30 "Strategic Planning Session"


10:30-10:45 A.M. Break


10:45 -12:00 P.M. USARC Administrative Items/Discussion


**executive session ends, meeting open to public from 1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.**


Noon-1:00 P.M. Working lunch on site


1:00-2:30 P.M. Arctic Human Health Speakers

1:00-1:30 T. Kue Young (University of Toronto) - Circumpolar Health Needs

1:30-1:45 T. Hennessy (CDC) - CDC's Arctic Health Priorities

1:45-2:00 T. Ritter (ANTHC) - Water and Sanitation Needs in the Arctic

2:00-2:15 B. Boyer - Research Priorities at CANHR

2:15-2:30 D. Driscoll- Research Priorities at the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies


2:30-3:00 P.M. Break


3:00-4:00 P.M. Arctic Human Health Panel Facilitated Discussion (4-5 members, plus Commissioners):


4:00-5:00 P.M. Other business, public comment period, wrap up and adjourn



healthmeetinglogo15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event 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.



A Closer Look at Ice Impacts of Rare Arctic Summer Storm. NASA released a remarkable satellite image (above) of the Arctic storm discussed below. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has posted on what it calls "a most interesting Arctic summer," and that is certainly the case, given this week's powerful and rare summer storm, which is churning the Arctic Ocean's already thin and reduced sea ice cover. In the third installment in a running series of posts on the potent storm, the Arctic Sea Ice blog, a popular aggregator of all things related to the sheath of ice floating on Arctic seas, has proposed calling it the "Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012." New York Times


Salazar, KenInterior Secretary Salazar Plans Tour of Alaska. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is planning a three-day trip to Alaska. Salazar is preparing to decide whether to issue final drilling permits to Shell Oil, which hopes to drill exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The department announcement on Salazar's trip was mum on whether the secretary intends to make an announcement on Arctic offshore drilling in Alaska. KTOO News 




Oil Drilling in AlaskaNunavut, Greenland Premiers United in Desire for Resource Development: Nunavut, Greenland should enjoy "the kind of benefits that the rest of the world gets." Greenland Premier Kuupik Kleist dropped by Nunavut for three days this past week to talk to Premier Eva Aariak about resource development. And they agreed Nunavut and Greenland should "take our relationship a step forward" on a number of development issues, Kleist told reporters Aug. 9 at a press conference inside the Nunavut Legislative Assembly. The main talking point between the two Arctic leaders: the development of natural resources like oil and gas exploration, and mining. Nunatsiaq Online 


Coast Guard SealFar North Deployment for Coast Guard Cutter: US Coast Guard Cutter Juniper deploy to far Arctic region for joint operations. The Newport, R.I., based Coast Guard Cutter Juniper is deploying to the Arctic to conduct maritime safety and security exchanges with the Canadian navy and coast guard along with elements of the Danish navy. During the deployment, Juniper will participate in various elements of Operation Nanook. The operation is in the northernmost region of the high Arctic in the vicinity of Baffin Island and areas off Greenland's west coast, approximately 2,300 miles northeast of Juniper's homeport. MarineLink


Arctic Spill Response: Coast Guard's Papp should be ashamed (Opinion) Someone needs to get the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, lessons in how to read a chart because he appears clueless about Alaska's Arctic despite a recent over-flight. "If British Petroleum had all the resources on hand at the time that Shell has in place for drilling today, we probably would have been able to stop that spill much quicker and certainly more effectively," he told reporters in Alaska this week, referring to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. As someone who covered the early days of the oil spill that followed the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf, I have to wonder if Papp hadn't been breathing too many fumes from the engine of an HC-130 before making that statement. Maybe he's forgotten the difficulties of stopping the Deepwater spill only 50 miles from the heartland of American oil-field technology. Deepwater was just offshore from Louisiana, where the offshore oil and gas industry began in 1947 and has been going ever since. Alaska Dispatch 


More Oil Drilling Brings Limited Cash to Government. Opening up federal lands to more oil and gas exploration would boost the federal treasury through new royalty payments, but would make almost no dent in the federal deficit, according to figures released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan budget office said opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration - which is banned under current law - would bring in about $5 billion over the next decade, and about $2 to $4 billion a year in the decade after that. Meanwhile, pushing the Obama administration to open up other areas such as the outer continental shelf, which are legal but which the administration has opposed, would bring in about $2 billion over the next decade, the CBO said. The years beyond that were too uncertain for CBO to make a prediction. Washington Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    



Week of the Arctic, August 13-18, 2012. The Arctic is front and center in peoples' minds.  Increased maritime traffic and new opportunities for development have brought about more reasons to understand and work toward safe and secure operations both on land and off Alaska's coast. To help Alaskans understand these critical challenges and issues at stake in the Arctic, the Institute convened the first Week of the Arctic last year, drawing over 550 participants to five events in four days. The 2012 Week of the Arctic will take place August 13-18 in Anchorage, Alaska. Week of the Arctic events will include:

The Week of the Arctic's signature event is the annual Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award Dinner on Friday, August 17th. This year we'll be recognizing Red Dog Mine for their sustainable development in the North.


2nd Cargo Airships of Northern Operations Workshop, August 22-24, 2012. Researchers from NASA Ames Research Center will provide insights into the new technologies that form the solid engineering basis for modern cargo airship systems. Speakers from the mining, oil, and gas industries will describe their transportation challenges and how they plan to exploit cargo airships in support of their businesses. Local Alaskan air freight firms will discuss how cargo airships can complement existing air transport fleets by providing additional capability and expanding air shipping services. The world's leading developers of airships will provide design and operational details on new cargo airships they're currently developing and preparing to deploy for commercial service. Representatives from the financial community will present the many options available for what has often been the missing element of airship development and operations, funding. The website will soon be updated. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 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.


10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 5-7, 2012. The 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will take place in Akureyri, Iceland 5-7 September 2012. The conference will be attended by members of parliament from the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament, Arctic indigenous peoples and a variety of observers. The main items on the agenda are:

1.       Arctic Governance and the Arctic Council

2.       Economic opportunities in the Arctic

3.       Human Development in the Arctic: Interplay of Research, Authorities and Residents


The Conference will adopt a statement directed to the Arctic Council, the governments in the Arctic Region and the institutions of the European Union.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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.  


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of  responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

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