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December 4, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider a measure under suspension of the rules. The Senate will consider the Department of Defense Authorization.


Arctic Technology Conference, December 3-5, 2012. The burgeoning Arctic arena offers a host of opportunities for companies that can solve the complex environmental, physical and regulatory challenges it presents. ATC 2012 will include a highly specialized technical program, education courses, networking events, and an exhibition - all deisgned to help ensure that oil and gas professionals throughout the world are prepared to succeed in these challenging Arctic arenas.


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts in fall meeting in San Francisco. Roughly 20,000 scientists will be in attendance. On December 3rd, there will be a town hall meeting entitled "Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions."The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is organizing a Town Hall meeting at the Fall AGU Meeting entitled "TH15G Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions". Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important climate evidence from the past. International collaboration for drilling in the polar regions requires coordination between science, technology, and logistics.  The research community is invited to hear updates on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives. 


ISAC town hall meeting, right after the SEARCH Town Hall meeting that ends at 7:15. Moscone West Room 2010.  Wednesday, December 5
GC33B - Links Between Rapid Arctic Change and Mid-latitude Weather Patterns I Posters
1:40 PM - 6:00 PM; Hall A-C (Moscone South)

Thursday, December 6
GC44B - Links Between Rapid Arctic Change and Mid-latitude Weather Patterns II 
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM; 3001 (Moscone West)

Conveners:James White; Jennifer Francis

Invited Speakers: Stephen Vavrus, James Screen, James Overland, Judah Cohen



5.8 Quake Hits Southcentral [Alaska]. A moderate earthquake shook Southcentral Alaska Monday afternoon. At 5.8 on the Richter scale -- revised upward from an initial magnitude of 5.7 -- it was strong enough to knock objects from shelves, but no serious damage was reported, said Guy Urban, senior watchstander at the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer. The quake struck at 4:42 p.m. The Tsunami Warning Center said the quake occurred at a depth of 33 1/2 miles and was located 25 miles west of Anchorage and 55 miles southwest of Palmer. It was widely felt across the region. Anchorage Daily News 


Iceland Issues Offshore Licenses. Iceland's government has provisionally awarded Faroe Petroleum operatorship of offshore exploration licenses under the country's second licensing round. These are in the Dreiki area, and comprise seven blocks south of the Jan Mayen ridge offshore northeast Iceland, within the Arctic Circle. The Jan Mayen microcontinent is between the conjugate margins of East Greenland and the Norwegian continental shelf. Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine


Want to Slow the Arctic's Collapse? Stop flying over the North Pole. As the world keeps warming up, sea ice in the Arctic has been disintegrating rapidly. We've reached the point where scientists are now mostly just debating whether it will take a few years or a few decades before we start seeing ice-free summers up north. So is that it? Is the Arctic doomed? Perhaps not just yet. A new study suggests one way that humans could slow the melting of the sea ice - by preventing international flights from crossing over the Arctic circle. These cross-polar flights are a surprisingly large source of black carbon pollution in the region. And if those planes diverted course, that could help fend off the day when the Arctic sea-ice collapses for good. Washington Post


Uncovering the Secrets of Greenland's Ice. For hundreds of years the Arctic has fascinated explorers and scientists who wonder what treasures may lie under the massive ice plains that occupy much of the territory here. Adventurers from across the globe have been coming to Greenland for years to try and uncover what secrets lay beneath the massive ice shield here, which is more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas. It turns out that many of the riches are not hidden under the frozen and compressed snow layers, but right in them. CNN


greenlandDetecting the Dangers of Greenland's Giant Icebergs. Every year, we hear stories of global warming advancing and the effects that has on the earth's climate patterns. One phenomenon that is often used to illustrate ice melt in the Arctic is giant icebergs, often the size of whole towns or even small countries, breaking off the ice shield and drifting south. In reality, icebergs constantly break off both the arctic ice shield and Greenland's inland glaciers, a process that scientists call calving. CNN


russian flagBattle for Arctic Key for Russia's Sovereignty-Rogozin. Russia may lose its sovereignty in about 40 years if it fails to clearly set out its national interests in the Arctic, believes the country's Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. "It's crucially important for us to set goals for our national interests in this region. If we don't do that, we will lose the battle for resources which means we'll also lose in a big battle for the right to have sovereignty and independence," Rogozin stated at the Marine Board meeting in Moscow. RT


Russian Oil Industry at Crossroads as Infrastructure Ages. The Russian oil industry is at a crossroads. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian oil output plummeted from an all-time high of 11.4 million barrels a day in 1987 to a low of 6 million barrels a day in 1996. But with the start of the new century, a stunning rebound began. And in the past few years, output has returned to a level close to its Soviet-era peak. New York Times


canadian flagCanada to Protect Its Policies. Canada will use its two years as leader of the circumpolar world to promote development and defend its policies, suggest federal politicians and documents. But Arctic experts and those involved with the Arctic Council worry that's the wrong approach at a time when the diplomatic body is dealing with crucial international issues from climate change to a treaty on oil spill prevention. Regina Leader-Post


Alaskan Black Guillemots Fight Ice Retreat. The Cooper Island birds feed their young on cod that hug the underside and edges of the polar pack ice. But their access to this prey source is being limited by the big retreat in seasonal ice cover now under way. How the guillemots respond will turn a lens on the wider changes taking place in Arctic ecosystems, biologists say. BBC News


Ottawa Approved Nunavut Iron Project. The federal government has approved construction of the massive Mary River iron ore project in Nunavut, a move that could jump-start development of the Canadian Arctic. Once built, Mary River could triple the territory's annual economic growth rate and provide nearly $5-billion in taxes and royalties to the territory over its 21-year life. The Globe and Mail

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


Marine Mammal Commission meeting on Tribal Consultation, December 10-12, 2012. The Commission plans to meet with representatives of other federal agencies, Alaska Native organizations, the Environmental Law Institute, and other interested parties to review and seek ways to improve consultations between federal agencies and Alaska Native Tribes. The focus will be on the consultation process and will include, but not be limited to, matters involving marine mammals. In the course of the meeting, the Commission expects to discuss issues related to the authorities for Alaska Native consultations, the role of the Indigenous People's Council for Marine Mammals (IPCoMM) in consultations, the relationship between consultation and co-management, and lessons learned from conflict avoidance agreements. 


Marine Mammal Commission Meeting on Research and Management Priorities, December 14, 2012. The Commission plans to meet with regional management and scientific officials in each of the National Marine Fisheries Service's six regions to identify the most pressing marine mammal research and management needs. The Commission will use these meetings to develop a set of national priorities for guiding federal conservation efforts for marine mammals. Members of the public are invited to attend these meetings and to provide comments concerning priority issues.


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Wakefield28th 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.  


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.

Go to ISCA Town Hall meeting, at the American Geophysical Union meeting, Moscone West Room 2010, right after SEARCH meeting that ends at 7:15 pm. 


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include

response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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