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December 6, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a US-Russia trade bill. The House is not in session. 


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. 

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




White HouseContinuing the Progress in Tribal Communities. Over the past four years, through tribal consultation and the White House Tribal Nations Conferences, President Obama and his Administration have worked to ensure that tribal leaders are directly involved in setting policy priorities. Today, President Obama is hosting the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior. This conference continues to build upon the President's commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country, by providing invited leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration.  In conjunction with today's event, the White House released a report, "Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities," that examines the President's agenda and how this Administration, by working together with tribes, has made a difference for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The White House


South Korea Drops Plans to Resume Whaling: Proposals to conduction 'scientific' whale hunts similar to those carried out by Japan provoked storm of international criticism. South Korea has dropped plans to resume whaling in its coastal waters amid a storm of international criticism, and will instead use non-lethal methods to conduct research into the mammals. The country provoked anger when it announced plans at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission [IWC] in Panama in July to conduct "scientific" whale hunts similar to those carried out by Japan in the Antarctic every winter. The Guardian


Arctic Continues to Break Records in 2012: Becoming Warmer, Greener Region with Record Losses of Summer Sea Ice and Late Spring Snow. The Arctic region continued to break records in 2012 -- among them the loss of summer sea ice, spring snow cover, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This was true even though air temperatures in the Arctic were unremarkable relative to the last decade, according to a new report released December 6. Science Daily


Congressman Seeks Answers in Arctic Oil Spill Gear's Failure. Shell Oil was testing a giant dome designed to capture spilled oil underwater. A federal official witnessing the test said the dome surfaced suddenly and "breached like a whale." It then sank more than a hundred feet in sheltered waters in Washington State. The dome was "crushed like a beer can," in the official's words. The failure forced Shell to postpone plans to drill for oil off Alaska's north shore until next summer. The accident has led Democratic Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts to question Shell's ability to drill in the Arctic. On Wednesday, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee is asking the Obama Administration for a full accounting of the failed test. Northwest Public Radio


Imperial Oil Preparing Application for Drilling in the Arctic. Imperial Oil Ltd. is preparing an application to drill in the Canadian Arctic that stands to renew the debate about how the energy industry will tap high-latitude resources. In 2007 and 2008, Imperial, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC bid $1.8-billion to explore for oil and gas in large offshore parcels in the Beaufort Sea. The companies subsequently joined forces in a joint venture announced in 2010. The Globe and Mail


permafrostInuit Want "Immediate Action" on Climate Change: Inuit Circumpolar Council. Also Want a "Green Fund" to Help Adaptation to Environmental Change. The Inuit Circumpolar Council is urging world leaders to recognize the essential role that the Arctic plays in maintaining the word's climate. ICC chair Aqqaluk Lynge wants leaders now at United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar to recognize the role of the Arctic in "sustaining the global climate systems and supporting life on Earth" as well as the "fundamental human right of Inuit to a healthy environment." Nunatsiaq Online 


Denali Park Names New Superintendent. Denali National Park and Preserve has a new superintendent. The National Park Service on Wednesday named Don Striker as the new superintendent at the 6-million-acre national park 130 miles south of Fairbanks. Striker, a 22-year employee at the Park Service, has served as superintendent at New River Gorge National River in West Virginia for the past five years, as well as overseeing the nearby Bluestone National Scenic River and the Gauley River National Recreation Area. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 

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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