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January 25, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The Senate is not in session. The House will consider legislative items under suspension of the rules. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents 


Canada-US flagsUS, Canada Complete Step in Arctic Ocean Continental Shelf Identification. A fourth joint project to map the Arctic Ocean continental shelf by the United States and Canada is now complete. The 2011 mission covered 5,600 mi (9,012 km) total and went 1,230 mi (1,980 mi) north of the Alaskan coast. Purpose of the survey is to determine the extent of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles (230 mi, or 370 km). Offshore Magazine 


Norway 'Wants to Block China from Arctic Council.' Norway wants to block China's bid for observer status on the Arctic Council after a diplomatic row over the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, Norwegian daily Aftenposten said on Wednesday. "As long as the Chinese authorities refuse to speak to their Norwegian counterparts, it will be difficult for Norway to say yes to a (Chinese) candidacy to become a permanent observer on the Arctic Council," an unidentified "highly-placed diplomatic source" told the paper. The Norwegian foreign ministry refused to comment on the report. The Telegraph  


Northern LightsSolar Storm Sparks Dazzling Northern Lights. A storm from the broiling sun turned the chilly northernmost skies of Earth into an ever-changing and awe-provoking art show of northern lights on Tuesday. Even experienced stargazers were stunned by the intensity of the aurora borealis that swept across the night sky in northern Scandinavia after the biggest solar flare in six years. "It has been absolutely incredible," British astronomer John Mason cried from the deck of the MS Midnatsol, a cruise ship plying the fjord-fringed coast of northern Norway. CBC News


Climate Change in the Arctic Bring Potential Conflict Between the U.S. Russia. A major effort to transfer 1.3m gallons of fuel from a Russian tanker to Nome, Alaska, was finally completed on Thursday. The ice-bound city, located just south of the Arctic Circle, faced a major fuel shortage after missing its last pre-winter fuel delivery due to an unseasonably early fall blizzard. The Russian tanker, the Renda, persevered through significant adversity to come to Nome's rescue; along with the threat posed by intense winter ice, the tanker needed a waiver from the Secretary of Homeland Security to allow merchandise to be transported between points in the U.S. in a vessel other than one built and owned by the U.S. This was a requirement of the Jones Act. Policy Mic 


Record Floods in Manitoba Could Soon Give Way to Drought. Despite a relatively balmy winter so far, Environment Canada calls for colder, below normal weather for the next two months. That's due to what's called the Arctic oscillation. A stronger Arctic oscillation this winter has kept colder temperatures circulating in the polar region longer, allowing for warmer temperatures to creep northward. That pattern is anticipated to weaken in February and March, but it's not expected to bring that much more snow. If conditions persist there could be little snow to replenish fields that are still dry from last autumn. The Vancouver Sun


Avian Cholera Could Spread into Arctic, Scientists Warn. Avian cholera could spread into areas of the Arctic, including parts of Canada and Greenland, where the disease has not been present before, scientists say. The potent bacterial disease is naturally occurring and highly contagious in birds, but not to humans. Avian cholera has usually been found in more southern parts of North America, but it has killed thousands of common eider ducks and other birds in Canada's eastern Arctic since 2004. Alaska Dispatch


defense spendingCanada, U.S. Set Ground Rules for Responding to Armed Attack. A new Canada-U.S. military agreement that will set down each country's roles and responsibilities should North America be attacked is in the final stages of negotiation, Defense Minister Peter MacKay revealed Tuesday night. The Combined Defense Plan has been under discussion for several years and would further integrate cross-border military co-operation at a time when the Harper government is trying to reassure Washington it has a reliable partner in Canada when it comes to security. "This agreement provides a framework for the combined defense of Canada and the U.S. during peace, contingencies, and war," MacKay told the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, comprising senior military officers, government officials and diplomats from both nations. The Ottawa Citizen


Fiber Optic Cable Headed for Canadian Arctic? "Without it, the economic divide (between north and south) will only grow wider." An Ontario-based telecommunications firm has come up with a big plan to improve bandwidth in the Canadian Arctic. And the plan requires replacing Telesat's satellite beams - which currently feed most of Nunavut's cell phone and Internet services - with a 15,000-kilometre fiber-optic cable line that would run through the Northwest Passage, connecting Asia to Europe. Doug Cunningham, president of Arctic Fibre Inc., says the fiber optic line fills a tremendous need in Canada's North. "That is to satisfy a social goal: to provide the necessary bandwidth to people in remote Arctic communities," Cunningham said. Nunatsiaq Online


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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 address 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


Juneau Arctic Policy Forum, February 2, 2012. The Juneau Arctic Policy Forum will be hosted by the Institute of the North and will highlight the work done to IONdevelop and promote Alaska's role in Arctic decision-making. There will be presentations and discussion about the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Arctic Caucus and results from the Northern Waters Task Force. We also hope to include updates from the U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Alaska. Click here.  


Arctic Policy Forum, February 15, 2012. This Arctic Policy Forum will feature a compelling panel discussion of the history, current issues, and future plans of IONNORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) in Alaska. This Arctic Policy Forum, hosted by the Institute of the North and sponsored by the Government of Canada, will leave participants with an increased understanding of:
* A 50 year partnership and cross-border collaboration
* Arctic governance and sovereignty
* Public safety; and search and rescue
* Maritime and aviation issues related to the Arctic environment


Arctic Workshop, March 7-9, 2012. The Workshop is hosted by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. The meeting is open to all interested in the Arctic, and will consist of a series of talks and poster sessions covering all aspects of INSTAARhigh-latitude environments. Previous Arctic Workshops have included presentations on arctic and antarctic climate, archeology, environmental geochemistry, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history, and more. A traditional strength of the Workshop has been Arctic paleoenvironments. Click 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 here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring IPYmeetinglogotogether 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. Click here


USARC Commission Meeting, April 27-28, 2012. The 97th meeting of the CPClogoUSARC will be held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the "From Knowledge to  


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Action" IPY meeting referred to above. The Commission will meet on April 27-28, and will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the afternoon of the 27th, to discuss common interests in Arctic Research. Details to follow. 


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with their 24th annual meeting. Both events will be in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Forum is part of the American Geophysical Union's Science Policy Conference, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Conference will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions. Within the Science Policy Conference, the Arctic Forum will assess gaps and priority needs for arctic scientific information to inform decision makers in policy

formation for three key themes:


                - Governance and Security in the Arctic;

                - Transportation and Energy Development; and

                - Changing Arctic Ecosystems.


The Forum will examine the current state of policymaker and public understanding of the issues. An important goal will be to foster an increased capacity for dialogue and action on arctic science-policy issues.


 American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", May 2-4, 2012, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


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. Click here.  


15th 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 healthmeetinglogoindigenous 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. Click here


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-28, 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. Click here


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 inuitconferencelogomuseums 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, click here. 

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