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July 18, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The House will consider a legislation to require a report from the administration on the potential cuts of sequestration. The House will then consider the Department of Defense spending bill. The Senate will consider multinational tax issues.



usarc logo largeArctic research meeting announcement. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 98th meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, on August 9-10, 2012. The business sessions will be open to the public. The most recent draft agenda is available here. See also: Public Inspection Desk (NB: the public session on Aug. 10th begins at noon, not 11:30 am as indicated in the public notice)   



russian flagRussia Offers Economic Opportunity. Our respective Senate committees are charged with overseeing the engines of America's unique role in the world: as global trading partner, the leading democracy and a force for international peace. We clearly see how our global economic interests and our foreign policy values are closely tied - which makes a persuasive case for us to seize the opportunity presented by Russia joining the World Trade Organization this summer. For U.S. businesses to take advantage of this opportunity to increase exports and create jobs our economy needs, Congress must establish permanent normal trade relations, or PNTR, with Russia. That is why we introduced a bill last month with our colleagues Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) to do just that. Politico


Russia Experiments with Alternative Sources of Power. If it is a success this project could be used to provide electricity to remote areas of Yakutia, a republic in the north-east of Siberia, the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has told ITAR-TASS. The site of the experiment will be an island in the delta of the River Lena where strong winds blow incessantly. The construction of a new research station, the most powerful one in the Russian Arctic, will be completed there in the next two months. Voice of Russia 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaProfiteers of Climate Change in the Arctic. Four million people inhabit the Arctic, spread over an area of 21 million square kilometers - about 500 times the size of Switzerland. The region's isolated location and tough climate meant that for a long time it was a blind spot on the map, both politically and economically, known at best for its polar bears and the infamous Soviet penal colonies. But this situation has changed drastically in recent years on account of climate change. In its 2004 'Arctic Climate Impact Assessment', the Arctic Council found for the first time that the Arctic sea ice was melting dramatically. This trend has continued into the present, with researchers measuring the second-lowest level of ice cover since 1979 in September 2011. Climate activists and scientists warn that less ice leads to less reflection of the sun's rays, which heats up the atmosphere even more. In turn, melting land ice accelerates the rise in sea levels. Yet this is a vicious circle that gives rise not only to fears, but also to hope. The United States Geological Survey estimates that 13 percent of all petroleum which can be extracted using conventional means and 30 percent of all natural gas is located in the Arctic, with 84 percent thereof in the sea, i.e. offshore. The increasing pace at which the ice has been melting in recent years will make it possible to access some large oil and gas fields for the first time. At the same time, several states neighboring the Arctic are now more willing to extract fossil fuels, even under difficult conditions in some cases. PhyOrg 


Coast Guard Seal Coast Guard Moves Two Helicopters to Barrow. The Coast Guard has stationed two helicopters in Barrow in anticipation of increased activity in the Arctic. The Coast Guard says two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were stationed Monday at a seasonal forward operating location in Barrow. Support air, ground and communication crews also are in Barrow. Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo says in a statement that the Barrow location allows the Coast Guard to react more quickly to an emergency in the Arctic because the closest base is 900 miles away, in Kodiak. Anchorage Daily News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events    


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.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Fairbanks, AK. For more information, go to USARC 98th Meeting Draft Agenda 


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.


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.  


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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