Arctic Update Header
November 29, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a motion to proceed on the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. The House will consider the STEM Jobs Act.


Governance and Sustainable Development in a Changing Arctic, November 29, 2012. "Governance and Sustainable Development in the Changing Arctic" is a special semJulie Gourley EIinar hosted by the European Institute. The event was held at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC. Contact Natalie Fahey, 202-895-1670 for details.

Photo of Julie Gourley (US Dept. of State), on left, and Joelle Attinger (European Institute). 



 Seasonal-to-Decadal Predictions of Arctic Ice: Challenges and Strategies (2012). Recent well documented reductions in the thickness and extent of Arctic sea ice cover, which can be linked to the warming climate, are affecting the global climate system and are also affecting the global economic system as marine access to the Arctic region and natural resource development increase. Satellite data show that during each of the past six summers, sea ice cover has shrunk to its smallest in three decades. The composition of the ice is also changing, now containing a higher fraction of thin first-year ice instead of thicker multi-year ice. National Academies of Science


Walrus Responding to Oil Spills in Arctic Marine Environments. The National Research Council will assess the current state of the science regarding oil spill response and environmental assessment in the Arctic region (with a specific focus on the regions north of the Bering Strait), with emphasis on potential impacts in U.S. waters. As part of its report, the NRC-appointed committee will assess existing decision tools and approaches that utilize a variety of spill response technologies under the types of conditions and spill scenarios encountered at high latitudes. The report will also review new and ongoing research activities (in both the public and private sectors), identify opportunities and constraints for advancing oil spill research, describe promising new concepts and technologies for improving the response, including containment (surface and subsurface) approaches to reduce spill volume and/or spatial extent, and recommend strategies to advance research and address information gaps. The committee will also assess the types of baselines needed in the near-term for monitoring the impacts of an oil spill and for developing plans for recovery and restoration following an oil spill in U.S or international waters where a spill could potentially impact US natural resources. The National Academies 


Marine Board Workshop: Safe Navigation in the Arctic. The Transportation Research Board sponsored a Marine Board Workshop: Safe Navigation in the U.S. Arctic in October. The workshop explored the navigation safety challenges resulting from environmental changes in the Arctic. These changes are resulting in expanded commercial shipping and offshore operations, as well as the risks associated with navigation under existing ocean and infrastructure conditions. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions on options, such as new infrastructure, policies, practices, and international partnerships, that may help ensure safe navigation in U.S. Arctic waters. Transportation Research Board


'Natural Gas & Energy Issues in New Congress' Policy Breakfast. Yesterday's event featured remarks from Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Video linked. The Hill


Lowey, Kaptur Fight for Appropriations Ranking Member Slot. Reps. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, are waging a closely fought race for the ranking member slot on the Appropriations Committee. Lowey asked for support Wednesday in a letter to colleagues, touting her past work as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman and saying she is a good fit for the current atmosphere of partisan spending showdowns. Roll Call


capitalMurphy, Terry Get Key Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chairmanships. Tim Murphy and Lee Terry will take over as chairmen of two key Energy and Commerce subcommittees, full committee chairman Fred Upton announced Wednesday. Murphy, R-Pa., will succeed defeated Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., as chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, while Terry, R-Neb., will replace defeated Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., as chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade panel. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., will return as chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee; John Skimkus, R-Ill., as chairman of Environment and the Economy; Joe Pitts, R-Pa., as chairman of the Health Subcommittee; and Greg Walden, R-Ore., as chairman of Communications and Technology. Congressional Quarterly


Report: Chuck Hagel Vetted for Cabinet Post. The administration is vetting former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel for a top national security post in President Barack Obama's second term, according to a report. Hagel already co-chairs the president's Intelligence Advisory Board, and Foreign Policy Reports Hagel could move up to either secretary of State or secretary of Defense. The Nebraskan would add a bipartisan element to the second-term cabinet, as Republicans Bob Gates and David Petraeus have left and Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood may soon leave. Politico


[Alaska] New-Look Legislature to Priorities Energy Projects. After sweeping victories for Fairbanks Republicans in the November elections, the upcoming Legislature will look quite a bit different. Along with new leadership in the Senate comes a new set of committees that could shine a spotlight on Alaska's energy woes. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Fishing Groups Protest Expanded Observers Program. Alaska fishing groups want the state's congressional delegation to intervene over a federal program that will put observers on a portion of commercial halibut boats next year. The Ketchikan Daily News reports 13 groups sent a letter to the governor and Alaska's congressional delegation seeking assistance. Anchorage Daily News


UAF Researcher Authors U.N. Climate Change Report. University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Vladimir Romanovsky is one of the authors of a new United Nations report on the climate change ramifications of warming permafrost. Romanovsky, a permafrost researcher at UAF's Geophysical Institute, worked with three other scientists to create the report, "Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost." The report highlights the potential problems posed by the release of carbon dioxide and methane from warming permafrost, which aren't currently included in climate prediction modeling. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Mat-Su's Ice-Breaking Ferry May Have a Job in the Tropics. The Mat-Su Borough's ice-breaking ferry may finally get a job -- in the tropics.The borough wants to cut its losses and give the boat to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, said planner Emerson Krueger, who has become the borough's point man on the ferry project.The $80 million vessel, named the Susitna, was born out of a unique partnership between the U.S. Navy, which wanted a prototype for a fast military landing craft, and the borough, which wanted an ice-breaking ferry to transport commuters across Knik Arm. Anchorage Daily News


Canada-Denmark Agree on Boundary Between Ellesmere and Greenland: But the ownership of tiny Hans Island is still "the subject of continuing discussion." The ownership of Hans Island, a disputed 1.3 square-kilometre rock between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, remains unsettled, even after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, who is also minister of the Arctic Council for Canada, and Villy Søvndal, the Danish minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark, met Nov. 28 in Ottawa. But the ministers did come out of their talks to announce they had reached an agreement on where to establish the maritime boundary in the Lincoln Sea, the body of water north of Ellesmere Island and Greenland, they said. Nunatsiaq Online


thiniceClimate Change Melts Away Obstacle to Arctic Shipping for China, Russia. Could climate change turn the Russian Arctic into a northern alternative to the Suez Canal? Some Russians think so, as they add up the results from their Arctic summer shipping season, which closed on November 28. There were a record 47 crossings by ships moving cargo between Asia and Europe -- almost 12 times the number of two years ago. The difference? Melting Arctic ice. Radio Free Europe


UN Report: 2012 Arctic Ice Melt Larger Than Size of United States. Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent on record and the first ten months of 2012 were among the hottest on record again, according to the United Nations' global climate office, which said "climate change is taking place before our eyes." January through October 2012 was the ninth warmest on record since 1850, despite cooler temperatures during the year's first few months due to the cooling influence of La Niña, the World Meteorological Organization said. US News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


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. 


Monday, December 3
C13F - The Changing Cryosphere I Posters
1:40 PM - 6:00 PM; Hall A-C (Moscone South)  

Session includes: C13F-0705 - Seasonal-to-Decadal Predictions of Arctic Sea Ice: Challenges and Strategies
Jackie Richter-Menge; John Walsh; Katie Thomas


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


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. Call for abstracts, due November 30, 2012. 


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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