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November 6, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.



capitalStudy Forecasts More Polarization in New Congress. The 2012 redistricting process will ensure that the House of Representatives remains highly polarized in the new Congress, according to a study released on Monday. The Bipartisan Policy Center analyzed decades of voting records and concluded that the incoming House will have the lowest number of competitive seats in more than 40 years. In the 1970s, there were 152 competitive seats, the center found, but that number has slipped to 101. Government Executive



arcticcouncilNorthern MPs Argue Over Arctic Council Leadership. Northern MPs Leona Aglukkaq and Dennis Bevington are in a spat over who should chair the Arctic Council. Aglukkaq, MP for Nunavut, was appointed to the position months ago. She'll become chair when Canada assumes leadership of the Arctic Council in January. On Monday, Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington said in Ottawa's Hill Times newspaper that Canada's foreign affairs minister should be appointed chair instead. He said appointing Health Minister Aglukkaq means Canada may be less effective in leading the international body. CBC News


Pressure Builds for Better Oil Spill Clean-Up Technology. With oil becoming scarcer and more expensive, the economics of the industry may finally tip in favor of one of the most neglected areas of its business - the technology for cleaning up oil spills. Despite efforts by scientists to find new and more effective ways to deal with spilled oil, there has been little fundamental change in the technology in the two decades since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster that spilled 750,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska. But as oil companies push into the environmentally pristine Arctic and deeper waters elsewhere, the pressure on them to demonstrate they can quickly mop up spilled oil will increase. Reuters


Norway Push for Arctic Research. Norway's Petroleum & Energy Ministry is seeking suitable research projects to qualify for funding as part of a planned Arctic center that is intended to develop specialist expertise for exploitation of the prospective northern region. The center, aimed at building up a research and development environment for Arctic innovation, is due to be launched next year with combined annual funding of Nkr10 million ($1.75 million) from both the energy and foreign ministries. Upstream Online


coldwindsblowingMan-Made Weather? Some Say It's Just Around the Corner: Geogineering research looks at slowing rate of climate change. Winters are getting shorter, summers are becoming hotter and the ice is melting. But imagine. Is there a way to reverse all the climate changes now being experienced across the Arctic? Imagine you step outside of Iqaluit or Arviat or Cambridge Bay one morning someday soon and see a specially-designed jumbo jet loading the sky with the kind of chemicals typically spewed from volcanoes. Nunatsiaq Online


ICES to Expand Activities in Arctic Waters and Aquaculture. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is breaking new ground by enhancing its scientific activities in Arctic waters. The decision was made in Copenhagen at the 100th statutory meeting of the ICES Council, the principal decision and policy-making body of ICES. The council concluded that the Arctic research is a priority for ICES from the perspective of better understanding ecological processes and human impacts in this ecosystem. ICES scientists already contribute to Arctic research and these efforts may be expanded to several other areas ranging from the hydrography and warming of the Arctic Ocean to evaluating the environmental risks of shipping and oil and gas exploitation. FISH Update 


canadian flagMontrealer Sails New Route in Canada's Arctic: Global warming creating dramatic change in icy waters, sailer says. A Montreal man has just returned from being the first to sail a new route through the Northwest Passage. Nicholas Peissel sailed through the McClure Strait, which had only been successfully travelled by ice breakers in the past. While the route is not yet ready for commercial shipping, Peissel said the fact that he was able to travel the strait demonstrates the dramatic impact of climate change. CBC News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


1st International Symposium on Small Satellites for Arctic and Maritime Operations and Research: November 9, 2012. Taksha University; the Global Maritime Awareness Institute for Safety, Security, and Stewardship; The Taksha Institute for Small Satellite Space Systems; and the Journal of Small Satellites will host this symposium. The symposium will consider the safety and security of the Arctic environment and global maritime assets, including the protection of the maritime environment and its resources, as well as the people and vessels who traverse the waters of the world.


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 


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. Opportunities for community involvement in interdisciplinary planning will be highlighted and input solicited.


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.


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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