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September 19, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The House will consider over 20 bills under suspension of the rules. The Senate will continue to consider veterans' job-training legislation.


US-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum Extends Abstract Submittal Period to Friday. The US Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum will be held in Anchorage in November. Forum organizers have extended their call for abstracts through Friday. More information is available here.



Canadian Homes a Kill Zone for up to 22 Million Birds a Year, Researchers Estimate. The thud of a bird hitting a window is something many Canadian home owners experience. Up until now, little research has been done to document the significant these collisions for Canada's bird populations. A University of Alberta biology class project supervised by researcher Erin Bayne suggests that many birds meet their end in run-ins with Canadian homes. Science Daily


ScienceForeign Graduates in STEM Fields Can Boost U.S. American universities' reputation for excellence, advanced research and innovation attracts the best and brightest students from around the world. These foreign graduates in science, technology, engineering and math - the STEM fields - are behind many crucial innovations and new businesses that are key to U.S. economic growth. These foreign graduates could contribute greatly to our economy and create jobs for countless unemployed Americans. Unfortunately, our immigration system prohibits many of them from staying here. They have the potential to come up with an invention that could save thousands of lives or jump-start a whole new industry. They might also start a company that could provide jobs to tens of thousands of U.S. workers and generate economic growth. Politico


PutinFresh Hope for BP in Russia as Bob Dudley Meets Vladimir Putin. BP's chief executive Bob Dudley met Russian President Vladimir Putin last night, raising hopes the British major can successfully exit its troubled venture TNK-BP and could even have another chance at exploration in the Russian Arctic. BP is in talks to sell its 50pc stake in TNK-BP to state-controlled Rosneft, whose President, Igor Sechin, also attended yesterday's meeting at the Russian resort of Sochi, along with BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. The Kremlin said, "The meeting discussed the continuation and broadening of BP's presence on the Russian market, as well as prospects for cooperation with Russian companies." The Telegraph


Warm Temperatures Bring Bizarre Tropical Fish to Bay of Fundy. Unusually warm temperatures in the Bay of Fundy are attracting exotic species that rarely venture so far north -- including a several-hundred pound flat fish that is often mistaken for a shark and can grow to be thousands of pounds. The mola mola, or ocean sunfish, was spotted and recorded earlier this week by a tour operator who runs whale watching trips out of St. Andrews, N.B. The fish often swims near the surface of the water, and has a large, triangular fin that resembles a shark's. In fact, that's what Nick Hawkins thought he was seeing at first. It wasn't until he got closer and began recording the creature, that he realized it was something different. CTV News


Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. Sea ice extent for September 17 was 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). Weather conditions near the ice edge heavily influence the timing of the minimum, which has occurred as late as September 23. We are now five days past the 1979 to 2000 average minimum date of September 13. The decline has slowed in recent days and the minimum will likely be confirmed any day now. National Snow & Ice Data Center  


Just 100 Cod Left in North Sea: Overfishing has left fewer than 100 adult cod in the North Sea, it was reported. A survey of catches at European ports has found that fishermen did not catch a single cod over the age of 13 last year. The findings raise concerns for future stocks of cod, which become more fertile as they age. The fish can live as long as 25 years and grow to 6ft. Researchers warned a lower life expectancy meant a lower birth rate and a faster decline. Callum Roberts, professor of marine biology at York University, told the Sunday Times that intense industrial fishing meant that few fish survived beyond the age of four, when they reach sexual maturity. The Telegraph  


University Windsor Researcher Tracks Fish in Arctic. A Windsor man will soon be searching the Arctic seas. But he won't be looking for shipwrecks or sunken treasure. Steve Fields, a communications officer from the University of Windsor, usually reads and writes about research. This time he'll be getting his hands dirty. Fields will be tracking migration patterns of arctic fish while working with a team from the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research. CBC News  


russian flagNew Icebreaker for Russian Arctic: Shipbuilders at Baltiisky Yard start the construction of Russia's biggest and most modern diesel-engined icebreaker. The start of construction was marked by a ceremony at the Baltiiksky Yard in Saint Petersburg, Russia. According to the ship designers Petrobalt, the vessel will be 146,8 meters long and have a deadweight of 22258 tons. It will have a crew of 38 and will be able to operate autonomously for 60 days in up to two meters thick ice. The construction contract is worth 7,25 billion RUB, and the ship will be ready by the end of 2015. Marine Link 


Scientists Look for Clues Causing Record Arctic Ice Melting. The Arctic sea ice will hit its minimum any day now and freeze up will begin again. But the extent of this summer's melt has already smashed the previous record set in 2007. Scientists are starting to draw a link between Arctic ice retreat and unusual weather around the world. Jennifer Francis, a Research Professor at Rutgers University, is immersed in this emerging area of science. She says Arctic ice melt is altering the jet stream waves that govern weather patterns, causing them to move more slowly. Alaska Public Radio 


BP Agrees to Truck Natural Gas to Energy-Starved Fairbanks. Anxious to avert a burgeoning energy crisis in Alaska's heartland, Golden Valley Electric Association reached an agreement with BP on Tuesday to truck huge quantities of liquefied natural gas from the Arctic oil fields to Fairbanks by 2015. "The high cost of space heating is crushing Interior Alaska," Golden Valley noted in a news release announcing the deal. Over the next 20 years as much as 23 billion cubic feet of natural gas could move annually to Fairbanks, the state's second-largest city, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. That amount "is sufficient to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of Interior Alaska residents and businesses," according to Golden Valley. Alaska Dispatch 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaRace is on as Ice Melt Reveals Arctic Treasures. With Arctic ice melting at record pace, the world's superpowers are increasingly jockeying for political influence and economic position in outposts like this one, previously regarded as barren wastelands. At stake are the Arctic's abundant supplies of oil, gas and minerals that are, thanks to climate change, becoming newly accessible along with increasingly navigable polar shipping shortcuts. This year, China has become a far more aggressive player in this frigid field, experts say, provoking alarm among Western powers. New York Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events                      


Debate on Arctic Challenges Set for Brussels, October 4-5, 2012.The challenges facing the Arctic during a time of change and global warming uncertainty will be the subject of frank and lively debate between policymakers, Ambassadors from European Union and Arctic nations, polar scientists, and representatives industry and Arctic indigenous peoples groups, at the 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium, taking place in Brussels on October 4th and 5th. High-level speakers include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources, and author of The Future History of the Arctic.  Guest speakers will also include Sweden's Arctic Ambassador Gustav Lind, Greenland's Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor to Shell's Arctic programme, Bernard Funston, Chair of the Canadian Polar Commission, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan and Lars-Anders Baer, chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.


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.  


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. 


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.

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