Arctic Update Header
 January 28, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


 The Senate will consider disaster relief legislation.  The House is not in session.

Development of a 5-Year Strategic Plan for Oil Spill Research in Canadian Arctic Waters, January 28-29, 2013, Calgary. This workshop is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF), a research program which sponsors environmental and social studies pertaining petroleum exploration, development, and production activities on frontier lands. The ESRF is directed by a joint government, industry and public management board and is administered by the secretariat, which resides in the Office of Energy Research and Development, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The workshop is held in an effort to produce a 5-year strategic plan for oil spill research in Canadian Arctic marine waters.



Study: Alaska, Siberia, Canada May Feel Distant Cities' Heat. Heat rising up from cities such as New York, Paris and Tokyo might be remote parts of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia, a surprising study theorizes. In an unusual twist, that same urban heat from buildings and cars may be slightly cooling the autumns in much of the Western United States, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, according to the study published Sunday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


Mercury Treaty Adopts Legal Framework Welcomed by Arctic Indigenous Peoples. The Inuit Circumpolar Council says it is pleased with progress made in efforts to reduce global mercury levels. Early this week, more than 140 countries adopted a global mercury treaty at the United Nations Environment Programme meetings in Geneva, Switzerland. The treaty includes legally binding and voluntary measures to regulate mercury emissions, the related health aspects and other concerns. Alaska Dispatch


canadian flagWhitehorse to Survey Developments for Possible Population Boom. Whitehorse, the capital city of Canada's northwestern Yukon territory, believes the population could double by 2031. Councillors don't want urban sprawl, but agree that the population has to have somewhere to go. Now, city council is set to approve research into three possible directions. The Yukon Government is prepared to provide $600,000 to survey McLean Creek, Long Lake Road and an area south of Copper Ridge. Senior city planner Mike Ellis said they are all potential neighbourhoods. Alaska Dispatch


Business Opportunities Boom in the Arctic. Interest in the economic potential of the Arctic is on the rise. Oil, gas and polar shipping lanes were high on the agenda at the annual Arctic Frontiers conference recently in Tromsö in Norway. When a Russian research submarine put a Russian flag on the seabed 4,200 meters below the North Pole in 2007, the message was clear. Political and economic interest in the "high north" of the planet is growing, as the changing climate makes the Arctic more easily accessible. Deutsche Well


arcticcouncilClock is Ticking: Canada Must Show Arctic Leadership. In 2013, the Canadian government's attention will once again be focused on the Arctic. One immediate priority is the upcoming decision by members of Stephen Harper's cabinet on how to conduct an environmental review for a proposal to develop the Izok Corridor in Nunavut. The plan - put forward by a company headquartered in Australia, but which is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned resource giant China Minmetals - could bring billions of dollars into the region through its production of an estimated 180,000 tonnes of zinc and 50,000 tonnes of copper a year. The Globe and Mail


New Map Re-envisions Arctic Region Without National Borders. "Maps are ideology," Christopher Connery, a professor of world literature and cultural studies, once wrote. If that is the case, then the map produced for the 2013 Arctic Frontiers conference is certainly an interesting case study. The colorful, stylized, and cartoonish map is not divided into countries, but rather into various regions with unusual place names. Not only are the names unusual, though: even the locations in which the boundaries are drawn are contentious. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.


Future Events                      



Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013, Anchorage. 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.


Alaska Native Language Archive, February 22, 2013, Fairbanks. Please join ANLA and the Rasmuson Library for a Grand Opening Celebration to dedicate the new ANLA public service point on the second floor of the Rasmuson Library. The event will begin with an open house featuring collections in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, the Oral History Collection, and of course ANLA. This will be followed by a special panel session entitled Honoring Alaska's Native Languages: Past, Present, Future, reflecting on 50 years of Native language archiving at UAF.


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).   

The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. 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. 


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.
One of them is already planned: The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will offer a one-day career development workshop during the ASSW 2013. Details will be published closer to the event:


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 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.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. 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.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association. 

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