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 January 7, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in not in session today.



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"The Arctic This Week." The Arctic Institute recently published its first "The Arctic This Week" newsletter of 2013. The newsletter reviews many of the significant Arctic events of the week, and summarizes political, military, climate, science and other news of the Arctic. The PDF version is available here.


BowheadArctic Cetacean Management at the International and Local Level. A formidable challenge: managing elusive species that occupy expansive underwater ranges in an often-harsh arctic environment. Much to the credit of those involved, there have been numerous successes in the management of bowhead whale, beluga and narwhal, especially in recent years. However, says CHERYL ROSA, the picture is not perfect. The Circle by WWF (begins page 24)


2014 Budget Likely to be Delayed. The Obama administration's release of its fiscal 2014 budget request likely will be delayed well past its early February due date. "I fully expect it to be late," said Thad Juszczak, a former federal budget officer, who predicts the delay will likely run into March. Another former federal official, who asked not to be named because he was citing sources within the government, confirmed that agencies are anticipating a March submission date. Federal Times


coldwindsblowingStudy Shows Alaska Got Colder From 2000-2010. The overwhelming majority of Alaska is getting colder and has been since 2000, according to a study by researchers with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. But the authors stop short of saying the lower temperatures contradict that idea that the earth, and Alaska in particular, is warming. Instead, they conclude that the findings show a temporary variation. The scientists with the Geophysical Institute's Alaska Climate Research Center looked at temperatures recorded at 20 "first-order meteorological stations" in Alaska from 2000 to 2010. The stations were spread from Annette in Southeast to Barrow on the Arctic Ocean to Cold Bay at the southwest tip of the Alaska Peninsula. All are operated by professional meteorologists with the National Weather Service, use similar or identical equipment and follow uniform operating procedures. Anchorage Daily News


Lisa Murkowski Pens Revenue-Sharing Expansion Bill. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski is drawing up legislation to expand revenue sharing with states to cover fossil fuels and renewable-energy sources that lie offshore and on federal land. Murkowski's plan would grant new states that house wind, oil, natural gas and other energy production off their coastlines an automatic revenue share of 27.5 percent with another 10 percent available if those funds are directed to research and development, alternative energy, efficiency and conservation. Politico


UAF Greenhouse and Nursery Conference Planned. University of Alaska Fairbanks officials say a greenhouse conference is scheduled for late January.The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is hosting the annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference. The two-day event is scheduled to begin Jan. 24 in Fairbanks at Pike's Waterfront Lodge. Anchorage Daily News


Another Aftershock of Alaska Earthquake Occurs. Seismologists are reporting another aftershock of a powerful Alaska earthquake that prompted a tsunami warning for Alaska and Canada coastlines. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says the 4.3 magnitude aftershock occurred in southeast Alaska at 11:37 p.m. AKST Saturday, almost 24 hours after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the same region. Anchorage Daily News


SalmonAlaska's Salmon Catch Topped 100 Million Fish for the 25th Year in a Row. Prince William Sound topped all other Alaska regions for salmon catches last year - but not by much.  Fishermen in the Sound squeaked by their colleagues in the Panhandle by just 44 fish to get the #1 ranking for the 2012 season. The tally: 34,390,000 salmon crossed the docks at PWS compared to 34,346,000 for Southeast. Sit News


Sitka Native Artist Mixes Science with Art. Sitka artist Teri Rofkar sees a natural connection between art and science for Native people."When explaining the Tlingit world view, we didn't have a word for art," Rofkar said. "We didn't have a word for science, either. We were investigating all the time. We had to be in tune with the world for our own survival." Anchorage Daily News


Policy Riders Targeting Enviro Programs to Figure Less in New Congress-House Chairman. The head of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday said he expects fewer policy riders to be included in spending legislation in the new Congress than in the one that just ended -- including those designed to rein in environmental programs. Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a brief interview with E&E Daily that he hopes the focus will remain on spending when Congress moves legislation in the coming months to resolve government and mandatory spending issues and raise the federal debt limit, not on extraneous issues. E&E News


EPA: Administrator Confirmation on Collision Course with Carbon, Gasoline Rules. U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's announcement last week of her resignation in late January could force the agency into a tough confirmation fight as it's proposing or finalizing controversial air regulations that would limit sulfur in gasoline and greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The timing could add heat to Senate Republicans' scrutiny of the White House's choice for the next EPA chief -- especially if the nominee is an agency insider who played some role in crafting the rules. E&E News


EPACourt Orders EPA to Try Again on Soot Standards Implementation. A federal appeals court ruled today that U.S. EPA must re-examine how it implements standards for fine particulates emitted by power plants, boilers and motor vehicles. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected EPA's argument that it is required under the Clean Air Act to use a less stringent implementation regime for fine particulates than it is for more coarse -- and less dangerous -- particles. E&E News


White House, Key Congress Members Still Committee to Arctic Drilling. Critics want a halt to offshore Arctic drilling in the wake of Shell's latest mishap in the waters off Alaska but there's no sign the Obama administration and key members of Congress are backing off their support for drilling in the sensitive region. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar let Shell begin preparatory drilling in Alaska's Arctic waters this summer, the first time in two decades. Environmental groups on Thursday called for the administration to immediately stop all permitting for Arctic offshore oil exploration as a result of Monday's grounding of Shell's drilling rig off Kodiak Island. But Salazar isn't willing to put the permits on hold. Anchorage Daily News


NOAANOAA Releases New Cook Inlet Beluga Abundance Estimate Based on Annual Survey. Scientists from NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center announced that the 2012 abundance estimate for the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population is 312 animals, a small, but not scientifically significant increase over last year. The populations have been as low as 278 and as high as 366 during the past decade. The overall population trend for the past 10 years for Cook Inlet beluga whales shows them not recovering and still in decline at an annual average rate of 0.6 percent. This indicates that these whales are still in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  



No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events                      



Arctic Frontiers, January 20-25, 2013. (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is organised as an independent network and a leading meeting place for pan-arctic issues. The network was established in 2006 and later extended. Arctic Frontiers will host the conference to consider three main scientific topics. Geopolitics in a Changing Arctic; Marine Harvesting in the Arctic; and Arctic Marine Productivity. 


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013, Anchorage. 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.


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.


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.


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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