Arctic Update Header
July 3, 2013

The House of Representatives and the Senate are on recess this week for the Fourth of July.

If you missed last week's update... 

Arctic experience sought for advisory panel. "Federal land managers are looking for six people with experience in the Arctic to serve on an advisory panel as part of the North Slope Science Initiative. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in a notice in Wednesday's Federal Register, said nominations to the Science Technical Advisory Panel must be received within 30 days. The initiative is a local, state and federal effort to identify the research needed in conjunction with development work on Alaska's North Slope. The panel has up to 15 scientists and technical experts in a variety of fields - from petroleum engineers to subsistence hunters. Six positions are up for nomination. Terms are three years."

For more information or to nominate someone, contact: 

John F. Payne, executive director, North Slope Science Initiative, AK-910, c/o Bureau of Land Management, 222 W. Seventh Avenue, 13, Anchorage, AK 99513, call 907-271-3431 or email 

Nominations are due July 26th, 2013. Forms are available on the initiative website,

Forget the fish, Alaska's share of revenue too small to allow Pebble. "When I hear and read all this endless blather over the Pebble copper and gold deposits in the Iliamna area, the first thing that comes to my mind is 'What do I and the other Alaskans who own this deposit get if and when the mine goes into production?' Or to show my greed, 'How much will it put in the Permanent Fund?' Unless our state Legislature takes some action, we will be giving our wealth away under the 1872 Mining Act." Alaska Dispatch 


Alaska keeps pressure on TransCanada over gas pipeline. "The state is trying to keep the pressure on a Canadian company as it seeks to advance efforts to build a major natural gas pipeline in Alaska. The commissioners of Revenue and Natural Resources last month agreed to a project plan amendment that would give TransCanada Corp. an additional year - until October 2015 - to file an application with federal regulators for a pipeline that would run from the North Slope into Alberta, Canada. TransCanada Corp. holds an exclusive license with the state to advance a major line." Anchorage Daily News


Changing storm tracks can have climatic and ecological consequences in the Barents Sea. "Scientists at the Institute of Marine Research and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen have found a new answer to an old climate question. Among other things it has been demonstrated that low-pressure systems that go further north than normal cause greater oceanic heat loss than normal." Barents Observer


New Chinese foothold in Russian Arctic. "After having secured stakes in three of Rosneft's offshore fields in the Barents Sea, the CNPC moves on with the acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Novatek's Yamal LNG project. The agreement signed by the two companies during the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum includes the CNPC's acquisition of a key stake in the project and a Chinese commitment to buy an annual 3 million tons of Russian LNG, as well as joint efforts in recruiting additional Chinese investors to the project." Barents Observer


Summer sea ice cover is smaller, younger, thinner. "Looking at not just the area, but also the age and thickness of sea ice is a key aspect of understanding why an ice-free Arctic summer could occur in far less time than previously thought - perhaps less than a decade from now. It is also a level of complexity often ignored by the media. And this is not to say that the area loss in itself is not significant. Nalân Koç, research director at the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromso, said that the extent of the Arctic sea ice has plummeted over the course of more than 30 years of satellite monitoring, losing 13 percent of its total extent per decade." Barents Observer


Unearthing warming soil's toxic secrets. "Predicting the onset and effects of climate change involves a complex mashing of the natural and the man made, calculating things like solar radiation and plate tectonics. But while climate models are become more advanced with each passing year relatively little is known about one of the scariest side-effects of global temperature rise: the melting of banks frozen land, otherwise known as permafrost." Barents Observer


NOAA In a tight budget environment, NOAA walks fine line between weather and climate duties. "With Congress pulling the nation's purse strings tight, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has had to jettison climate science programs as it focuses on the immediate need to predict severe weather, the nation's top appropriator acknowledged yesterday. 'We're not trying to shortchange climate,' said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, at an event at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Md." E&E News



Time Lapse: Arctic Lightscapes.
"The Sun has been getting a bit more active lately, blowing out the odd solar storm or two. These waves of subatomic particles march across interplanetary space, and when they hit the Earth, they spark geomagnetic storms. Those in turn can result in displays of the northern and southern lights, or the aurora (borealis for the north, and australis for the south). Photographer Anneliese Possberg traveled to Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland to capture the shows, and she created this stunning time-lapse video of them." Slate


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday. 

Future Events


First Annual Women's Aquatic Network and Marine Transportation BBQ, July 10, 2013, 6-9 p.m., (Washington, D.C.). "Enjoy the NOAA fish fry? Or did you miss it? Either way, come out to the inaugural BBQ put on by the Marine Transportation community, in conjunction with the Women's Aquatic Network (WAN). 


The event will be held at the Capital Yacht Club, 1000 Water St. SW, Washington, DC 20024, on July 10th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It's accessible from the L'Enfant or Waterfront metro stops. Tickets are $20, and include hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie options, side 

dishes and two drink tickets. Register here"


"Why is this in the Arctic Daily Update?"
Because the "Marine Transportation" community includes the Committee on Marine Transportation System that is working on a report on the Arctic Marine Transportation System, here.


3rd Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop, July 10-12, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "The 3rd Airship Workshop will follow up the achievements of last year's workshop by focusing on potential approaches and actions that would facilitate establishing strong cargo airship business commitments to serving customers in Alaska and other Northern areas. Workshops will consider specific actions that may be initiated."

The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) are co-hosting this symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice  and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region.


Meeting is open to all. Registration is $175. DOD participants can register and pay for this without special approval. The meeting is co-sponsored by the DOD, and in your internal request document, we've been advised that you should indicate that this activity is a "Review of Arctic Change Impacts." For Navy personnel, this means that approval by the DoN/AA is NOT needed. 


Among the many confirmed speakers are:

Alaskan Senators (Lisa Murkowski
and Mark Begich)
Murkowski Begich
USCG Commandant ADM Robert Papp & Navy Oceanographer RADM Jon White
Papp White 
NOAA's Acting Director, Kathy Sullivan, AK LT. Gov., Mead Treadwell, USARC Chair, Fran Ulmer, and Canada's Minister for Political Affairs, Sheila Riordon
SullivanTreadwell FranUlmerRiordon


Alaska State Society Brunch and Qugruk Forum with Fran Ulmer, Saturday July 20, 2013, 11 a.m. (Mr. Henry's, Washington, D.C.).  "This month's guest will be Fran Ulmer, the Presidentially-appointed Chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission. As Alaskans know, Fran Ulmer has also been, at various times, the chancellor of UAA; the Lt. Governor of Alaska; an Alaska state legislator; and the mayor of Juneau. We'll brunch for 30 minutes, then give the floor to our speaker. Under the banner, 'What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic,' Commissioner Ulmer will address Arctic shipping, research, climate change, and oil-spill prevention and response--all followed by questions and answers from the audience."

Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops are held as part of the Week of the Arctic, varied in form to reach different audiences and achieve multiple goals. The Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award dinner is the signature event for the Week of the Arctic. In recent years, the Award has been given to Red Dog Mine (2012) and Jacob Adams (2011). The award was created in 2000 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions toward sustainable development in the Arctic. Join us as we present CH2M Hill this year's Award. The Week of the Arctic culminates on Sunday, August 18 with a champagne toast in celebration of the Governor Walter J. Hickel Day of the Arctic.

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 logo with background (Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska). The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting agenda will be posted on the USARC website,, closer to the meeting date. 



7th International Workshop on Ice-Drilling Technology, September 9-13, 2013 (Madison, WI). "The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO-IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics."


Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). "The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept is designed to meet specific business objectives during two days for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic communities addressing key issues such as sustainable business development and regional protection. As more and more data has confirmed that the Arctic is extremely rich in oil and gas reserves, locations such as Greenland and the Barents Sea have seen a huge growth in interest from the hydrocarbon industry. Despite the opportunities offered, there are many challenges that may hinder operations. The presence of cold temperatures, ice and a lack of infrastructure pose logistical problems that make exploration expensive and risky."


The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (Akureyri, Iceland). "The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is a multidisciplinary event expected to draw together several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policymakers, energy professionals and community leaders to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. Building on the work done at the highly successful 2007 Arctic Energy Summit and Technology Conference, the 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas: richness, resilience and responsibility.  The 2013 Summit will be hosted by the Institute of the North in cooperation with local host Arctic Portal."


The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). "The inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism."


The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA). "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments. 


The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website:


Workshop: Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, November 7-8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "This workshop will bring together diverse stakeholders to learn more about and respond to community desires to be part of oil spill first-response efforts that help protect food security and other local resources; come to agreement on the multiple roles local community members can play in responding to oil spills; and create an action plan for moving forward on this topic. The workshop is sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society." 


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland). "The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest scientific research and knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross-cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic."


International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII).  ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."


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