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July 30, 2013

The 32nd United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE)/The International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) North American Conference: "Industry Meets Government: Impact on Energy Use & Development," July 28-31, 2013 (Anchorage, AK). 



"As the global economy follows a precarious path to full recovery, the challenge of meeting growing energy needs in an increasingly volatile world with finite resources becomes ever more urgent. All parties - from governments and non-governmental organizations to energy producers and consumers - have a stake in fostering smarter energy development and use that minimizes adverse 


environment effects and consumer costs. The 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference will address the issues, challenges, and opportunities of industry-government relations as the stakeholders strive to meet their respective goals for commerce and society."


Fran Ulmer, Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission, spoke yesterday at the conference to discuss "potential energy resources of the Arctic Offshore, competing claims to the Outer Continental Shelf, the Law of the Sea Treaty and future U.S. participation, onshore transportation, the risks of oil spills and other pollution, and international cooperation in dealing with issues and events." 


You can view the full conference agenda here.



Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion on "The Benefits

and 'Costs of Cold:' Arctic Economics in the 21st Century" featuring Alaskan Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell, Tuesday July 30, 2013, 9-10:30 a.m. (CSIS, Washington, D.C.). Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell

discussedthe future of economic development in the American Arctic at this event.

Treadwell and Conely


"A new CSIS Europe Program report, titled "Arctic Economics in the 21st Century: The Benefits and Costs of Cold," released today, examines the economic benefits of Arctic development and the financial and environmental costs of Arctic infrastructure development. It determines that for now, the U.S. gives greater weight to the costs of Arctic development than to its benefits. Lieutenant Governor Treadwell will offer his reflections on this new report." 




The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is conducting a survey "to better understand how recent U.S government policy is impacting your science. Specifically, how will sequestration and/or government travel restrictions affect your ability to conduct research, attend conferences, and participate in AGU activitiesThis is a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in March 2013, which was distributed via AGUniverse. This information will help us to communicate more specifically with policy makers and to support and facilitate your full participation in AGU volunteer activities and meetings."

Coast Guard Seal U.S. needs to step up its Arctic game. "For anyone living in the Northern Hemisphere, it's been a sweltering few weeks. In fact, last month was the fifth hottest June in recorded history. According to government data, for 340 consecutive months - more than 28 years - the earth has been warmer than historic averages. And take a look at what's happening in one of the coldest parts of the world - way up north in the Arctic. Twenty-eight years ago, the Arctic was covered by ice throughout the year, as it had been for centuries. Now, every summer, two-thirds of it melts to water." CNN 


Towards commercial breakthrough for Northern Sea Route. "During the last couple of years there has been a tenfold increase in the number of vessels using the route, which shaves ten days off the time to sail between Rotterdam and Kobe, Japan compared to going through the Suez Canal. In 2012 46 vessels sailed the whole route, compared to 34 in 2011 and only four in 2010. The NSR administration has received 391 applications to sail the route. 52 refusals have been given, the administration's web site reads. Not all the vessels will be sailing the whole route between Europe and Asia, as also vessels operating on the western part of the route from Dudinka or Pevek to Murmansk are on the list over permits." Barents Observer


The latest computer generated image of the Arctic sea ice extent as of July 28th, 2013. The orange line shows the average extent for the 1981-2010 period.


The latest on this year's Arctic sea ice decline. "How is the Arctic sea ice volume compare to the four lowest years on record? Right now, looks like we are running fairly even with 2010, which had the third lowest volume on record. The lowest volume on record was set last year." ACCU Weather


Infighting freezes Arctic plan. "The Conservative government's plans for the Arctic are suffering because of bureaucratic infighting and a lack of political leadership, a group of Defence Department advisers has concluded. They also urged the Canadian military to reach out to both mining companies and Inuit communities as it looks to establish a more tangible presence in the North, saying such relationships can be financially beneficial. Prime Minister Stephen Harper first announced in 2007 that his government would focus on ensuring sovereignty over the country's vast Arctic territories, developing its abundant natural resource deposits, and improving the lives of those living there." Leader-Post


Russian Navy to perform Arctic campaigns. "Russia's Northern Fleet will continue to explore new navigation areas in the Arctic, Commander Vladimir Korolev told reporters on Friday. 'Quite soon, we plan to send a detachment of the fleet's combat ships led by the nuclear-powered missile cruiser 'Pyotr Velily' to eastern regions of the Arctic Ocean', the Russian Ministry of Defense's web site reads. Another vessel group will sail to the archipelago Franz Josef Land, an event that will mark the 100th anniversary of the expedition to the North Pole of the Russian Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov." Barents Observer


Canada reviews arctic drilling safety. "A Canadian energy regulator said the regulatory mechanisms are in place to ensure any future drilling in arctic waters is done with the environment in mind. Roland George, a member of the Canadian National Energy Board, delivered an address at a conference in Anchorage, Alaska, on energy development in the arctic." UPI


Ice-free Arctic winters could explain amplified warming during Pliocene. "Year-round ice-free conditions across the surface of the Arctic Ocean could explain why the Earth was substantially warmer during the Pliocene Epoch than it is today, despite similar concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to new research carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder. The last time researchers believe the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere reached 400 ppm-between 3 and 5 million years ago during the Pliocene-the Earth was about 3.5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (2 to 5 degrees Celsius) than it is today. During that time period, trees overtook the tundra, sprouting right to the edges of the Arctic Ocean, and the seas swelled, pushing ocean levels 65 to 80 feet higher."

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


Today at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will markup S.1344, the Arctic Research, Monitoring, and Observing Act of 2013 (Begich, AK). S.1344 "would supplement the nation's research capabilities in the rapidly changing Arctic by giving the United States Arctic Research Commission (USARC) authority to institute a research grant making program and would also take advantage of the expertise of the Presidentially-appointed USARC, and its working relationship with Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, to supplement and better coordinate Arctic research priorities.  No funding is authorized in this legislation.  A funding mechanism for such a program will be pursued under separate legislation."


For more information, you can view S.1344 the bill text and summary. You can also view tomorrow's markup by visiting the committee website.


Future Events

**New This Week**
"2013  Environmental Intelligence in Maritime: Preparedness for Arctic Drilling," August 8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "While Alaska remains the land of opportunity for oil and gas reserves, the challenges to access its vast reserves persist. Join NAMEPA to discuss what industry, regulators and environmental groups are doing to realize the potential of the region."
Invited speakers include Representative Don Young and Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer.

"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. A meeting agenda is now posted on the USARC website,


You can also view the 101st Commission Meeting announcement in this entry at the Federal Register.


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."


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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