Arctic Update Header
June 18, 2013

 

Today, the Senate will continue to discuss immigration reform, while the House takes up a few bills including farming legislation. 

Media      

 Treadwell

Treadwell to run for Senate. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced today plans to  seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Begich. ADN 

 

Opinion: Room for Native wisdom in monitoring Arctic sea ice. "For thousands of years, Native Alaskans have studied and learned about the ice. They learned what to expect from different seasons and changing weather patterns. They learned what ice to trust, and what ice was unstable. They learned because their existence depended upon it. For hundreds of years, explorers and scientists have been studying the ice, too. A body of scientific data has been developed and used to predict ice behavior. Those predictions are used to inform mariners and industry operating in Arctic waters. And increasingly, they are unreliable, asserts Hajo Eicken, a professor of geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Eicken recently attended the Arctic Observing Summit in Vancouver, Canada and reports that the stakeholders agreed." Alaska Dispatch 

 

Pebble backers, foes hope to get ahead in comment war. "The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute has emerged as a force in corralling petitions against U.S. EPA's review of the potential effects of large-scale mining in southwestern Alaska. CES affiliate Resourceful Earth, which describes itself as an effort to reduce 'political barriers' to natural resource production, has collected more than 100,000 signatures opposing EPA's Bristol Bay revised draft watershed assessment. More than 99 percent of comments against EPA's involvement in studying large-scale mining in the watershed come from CEI." EE News

 

Three Arctic Ports Needed (in Canada). OTTAWA-Canada needs three ports in the Arctic: on its West Coast, in the centre of the archipelago, and on the East Coast.  The Hill Times 

 

State, Federal Governments Investigate Deepwater Port Possibilities. "[Alaska] and [the] U.S. government are partnering together to investigate building a deep port at Nome or Port Clarence. They're in the early stages of the study. Officials from the Alaska Department of Transportation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer visited Nome, Brevig Mission and Teller last week to collect public input about marine infrastructure and to hear about local concerns over natural resource impacts." Alaska Public 

 

Learning to Sail Past Arctic Peril. "At the top of the world, the Arctic Ocean's short summer starts this month, bringing shipping barges, cruise liners and fishing vessels through the Bering Strait that divides Russia and Alaska. Shell Oil Co. had planned for its drilling ships to be among those making the journey, after investing more than $4.5 billion in preparation to suck petroleum from beneath the icy waters of the North Slope. But the oil giant will be sitting out this season, with its ships and equipment too thrashed from last year's Alaska run - a reminder to navigators that the Arctic is still a force, even if it's melting." CQ Weekly

 

Murkowski: Hard to get Washington interested in Arctic issues. "U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski knows she lives in an Arctic nation. Convincing some of her colleagues in Washington of that is another story, she said. While some in the state may disagree with her politics on national issues, few can say Murkowski ignores the state's northern issues. Almost weekly, a release comes out of her office touting her calls for more U.S. Coast Guard resources, funding for studies of infrastructure needs, and her thoughts from her latest trip to the Arctic Council." Alaska Dispatch 

 

Ottawa raising offshore liability cap to $1B in Arctic, Atlantic waters. "Ottawa is raising the liability cap for companies operating in Atlantic Canada's offshore to $1 billion up from the current $30 million under new proposed legislation. Speaking today in Halifax, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver also announced that liability in the Arctic will increase to $1 billion from $40 million when the legislation is introduced in the fall." CTV News 

 

Chinaflag China 'launches its first carbon trading scheme.' "China, the world's largest carbon emitter, was set Tuesday to launch its first carbon trading scheme aimed at reducing emissions, state-media said. A platform allowing businesses in the southern city of Shenzhen to trade permits to emit carbon was established on Sunday, with trading due to start on Tuesday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported." Phys.org 

 

CRTC warned about the cost of telecom in the North. "Bringing modern Internet and wireless networks to Canada's North may be desirable, but the company tasked with improving the region's telecommunications infrastructure warned that it must also be profitable to justify the hundreds of millions of dollars it will cost. NorthwesTel Inc. made the case for its $233-million network modernization plan for communication services across the Far North at a hearing of the country's telecom regulator." The Globe and Mail 


Fears NGO-law could halt Barents research. "Can Russian researchers continue to work on joint projects with Norwegian colleagues if the funding comes from Norway? The question is introduced after Russia in March implemented a law requiring nonprofit organizations to register as foreign agents if they receive money from foreign sources and are found to be engaging in political activities." Barents Observer 


More blue whale sightings in Arctic waters. "Record numbers of blue whales were spotted off the coast of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Island, but researchers say the increase in sightings doesn't necessarily mean an increase in whales." Barents Observer 


Vessel owners suffer as EU seal ban hammers Norway. "While Norway, along with Canada, continues to fight the European Union's ban on seal products, the ban's impact is crippling the seal industry in its Arctic region. That's what you'll hear from Bengt Koreneliussen while he gives a tour of his largest sealing vessel, the Kvitbjorn, or 'White Bear,' docked at Norway's Arctic city of Troms°." Nunatsiaq Online 

 

Reduction in Arctic sea ice 'could be cause of strange weather.' "Speaking ahead of a meeting today to discuss the unusual seasons, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins said if this was the case it would imply that the pumping out of greenhouse gases was to blame. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'If we find that the sea ice reduction in the Arctic was one of the major causes, then that's strongly affected by what we're doing with putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.'" The Telegraph 


Look Out Below: Antarctic Melting From Underneath. "Ice experts have long known that Antarctica is losing ice at the margins of its vast ice sheets, where the frozen continent meets the sea - presumably, they thought, from icebergs breaking off and floating away. According to a report published in Science, however, more than half the ice loss is coming from warming ocean waters, which are melting the ice from underneath." ClimateCentral.org 


United States: The Budget Outlook for Maritime Programs for FY2014. "We are halfway through Fiscal Year 2013 ("FY2013") and some of the budget details and spending plans for federal maritime agencies are still unresolved. In the meantime, the President has submitted his budget request for FY2014 and Congress is debating its outcome. Sequester cuts and fights over whether the sequester should continue into 2014 are continuing. The outlook for a grand bargain over the budget between the President and Congress does not look positive at the time of this writing. This article describes what budgets the agencies do have to spend for the rest of FY2013 and what the outlook looks like for FY2014." Mondaq.com 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

Today at 10 a.m., the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed S. 340, a bill to provide for the settlement of certain claims under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and for other purposes.  
 
To see the full agenda or watch the archived webcast, visit the Committee Site 

Future Events

 

NOAA Arctic Science Days, June 19-20, 2013, 1-5 p.m. (Silver Spring, MD). The NOAA Arctic Task Force will be hosting Arctic Science days to discuss the range of activities NOAA is conducting in the Arctic NOAAregion. These two afternoon sessions will be framed around the six goals laid out in NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy. On Wednesday, NOAA will cover sea ice and weather prediction, as well as basic scientific research and partnerships. Thursday will focus on stewardship, navigation, and emergency response.

Location: Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, Room 12836.

Agenda is here
 
If you are a NOAA employee in Silver Spring planning on attending in person, please RVSP to leah.fisher@noaa.gov.  
 
Please register for Arctic Science Days, Day 1 at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8478372995723432704┬ 
 
Please register for NOAA Arctic Science Days, Day 2 at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1363405764594264832

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013 (Washington, DC).   AGU logo

"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. See the 6/25 forum titled 'US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research.' The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D.C.-based international nonprofit scientific association." The USARC is a co-sponsor of the Arctic forum, through ARCUS.

 

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."
  icedimArctic

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.

 

New info: 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, www.arctic.gov, 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 workship 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."

 

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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