Arctic Update Header
June 24, 2013


"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.
The live webcast is available for remote viewing.


Obama to announce Tuesday he will regulate existing power plants as part of climate strategy. "President Obama will announce Tuesday in a speech at Georgetown University that he plans to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, according to individuals who have been briefed on the plan but asked not to be identified. In a statement Saturday afternoon sent via the White House Twitter feed, Obama said that he plans to fulfill the pledge he made in his second inaugural address to 'respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations.'" Washington Post


Greenland iceberg clusters off Atlantic Canada largest in years. "The largest iceberg cluster seen in recent years is drifting south off Labrador near the Strait of Belle Isle through transatlantic shipping routes, says the coast guard. Peter Veber, Atlantic superintendent of ice operations, said there are about 250 icebergs within a 100 kilometer radius of Belle Isle off Labrador." Eye on the Arctic


Scientist notebook: Arctic team on hunt to understand declining shorebirds. "Two teams from the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences are on Arctic expeditions this summer to study declining shorebird populations. Many threatened shorebird species, including some that are seen in New England, breed in Arctic habitat. One Manomet team is at the Canning River Delta on the north coast of Alaska and the other team is on the uninhabited Coats Island in Canada's Hudson Bay. The Greenblog is running periodic updates of their work, part of the Arctic Shorebird Demographics Network, a research project with 16 camps across Alaska, Canada and Russia." Boston Globe


Opinion: Alaskans seek voice in Arctic policy. "If the standing-room only response to a visit from federal officials involved in the recently released Arctic policy is any indication, Alaskans seem to feel decidedly left out of the process of crafting the document that will define the future of the country's Arctic Policy. In May, the Obama administration released its National Strategy for the Arctic Region with three areas highlighted: moving forward with U.S. security interests, pursuing responsible Arctic region stewardship and strengthening international cooperation." Bristol Bay Times


NOAA Hearing to examine bill making weather forecasting agency's top priority. "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will weigh in on a Republican proposal to prioritize weather forecasting over ocean and climate research Wednesday when acting Administrator Kathryn Sullivan testifies before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment. The committee released in May a discussion draft of a bill that directs NOAA to 'make these weather-related activities the top priority in the planning and management of programs within all relevant line offices.'" EE News


Opinion: Why Alaska's heat wave is a bad example of global warming. "It may be equally premature to equate Alaska's current warm spell with 'extreme warming,' just as it's dangerous to cite 2012's cold summer, or Anchorage's particularly chilly July that year, as an example of 'extreme cooling.' Moderation, it would seem, is the key to accurately representing data and making an informed decision on climate change." Alaska Dispatch


Bird blizzard: More than a million snow geese blot out the sky as they make epic journey to Arctic tundra. "More than a million snow geese take flight over the skies of Missouri - creating the illusion of a blizzard - in these awe-inspiring pictures. The spectacle was captured in Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge as the birds began their annual summer migration back to the Arctic tundra found in Greenland, Canada, and Alaska." Daily Mail



UK and 'mini-NATO' for the Arctic: can it work? "An interesting proposition for the emergence of a distinctly northern European security arrangement has been circulating the airwaves: a UK-led initiative that would see London align security and defence policies in the Arctic in tandem with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The goal is to establish a framework that addresses 'common interests' between each nation. This article is going to look at the possible architecture of such a structure, what its goals might be, and the reasons the UK has to begin this partnership." The World Outline


Digital images offer time-capsule view of Alaska terrain 3 decades ago. "A time capsule of satellite imagery of the earth will become available to scientists this month. On June 28, digital imagery from more than three decades ago will be released by the Alaska Satellite Facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, NASA's processor and distributor for this type of data. The images reveal an unprecedented view of sea ice, waves, forests, glaciers and more." Alaska Dispatch


Alaska LNG project companies miss Parnell's deadline. "Weeks after winning a massive tax break from Alaska, the state's major oil producers hinted at the need for another tax deal, this one involving natural gas production. At the same time, BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, along with pipeline builder TransCanada, missed a key deadline laid out by Gov. Sean Parnell in the effort to tap the North Slope's vast natural gas reserves." Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Friday. 


Future Events


**New This Week** 

Perspectives on Public Policies in the Arctic Region, International Conference on Public Policy, June 26, 2013, 8-10 a.m. (Grenoble, France). Developments in the Arctic have mostly been studied through defense studies, international relations, geopolitics, and to a lesser extent, economics. Public policies of Arctic states in the High North have attracted far less attention, with the exception of indigenous people's rights.


Questions to be analyzed and discusses include:
  • To what extent the climate change and economic prospects in the Arctic have changed public policies
  • To what extent public policies are limiting or motivating economic development, through legislation, infrastructure development, direct or indirect subsidization, particularly in the mining and hydrocarbon sector and in transport (shipping) 
  • The capacity to act by the elected representatives at the local level, and to analyze to what extent citizens and communities are engaged in the development of public policies
  • How conflicting interests between economic sectors are considered (e.g. tourism versus mining, petroleum activities versus fisheries and traditional subsistence)
  • If public policies are shaped by regional frameworks of cooperation and international agreements and norms  
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 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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