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March 11, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The Senate will consider two judicial nominees and will likely begin work on the House-passed continuing resolution that would fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The current continuing resolution expires March 27. 

First Budget in Four Years for Senate Democrats: Debate will be chamber's first marathon markup in 4 years. Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee say they hope to keep the focus during this week's expected marathon markup on setting a sound course for the country's fiscal future. Though such issues have dominated the national political conversation since 2008, this week marks the first time in four years that members will actually debate a budget resolution, with proceedings expected to kick off Wednesday. Roll Call


Former Republican Leaders on Climate Change are Steering Clear of the Issue. Changing weather patterns and a slightly shifting political landscape have spurred a renewed interest in climate change action among congressional Democrats but not with the Republicans who once expressed concern about the issue. GOP senators including John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska still say that man-made climate change exists and deserves a response -- a position that sets them apart from many in their caucus who say warming is not occurring or is driven only by natural causes. E&E News


Ag Panel to Explore Management Impacts on Rural Communities. A House panel Wednesday will explore how timber and wildfire management on national forests affects neighboring communities. The Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry will hear from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and stakeholders from communities surrounding national forests on the role of logging in promoting forest health and local employment, among other topics. E&E News 


Global Warming Pushing Trees North: The Evidence. As the planet warms, the Arctic is feeling the heat. Trees and shrubs are taking hold on what was once tundra, like this young pine and surrounding shrubs in Norway's Arctic Finnmark. A new international study of the satellite record of greening landscape shows that the places which were firmly Arctic in climate during the mid-20th century are now transforming into evergreen forest lands. If the trend continues, by the end of this century northern Sweden could get the temperatures more common to southern France and northernmost Canada could be more like Montana. Discovery News


India Applied to Join the Arctic Council as an Observer on Permanent Basis. India has applied to join the Arctic Council as an Observer on permanent basis in November 2012. The participation as an Observer in The Arctic Council would facilitate India contributes in the areas of scientific research, environment protection and development in Arctic regions. Although any study has not been on the prospects of sea route in 2030 in Arctic region and the role of participation by India. India Education Diary


News in Brief: Canada's Ice Shrinking Rapidly. The glaciers of Canada's Arctic islands are irreversibly melting, researchers warn. Jan Lenaerts of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues simulated ice loss in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago throughout the 21st century as temperatures warm. By around 2100, the islands' glaciers may shed 12.4 trillion tons of ice, or 18 percent of their current volume. Science News


Leading the Arctic Council [Opinion]. The ice isn't gone yet, but the Americans are already mapping future sea lanes across the High Arctic. The Canadian government, on the other hand, seems set to reduce its already meagre presence in the region. Is this any way for Canada to confirm its sovereignty? A newly published study, entitled New Trans-Arctic Shipping Routes Navigable by mid-century, foresees polar ice melting under climate change, allowing for easier trans-Arctic shipping. The authors, geographers Laurence Smith and Scott Stephenson, say this will create shipping lanes "much more accessible than ever imagined." They've drawn possible shipping lanes along Russia's Northern Sea Route, across the North Pole and, most importantly for Canada, through the Northwest Passage that hugs the country's coastline and offers the most direct route from Asia to the east coast of Canada and the United States. Much of the route is now mostly non-navigable, but by 2050 it will likely accommodate "common open-water ships," says the study, published in the March edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Plus. Ottawa Citizen

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Friday.

Future Events                      


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).


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.


Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, March 12-13, 2013, Washington, D.C. The Standing Committee of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will hold its next meeting in March. One of the main priorities of the Standing Committee was originally to support the establishment of the Arctic Council. The new organization, representing the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA) and the European Parliament was founded on 19 September 1996. Since then the Committee has worked actively to promote the work of the Council. The Committee participates in the meetings of the Arctic Council as an observer.


Lecture: Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean for us? March 20, 2013, Washington DC. The National Research Council is sponsoring the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be given by Dr. John Walsh of the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks. The lecture, which starts at 5:30 pm in the Baird Auditorium, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution entrance) is free, and open to the public, but pre-registration for planning purposes, would be appreciate. Please contact Pamela Lewis ( with questions.
The 100th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission will be held in Bethel. Additional information will be available online. 


28th 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.


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." 


** Updated link** 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.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


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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