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March 18, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The Senate resumes consideration of the continuing resolution to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2013. The House considers two resolutions that would authorize the use of the Capitol Grounds for events.


Pentagon Reversal on Missile Defense Reverts to Bush Policy, GOP Notes. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday announced plans to add 14 interceptors in Alaska as a hedge against the North Korean missile threats, prompting criticism from key congressional Republicans that the Obama administration has abruptly changed course years after scaling back the long-range missile defense system. The decision comes four years after the Obama administration's cost-saving decision to cut the West Coast interceptors from the 44 originally planned to just 30 under the George W. Bush administration in Alaska and California. But moves in North Korea, particularly a third nuclear test last month, forced the Pentagon to rethink that decision. Congressional Quarterly


Arctic sea iceManitoba Research Center Tackles Tough Questions on Vanishing Arctic Sea Ice. As seen from space, the Arctic ice cap looks and acts like a giant amoeba splayed across the top of the world. It heaves and twists, reaches outward, then shrinks back. "It's constantly in motion," says David Barber, while a time-lapse sequence of polar satellite images plays across his computer screen. The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways. The Globe and Mail


Myth of Fresh Cold War in Arctic Won't Die. [Opinion] My first post on Eye on the Arctic, writing back in May 2010, addressed the concern that was pervasive at the time that the Arctic was heading for conflict over oil and shipping routes. The concern was fueled by a series of events-exhibit A, the Russia flag planting at the North Pole; exhibit B, Canada PM Harper calling for Canadians to "use it or lose it," "it" being the Arctic-that occurred in the Summer of 2007. Alaska Dispatch


ChinaflagChina to Ship up to 15% of Trade Through the Arctic. A Chinese shipping company is planning the state's first commercial voyage through the Northern Sea Route to the United States and Europe in 2013. By 2020, China could transfer up to 15% of the country's international trade through the Arctic. With thawing sea ice, countries are rushing to the Arctic hungry for its oil, gas and mineral deposits. China is mostly interested in using the Northern Sea Route for a more direct shipping link between east and west. 


Alaska Science Forum: Permafrost Scientists Snowmachining from Alaska to Atlantic. Kenji Yoshikawa will soon sleep on a brilliant, blue-white landscape that has never felt the imprint of his boots. Beginning on the spring equinox, the permafrost scientist and a partner will attempt to drive snowmachines from Prudhoe Bay to Canada's Baffin Island. While traveling a distance equal to Seattle to Tokyo to Seattle over land and sea ice, Yoshikawa will camp outside villages in an Arctic Oven tent. Along the way, stopping at village schools in Canada's far north, he will drill holes in the ground and snake in strings of thermometers to record permafrost temperatures. The Arctic Sounder

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Friday.

Future Events                      

The National Research Council's Ocean Studies Board will convene a meeting of the committee that's studying this subject at the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks, to hear from Alaska-bsed experts in this subject. Topics to be discussed include physical oceanographic and terrestrial conditions, biological productivity, oil spill response (USCG, BSEE, AK DEC), and local community perspectives. The link above provides info on meeting logistics and agenda. Remote link-in to the meeting can be arranged. Contact Heather Chiarello,

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.


Congressional Briefing, March 20, 2013 (Washington, D.C.)

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), in partnership with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the National Academies' Ocean Studies Board, will present a lunch briefing on Melting Sea Ice in the Arctic: Science to Understand the Impacts to Our National Security, Natural Resources, and Economy. Speakers for the event include Dr. Cecilia Bitz, associate professor of atmospheric sciences and affiliate physicist for the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington; Lt. Commander Kenneth J. Boda, Arctic strategic analys and prospective executive officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter POLAR STAR; Dr. Brendan P. Kelly, assistant director for polar sciences at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President; and Dr. John E. Walsh, chief scientist of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


 The 100th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission will be held in Bethel. Additional information (agenda) is available at 

Deadly Dance: Arctic Warming and Global Climate Change, March 26-27, 2013 (Tufts University, Medford, MA) The Warming Arctic, the Edward R. Murrow Center and the Center of International Environment and Resource Policy will convene a group of experts, policy makers, business and media to examine the growing body of evidence on the climate impact of the Arctic - and try to share some big approaches to it. 


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." 


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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