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March 20, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The Senate will consider HR 933, the continuing resolution to fund the government to the end of fiscal 2013. The House is expected to consideration of a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014, voting on five possible substitute amendments.

  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-based 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 information on meeting logistics and the 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.


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.

usarc logo largeThe US Arctic Research Commission Releases USARC Report on Goals and Objectives for Arctic Research 2013-2014. Arctic research plays a key role in addressing fundamental scientific issues and in helping the nation meet its needs, aspirations and responsibilities as an arctic nation. To this end, the USARC delivers a biennial report to the President and Congress outlining recommended scientific research goals and objectives for the Arctic. US Arctic Research Commission


Gas Association Plans to Sue Over Listing of Seals. The Alaska Oil and Gas Association plans to sue over a federal decision to list as threatened two types of ice seals. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in December that ringed seals and bearded seals in the Arctic Ocean would be protected under the Endangered Species Act. These joined polar bears as species listed as threatened by loss of sea ice. Ventura County Star


Canada flagCanadian Polar Commission Looks to Ramp Up Role in Arctic: Commission wants to ensure indigenous knowledge mixes with scientific research. The Canadian Polar Commission wants to take on a new and more public role in northern affairs. The organization is responsible for promoting the development and dissemination of polar knowledge. The commission was created in 1991 to promote polar science and scientific research. Today, the scientific community is focusing more and more on climate change, and the Arctic is where they want be. CBC News


Iceland and China to Become Neighbors? Iceland and China can become neighboring states in the next five to ten years with the opening of the sailing route through the Arctic, according to Dr. Jiang Ye, director of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, at a conference on Arctic affairs in Reykjavík yesterday. Dr. Jiang stated that both countries stand to benefit from the opportunities that open up with the melting of Arctic ice. Dr. Jiang stated that the voyage of the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long ('Snow Dragon') between Shanghai and Reykjavík last year marked a turning point, predicting that in five to ten years, transport companies will be able to profit from the new sailing route. Iceland Review


Polar bearPolar Bears Arriving on Land Early Due to Climate Change. A latest finding claims that polar bears are shifting their migration pattern because of the changes in sea ice, reports LiveScience. The warming climate has therefore limited the time the polar bears can hunt on ice. The study, published March 19 in the Journal Animal Ecology, carefully analyzed the data of the migration pattern of 109 female polar bears in Hudson Bay, Canada, which was collected with the help of satellite tracking between 1991-1997 and 2004-2009. Science World Report

begich Begich Pledges 'Deliberate' Approach to Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization.
The head of the Senate Commerce subcommittee tasked with overseeing fisheries management promised to take a careful approach to reauthorizing the nation's key management law yesterday. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, said he would convene field hearings around the country about the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. E&E News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


**New** Sounding Board: Arctic Shipping, March 21, 2013 (Radio). Sounding Board (a radio program of Western Alaska) will host a call in show on the future of goods being shipped through the Arctic Ocean. Scientists predict that open-water vessels could be traveling the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage by 2040; this means more traffic passing along the Western Alaska coast. Sounding Board encourages callers to consider impacts on local communities, benefits to the region, environmental impacts, and recommendations for legislators and shipping companies. 

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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