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March 21, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The House completes consideration of the fiscal 2014 GOP budget measure. The Senate continues debate on the fiscal 2014 budget resolution.  
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 

Senate Avoids Shutdown, Looks to Wrap Up Budget Soon. The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to prevent a government shutdown and set up a series of votes on what would be the first Senate Democratic budget in four years.  In a 73-26 vote, the Senate approved a $984 billion continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. Twenty-five Republicans voted against the measure, along with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The Hill


Jewell, SallySenate Panel Endorses Jewell for Interior Chief. The Senate Energy Committee has voted to move President Barack Obama's nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary to the Senate floor.The committee's 19-3 vote came after current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed to review a decision blocking construction of a gravel road through a wildlife refuge to provide access to an all-weather airport in rural Alaska. Anchorage Daily News



NASA Begins New Season of Arctic Ice Science Flights. NASA's Operation IceBridge scientists have begun another season of research activity over Arctic ice sheets and sea ice with the first of a series of science flights from Greenland completed on Wednesday. A specially equipped P-3B research aircraft from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., is operating out of airfields in Thule and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, and Fairbanks, Alaska. The flights will carry out survey flights over land and sea ice in and around Greenland and the Arctic Ocean through early May. Alaska Native News


Canadian Glaciers Face 'Big Losses.' The glaciers of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago will undergo a dramatic retreat this century if warming projections hold true. A new study suggests the region's ice fields could lose perhaps as much as a fifth of their volume. Such a melt would add 3.5cm to the height of the world's oceans. Only the ice of Greenland and Antarctica is expected to contribute more. BBC News


NOAANOAA's Coast Survey Plans for New Arctic Nautical Charts. NOAA's Coast Survey office has issued an updated Arctic Nautical Charting Plan, as a major effort to improve inadequate chart coverage for Arctic areas experiencing increasing vessel traffic due to ice diminishment. The update came after consultations with maritime interests and the public, as well as with other federal, state, and local agencies. "As multi-year sea ice continues to disappear, vessel traffic in the Arctic is on the rise," said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, NOAA Coast Survey director. "This is leading to new maritime concerns about adequate charts, especially in areas increasingly transited by the offshore oil and gas industry and cruise liners." NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


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.


**New** Increased Arctic Maritime Activity, March 27, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska) The Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard will hold a field hearing in Alaska on Arctic shipping safety and reviewing the lessons learned from the 2012 offshore drilling season. The hearing will also examine the U.S. preparation for Arctic shipping more generally, with testimony from Alaska maritime experts, local communities, and environmental groups. Witnesses include:


  • The Honorable Tommy P. Beaudreau, Acting Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management, US Department of the Interior (via video teleconference)
  • Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo, Commander, Seventeenth District, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Mr. Pete E. Slaiby, Vice President, Exploration and Production, Shell Alaska
  • Ms. Helen Brohl, Executive Director, US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (via video teleconference)
  • Mr. Ed Page, Executive Director, Marine Exchange of Alaska
  • Ms. Eleanor Huffines, Manager, U.S. Arctic Campaign, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Mr. Matt Ganley, Vice President, Bering Straits Native Corp.


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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