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September 9, 2013

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 workshop 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."
Media   

 

Opinion: Alaska's conference on Arctic oil pipelines has a fatal flaw: Key stakeholders left out. "When the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation holds its Arctic/Cold Regions Oil Pipeline Conference in September, participants will get only a partial picture of the challenges of operating in Alaska because there will be 'no time' to hear from the conservation community." Alaska Dispatch 

 

Opinion: The continuing evolution of Arctic policy: The state is slow to catch up with the world. "More than three decades ago-before the Arctic became a much talked about, much analyzed, and much sought after region on this planet-Eben Hopson, an Ińupiat leader from Alaska's North Slope, observed: 'The United States has no Arctic policy, as such.' Hopson was years ahead of his time, sensing that change in the Arctic would affect his own Ińupiat people as well as the world. Today the formulation of Arctic policy has become a mini industry. Conferences and meetings draw participants from universities, think tanks, industry, Arctic countries, and other nations that are interested in benefiting from the opening of the region." Alaska Business Monthly 

 

Unusually stubborn ice delays supply barge bound for Canadian Arctic. "Ice buildup in the Amundsen Gulf is responsible for barge delays that have many Northern coastal communities in Canada's western Arctic running short on supplies. Normally, a supply barge arrives in the area in early summer to replenish stocks of fuel and other necessities in those communities. But this year, that trip is being held up by ice. As much as 30 to 40 percent of the Arctic Ocean remains covered in ice." Alaska Dispatch 

 

Opinion: And now it's global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year. "A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year - an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012's record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores." Daily Mail 

 

Opinion: Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph. "When it comes to climate science reporting, the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph are only reliable in the sense that you can rely on them to usually get the science wrong. This weekend's Arctic sea ice articles from David Rose of the Mail and Hayley Dixon at the Telegraph unfortunately fit that pattern. Both articles claimed that Arctic sea ice extent grew 60 percent in August 2013 as compared to August 2012. While this factoid is technically true, it's also largely irrelevant. For one thing, the annual Arctic sea ice minimum occurs in September - we're not there yet. And while this year's minimum extent will certainly be higher than last year's, that's not the least bit surprising." The Guardian 

 

Drones proving useful in polar regions to study the melting of the ice. "The logical next step for exploring some of the world's most inhospitable terrain is being taken. Researchers are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - drones - to explore the last great repositories of ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska. About two dozen universities and research organisations, including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have registered as drone operators, according to a list released last year to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Some of those researchers were tracking wildfires or ozone concentrations, oil spills and volcano ash, but a significant number were deployed to the polar regions to study the melting of the ice." The Guardian 

 

Image: WikiCommons

Finland looking to supply icebreakers to Russia. "Russia first reached out to Finland for assistance 

opening up a route in thick winter ice back in 2011. At the time a number of vessels were trapped in the arctic ice and unable to continue on to St. Petersburg. Since that time both sides have been engaged in bilateral talks to allow Finnish icebreakers to operate in Russian territorial waters. Chief executive of the Finnish icebreaker company Arctia Shipping Tero Vauraste speculated that the Russians could need Finnish expertise in this area roughly every other year." YLE 

 

Conducting cool summer research in the Arctic. "The Arctic Coastal Ecosystems Survey (ACES) is focused on understanding the ecological role of near-shore and lagoon habitats of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas that surround Alaska and its connectivity with the coastal ocean. These habitats are incredibly important to the local population that subsists on them, yet they are also anticipated to be impacted by both climate change and increasing human interactions (such as increased traffic, commercial fisheries and oil exploration). FIU researchers aim to establish a baseline to measure impacts of observed ecosystem variability through the continuum of environmental and anthropogenic change in the Arctic." Phys.org 

 

Record-low Arctic ice melt in 2012 linked to man-made climate change: New report. "A new report on 12 of 2012's most extreme weather events says man-made global warming is 'having an impact on some extreme weather and 

climate events.' This is the second year that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British meteorology office have looked at the previous year's extreme weather events. In 'Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective' published Sept. 5 in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78 research said climate change made a record-low Arctic sea ice extent, drought in Europe, heat waves and flooding in the U.S. and extreme rainfalls in Australia and New Zealand more probable." Nunatsiaq Online 

 

Warming Arctic: A food chain in flux from polar bears up top to plankton on bottom. "Declining sea ice and warming temperatures are resulting in changes to vegetation in arctic coastal areas, according to research results published by two University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists in a recent edition of Science magazine. The review examining how losses of northern sea ice affect surrounding areas was written by Uma Bhatt, an associate professor at UAF's Geophysical Institute, and Skip Walker, a professor at UAF's Institute of Arctic Biology." Alaska Dispatch 

 

A super tanker voyage through the Northwest Passage. "Forty-six years ago, a ship as long as the Empire State Building sailed with intention toward obstacles that captains usually avoid. The ice-breaking tanker SS Manhattan was an oil company's attempt to see if it might be profitable to move new Alaska oil to the East Coast by plowing through the ice-clogged Northwest Passage." Fairbanks News-Miner 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

  

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on S. 157, the Denali National Park Improvement Act under suspension of the rules (requiring 2/3 vote to pass). The Denali National Park Improvement Act would authorize the National Park Service to issue permits to construct a natural gas pipeline in non-wilderness areas within, along, or near the approximately 7-mile segment of the George Parks Highway that runs through the Denali National Park. This section has remained an obstacle towards completing the Alaska Pipeline Project, which would transport natural gas reserves from the North Slope to Fairbanks and Anchorage. 

 

Additionally, the legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for microhydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area of the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Furthermore, this bill would authorize an exchange of land between the Department of the Interior and Doyon Tourism, Inc., and redesignate the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. This bill has already passed the Senate. 

Future Events

  

Alaska World Affairs Council: "U.S. Leadership in an Emerging Arctic," 12 p.m. September 10, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska World Affairs Council will hold a Tuesday Lunch Program lecture featuring Chair of the US Arctic Research 

FranUlmerCommission Fran Ulmer and Ambassador David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

 

RSVP to info@alaskaworldaffairs.org or 276-8038 by Sunday, September 8th.  

 

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 Arctic Circle, an open assembly for international cooperation on Arctic issues, will hold its first gathering October 12-14, 2013, at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. This event will facilitate working meetings across issues and organizations and provide a forum for discussions hosted by different international and Arctic institutions. Agenda topics will include emerging topics of interest, such as sea ice melt and extreme weather, security, fisheries and ecosystem management, shipping and transportation infrastructure, Arctic resources and tourism."

  

**New This Week**
 
International Forum on Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems, October 15-16, 2013 (Tokyo, Japan). "The Forum will cover topics on effective polar data management, including submission of metadata and data, sharing of data to facilitate new interdisciplinary science, and long-term preservation and stewardship of data from a global viewpoint. Presentations on the successes and challenges encountered during IPY will highlight not only the best practices learned but also what must yet be done to ensure the data legacy of IPY. 

Presenters from all scientific disciplines are welcome, and interdisciplinary data management topics are 
especially encouraged. A significant outcome of the Forum will be the development of a new strategy and structure for the Arctic Data Coordination Network under the auspices of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON), IASC, and the Arctic Council. Fruitful discussions between the polar data community (SC-ADM, NADC, and SAON) and WDS-oriented contributors on data management issues are expected to give new horizons on data management and to forge interdisciplinary relationships. In particular, a new plan for polar data archives, such as PIC cloud, is expected to be sufficiently promoted."

 

Draft Agenda 

 

Registration closes September 30.

  

The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA). "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments.  

 

The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website: www.whoi.edu/projects/FAMOS 

  

17th Sitka WhaleFest: "Arctic Sea Change: What's Ahead?" October 31 - November 3, 2013, (Sitka, Alaska).
 "Sitka WhaleFest presents a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include symposium lectures, interactive student sessions, marine wildlife cruises with scientists, a marine-themed artisan market, music, local foods, student art show, and a fun run/walk."

 

"The Arctic is changing. This is an indisputable fact. How the people and animals who depend upon the Arctic will adapt to change is an open question. How will narwhals and polar bears cope with less summer ice? Bowhead whales may have their world rocked when humpbacks, fins and other baleen whales begin - they already are - feeding in their backyard. The resource users of the Arctic will need to make adjustments and changes to live in this new world. Who will be the sea winners and sea losers? These are questions we will discuss with the experts who are passionate about the Arctic."
 

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." 

 

Maritime & Arctic Security Conference (MAS13), November 12-13, 2013 (St. John's, NL, Canada). "For decades the Arctic has received increasing attention from the international community related to factors/considerations such as environmental, geopolitical, strategic, and security. More recently with shrinking Arctic ice leading to the pursuance of off-shore resources and the

opening of northern shipping routes, over a relatively short period of time we are seeing maritime security considerations start to blend with arctic security." 

 

"With a focus on Economic Development, Security and Public Safety, MAS13 will bring together organizations that play a key role in the execution of Maritime & Arctic Security: whether that role be Cultural, Research, Government Policy/Regulation, Education, Surveillance, Enforcement, and Technology Development/Application." 

 

Full Conference Agenda 


Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge Request for Proposals Released August 15.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water announces a research and development effort to seek better and more affordable methods to deliver drinking water and sewage disposal services to communities in rural Alaska. The three-month long, international solicitation calls for individuals from a variety of diverse fields - engineering, science and research, behavioral science, and innovative design - to organize as teams and submit Statements of Qualifications. Up to six of the top ranked teams will be funded to develop proposals over a six month period next year. Future phases of the project include building prototypes and testing them in lab and field settings. 

 

For more information about the project please: 

 

 


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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