US Arctic Research Commission
December 6, 2010

capitalToday's Eventstodaysevents


The Senate will consider morning business, and no roll call votes are expected. The House is not in session today.

Media Reviewtodaysevents


Energy Roundup: Decision Time in Fight for House Energy Gavel: On tap this week: House GOP to decide on committee chairmanships. This week is slated to bring the climax of the rather acrimonious battle to lead the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee when Republicans take over the chamber next year. The GOP Steering Committee plans to cast votes Tuesday. Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) are gunning for the position, with Upton considered the front-runner. The Hill


Climate Change Fans Deep-Burning Fires in Alaska. Climate change is fanning wildfirelonger- and deeper-burning fires in interior Alaska, changing the area from a carbon sink -- where planet-warming gases are stored naturally in the soil -- to a carbon emitter, scientists reported on Sunday. The shift has occurred within the last 10 years and is due in large part to a longer burning season, according to a study published in Nature Geosciences. Reuters Africa 


Northern Wildfires Threaten Runaway Climate Change, Study Reveals. Climate change is causing wildfires to burn more fiercely, pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than previously thought, according to a new study to be published in Nature Geoscience this week. Science Daily


The Week at a Glance: December 6-10, 2010. The House is expected to take up fiscal 2011 continuing appropriations legislation and could discuss extending tax cuts that will expire at year's end. House members also could work on a food safety bill, after the Senate passed its version last week. On Tuesday, the Senate is expected to begin impeachment proceedings against G. Thomas Porteous Jr., a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Both chambers could vote on immigration legislation. The Senate has planned procedural votes on a bill that would create a path to legal status for certain adult children of illegal immigrants. Congressional Quarterly


Listing As 'Threatened' Sought for Arctic Seals. The Obama administration proposed listing six subspecies of ice-dependent seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act on the grounds that diminishing sea ice in the Arctic seal2JF'sthreatens their survival. The move Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service suggests that a growing number of species could end up on the endangered species list as global warming accelerates. In listing four subspecies of ringed seals, found in the Arctic Basin and the North Atlantic, NOAA cited shrinking sea ice and reduced snow cover as reasons for its decision. With two Pacific subspecies of bearded seals, including those in Alaska and Russia, the agency identified diminishing sea ice as the primary threat facing the animals. Washington Post


NOAA Proposes Listing Ringed and Bearded Seals as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act. NOAA's Fisheries Service is proposing to list four subspecies of ringed seals, found in the Arctic Basin and the North Atlantic, and two distinct population segments of bearded seals in the Pacific Ocean, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed listings cite threats posed by diminishing sea ice, and additionally, for ringed seals, reduced snow cover. NOAA climate models were used to predict future sea ice conditions. NOAA 


Ocean Acidification May Threaten Food Security. Acidification of the seas linked to climate change could threaten fisheries production and is already causing the fastest shift in ocean chemistry in 65 million years, a U.N. study showed on Thursday. Production of shellfish, such as mussels, shrimp or lobsters, could be most at risk since they will find it harder to build protective shells, according to the report issued on the sidelines of U.N. climate talks in Mexico. Environmental News Network 


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate several individuals, including: Kelvin Droegemeier to be a member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation, and Dan Ashe to be the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. The White House


Legislative Actionfutureevents

H.J.Res. 101, federal funding continuing resolution (Obey- Presented to the President)


Future Eventsfutureevents


Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP) December 8, NOPPWashington DC.  ORRAP is a federal advisory committee that advises on policies and procedures to implement the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) and to provide recommendations to the National Ocean Council on interagency activities. Among other actions at this meeting, ORRAP will approve an "Arctic Findings Paper" (see pages 25-28 on this pdf). The agenda is here.

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 13-17. The fall meeting will include sessions on "Extratropical and High-latitude Storms, Teleconnections, and Changing Climate," "Bringing Together Environmental, Socio-Economic, and Climatic Change Studies in Northern Eurasia," "The Use of Observations for Evaluating CMIP5/IPCC Simulations," and "The Future of Polar Science: The Path Beyond the IPY." 
 NSF logo
Arctic Town Hall Meeting at AGU, December 15.  The National Science Foundation, Division of Arctic Sciences, will host a town hall meeting.  For additional information, please contact William Wiseman
New Congress, January 3. The 112th Congress begins.
Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 17-21. Within each theme (Bering AMSS 2011 promoSea, Arctic Ocean, and Gulf of Alaska), presenters will discuss climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.
National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21. One of the conference themes is "White Arctic/ Blue Arctic."  This theme will address ice changes in the Arctic to consider several questions: What does science tell us about the future of the Arctic? How would issues about the future - white or blue - be resolved? What models and monitoring data will be required to support an emerging management regime that would allow for sustainable use of the Arctic? How can use of the Arctic and its resources be managed in the face of these possibilities? 

Public Forum on Natural Gas Markets, January 22. The federal coordinator's office for the Alaska natural gas pipeline will sponsor a public forum on gas markets Jan. 22 to help Alaskans better understand the supply-and-demand fundamentals affecting the proposed pipeline project. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects will bring to Alaska several national experts on Lower 48 supply and demand including shale gas, the effect of federal clean air regulations on natural gas demand, and foreign markets for liquefied natural gas.


Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conferenceseesaw considering the following topics: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic;  Marine ecosystems and fisheries; Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives; and People of the North.
President's Budget, February 7.  By statute, the president is required to submit his annual budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February.
Arctic Technology Conference, February 7-9, 2011. The Arctic is one of the few places on the globe which still holds enormous new petroleum reserve potential. A recently completed USGS survey estimated that 20% of the world's remaining reserves were trapped beneath the Arctic Circle. OTC's inaugural Arctic Technology Conference (ATC), 7-9 February 2011 in Houston, Texas, will be a truly global event focused on the cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic.

International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact

Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011The purpose of Korean Flagthe Arctic Science Summit Week is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science.  The Arctic Science Week 2011 is supported by the Korean government, the Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and the Seoul Tourism Organization, among other groups.
Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. Topics include: hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates; science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76; geodynamic significance of Arctic magmatism; vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic, and glacial; geology and palaeogeography of the Arctic continental margins; evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology; modern Arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes; recent advances in Arctic research technology.   More information email.
7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland.  The International Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every three years. 
Holocene Glacier Variability from the Tropics to the Poles, July 20-27, 2011. Glaciers respond sensitively to climate change. Recent (Holocene) glacier fluctuations are a valuable proxy for terrestrial interglacial paleoclimate conditions. A main challenge for interpreting paleoclimate from past mountain glacier extents is distinguishing local and regional patterns from global signals. Reconstructing Holocene glacier extents involves many disciplines including terrestrial and marine geology, geochronology and glaciology.  Organizers hope to facilitate an inter-hemispheric comparison of glacier records including locations in the Tropics, European Alps, American Cordillera, Southern Alps of New Zealand, Himalaya and Polar Regions and to identify future research questions and directions. For additional information contact: Meredith Kelly.
13th Arctic Ungulates Conference (AUC), August 22-26, 2011.  The theme of the conference will be "Challenges of Managing Northern Ungulates." The theme addresses the difficulties of managing ungulate populations that are faced with the unpredictable effects of climate change and an ever-increasing human presence on the land. The conference will also focus on the challenges associated with developing recovery actions for declining caribou and reindeer populations that are an integral part of Aboriginal cultures and ways of life. 
9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region permafrostEngineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on  Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium i s to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchange of practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva.
Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes.  The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012.  The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia.  The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008.  More details to follow.


USARC header
4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA
(703) 525-0111 (phone)