US Arctic Research Commission
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February 24, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The House and Senate have recessed for the President's Day district work week.

 

Murkowski Alaska State Legislature Address, February 24. Senator Murkowski will deliver her annual address to the Alaska State Legislature. 

 

Canada's Arctic Policy, February 24-25.  The Institute of the North will host a policy discussion on Canada's Arctic Policy with Consul Jennifer Loten.  The policy forum will consider the Arctic's infrastructure deficit, circumpolar environmental response capacity, and Arctic marine traffic systems.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

 

House GOP to Propose Short-Term CR.  House Republicans will introduce a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown while making reductions to the federal budget by week's end, GOP leadership aides said Wednesday. The goal, aides said, was to craft a bill that makes enough cuts to appease conservatives but cherry-picks reductions that Democrats and Republicans already support to make it palatable to the minority and the White House. That, Republicans hope, will put enough pressure on Senate Democratic moderates that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be forced to accept the bill. Roll Call

 

House Plans Two-Week Spending Bill Including Major Cuts. With the risk of a government shutdown hanging in the balance, House Republican appropriators are trying to write a stopgap spending bill that would satisfy conservatives' appetite for cuts while also attracting votes from some Senate Democrats. GOP budget hawks are pushing for deep spending cuts this year, and House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised that even short-term spending bills, including a continuing resolution (CR), would include some spending reductions. Congressional Quarterly

 

White House Says a Shutdown is Still Avoidable. The White House continues to express confidence that a last-minute deal will be reached to fund the government before a shutdown is triggered on March 4. "We believe there is the strong potential there for us to reach an agreement to avoid what you called a government shutdown," Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in Wednesday's briefing. Government Executive

 

UN Report Urges Action on 'Black Carbon,' Smog. Curbing sooty particles emitted by burning biomass and smog caused by traffic fumes would slow the onslaught of climate change and deliver many health benefits, a UN report said here on Wednesday. Removing these sources of pollution by 2030 would take 0.5 degrees Celsius off the expected 1.0 C rise in global warming by mid-century, it said. The biggest beneficiaries would be the Arctic, the Himalayas and other glaciated regions that are highly vulnerable to warming. Health benefits would be almost immediate, by ending a major source of respiratory illness, it said. Montreal Gazette

 

Arctic Resource Development Inevitable and Safe: Greenland. Greenland Premier Kuupik Kleist came out swinging Feb. 23 in favour of Greenland's right to develop its offshore oil and gas reserves and mineral deposits. Inuit leaders from around the circumpolar world are meeting this week in Ottawa to develop a collective position on resource development throughout the Arctic region. Nunatsiaq Online 

 

Greenland's Inuit Premier Defends Oil and Gas Drilling. The Inuit Premier of Greenland is passionate in defending the need to develop his country's oil and gas potential - a stance that puts him at odds with Canadian Inuit groups, which have tried to block offshore drilling near their communities. Kuupik Kleist was one of the speakers at a two-day summit of Inuit leaders who met this week to discuss resource development. Mr. Kleist said Wednesday that there will be oil and gas extraction in and around Greenland and the Inuit want to dictate its terms. Here is what he said in response to questions from reporters; the questions have been edited and the answers trimmed. The Globe and Mail

 

White House Analyst to Take Questions on Arctic Policy. The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy will host a statewide webinar Thursday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. The webinar and discussion will focus on current arctic policy issues. Kathryn Moran, senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will be available for questions and discussion. The Arctic Sounder

 

Unlocking Arctic Carbon. Sometime in the next 20 years, Arctic soil that has been frozen since the last ice age will begin thawing in response to rapidly warming polar temperatures and start releasing a vast reservoir of carbon into the atmosphere. A new study puts the first numbers and dates on these "irreversible" permafrost emissions, and it looks like enough to kick the global warming trend into another gear. The carbon is released by the decay of roots and other organic material exposed to the atmosphere after thousands of years of being locked away in the deep freeze of permanently frozen Arctic dirt. Research scientist Kevin Schaefer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO, and colleagues, writing in the journal Tellus, estimate that by 2200, the melting of up to 60 percent of the Northern Hemisphere's permafrost could add some 190 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere. Discovery News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No formal action was taken yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents      

   Murkowski 

Fiscal 2012 Budget: Interior Department, March 2.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Interior.

 

Fiscal 2012 Budget: Forest Service, March 3.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.

 

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 504-s@diplo.de.

 

Arctic Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's Bod? University Graduate School of Business, the High North Centre for Business and Governance (affiliated with the University), the International Institute of Energy Politics and Diplomacy (MIEP) at MGIMO University in Moscow, Russia, and HBW Resources have hosted an annual Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour.  The tour brings together stakeholders from all Arctic nations (government, industries, academic, native and local peoples) to discuss issues involving resource development in the Arctic, and share common experiences, best practices and solutions. For more information contact Andrew Browning.

 

Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011. The 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.  

 

The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution, May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

  
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.  

 

American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14. This policy colloquium brings together a group to consider atmospheric policy.  The colloquium will cover policy creation basics, interactions with congressional staff, and information on the current atmospheric policy issues. 


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011myvatnThe 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 Muskokaddresses 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  Engineering (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. 

 

4th International Sea Duck Conference, September 12-16. The conference is held to provide researchers and managers with opportunities to share information, research, and conduct workshops.

 

Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 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.   

 

Operating in the Arctic: Supporting the US Coast Guard Challenges Through Research, Sept. 21-23, 2010. This workshop, held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the US Arctic Research Commission, explored and identified ways in which scientific research and development can improve the ability of the U.S. Coast Guard to operate and carry out its statutory missions in the Arctic region. Participation in this event included state, local and international stakeholders, academics and researchers, and USCG and other federal agency officials. A funding opportunity associated with this activity is described here.

 

The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference permafrostwill 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.   

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