US Arctic Research Commission
July 21, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a House-passed deficit reduction measure, which is expected to fail. The Senate may also consider a short term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration. The House is expected to consider Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations and FY 2012 Legislative Branch appropriations.


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.


Brown Bag Town Hall , July 21, 2011. Senator Murkowski will hold a "Brown Bag Town Hall" to discuss issues such as the budget, appropriations, military operations, Arctic issues, and energy development. The town hall will be conducted via Twitter. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Possible Weekend Work for House Called Off. House Majority Whip Kevin Congress in SessionMcCarthy's office told Members on Wednesday that they no longer must be prepared to be in session this weekend. Members were told the day before to anticipate working Saturday and Sunday. Roll Call


Debt Talks Impede House Spending Bills. The ongoing debate on the debt limit is forcing House appropriators to scale back their goals for moving spending bills through the House. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said he hopes to get two more spending bills through the House before possibly moving to a continuing resolution to give Congress more time to finish work on the fiscal 2012 spending bills. Roll Call 


Sides Edging Toward Short-Term Debt Deal. Members of the Senate's Gang of Six began on Wednesday to sell the group's bipartisan deficit reduction proposal to House Democrats as the likelihood grew that lawmakers would need to approve a short-term increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit. The pressure of the ticking clock weighed on officials both in the White House and at the Capitol, who cheered the new Senate proposal but acknowledged there was not enough time to enact it before the Aug. 2 deadline to avoid an unprecedented default by the U.S. government. The Hill 


Russia's Arctic Vision, How Different Is It Really? At the same June 30 regional russian flagconference of the United Russia party in Yekaterinburg where Vladimir Putin defended Russia's growing presence in the Arctic, he spoke about his vision for developing the region. He focused on environmental restoration in the Arctic waterways and on natural gas development. First, he called for a "big cleanup" in the region. Putin lamented, "I was in the North last year, and I was terrified by the number of old barrels, once used for fuels and lubricants, which have been piling up for many decades near geologists' stations and military bases there. Sometimes, these barrels become rusty and leaky from age, and the contents pour out. This is impermissible. If we don't start to clean up the Arctic right now, the consequences may be very sad." Alaska Dispatch 


Arctic Also Sees Heat Wave, On Course for Record Ice Melt. This year could be well on its way toward earning a dubious spot in the record books. Arctic sea ice has melted away with astonishing speed in the first half of July, at an average rate of about 46,000 square miles per day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo. That's equivalent to an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania melting into the sea every 24 hours. MSNBC 


Star Exclusive: Canada Looking at Building Military Bases in Arctic. It is costly to operate in the vast and inhospitable Arctic. But the Canadian military is exploring a way to cut costs and speed up the movement of troops and equipment by building several new northern bases. Along the way it could help to strengthen the country's Arctic sovereignty claims by placing additional boots on the tundra throughout the year. The Star 


Scientist Heads to Nunavut to Find Fish with Legs. There are thousands of Fish legsspecies of animals in Canada, but a U.S. scientist is looking for a very specific one: a fish with legs. This might sound strange, but if he succeeds, it won't be the first limbed-fish he's discovered in the Canadian Arctic. Dr. Ted Daeschler is a paleontologist from Philadelphia who specializes in vertebrate paleontology. He and his colleague from the University of Chicago, Neil Shubin, have been trekking Nunavut since 1999, exploring the peculiar area where it's thought fish evolved into creatures with limbs. Yahoo! News   


Edmonton Firm Wins Contract for Arctic Methane. Edmonton-based Synodon Inc. has won a $350,000 federal contract to use its realSens technology for remote sensing survey services to detect and measure naturally occurring methane seeps in the Canadian Arctic. The project will expand on a successful small scale survey completed in 2009 in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada, and will test the technology's ability to remotely survey large areas of the Arctic. Edmonton Journal 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                    


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 Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchanging practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 


Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011."Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hverager