US Arctic Research Commission
July 29, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are expected to consider legislation to increase the debt limit. Votes are expected. The House is expected to be in session this weekend.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


John BoehnerHouse Will Remain in Session this Weekend. The House will remain in session through the weekend as Congress scrambles to secure a debt-limit deal in the face of a looming default deadline. House lawmakers will continue consideration of a 2012 funding bill for the Interior Department while they wait for the Senate to act on a debt-limit bill, the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Thursday. The Hill


Suspension of Leading Arctic Scientist Raises Suspicions. It was seen as one of the most distressing effects of climate change ever recorded: a polar bear dying of exhaustion after being stranded between melting patches of Arctic sea ice. But now the government scientist who first warned of the threat to polar bears in a warming Arctic has been suspended and his work put under official investigation for possible scientific misconduct. Charles Monnett, a wildlife biologist, oversaw much of the scientific work for the US government agency that has been examining drilling in the Arctic and managed about $50 million (US) in research projects. He was suspended on July 18. Sydney Morning Herald


Lost Interview: Alaska Scientist Described How He Discovered 'Drowned Polarpolar bear ice Bears.' In July 2007, I sat down with wildlife biologist Charles Monnett and a spokesperson for the then-Minerals Management Service, the federal regulator of offshore oil development. Monnett -- who is now in trouble with MMS' successor, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement -- had led the team of federal scientists who had spotted apparently dead polar bears floating in the Arctic Ocean in fall 2004, the causalities, some would later argue, of a warming climate. Or perhaps just a brutal storm. That revelation, which was published in a journal at the time, galvanized environmentalists, who had long been saying the Arctic was melting. There was no ice for the bears, and now it seemed they had to swim farther than ever before. That was the implication of Monnett's and his colleagues' work at MMS. Alaska Dispatch


Tundra fireTundra Fires Could Affect Climate Change: 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire Released Tons of Carbon into Air. The July 2007 tundra fire near the Anaktuvuk River was the largest such ever recorded, but that wasn't the only thing that made it noteworthy. According to a new study published in the journal Nature, the burning tundra released more than two million tons of carbon into the air. The authors said the carbon could affect global climate change. Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Canadian Cod Make a Comeback.
At last, a bit of fishy good news: cod have begun returning to Canadian seas where they were fished to near-extinction in the early 1990s. The finding shows that fishing bans are paying dividends, which should boost annual calls to impose similar bans in European waters. New Scientist 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 50, Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization (Young, House hearings held)


H.R. 2580, Interior-Environment appropriations bill (Simpson, considered in the House)


S. 1063, Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act (Murkowski, Senate hearing held)

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