Arctic Update Header
September 7, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider patent overhaul legislation. The House will consider trade preference legislation.


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.   

Media Reviewtodaysevents    



Melting Arctic: Northwest Passage Opened in August. Arctic sea ice shrank to the second lowest extent observed during the month of August since satellite monitoring began 32 years ago, according to the latest analysis posted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea route appear to be open," the NSIDC reported Tuesday. "Throughout August, sea ice extent tracked near the record lows of 2007, underscoring the continued decline in Arctic ice cover." With only a couple of weeks before the melt season ends and ice cover reaches its minimum for the year, the polar ice cap continues to flirt with breaking the all-time record set four seasons ago. Alaska Dispatch  


ChinaflagKnockin' on Arctic's Door. China wants to play a role in Arctic research, environmental protection, resource exploration and navigation. China warns against monopolizing Arctic affairs. Barents Observer 




Lapland, Arctic Ocean Railway Study. Finland lost its coastline to the Barents Sea in 1944, but could now again gain access to the Arctic via a railway to Norway. Barents Observer  


Most Interior/ EPA Riders Likely to Drop From Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Before leaving for its August recess, the US House of Representatives spent several days debating a bill to fund the Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency for fiscal 2012, which includes 40 or so provisions blocking various environmental regulations, but that debate is unlikely to resume when lawmakers return next week, a top House Republican said Thursday. Instead, Congress is probably going to start work on a continuing resolution to ensure the government does not shut down when the fiscal year ends October 1, before turning to an omnibus appropriations bill to provide funding across the government, Representative Mike Simpson, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, said in a phone interview. Platts 


Argo Floats Help Monitor Ocean Acidity. Scientists can now remotely monitor the ocean's changing chemistry with help from some of the five-foot-tall Argo floats that drift with deep ocean currents and transmit data via satellite back to land. A new and innovative method shows how readings of the acidity (pH) and total carbon dioxide (CO2) content of seawater can help scientists understand changes in the chemistry of the world's ocean. A U.S.-based research team and their Canadian colleagues developed the new approach by determining the relationships between seawater temperature, oxygen, pH and CO2 from observations collected on previous ship-based expeditions in the region in the last five years. These relationships were then applied to high-resolution observations of temperature and oxygen collected by an Argo float deployed in the North Pacific in early 2010. NOAA  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act (LoBiondo, introduced and referred to committee)

Future Events                     


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.


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.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Registration forms are available here


Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011. Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.


The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy- and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. 


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. Details to follow.   


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Heath, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change-health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and, behavioral health.


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World , October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.


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