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April 5, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 16.


Effect of Energy Prices in Rural Alaska, Today. The House Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a field hearing titled "Federal Laws and Policies Affecting Energy Prices in Rural Alaska and their Effects on Native Villages." The hearing will be held in Fairbanks.





rubber duck covered in oil

Defying Conventional Wisdom, Water Can Float on Oil.
Defying thousands of years of conventional wisdom, scientists are reporting that it is possible for water to float on oil, a discovery they say has important potential applications in cleaning up oil spills that threaten seashores and fisheries. Their report appears in ACS' journal Langmuir. Science Daily



Vancouver Aquarium Makes Arctic Cod Breeding Breakthrough: Biologists successfully breed fish species vital to northern ecosystem. In a first for North America and possibly the world, the Vancouver Aquarium has successfully bred Arctic cod in captivity. Within weeks, an estimated 500 to 600 juvenile cod will be on display for the public, said Danny Kent, the aquarium's curator of B.C. waters. "We're super happy about it," he said. "The Arctic display is there to educate the public and it's more cost-effective to replace our display animals [ourselves] when they pass on." Kent said it's also an opportunity for researchers to come to Vancouver to study Arctic cod, who are a keystone species in the Arctic ecosystem. Vancouver Sun


ESA, NASA Join Forces to Measure Arctic Sea Ice. Marking another remarkable collaborative effort, ESA and NASA met up over the Arctic Ocean this week to perform some carefully coordinated flights directly under CryoSat orbiting above. The data gathered help ensure the accuracy of ESA's ice mission. The aim of this large-scale campaign was to record sea-ice thickness and conditions of the ice exactly along the line traced by ESA's CryoSat satellite orbiting high above. A range of sensors installed on the different aircraft was used to gather complementary information. These airborne instruments included simple cameras to get a visual record of the sea ice, laser scanners to clearly map the height of the ice, an ice-thickness sensor called EM-Bird along with ESA's sophisticated radar altimeter called ASIRAS and NASA's snow and Ku-band radars, which mimic CryoSat's measurements but at a higher resolution. Red Orbit


Arctic MapWill US Arctic Planning Take a 'Sputnik Moment' As Activities Increase? Back in November 2011, shortly after Veterans Day, I had the pleasure of writing a commentary about a 1962 James Bond-type intelligence mission from Barrow out to an abandoned Soviet ice station in the Arctic Ocean. A B-17 flew out to the ice station where two Navy intelligence officers parachuted down to collect information on the Soviet facility. The airstrip had broken up, so to get them back, the Navy used a Fulton Skyhool, which was able to yank the two officers back up to the plane. One of those two was Leonard LeSchack, who now almost 50 years later is still very active in Arctic concerns. Bob Thomas of Barrow public radio KBRW and I were able to interview him twice on Thursday morning interviews. He now lives in Canada and works to locate oil resources around the globe. Alaska Dispatch 


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Signs Alaska Agreement with Russian Border Patrol. The U.S. Coast Guard is meeting Wednesday evening on Kodiak Island with a group of Russian Border Patrol officials. The Russians are here to renew a treaty that provides for cooperation between the Coast Guard and Russian law enforcement in the Bering Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean. The need for such cooperation has grown in recent years: with Arctic waters warming, 7,000 vessels now travel the Bering Sea each year. Some of those vessels come to illegally harvest fish. Others are there for perfectly legal reasons, but can suddenly find themselves in trouble. KTUU 


Vegetation Cover Affects the Speed of Snowmelt in Tundra Regions. Climate change has increased vegetation in Arctic tundra regions. According to a recent study, the increase in vegetation in tundra regions may further accelerate global warming. Science Daily 


russia/norway flagsNorway, Russia Strengthen Relations. Norway and Russia have agreed to improve cross-border military relations and expand cooperation in multibranch exercises and common strategic and environment-based programs in their Arctic territories. The desire on the part of both countries to strengthen political and military cooperation was reinforced during high-level talks here on March 30 between Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov and Norwegian Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide and Roger Ingebrigtsen, state secretary for defense. Defense News 


New Report on the State of Polar Regions. The U.S. National Research Council has just released a synthesis of reports from thousands of scientists in 60 countries who took part in the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-08, the first in over 50 years to offer a benchmark for environmental conditions and new discoveries in the polar regions. Science Daily

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring IPYmeetinglogotogether 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. Click here


USARC Commission Meeting, April 27-28, 2012. The 97th meeting of the CPClogoUSARC will be held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the "From Knowledge to  


usarc logo large

Action" IPY meeting referred to above. The Commission will meet on April 27-28, and will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the afternoon of the 27th, to discuss common interests in Arctic Research. Details to follow. 


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with their 24th annual meeting. Both events will be in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Forum is part of the American Geophysical Union's Science Policy Conference, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Conference will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions. Within the Science Policy Conference, the Arctic Forum will assess gaps and priority needs for arctic scientific information to inform decision makers in policy

formation for three key themes:

                - Governance and Security in the Arctic;

                - Transportation and Energy Development; and

                - Changing Arctic Ecosystems.

The Forum will examine the current state of policymaker and public understanding of the issues. An important goal will be to foster an increased capacity for dialogue and action on arctic science-policy issues.


[Postponed]American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", to occur in 2013, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


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. Click here.  


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event 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 healthmeetinglogoindigenous 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. Click here


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-28, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research. Click here


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 inuitconferencelogomuseums 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, click here. 



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