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December 3, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider a measure under suspension of the rules. The Senate will consider the Department of Defense Authorization.


Arctic Technology Conference, December 3-5, 2012. The burgeoning Arctic arena offers a host of opportunities for companies that can solve the complex environmental, physical and regulatory challenges it presents. ATC 2012 will include a highly specialized technical program, education courses, networking events, and an exhibition - all deisgned to help ensure that oil and gas professionals throughout the world are prepared to succeed in these challenging Arctic arenas.


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts in fall meeting in San Francisco. Roughly 20,000 scientists will be in attendance. On December 3rd, there will be a town hall meeting entitled "Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions."The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is organizing a Town Hall meeting at the Fall AGU Meeting entitled "TH15G Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions". Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important climate evidence from the past. International collaboration for drilling in the polar regions requires coordination between science, technology, and logistics.  The research community is invited to hear updates on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives. 


Monday, December 3
C13F - The Changing Cryosphere I Posters
1:40 PM - 6:00 PM; Hall A-C (Moscone South)  

Session includes: C13F-0705 - Seasonal-to-Decadal Predictions of Arctic Sea Ice: Challenges and Strategies
Jackie Richter-Menge; John Walsh; Katie Thomas


ISAC town hall meeting, right after the SEARCH Town Hall meeting that ends at 7:15. Moscone West Room 2010.  Wednesday, December 5
GC33B - Links Between Rapid Arctic Change and Mid-latitude Weather Patterns I Posters
1:40 PM - 6:00 PM; Hall A-C (Moscone South)

Thursday, December 6
GC44B - Links Between Rapid Arctic Change and Mid-latitude Weather Patterns II 
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM; 3001 (Moscone West)

Conveners:James White; Jennifer Francis

Invited Speakers: Stephen Vavrus, James Screen, James Overland, Judah Cohen



North Korea Says It Will Launch Long-Range Rocket Soon. North Korea announced Saturday that it would attempt to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December, a defiant move just eight months after a failed April bid was widely condemned as a violation of a U.N. ban against developing its nuclear and missile programs. The launch, set for Dec. 10 to 22, is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul as the United States prepares for Barack Obama's second term as U.S. president and South Korea holds its own presidential election on Dec. 19. Politico 


canadian flagCanada to Focus on Development at Arctic Council; Experts fear wrong approach. Canada will use its two years as leader of the circumpolar world to promote development and defend its policies, suggest federal politicians and documents. But Arctic experts and those involved with the Arctic Council worry that's the wrong approach at a time when the diplomatic body is dealing with crucial international issues from climate change to a treaty on oil spill prevention. The Arctic Council consists of the eight countries that ring the North Pole and also has participation from aboriginal groups. It has evolved since its 1996 birth in Ottawa from a research forum and diplomatic talking shop to a body that negotiates binding international treaties, such as last year's deal on Arctic search and rescue. CTV News


Watching Government: Norway's Arctic approach. Norway is taking a phased development approach as it tries to create sustainable Arctic offshore oil and gas projects in the Barents Sea, its energy minister said on Nov. 9. The first well was drilled there more than 30 years ago, and the first oil discovery came soon after, Ola Borten Moe said during a presentation at the Brookings Institution. "However, we needed to enter a new millennium before development could start," he added. Oil & Gas Journal


EPAEPA Sets Date for Public Hearing on Mercury Toxics Rule. U.S. EPA today scheduled a public hearing for next month on the reconsidered portion of its landmark mercury air standards. In a Federal Register notice, EPA said it will hold a hearing Dec. 18 if someone requests it. Given how high-profile the agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, have become, presumably the hearing will take place. Greenwire


'Coast Guard Alaska' Premieres 3rd Season. The Weather Channel's "Coast Guard Alaska" is back with more search and rescues, medevacs and looks at the Coast Guard life in Kodiak.The third season of the popular Kodiak-based show premiered Wednesday. This season will feature six hour-long episodes that follow the stories of the real Coast Guardsmen at Coast Guard Base Kodiak and other Alaska stations. Anchorage Daily News


BP Sanction Brewing Long Before Gulf Disaster. When the Obama administration temporarily banned BP from federal contracts Wednesday, it pointed to BP's "lack of business integrity" and conduct relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. The sanction, however, has been years in the making. BP has been criminally convicted in four previous cases -- including a 2005 explosion in Texas that killed 15 workers -- and the EPA has been considering broader debarment proceedings against the company since at least 2005. The agency had actually been nearing a decision on a contract ban in January 2010, just a few months before the Deepwater Horizon tragedy unfolded, killing 11 workers and sending more than 200 million gallons of oil into the sea. Anchorage Daily News


Cases of Whooping Cough Up Sharply in Alaska, State Says. Whooping cough, a highly contagious bacterial illness that affects the respiratory system and can be fatal for babies and small children, is having a banner year statewide: State epidemiology officials report 210 cases of the disease as of Nov. 24.That's up from just 24 cases in the state during all of 2011. Over half the cases come from the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas. But health officials say the rise in cases doesn't constitute an epidemic and people should focus on washing hands and covering coughs instead of panicking. Anchorage Daily News


navyUS Navy's Arctic Test of Global Communications System a Success. Navy engineers set up shop across Alaska's Arctic last Wednesday for a first-time test of a critical communications system. The Navy was pleased to announce a successful transmission, one that connects individual radios across thousands of miles in inclement weather conditions. They were able to connect engineers in Barrow, Kotzebue and Anchorage, to Navy headquarters in Colorado and Virginia - all via handheld devices. Alaska Dispatch


Treadwell Considering US Senate Run in 2014. Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell says he's forming an exploratory committee to look at the possibility of a run for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2014.Treadwell made that announcement Friday at a GOP luncheon in Fairbanks. Mr. Treadwell served a chair of the US Arctic Research Commission before stepping down to run for lieutenant governor of Alaska. Anchorage Daily News


Gas Tanker Takes Shortcut to Asia. A tanker full of chilled natural gas is about to complete a trip through the Arctic Ocean to Asia, as a combination of climate change, the shale-gas revolution and the earthquake in Japan opens a potentially disruptive trade route. The tanker Ob River is scheduled to deliver a cargo of Norwegian gas to energy-starved Japan on Tuesday after traveling from Norway through the Arctic above Russia. The trip takes three weeks less than it would if the gas took its normal route though the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal and around Asia. Wall Street Journal


Polar bearCanada Must Explain Polar Bear Policies to NAFTA Group: U.S. Petition pays Canada ignored climate change science in setting polar bear status. Canada is being forced to explain its polar bear policies to an international environmental watchdog. The Commission on Environmental Co-operation, which is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, has accepted a petition from a U.S.-based group that says Canada isn't following its own laws on protecting the bears. In accepting the petition, the commission has found that the Center for Biological Diversity has registered a legitimate concern under the terms of the treaty. CBC News


Myers Argues for UAF Oil Spill Research. Although there has been much recent focus on the risks associated with exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic offshore, it is necessary to take a broader view of arctic oil spill contingency planning, addressing for example risks associated with general arctic shipping and looking at risk management for the future development and production of oil resources, Mark Myers, vice chancellor of research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, or UAF, told a meeting of the Alaska Geological Society on Nov. 28. Myers has been promoting the establishment of an oil spill research center at the university. "It's a very different world when you're doing summer exploration only and in ice-free conditions than when you're on production in the further offshore," Myers said. But there is time to work on the issues, with emerging technologies offering opportunities for solving problems, he said. Petroleum News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events                      


Marine Mammal Commission meeting on Tribal Consultation, December 10-12, 2012. The Commission plans to meet with representatives of other federal agencies, Alaska Native organizations, the Environmental Law Institute, and other interested parties to review and seek ways to improve consultations between federal agencies and Alaska Native Tribes. The focus will be on the consultation process and will include, but not be limited to, matters involving marine mammals. In the course of the meeting, the Commission expects to discuss issues related to the authorities for Alaska Native consultations, the role of the Indigenous People's Council for Marine Mammals (IPCoMM) in consultations, the relationship between consultation and co-management, and lessons learned from conflict avoidance agreements. 


Marine Mammal Commission Meeting on Research and Management Priorities, December 14, 2012. The Commission plans to meet with regional management and scientific officials in each of the National Marine Fisheries Service's six regions to identify the most pressing marine mammal research and management needs. The Commission will use these meetings to develop a set of national priorities for guiding federal conservation efforts for marine mammals. Members of the public are invited to attend these meetings and to provide comments concerning priority issues.


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.  


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.

Go to ISCA Town Hall meeting, at the American Geophysical Union meeting, Moscone West Room 2010, right after SEARCH meeting that ends at 7:15 pm. 


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include

response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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