Arctic Update Header
March 20, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider small business legislation. The House will consider legislation under suspension of the rules. No Arctic legislation is expected to be considered on either Floor today.


DARPA Looks For More Monitoring Capabilities at Polar Caps. As the polar ice caps recede in the face a warming earth, opportunities to exploit previously-unavailable seabed and ocean lanes open up, requiring more sophisticated and rugged monitoring technology to keep things safe, a spokesperson for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said on March 16. DARPA, the Defense Department's research arm, is looking for "innovative technologies for assured arctic awareness." The agency has set a workshop on March 30 to review ideas for sensor systems that can survive the demanding polar environments. Government Security News  


ChinaflagChina Arctic Expedition to go Through Northeast Passage. The fifth Chinese Arctic exploration, which is to set off in early July, will go through the Northeast Passage for the first time, Liu Cigui, Director General of the State Oceanic Administration, said recently. Liu said that it is the first comprehensive exploration in the arctic regions during the 12th Five-Year Plan. China will dispatch scientific researchers in batches to the Chinese Arctic Huanghe Station to carry out surrounding scientific exploration tasks on subjects including atmospheric, glaciology, geology, biology, high altitude atmospheric physics and oceanography sciences from April 2012. People's Daily 


Gray WhaleGray Whales Making Waves on West Coast. A gray whale originating from the western Pacific Ocean has found its way to the West Coast of North America, slowly migrating north back toward its home in the waters off of Russia, according to scientists at Oregon State University. Endangered western gray whales rarely cross the Pacific to join the much larger eastern gray whale population. The eastern gray whale already undergoes the longest marine mammal migration in the world, from Mexico's Baja Peninsula all the way up to the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic and back. The 9-year-old gray whale currently working its way up the West Coast, dubbed Varvara by biologists, traveled from the Russian island of Sakhalin across the Pacific to the waters off of Canada before migrating south to Mexico. In the last week, she's traveled from Fort Bragg in northern California to Vancouver Island. See more tracking at Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Institute. Alaska Dispatch 


Coast Guard Plans for Arctic Drilling Protests. The U.S. Coast Guard is expecting an aggressive protest effort as Shell Oil drills for oil in the Chukchi Sea this summer, and is planning a very active response of its own. Protests would likely take place in Seattle or Dutch Harbor, two staging areas for the summer offshore oil exploration effort in the Arctic. "We're going to have what we call 'deployable specialized forces,' a force of small boats that will be staged in Dutch Harbor during the month of June," said Capt. Buddy Custard, Chief of Staff for the Coast Guard in Alaska. Custard was speaking to the Alaska Legislature's Northern Waters Task Force at the Capitol March 16. Alaska Journal 


Scientists Want to Whiten Clouds to Reduce Climate Change. Scientists are worried that ice in the Arctic is melting too quickly which could release dangerous levels of gases into the atmosphere. One solution being considered is building cloud whitening towers on the Faroe Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. The idea is that whiter clouds will help reflect the sun's rays back into space to help keep the Earth cooler. BBC News




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  


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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.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", May 2-4, 2012, 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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