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March 22, 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.


defense spending

US Arctic Plans Could Serve as a Wake Up Call for Canada.
The Pentagon wants to know what's happening in the Arctic; there's an app for that. Well not yet, but Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency wants one in a hurry. In a call for proposals this week, it said it plans to pick, deploy and test two systems this summer. "Remote sensing may offer affordable advantages over traditional methods of monitoring the region - aircraft, satellites or manned ships and submarines - due to the great distances in the Arctic," the agency said in a call for bids. The U.S. military wants "new technologies to monitor the Arctic both above and below the ice, providing year-round situational awareness without the need for forward-basing or human presence." The Globe and Mail  


Harper[Canadian] [Department of National Defense] Backtracks on Arctic Naval Facility: Fuel Storage Capacity Slashed and the Only Building Will be an Unheated Storage Unit. The federal government has quietly changed its plans for the Nanisivik Naval Facility on north Baffin Island. The proposed facility at a defunct mine near Arctic Bay, Nunavut, will be much smaller than first planned. The Department of National Defense spelled out the changes in a recent letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board. Prime Minister Stephen Harper traveled to Arctic Bay in 2007 to announce plans for the facility. There were to be major upgrades to the jetty, offices and accommodations, and the capacity to store two years worth of fuel. CBC News  


Retreating Sea Ice Could Benefit High-Frequency Trading. This August, work should start on laying three submarine fiber optic cables between London and Tokyo via the Arctic. These projects are apparently only now possible because of retreating sea ice. Even so, there is only an uncertain window when the laying of cable can be carried out. Once down, however, they are relatively safe from the biggest warmer water risks from fishing trawlers and ships' anchors. Wall Street Journal  


Canada flagPlan for [Canadian] Arctic Patrol Vessels Remains Controversial. Canada's proposed Arctic offshore patrol vessels are under the microscope again after one senator said plans to build the ships should be scrapped to save money. The $4.3-billion investment will build six to eight light naval icebreakers. Last week, Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, former chair of the Senate Defense and Security Committee, said the ships aren't good enough to use and called it a "dumb idea." Kenny said the vessels are too small, too light and too slow. CBC News 


Global Warming: Researchers Develop Technology to Reduce Methane Gas Emissions from Oceans. For Stephen Salter and John Latham, there is nothing more deadly than the creation and emission of methane gas. "It's 200 times worse than CO2 (carbon dioxide)," Salter, who is emeritus professor of engineering at the University of Edinburgh, said in an interview with the Star. "It has a quick and serious effect," Salter said, likening methane to a kind of "crack cocaine" for the atmosphere. Salter, who works out of the Engineering Design Institute for Energy Systems at the university, was recently in front of a British House of Commons committee on climate change, pleading his case against methane gas. He described its highly destructive impact as it is released from the ocean into the atmosphere, significantly contributing to global warming and the melting of Arctic ice. The Star


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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