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May 15, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to work on legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security is expected to mark up its appropriations bill. The House will consider several legislative items under suspension of the rules.





Arctic Seabirds Adapt to Climate Change. The planet is warming up, especially at the poles. How do organisms react to this rise in temperatures? An international team led by a CNRS researcher from the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology has shown that little auks, the most common seabirds in the Arctic, are adapting their fishing behavior to warming surface waters in the Greenland Sea. So far, their reproductive and survival rates have not been affected. However, further warming could threaten the species. Science Daily 


Putin MedvedevPutin Steps Down as United Russia Head. President-elect Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from the helm of the ruling United Russia party in favor of his protégé, President Dmitry Medvedev. The move marks the latest in a string of attempts by Putin to distance himself from a political party that is rapidly losing support and credibility. Putin, who has headed the party since he became prime minister in 2008, asked the party's top brass Tuesday to call a congress in late May to formalize the reshuffle. The Moscow News  


Oil Whale ExxonDo We Know Enough to Ensure Safe Arctic Drilling? [Opinion] For the oil and gas industry, the Arctic Ocean is the final frontier. Beneath the ocean floor lies an estimated 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil - about 13 per cent of the global total. As the sea ice retreats and traditional sources of hydrocarbons dwindle, the pressure to drill is becoming irresistible. It now seems inevitable that this harsh environment will be opened up to oil and gas production, which poses a big question: how much scientific research is "enough" to ensure safe drilling in the Arctic Ocean? New Scientist 


S. Korean Icebreaker to Explore Arctic Ocean. South Korea's first icebreaker will explore Canada's Arctic Ocean to check offshore permafrost regions and the sea-floor for gas hydrate reserves, the government said Tuesday. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said it reached an understanding with Canada to conduct joint research in the Beaufort Sea within the North American country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The sea is a marginal body of water in the Arctic Ocean that lies north of the Northwest Territories and west of Canada's Arctic Islands. Yonhap News


canadian flagCanadian Effort Pinpoints 142 Polluted Sites Across Country. The Canadian government has identified 142 contaminated sites where pollutants need to be contained or eliminated because of a long-term or immediate threat to human health or the environment. That's according to a CBC News analysis of information compiled by the Treasury Board, one of the departments responsible for maintaining an inventory of sites. Much of the data is available online, but CBC News obtained additional information. The 142 sites are only those that have reached step eight in a long process that federal departments and agencies must follow to assess and develop plans to clean up or contain damage posed by contaminants. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               


NOAA's Hydrographic Services Review Panel meeting, May 22-24, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. This federal advisory committee will discuss improvements of navigation services that NOAA provides for Alaska and the Arctic. Topics include new nautical charts and navigation safety, emerging commercial shipping needs, accuracy of land elevation data for coastal management, and natural hazard warning and response for the Alaska/Arctic region. The public is invited, and can provide comments during the May 23 and 24 afternoon sessions. For more information, 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.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission. Aug. 9-10. Fairbanks, AK. More info coming soon. 


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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