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May 31, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will begin to consider the FY 2013 intelligence authorization and the Military-Construction VA spending bill. The Senate will hold a pro forma session.


Arctic Policy Commission Needs Public Members: Deadline TOMORROW. This session the legislature created a 20 member Alaska Arctic Policy Commission. Over the course of two years, the Alaska Policy Commission will hold meetings in Arctic areas of the state as well as Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. The Commission is tasked with providing preliminary recommendations on an Alaska's Arctic policy by January 30, 2014 and delivering a final Arctic Policy by January 30, 2015. Applications to be a commissioner are due tomorrow at noon.







Warming Gas Levels Hit 'Troubling Milestone.' The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant. Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395. So far, only the Arctic has reached that 400 level, but the rest of the world will follow soon. MSN Money


 Changing Arctic Needs New Approach to Health and Social Services: REPORT: "Knowing how to respond is difficult." Rapidly changing health conditions in the Arctic, due in part to climate change and globalization, call for a dramatically new approach to research and delivery of services to improve the health and wellness in Arctic communities, says a report released by the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the UArctic Institute for Applied Circumpolar Policy. Communities from Canada's North to the Russian Arctic face a variety of health challenges, such as the movement north of insect and water borne diseases as temperatures rise, the threat of environmental contaminants, an increase in heart disease and obesity with a shift away from traditional foods and the difficulty of providing health services to remote areas, a May 31 news release on the report said. Nunatsiaq Online


hillary clintonClinton to Assert US Claim in Scramble for Arctic. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will assert the U.S. interest in the Arctic, where the prospects for abundant oil, gas and new trade routes has been likened to a modern-day gold rush, when she visits the region on Saturday. As the sea ice recedes with climate change, huge oil and gas fields are adding vast amounts to global reserves, while sea passages are opening for longer periods each year and cutting thousands of miles off trade routes between Europe and Asia. Clinton will visit Tromsoe, a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle, as part of an 8-day trip to Scandinavia, the Caucasus and Turkey. Chicago Tribune  


Satellite Maps Arctic Ocean Floor: A European satellite launched in 2010 to measure sea-ice thickness in the Arctic is also yielding high-resolution mapping of the ocean floor. While the main objective of the polar-orbiting CryoSat is to measure the thickness of polar sea ice and ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, its radar altimeter can also measure tiny changes in sea level, 'Terra Daily' is informed by a European Space Agency report. Variation in sea level mimics the rises and dips of the ocean floor beneath due to the pull of gravity, as areas of greater mass such as underwater mountains have a stronger pull, attracting more water and producing a minor increase in ocean-surface height, researchers said. The CryoSat data combined with ongoing ocean mapping will result in global seafloor topography -- bathymetry -- two to four times more accurate than measurements currently available, they said. Marine Link 


icex subArctic Submarine Base for Sale: The Norwegian Navy's submarine base Olavsvern outside of Tromso, is for sale for NOK 105 million. The Barents Observer asks: Ever dreamt of having your own Arctic submarine base? For less than € 14 million you can become an owner of Norway's Olavsvern Naval Base outside Tromsø. In spite of Norway's bid to step up its military presence in the High North, the country's only submarine base north of the Polar Circle was closed in 2009. The abandoned naval base has been for sale since January 2011, but has only been on Norway's most popular open market web site for a couple of weeks. Marine Link 


Canada flagGreenhouses Can Help Food Security in Canada's Vulnerable North. Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, issued a somewhat scathing statement of Canada's ability to provide food security to all of it residents, especially aboriginal and northern ones. Nunavut MP and federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq rejected the Rapporteur's findings, calling De Schutter "an ill-informed and patronizing academic." Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               


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.  


The Institute of the North hosts Arctic-related events. For details, go here. Three upcoming events, all in Anchorage, AK are: (a) Commercial Applications of Northern Airships, July 31-Aug 2, Federal Research: Priorities and Processes, August 13, and Northern Energy Technology and Science Fair, August 15.


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.   


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