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November 27, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate resumes consideration of a motion to proceed to the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. The House votes on five bills.



ANWRMaple Syrup, Moose, and the Impacts of Climate Change in the North. In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources. And, according to a new BioScience paper just released by twenty-one scientists, without long-term studies at the local scale -- we will be ill-prepared to predict and manage these effects. Science Daily


sea bird/plasticArctic Trash Doubled in Past Decade: Study. Debris like plastic bags and other waste are continuing to pile up on the Arctic Ocean's seabed, with the amount doubling in the past ten years, according to a new study. Marine biologist and deep sea expert Melanie Bergmann, in a study published Monday in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, examined 2,100 photographs of the Arctic seafloor at a depth of around 8,200 feet in the Fram Strait, which is located between Greenland and the Svalbard Islands. The trash, Bergmann said, is impacting local sea life, with almost 70 percent of plastic litter coming "into some kind of contact with deep-sea organisms." The Epoch Times


Arctic Yearbook 2012 is now available online. This year's AY is themed "Arctic Strategies and Policies" and provides expert commentaries and academic papers dealing with issues on: National and foreign policies in the Arctic; Arctic shipping (Northwest Passage, Northern Sea Route, Transpolar Route); Non-Arctic states and the circumpolar north (China, Japan, Singapore, UK, France, Poland, Scotland); Indigenous political engagement; Arctic change and the environment; and, Governance in the circumpolar north, 25 years after Mikhaïl Gorbatchev's historic Murmansk Speech. Arctic Yearbook


ACE: Arctic Collaborative Environment, a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD), supported by the Department of Defense, is an internet-based, open-access, Arctic-focused, environmental research and decision support system that integrates data from existing remote sensing assets with products from existing and new environmental models to provide monitoring, analysis, and visualization based on earth observation data and modeling. With an initial focus on the Arctic region, researchers, students, search-and-rescue operators, native hunters, etc. can draw from the open-access data. ACE is supported and jointly developed by NASA, DOD, the Univ. of Alabama and the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation. ACE: Arctic Collaborative Environment


Mica Will Back Shuster for Chairman of Transportation Committee in Next Congress. Rep. John L. Mica is dropping his bid to continue heading up the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A House GOP aide said the Florida Republican is stepping aside from the chairmanship spot, helping making the way for Rep. Bill Shuster, the Pennsylvania Republican who heads up the panel's rail subcommittee, to take over. Mica wrote a letter Monday to House leaders endorsing Shuster. Congressional Quarterly


Shell in ChukchiJurisdiction Shift in Arctic Worries Environmentalists. Late in 2011, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska slipped a policy rider into the fiscal 2012 omnibus spending package, transferring from the EPA to the Interior Department the air quality permitting process for drilling oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska's northern shore. It was a seemingly benign move. The Alaska Republican noted that the Interior Department already was responsible for air permitting at most Gulf of Mexico drilling operations. She said it only made sense to have a consistent set of rules enforced by a single agency. Roll Call


Kerry Sen. Kerry Expected to Make climate a 'Banner Issue' if he is Secretary of State. Sen. John Kerry will bring his passion for climate change with him to the State Department if President Obama taps him to replace departing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton early in his next term, and the Massachusetts Democrat's presence could help inject needed life into the United States' role in international climate discussions, experts say. The senator and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice have been mentioned most often for the job, though nominating either would pose some challenges for the White House (ClimateWire, Nov. 27). Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran, has also been floated as a possible Defense secretary in Obama's second term. E&E News


Science: Lawmakers to probe space weather research program. Lawmakers will discuss the nation's plan for studying the sun and its impact on Earth, including solar storms that can interrupt navigation systems and the electrical grid, at a hearing tomorrow. The National Research Council in an August report outlined how federal agencies and the scientific community should tackle space and solar physics research -- which is called heliophysics -- between 2013 and 2022. E&E News


Ocean Clouds Obscure Warming's Fate, Create 'Fundamental Problem' for Models. Aboard a cargo ship steaming from Los Angeles to Honolulu, his radars spinning 70 feet above a dark sea, Ernie Lewis filled another latex balloon with a whoosh of helium and let it fly. The balloon rose 15 miles, swelling in thin air, a fat white disc disappearing against the Milky Way. And then, as always, it popped. An atmospheric scientist at Brookhaven National Lab, Lewis had joined the Spirit early in October for its regular shipment of 900 food-stuffed containers to Hawaii. And he had brought cargo of his own: three white shipping containers, given pride of place on the bridge deck, each carrying stimulus-funded tools aimed at a mysterious sky. Greenwire


canadian flagReport Laments Canada's Inadequate Planning for Arctic's 'Great Melt.' While Prime Minister Stephen Harper's annual summer visits to the Arctic and his government's smattering of northern policy initiatives are "admirable as far as they go," Canadian planning for the vast region in the midst of a "great melt" - one that places the Arctic "at the cusp of tremendous economic development" - is still plainly "inadequate," according to a new report by a Canadian team of foreign policy and marine transportation experts. The report, issued by the Waterloo, Ont.-based Centre for International Governance Innovation, highlights the "urgent need" for a more coherent approach to planning the Arctic's future and greater co-operation with the U.S. and corporate players in preparing for the coming development boom - including oil-and-gas development, tourism and trans-Arctic shipping. Calgary Herald


Study Predicts Fewer Icebergs From Alaska Glacier. The rate of icebergs breaking off from Alaska's Columbia Glacier will significantly slow within eight years, according to a new study.Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder used a computer model that indicated the tidewater glacier by 2020 will retreat to a new, stable position in shallower water. The glacier, the study said, will achieve "dynamic equilibrium," where the rate of ice accumulation equals the rate of ice ablation, or ice removal. Anchorage Daily News


permafrost World Must Pay More Attention to Thawing Permafrost: UN Report. The world needs a better understanding about how permafrost loss may speed up global warming, says a report by the United Nations Environment Program. The report, released as UN climate change talks start up again in Doha, Qatar, calls for an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment on permafrost. It also recommends that nations with extensive permafrost create permafrost monitoring networks as well as plans to mitigate the risks of thawing permafrost. Nunatsiaq Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


Governance and Sustainable Development in a Changing Arctic, November 29, 2012. "Governance and Sustainable Development in the Changing Arctic" is a special seminar hosted by the European Institute. The event will be at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC. Contact Natalie Fahey, 202-895-1670 for details.


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. Opportunities for community involvement in interdisciplinary planning will be highlighted and input solicited. 


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. Call for abstracts, due November 30, 2012. 


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 Association (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.


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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