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September 28, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.



10-2011 StormCoalition Urges Congress to Create a National Weather Commission. With much of the nation mired in drought and economic damages from extreme weather events mounting, a broad stakeholder coalition is calling on Congress to create a National Weather Commission to improve weather forecasting. Backers of the plan, which include private sector companies, professional associations and academic interests, said at a congressional briefing Thursday that such a commission would leverage public and private expertise to better predict extreme weather events, which last year inflicted an estimated $52 billion in damages in the United States alone. Congressional Quarterly


It's Not Too Late for Troubled Fisheries, Experts Say. A study published in Science magazine and co-authored by Bren School Sustainable Fisheries Group (SFG) researchers and their colleagues confirms suspicions that thousands of "data-poor" fisheries, representing some 80 percent of the world's fisheries, are in decline but could recover with proper management. Science Daily


shellShell Rejects Total Warning Over Arctic Oil Search. Shell has rejected a plea from its French rival Total that the energy industry should abandon its search for oil in the Arctic on the grounds that a spill would ruin the reputation of any company involved. The Anglo-Dutch company, which was forced to halt its recent drilling operation in the Chukchi Sea after vital safety equipment broke, said it would continue its longer-term work. "At Shell, we believe the Arctic has significant untapped potential and will play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenge. It holds great opportunity and that comes with great responsibility," said a spokesman at the London headquarters. "Our experience working in rigorous and challenging conditions in the Arctic means that we are qualified to do the job right - to explore for offshore oil and gas in Alaska in a very safe and careful way," he added. The Guardian


russian flagRussia Reasserts Ownership Over the North Pole. A Russian Orthodox bishop has lowered a "holy memorial capsule" into the sea at the North Pole in an attempt to "consecrate" the Arctic and reassert Moscow's claims to the territory. The service was held by Bishop Iakov on the ice alongside the nuclear icebreaker Rossiya during a polar expedition titled "Arctic-2012", organised by the country's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. The metal capsule carried the blessings of the church's leader, bearing the inscription: "With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the consecration of the North Pole marks 1150 years of Russian Statehood." Business Insider


Project and Protect US Interests in the Arctic. [Opinion] The United States needs to understand the challenges and opportunities in the Arctic, and adapt its policies and capabilities to the demands. The ice is melting in the Arctic, the winters are nasty as ever, the Chinese are courting Greenland, and happy 70th anniversary Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Add in Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell's adroit inclusion of language last Saturday into the Coast Guard reauthorization bill to prevent decommissioning the Seattle-based Polar Sea icebreaker. All the elements are part of the emerging recognition that U.S. interests in the Arctic need representation and protection. New icebreakers for the Coast Guard are fundamental to that mission. Seattle Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


SAON Board Meeting, October 1-2, 2012. The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) will hold a board meeting will be held in Potsdam, Germany. For meeting documents please see here. 


Debate on Arctic Challenges Set for Brussels, October 4-5, 2012.The challenges facing the Arctic during a time of change and global warming uncertainty will be the subject of frank and lively debate between policymakers, Ambassadors from European Union and Arctic nations, polar scientists, and representatives industry and Arctic indigenous peoples groups, at the 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium, taking place in Brussels on October 4th and 5th. High-level speakers include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources, and author of The Future History of the Arctic.  Guest speakers will also include Sweden's Arctic Ambassador Gustav Lind, Greenland's Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor to Shell's Arctic programme, Bernard Funston, Chair of the Canadian Polar Commission, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan and Lars-Anders Baer, chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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 museums 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.  


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 


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.

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