Arctic Update Header
April 12, 2013


The House completes consideration of a bill regarding the National Labor Relations Board. The Senate is not in session. 


Jewell, SallyInterior: Jewell to be Sworn in Today in Private Ceremony. Sally Jewell will be sworn in today as the nation's 51st Interior secretary, an agency official said last night. The ceremony will take place just two days after Jewell, the former CEO of the outdoor recreation company REI, was confirmed by the Senate in an 87-11 vote (E&E Daily, April 11). E&E News





'Unrealistic' Budget Proposal Will Have to See Cuts-House Chairman. House lawmakers are unlikely to fully fund the Obama administration's "unrealistic" request to increase funding for programs at the Commerce Department next year, according to the head of the House panel that oversees the agency's appropriations. Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) yesterday said lawmakers will likely keep spending at current levels or reduce accounts in 2014. E&E News


Establishes Law of the Sea Center in Tromso. China, India, Japan and the European Union are all knock, knock, knocking on Arctic's door. The question is expected to be a "hot-potato" when the member states of the Arctic Council get the Observer status applications on the desk at the up-coming Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna, northern Sweden, on May 15th. Today, the University of Tromsų in northern Norway announced the establishment of a dedicated center for research on questions related to the law of the sea and other juridical topics regarding the role of international and national jurisdictions in the Arctic. Barents Observer


Arctic Nearly Free of Summer Sea Ice During First Half of 21st Century. For scientists studying summer sea ice in the Arctic, it's not a question of "if" there will be nearly ice-free summers, but "when." And two scientists say that "when" is sooner than many thought - before 2050 and possibly within the next decade or two. James Overland of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Muyin Wang of the NOAA Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, looked at three methods of predicting when the Arctic will be nearly ice free in the summer. The work was published recently online in the American Geophysical Union publication Geophysical Research Letters. NOAA


SalmonRussian Science for Norwegian Seafood. The Norwegian "Troika Seafood" company, exporting King crab, scallops, rock lobsters and other exclusive products all over the world invited a Russian scientist to help with rock crab technology and to start a new shrimp business. "We know each other since 2008, and happy to have the scientists here with one way ticket", says the "Troika Seafood" managing director Svein Ruud, who likes the Russian scientific approach." Barents Observer


Barents Observer Announces Internship Opportunity. The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Oslo are excited to announce a chance to work in one of the most interesting places in the world today: above the Arctic Circle, in Kirkenes, Norway. The Barents Observer is a news site for the Barents region with over a million unique readers, one third of them in Russia, with a focus on energy, security, nature, business, the Arctic, culture, borders and politics. We are offering two no-cost internships for American graduate students of journalism who would take up the full range of duties necessary to run a small (five-person) news organization. The internship also includes the chance to make one visit to the Observer's branch office in Murmansk, Russia. You may download the application here. Indiana University School of Journalism


Scientists Study Peculiar Arctic Sea Ice Cracking Pattern. It started with an unusual storm that passed over the North Pole on Feb. 8.  The National Snow and Ice Data Center says it caused the sea ice to crack, and the cracks to spread in a curving pattern, from the tip of Alaska to Canada.  Similar patterns have appeared in the past, though not of this scale. What usually happens is the leads freeze back up, but Assistant Professor Andy Mahoney of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute just got back from several days of helicopter overflights out of Barrow. Alaska Public Radio  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


** New ** NPC Luncheon with Olafur Grimsson, President of Iceland, April 15, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) Iceland's President Olafur Grimsson will address the global race for resources in the Arctic on April 15 at a National Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon. Grimsson, who is serving a record fifth term as the island nation's president, has organized a group to promote collaboration among Arctic nations. Arctic Circle will convene for the first time in Reykjavik in October to discuss the impact of sea ice melt, concerns about security, managing the fisheries, shipping and mapping Arctic resources. Grimsson, whose long career in politics that began after he became the first person from Iceland to earn a Ph.D. in political science, served for decades in Iceland's legislature as a member of the People's Alliance Party. From 1988 to 1991, he served as Iceland's finance minister. 


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 

 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 Organization (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, Bergen, Norway. 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.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.


** New** 5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 16-18, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) co-host this follow-on symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations.


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.

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