Arctic Update Header
August 30, 2013

 

USGS

Alaska earthquake strikes near Aleutian Islands, close To Adak. A major earthquake was reported off the coast of Alaska on Friday, August 30th at 4:25 p.m. UTC. The quake took place about 57 miles from Adak, a city located in the Aleutians West Census Area. The USGS placed the earthquake in the highest intensity category, reporting a preliminary magnitude of 7.0. According to NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, a "destructive Pacific-wide tsunami" is not expected. Huffington Post 

 

United States Geological Survey Report 

 

 

The House of Representatives and the Senate remain in recess through next week, until September 9. 

Media   

 

Unalaskans Question Funding for Arctic Research. "A lot more scientific research is needed if the United States wants to beef up its presence in the Arctic. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission met in Unalaska this week to figure out what work takes priority. But as KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal reports, locals were mostly concerned with how the government plans to pay for it all." KUCB 

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

Polar bears in the Chukchi Sea doing well, despite sea ice loss. "Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to polar bears. On May 15, 2008, 

the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) listed the bear as threatened throughout its range under the Endangered Species Act. If loss of sea ice habitat continues, most populations of this iconic species are expected to decline or disappear by the end of the 21st century. But the path to that point might not be straightforward according to Eric V. Regehr of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In fact says Regehr, scientists expect a lot of variation in when, where, and how the effects of sea ice loss will appear. According to a new study, by some measures one of the Arctic's nineteen polar bear populations is doing quite well." SitNews 

 

Why aren't all data centres in the Arctic Circle? "It's increasingly fashionable to build your data centre somewhere cold and remote, where cooling is free and renewable energy flows thick and fast from water or wind power. Iceland is a particularly popular destination right now, with the likes of Colt and BMW shipping out to its chilly climes. But if it's so great, why isn't everybody doing it?" Computing 

 

Properly managing riches in the Arctic. "An unprecedented warming of the Arctic region is underway. According to a study by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, the region is set to become ice-free by 2070. Yet more recent studies and satellite imagery have moved that date to anywhere between 2020 to 2035. Whatever the case, the region, which had until recently been considered impassable, is now set to become a playground for exploration of natural resources ranging from oil to gas." The Nation 

 

Arctic internet cable project moves closer to approval. "A fibre optic company is one step closer to installing 15,000-kilometre cable across the arctic that has the potential to bring ultrahigh-speed Internet to the region. Arctic Fibre just finished consulting with seven Nunavut communities where the cable will be closest to once installed. The cable will be embedded in the arctic ocean floor and connect Europe with Asia." CBC News 

 

Polar Code concept ready next year."Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said on the conclusion of his 5-day visit along the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route aboard the Russian icebreaker '50 Let Pobedy' that the Polar Code would be introduced by IMO in 2014, reports Arctic-Info." Marine Link 

 

Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Fire Service

Alaska tundra shows surprising resilience after unprecedented fire. "Despite the size and severity of the massive 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire on 

Alaska's North Slope, much of the arctic vegetation has recovered and the tundra is likely to return to its pre-fire condition according to University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Syndonia 'Donie' Bret-Harte and colleagues in a recent scientific paper." EurekAlert (University of Alaska Fairbanks) 

 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

  

No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events

  
7th International Workshop on Ice-Drilling Technology, September 9-13, 2013 (Madison, WI). "The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO-IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics."

 

**New this Week**

 

Alaska World Affairs Council: "U.S. Leadership in an Emerging Arctic," 12 p.m. September 10, 

2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska World Affairs Council will hold a Tuesday Lunch Program lecture featuring Chair of the US Arctic Research FranUlmerCommission Fran Ulmer and Ambassador David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

 

RSVP to info@alaskaworldaffairs.org or 276-8038 by Sunday, September 8th.  

 

Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). "The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept is designed to meet specific business objectives during two days for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic communities addressing key issues such as sustainable business development and regional protection. As more and more data has confirmed that the Arctic is extremely rich in oil and gas reserves, locations such as Greenland and the Barents Sea have seen a huge growth in interest from the hydrocarbon industry. Despite the opportunities offered, there are many challenges that may hinder operations. The presence of cold temperatures, ice and a lack of infrastructure pose logistical problems that make exploration expensive and risky." 

 

The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (Akureyri, Iceland). "The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is a multidisciplinary event expected to draw together several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policymakers, energy professionals and community leaders to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. Building on the work done at the highly successful 2007 Arctic Energy Summit and Technology Conference, the 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas: richness, resilience and responsibility.  The 2013 Summit will be hosted by the Institute of the North in cooperation with local host Arctic Portal." 

 

The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). "The Arctic Circle, an open assembly for international cooperation on Arctic issues, will hold its first gathering October 12-14, 2013, at the Harpa Reykjav