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March 12, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The House considers two bills under suspension of the rules. The Senate begins consideration of a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2013. The current continuing resolution expires March 27. 


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).


The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting later in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, March 12-13, 2013, Washington, D.C. The Standing Committee of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region is holding a meeting today and tomorrow where one of the main priorities of the Standing Committee was originally to support the establishment of the Arctic Council. The new organization, representing the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA) and the European Parliament was founded on 19 September 1996. Since then the Committee has worked actively to promote the work of the Council. The Committee participates in the meetings of the Arctic Council as an observer.


Senate Takes Its Own Path on CR. Caught between a diffident president and hostile House speaker, Senate Democrats took a page from Irish politics Monday night - and swung back at both. That's the true bottom line to a stopgap spending bill filed by the Appropriations Committee leadership late in the evening - a 587-page measure designed to avert any shutdown March 27 and map a six-month path forward for agencies in the wake of sequestration. Politico


Will Pacific Walrus be Next Species Protected Due to Shrinking Sea Ice? Recently, a federal appeals court ruling determined that polar bears, those poster children of the effects of climate change, could keep their "threatened" status as listed under the Endangered Species Act, despite objections from the state of Alaska and other entities. Now, the Pacific walrus-another species that calls Alaska home-may become another animal to be listed on the basis of climate change's negative effect on its summer sea ice habitat. Alaska Dispatch


Deal Struck to Give Northwest Territories More Self-Governance. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a final deal for Canada's Northwest Territories (NWT) on Monday. The announcement was made in the territorial legislature in NWT's capital city of Yellowknife. "Negotiators have reached consensus on the terms of a final devolution agreement," Harper said. Alaska Dispatch


Arctic Scientists See Canada Slipping on World Stage. In Germany, in New Zealand, in the Canary Islands and at 21 other observatories around the world, instruments called infrared spectrometers are teasing apart sunlight to measure greenhouse gas levels in the Earth's atmosphere. Two dozen spectrometers make up the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). The one in Eureka, Nunavut, is the most northerly of them all - a sentry in the Arctic, where extreme effects of climate change are rapidly altering the environment. The Toronto Star


canadian flagHedging Bets: Oil and Gas in the Canadian Arctic. Higher hydrocarbon price levels and new technology, coupled with optimistic resource appraisals at the turn of the millennium, have made the Canadian Arctic an attractive prospect for oil and gas multinationals. It is estimated that 'approximately 35% of Canada's remaining marketable resources of natural gas and 37% of remaining recoverable crude oil is in Northern Canada. Of particular interest are the offshore resources present in the Canadian part of the Beaufort Sea, located just off the coast of the Northwest Territories. While this region of Canada is attracting the interests of a range of new players, both commercial and political, interest on its own is not sufficient for any rapid development to take place. As this article will outline, there are several factors that may restrict the viability of Canadian Arctic oil and gas despite its ostensible opportunities. The Arctic Institute


Mining, China Central Issues in Greenland Election. With sea ice thawing and new shipping routes opening in the Arctic, the former Cold War ally of the West has emerged from isolation as a geopolitical interest for governments seeking a share of the untapped minerals and potential offshore oil and gas. Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist, who in his youth hunted whales with a hand-held harpoon, has opened up Greenland to investors over the last four years. Reuters


Scientists Map Arctic Shipping Possibilities. Arctic shipping could be possible for unescorted, open-water vessels by mid-century. "This research quantifies for the first time the speculations that have been buzzing around for a number of years now," says Laurence Smith, a geographer with the University of California, Los Angeles. KUCB

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      

Lecture: Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean for us? March 20, 2013, Washington DC. The National Research Council is sponsoring the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be given by Dr. John Walsh of the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks. The lecture, which starts at 5:30 pm in the Baird Auditorium, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution entrance) is free, and open to the public, but pre-registration for planning purposes, would be appreciate. Please contact Pamela Lewis ( with questions.
 The 100th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission will be held in Bethel. Additional information will be available online. 


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. 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.


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.


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.

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