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May 8, 2013



The Senate will consider a nomination and infrastructure legislation.  The House will consider comp time legislation. 


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.


Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic, May 7-8, 2013, Anchorage.
The US's National Research Council's Polar Research Board will hold a public meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, May 7-8 to discuss "Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic." The agenda for the meeting is here.


Should Alaska Take Over Wetlands Regulation from Feds? Alaska wants to find out if it can spur more development by taking over from the federal government the job of wetlands regulation, promising that the state won't weaken those rules. Gov. Sean Parnell wants to handle wetlands permitting better by speeding up the application and approval process, said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. Alaska Dispatch


Dall Sheep Predation Not Likely Cause of Dall Sheep Crash in Alaska's Chugach Mountains. Watching a small band of Dall sheep ewes with a single lamb, Tommy Levanger recalled seeing a small black speck in his peripheral vision. The speck was a golden eagle in a 50-to-60-degree dive towards the lamb. When Levanger first noticed the bird, it was still about 200 feet above him. With its wings folded against its body, Levanger said, "it looked like a missile." Flying a Robinson R44 helicopter near the headwaters of Eagle River, Levanger was hovering about 200 feet above the lamb. He had just dropped off Brianne Boan and wildlife technician Corey Stantorf, who were stalking the sheep over unstable shale, hoping to capture the one-to-two-day-old lamb. The ewes, aware that trouble was approaching on foot, were contouring across the mountain slope, away from the biologists. No one but Levanger was focused on the 15-pound golden eagle, moving at approximately 150 mph, a feather-covered battering ram. Alaska Dispatch 


Finland Creates Sanctuaries for Endangered Seals. With just over 300 left, the Saimaa seal population in Finland is teetering on the brink of extinction. Six new protection areas for the endangered Saimaa seals have been established in Finland's South Savo region. The Tornator forestry company has agreed with the South Savo Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment to set aside 94 hectares as a seal preserve. The Tornator Group owns nearly 600,000 hectares of woodland in Finland, along with holdings in Estonia and Romania. Alaska Dispatch 


NASA NASA Deploys Rover to Study Greenland's Ice Sheet. A NASA rover known as GROVER is roaming Greenland to collect data that may help scientists better understand changes to the ice sheet. GROVER, short for Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, began exploring the ice sheet on May 3 and is expected to operate until June 8, NASA said in a press release this month. "Robots like GROVER will give us a new tool for glaciology studies," said Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and science advisor on the GROVER project, said in the NASA press release. Alaska Dispatch 


The Arctic is Pushed North. By use of satellite photos and field studies, the vegetation north of the 50th parallel has been studied thoroughly and compared with older data from the same area. The results are described as sensational by researchers and show that the effects of global warming are highly evident in the north. Data from the study shows that the growth season in the northern parts of the globe has expanded with up to 40 days over the last 30 years.  "Norwegian climate and vegetation as we know it today might be totally changed within some decades. The same process is happening in Siberia, in Alaska and in the northern parts of Canada. Mountain plateaus become forest land and the winter period is shorter and shorter every year", says Hans T