Arctic Update Header
May 9, 2013


The Senate will consider a water resources bill. The House will consider legislation regarding Treasury borrowing authority.


russian flag Aker Arctic Develops Even More Powerful Oblique Icebreaker. ARC 100 is set for delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport in early 2014, after a collaborative shipbuilding effort involving the OJSC Yantar shipyard in Kalingrad, Russia, and the Arctech yard in Helsinki, Finland (see earlier story). The resulting newbuilding is a breakthrough in asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas. The 76 m long ARC 100, with her oblique ice-breaking action, is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single oblique icebreaker can cut channels through ice for cargo ships to follow that are as wide as cut by two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side. Marine Log


NASA Tank-Like Robot Rumbles Over Arctic. GROVER the Arctic rover resembles a tank with solar panels instead of gun turrets. This NASA-built machine may look like a kill-bot from after the robot apocalypse, but GROVER will actually keep scientists out of danger and save money as researchers study the changing environment of the far north. The six-foot tall, 800-pound rover boasts a ground-penetrating radar array capable of measuring the hidden features of glaciers. GROVER can map Arctic environments for less money than satellites, airplanes, or snowmobiles, according to NASA. Plus, human operators control the machine from the safety and comfort of a control booth. Discovery News


NATO Has 'No Intention' To Up Presence in Arctic. "NATO has no intention of increasing its presence and activities in the Far North," Fogh Rasmussen said in Oslo after spending two days visiting northern Norway. The Arctic is believed to hold some 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the world's yet-to-be discovered natural gas resources. Those riches have become increasingly accessible as the Arctic ice shrinks. Not only countries bordering the Arctic Ocean are keen to claim the resources but also other nations further afield, such as China, are looking on with interest. The Local


Gold Mine's Construction Delayed in Yukon. Victoria Gold Corp. says it will push back the start of construction on its Eagle Gold project in Canada's northwestern Yukon territory rather than dilute existing shareholders investments. Company president John McConnell said his company has $35 million in the bank but is having trouble raising money. Other small gold exploration companies working in the North have announced reductions in the scale of work this summer due to the drop in the price of gold. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events


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.


10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2013) (June 2-5, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska) The International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS) and the Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will host a conference on "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions." Special Keynote Sessions each day include "Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Science and Engineering Practice"; "The Challenges of the Debris from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan"; and "Energy in Alaska - Current and Future Projects."


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC)   AGU logo

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 (see 6/25 forum titled "US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research"). The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.


5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and icedimArctic 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.


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-