Arctic Update Header
September 18, 2013
 

The Senate will continue to consider a bill that would develop energy-saving technology and building codes. The House of Representatives begins debate on HR 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013.

Media   

 

Nunavik considers future telecommunications options. "Does a fibre-optic network lie in Nunavik's telecommunications future? That may be the best option, says a recently-released study by the Kativik Regional Government, but this would require a lot of money that the region has yet to secure. The KRG released a pre-feasibility study for building a high capacity broadband network in Nunavik last week as part of its goal of increasing the region's capacity 30-fold by 2021." Nunatsiaq Online 

 

 
Arctic sea ice shrinks to sixth-lowest extent on record. "Sea ice cover in the Arctic shrank to one of its smallest extents on record this week, bringing forward the days of an entirely ice-free Arctic during the summer. The annual sea ice minimum of 5,099m sq km reached on 13 September was not as extreme as last year, when the collapse of sea ice cover broke all previous records. But it was still the sixth lowest Arctic sea ice minimum on record, and well below the average set over the past 30 years of satellite records." The Guardian

 

Canada looks to beef up road system in remote Arctic region. "Meetings in some communities in Canada's Northwest Territories are ongoing this week, as the government looks into extending the Mackenzie Highway to connect the community of Wrigley with the Arctic town of Inuvik. The Mackenzie Valley Review Board has been traveling to communities in the Sahtu region, looking to hear people's concerns and input on the idea of building an all-weather highway through the area. It's just the beginning of the environmental assessment for what's sure to be a long-term project, regardless of the outcome." Alaska Dispatch 

 

Unmapped routes may pose dangers for shipping boom in Arctic waters. "Melting glaciers mean more water to explore and profit from in the Arctic, but it can also mean danger for mariners. NewsHour producer April Brown reports that scientists from the NOAA who inform sailors how close they can get to the ice have not been able to keep up with the dramatic speed of climate change and new vessels." PBS News Hour 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

  

No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.
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Hearing: The Obama Administration's Climate Change Policies and Activities

House Committee on Energy and Commerce - Subcommittee on Energy and Power

10:15 a.m., 2123 Rayburn

 

Witnesses:

  • Energy Secretary Moniz
  • EPA Administrator McCarthy

Future Events

 

**New This Week**

Pacific Rim Institute Panel Discussion: Environmental Permitting Process Risks and Efficiency, October 4, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "Hosted by Pacific Rim Institute, the discussion brings together Alaska's regulating, regulated, science and NGO communities to identify realistic and achievable actions that could help sustain and enhance investment into responsible resource development projects while maintaining full compliance with environmental laws. The group will be asked to comment on the record of effectiveness, what is working well and what could be improved, to identify priorities and action items. Consistent with PRI's mission, the meeting aims to promote trust and to reduce uncertainly around regulatory risks by encouraging predictable, efficient, rigorous permitting process, while highlighting consequences of, what some may call, arbitrary or untimely decisions." 
 

 

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