Arctic Update Header
January 23, 2014

 

Arctic Frontiers, January 19-24, 2014 (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. Annually, the conference attracts more than 1000 participants from 25 Arctic and non-arctic countries, representing science, business, politics, and civil society. The theme of the conference is 'Humans in the Arctic'. As with previous years the policy section will run for the first two days, followed by three days of science. The science section will have four parts under 2 main headings: Health, Society and Environment; and, Maritime Operational

 

Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 20-24, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska). The mission of the Alaska Marine Science Symposium is to bring together scientists, policymakers, students, educators, media and the public to share research findings focused on Alaska's marine fisheries and ecosystems. The Symposium is built around regional themes-Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. Within each theme, there will be discussions on climate, oceanography, lower tropic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.

 

The agenda is available here

 

capital Today's Congressional Action:   

The House and Senate are not in session.

 

Media 

 

Levin Again Resists Call to Open Up Senate Defense Markup Process. Retiring House Armed Services Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., has made transparency a hallmark of the National Defense Authorization Act process during his brief tenure at the helm of the committee. Shortly after taking the gavel in 2011, McKeon announced that full text of the legislation would be available online in advance of subcommittee and full committee meetings. The House NDAA markup has been largely open to press, public and lobbyists. Debate and votes can be watched online, with rare exceptions for classified matters. Roll Call

 

Admiral Ostebo Outlines USCG's Plan for Western Alaska. Coast Guard Admiral Thomas Ostebo visited Nome last week to outline summer plans for Western Alaska. The plans are part of the Coast Guard's Alaska operation for the year, officially titled Arctic Shield 2014. Nome should expect a regular stream of Coast Guard ships pulling in for supplies, fuel, and crew changes. Alaska Public Radio

 

DEC: Fukushima Radiation Not 'Concern' for Alaska. Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not been "anything of concern" in Alaska since the 2011 tsunami, the state commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation told lawmakers on Wednesday. Commissioner Larry Hartig said the state has not seen concerning radiation levels from tsunami debris or in the water since the event and has no plans to launch its own radiation monitoring team. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

 

Court Rules Offshore Oil Leases in Alaska Arctic are too Flawed. In another blow to offshore oil drilling in the Alaska Arctic, a federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled in favor of environmental and Alaska Native groups and concluded the federal government failed to properly evaluate the scale of oil production that could result from a 2008 lease sale, throwing those leases into question. Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest leaseholder offshore in Alaska and the only one that's drilled in the Arctic in recent years, said only, "We are reviewing the opinion." The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Department of Interior agency that manages oil lease sales, declined to comment on "pending litigation." Anchorage Daily News

 

Health, Wealth and Independence. Greenland's march to economic modernisation will improve the lives of that country's people, but progress will not come without a cost, Aleqa Hammond, the country's premier, said yesterday. Speaking to the audience of the Arctic Frontiers conference in Troms