Arctic Daily Update: April 15, 2013
The House will consider legislation to punish tax delinquents. The Senate will consider a judicial nomination.
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.
NPC Luncheon with Olafur Grimsson, President of Iceland, April 15, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) Iceland's President Olafur Grimsson will address the global race for resources in the Arctic on April 15 at a National Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon. Grimsson, who is serving a record fifth term as the island nation's president, has organized a group to promote collaboration among Arctic nations. Arctic Circle will convene for the first time in Reykjavik in October to discuss the impact of sea ice melt, concerns about security, managing the fisheries, shipping and mapping Arctic resources. Grimsson, whose long career in politics that began after he became the first person from Iceland to earn a Ph.D. in political science, served for decades in Iceland's legislature as a member of the People's Alliance Party. From 1988 to 1991, he served as Iceland's finance minister.
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."
Alaska Legislature Adjourns From 2013 Session. The Alaska Legislature has adjourned from this year's 90-day session. The last day was a long one, with the House passing its version of an oil tax overhaul shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday and adjourning just after 11:30 p.m., moments after the Senate. Anchorage Daily News
Canadian Documents Helping Polar Bear Poachers, Russians Say. Russian officials are becoming increasingly concerned about polar bear poachers in their country using Canadian documents to disguise illegally hunted pelts. "I think it is a real problem," said Nikita Ovsyanikov, one of Russia's top polar bear scientists and a member of the polar bear specialist group, the leading international research consortium on the mighty and controversial predators. CTV News
As Arctic Ice Melts, It's a Free-For-All for Oil... and Tusks. It's widely known that the world's icecaps are melting. While most people are focused on what we're losing, some have considered what might be gained by the disappearance of all that ice. In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report estimating that 13 percent of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the remaining undiscovered natural gas could be in the Arctic. Amy Crawford, writing in this month's Smithsonian Magazine, says that Russia has already sent submarines deep into the Arctic Ocean to look for that oil and natural gas, and that China, too, wants a piece of the action. National Public Radio
2013 Arctic Energy Summit-Call for Papers Deadline APRIL 15.The deadline to submit an abstract for the 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is April 15th. Submissions can include proposals for papers, workshops, panels and posters. The 2013 Summit is a multi-disciplinary event expected to draw several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policy makers, energy professionals, and community leaders together to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. The 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production, and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas and key questions, including richness, resilience, and responsibility. The event will take place on October 8-10 in Akureyri, Iceland. Arctic Energy Summit
Statoil Postpones World's Northernmost Drilling. As BarentsObserver reported, Statoil had planned to start drilling two or three wells in the Hoop frontier exploration area this summer. This would not only be the northernmost drilling ever on the Norwegian continental shelf, but also the world's northernmost oil drilling at sea. The company has now changed its plans and postponed the Hoop area project to next year. The reason for this is delays in preparations and winterization of the with the West Hercules exploration rig, which was supposed to go to the Hoop area after completing drilling at the Skrugard field. Barents Observer
Obama's R&D Budget Proposals to Face Scrutiny in 2 House Hearings. President Obama's proposed fiscal 2014 budget for scientific research and development goes before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee twice this week. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has already given the president's proposal a "failing grade" for asking to boost nondefense R&D funds by 9 percent, to about $70 billion. While critical of the proposed spending increases, Smith said he was particularly concerned about the administration continuing to subsidize green energy after several alternative energy companies that received government grants or loans went bankrupt. E&E News
China Cozies Up to Iceland in Race for Arctic Resources. It is clear why Iceland is interested in China: the Arctic nation's prime minister is currently in Beijing to sign a free trade agreement that will boost Icelandic fish exports more than somewhat. But why is China so interested in Iceland? Perhaps because the Arctic is shaping up to be one of the world's future hotspots, as the melting icecap reveals a potential treasure trove of natural resources and clears new shipping routes. "China has an interest in the region and it wants to be part of the Arctic game," says Geir Flikke, an expert in Arctic security issues at the University of Oslo. Christian Science Monitor
New Arctic Circle Group Forms to Address Needs of Changing North. When the National Press Club meets Monday in Washington, D.C., Iceland President Olafur Regnar Grimsson will announce the formation of the Arctic Circle, a new nonprofit dedicated to bringing together the many international stakeholder in an open venue to address the challenges facing the rapidly-changing Arctic. The announcement will take place at the National Press Club's Newmakers Luncheon held at the Holeman Lounge inside the NPC headquarters in Washington. Alaska Dispatch
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Friday.
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.
5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and 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.
The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). The inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism.
Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.