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Arctic Daily Update: April 18, 2013

Today's Events

The Senate votes on the remaining amendments pending on gun control legislation. The House resumes consideration of a bill that would encourage private companies to share information about cyber-threats. 

 

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.

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." 

Media
 

FBI Makes Arrest in Ricin Case. Details were beginning to emerge Thursday about the Mississippi man the FBI said it "believed to be responsible" for mailing letters that tested positive for poisonous ricin to President Obama, a senator and another official. Paul Kevin Curtis was arrested at his home in Corinth, Miss., on Wednesday the FBI said. Federal Times

BP Oil Spill Panel: Congress Failed. Three years after the BP oil spill ravaged the Gulf Coast, Congress has failed to take action to prevent another disaster, former members of President Barack Obama's oil spill commission said Wednesday. "Three years have passed since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers, and Congress has yet to pass one piece of legislation to make drilling safer," former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, a former co-chairman of the commission, told reporters. Politico

 

Proposal for New Arctic National Park Spurs Debate in Finland. Finland's Environment Ministry wants to establish a new national park at the tip of Finnish Lapland's remote northwestern 'arm', the Käsivarsi. The forest management agency Metsähallitus is now carrying out a study and gathering comments from those who would be affected. The smallest option would just include the surroundings of the village of Kilpisjärvi on the Norwegian border, which has a year-round population of about 100. The most ambitious plan would include nearly the entire Käsivarsi. Alaska Dispatch 

 

Alcohol Abuse Report: Residents in Canadian North Buy More Booze Than Rest of Country. Canada's northwestern Yukon territory continues to lead the nation in per-capita alcohol sales nearly twice the Canadian average, according to numbers released by Statistics Canada last Thursday. On average, Yukoners spent $1,319 on booze in the year ending March 31, 2012. The Canadian average was $724. Alaska Dispatch 

Experts Explain Science Behind Glacier Holes. There's no way to know the age of a hole in a glacier that fatally swallowed a Fairbanks boy last weekend, but the mountaineer who first climbed into the chasm doesn't think it was anything new. "I think that moulin had been there for a long time," said Jeff Baurick, a former Fairbanksan who grew up climbing mountains in the area. "Moulin" is the technical term for the type of hole 9-year-old Shjon Brown fell into on Saturday while snowmachining on the West Gulkana Glacier. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Alice at Brookings
Alice Rogoff

Energy, Indigenous Communities and the Arctic Council.Owing to the vast economic opportunities and environmental, social, and geopolitical challenges it presents, the Arctic is emerging as an important topic of debate. With an estimated 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves, and with climate change making shorter maritime routes through Arctic waters possible, the rewards of successful economic development are plentiful. However, the remote, pristine frontier is home to some of the world's harshest conditions making energy development, maritime trade and tourism increasingly difficult and dangerous. The Arctic is also home to indigenous communities whose livelihoods are likely to be challenged by both the effects of climate change and increasing external human activity in the region. Brookings Institute

 

Hayes
Hayes

Treadwell Uneasy on Arctic-Wide Oil Policy.Deputy Secretary of

Treadwell
Treadwell

the Interior David Hayes told an Arctic energy conference the federal government has been explicit in itsdemands of companies planning to drill in the Arctic Ocean.He said every company will need a capping stack and containment system in case of a spill. "There really is not much of a question about what our expectations are folks drilling in the Arctic. We've laid it out with Shell. We've told the rest of the industry these are our expectations," he said Wednesday at the Brookings Institution "They're common sense expectations. Number two, we learned last summer, it's hard to pull this off in the Arctic." Alaska Public Radio

 

Shell Signs Agreement with Russia to Seek Oil in Arctic. Although Royal Dutch Shell has announced a hiatus this summer for exploring the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean off of Alaska, the energy giant isn't slowing down.  Shell has signed an agreement with Russian energy giant Gazprom, allowing it to explore and develop petroleum prospects in Russia's Arctic. "Gazprom and Shell already partner in the Russian shelf development. The new accords enable us to explore the potential of our joint capabilities," said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, said in a press release. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Action 

No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      

             

Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS 2013), April 22-24, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) Sponsored by the World Ocean Council, SOS 2013 is designed to bring together a diverse range of ocean industries: shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewable energy, ports, dredging, mining, cables and pipelines, marine science, engineering and technology, the maritime legal, financial and insurance communities, and others - as well as ocean stakeholders from the government, inter-governmental, academic and environment communities. On Wednesday, April 24th, USARC's John Farrell will be a speaker at "The Arctic Challenges and Opportunities for Responsible Industries." 

The deadline to submit an abstract for the 2013 Arctic Energy Summit has been extended to April 30th.  Submissions can include proposals for papers, workshops, and panels.  The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit will bring together industry officials, scientists, academics, policy makers, energy professionals, and community leaders to collaborate on Arctic energy issues. The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit will address energy extraction, production, and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to the theme of "Richness, Resilience & Responsibility:  The Arctic as a Lasting Frontier." The Summit is October 8-10 in Akureyri, Iceland.   

 

Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 

 The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.

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 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.

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.

USARC • 4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510 • Arlington, Virginia 22203 USA • 703.525.0111 • info@arctic.gov  arctic.gov

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