Arctic Daily Update: April 19, 2013
The Senate is not in session. The House will hold a pro forma session of Congress today.
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.
Federal Minister Sends Arctic Naval Facility Plans Back to DND. The federal minister of Northern Development has sent the plans for the proposed Nanisivik naval facility back to the Department of National Defense for more work. Minister Bernard Valcourt said the military must clarify parts of the proposal, and then re-submit it to Nunavut regulators. The Nunavut Impact Review Board said in a January letter to the minister that it didn't have enough information to do a proper environmental review of the proposed project near Arctic Bay, Nunavut. CBC News
Nuclear Energy for Arctic. "We cannot develop the North without nuclear icebreakers and nuclear powered installations. We should not expect sufficient climate warming. The ice melting factor is greatly exaggerated," academic Lavyorov says to RIA.ru.He is a vice-president of the Russian Academy of sciences, and underlines Russia has experience in making small-scale nuclear power plants (NPP) on the far north. Bilibino NPP is a good example. Barents Observer
Iceland's President Sees No U.S. Leadership as Commercial Potential Opens in Arctic. China and other Asian nations have been moving aggressively to exploit the commercial potential of the Arctic as more of the region becomes accessible for development and shipping in the increasingly ice-free summer, while the U.S. appears to be dragging its feet, Icelandic President Olafur R. Grimsson told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. Chinese companies are building tankers that can carry Chinese goods to Europe and U.S. East Coast ports through the Arctic Ocean over Canada, potentially cutting China's transport costs by 40 percent and providing an advantage in trade, he said. Washington Times
Machut Returns to Arctic Circle, Visits Service Members Support Arctic Care. The first time Brig. Gen. Roger R. Machut, the commanding general of 4th Marine Logistics Group, came to Alaska's Arctic Circle was in 1996 to support the Innovative Readiness Training program, Arctic Care, where he helped reconstruct an airstrip in Noorvik, Alaska. This time, Machut returned here to visit service members participating in the same exercise, IRT Arctic Care 2013. During his brief visit, April 14-15, he spent time with the Marines and other uniformed personnel providing medical, dental and veterinary aid to 12 rural villages in Alaska, some as far as 150 miles from Kotzebue. US Marines
Fishery Agreement for the North Pole Needed. [Opinion] As the Arctic sea ice melts new, huge areas open, making commercial fisheries in this area viable for the first time in human history. That the center of the Arctic Ocean was unregulated was hardly a concern when it was an icebound backwater. The waters of the Arctic Ocean encompass an area as big as the Mediterranean Sea and are not currently governed by any international fisheries agreements. Such an agreement is needed to close this region to commercial fishing unless and until scientific knowledge and management measures can ensure a sustainable fishery. Barents Observer
John Kerry Mulls Arctic Amidst Pleas for US Ambassador. The secretary of state agreed the United States could get left behind in the race to exploit a potential wealth of undersea riches, with China and Russia already looking for ways to move into the territory. As Arctic waters melt in a trend blamed on global warming, minerals vital in global communications equipment as well as oil and gas once hidden under layers of permafrost are now becoming more accessible. The seaway has also become more navigable as a shipping route. In August, the first Chinese ship travelled from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the Arctic along the Russian coast, cutting the route to Europe by about 40 percent. Times LIVE
Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Sets Goals. [Op-Ed] Alaska Senate President Charlie Huggins and Alaska House Speaker Mike Chenault appointed us as co-chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission. It is an honor and a responsibility that we accept with humility. The Commission held its first meeting in Juneau on March 23. The meeting included presentations from Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell; Governor Parnell's Special Assistant Stefanie Moreland; United States Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer; the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary's Special Assistant Pat Pourchot; Distinguished UAF Professor Dr. Lawson Brigham; Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Reggie Joule and the former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State/former Alaska Attorney General serving currently as Alaska's Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Dan Sullivan. The Tundra Drums
Remote-Sensing Study Quantifies Permafrost Degradation in Arctic Alaskan Wetlands. A team of geoscientists from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) using newly available remote-sensing technology has achieved unprecedented detail in quantifying subtle, long-period changes in the water levels of shallow lakes and ponds in hard-to-reach Arctic wetlands. Science Daily
Capitol Hill Briefing Highlights "Forgotten" US- Russia Maritime Boundary Line. Alaskan Congressman Don Young participated today in an Alaska Delegation organized Congressional briefing on maritime boundary line enforcement that highlighted Alaska's unique geographical location and role in the boundary line enforcement mission. Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard Commander Daniel Schaeffer, Chief of Fisheries Enforcement, Mark Gleason, Executive Director of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and Bruce Buckson, Director of Fisheries Law Enforcement for NOAA briefed the delegation and others on the maritime boundary line enforcement mission. Congressman Don Young
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.
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."
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.