Arctic Daily Update: April 2, 2013
Both chambers are in recess. The Senate returns on April 8. The House returns on April 9.
Ice Growth in Antarctica Tied to Extensive Melt in Arctic. The amount of land in the high Arctic covered by trees and upright shrubs could increase by up to 52 percent by mid-century, warming the region to levels climate scientists had previously not expected to see there until 2100. That's the take-home message from a new study that looks at statistical ties between climate and vegetation types to estimate how the Arctic's landscape could change with global warming. The impact of the vegetation changes on the region's climate not only would be felt at lower latitudes through changing atmospheric circulation patterns, researchers say. Alaska Dispatch
Court: AK Must Look at Cumulative Oil, Gas Impacts. The state is constitutionally required to consider cumulative effects of oil and gas projects after leasing, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled. The decision Friday stems from a 2009 leasing decision in which the Department of Natural Resources determined that oil and gas lease sales for the Beaufort Sea area were in the best interest of the state. A number of groups challenged the finding, arguing that the department had violated the state constitution by not fully analyzing the impacts of exploration, development, production and transportation activities. Anchorage Daily News
Begich Notes Broad Concern for Increased Maritime Traffic. Dramatically increased shipping traffic in the Arctic along with offshore oil and gas development require enhanced Coast Guard equipment, international shipping standards and new port facilities to service all that activity, seven federal and private sector experts told U.S. Senator Mark Begich Monday during a Senate field hearing in Anchorage. Alaska Native News
"Won't Give a Kopeck for Arctic Shelf Exploration." "If someone asked me to invest money in Arctic exploration and development, I wouldn't give a kopeck," says Leonid Fedun, vice-president of Lukoil interviewed by Financial Times. Lukoil is Russia's second largest oil company and the largest non-governmental driller. Backing off from areas like the Barents and Kara Seas is a move Lukoil takes after Shell last month announced taking a "time-out" from Arctic exploration off the coast of Alaska. Shell's announcement was made after the company experienced several set-backs and incidents with its rigs last year. Barents Observer
Alaska House Passes Resolution Calling on Coast Guard to Station 'Legend Class' Cutter in Kodiak. The Alaska House of Representatives today unanimously passed a resolution urging the U.S. Congress and the President to complete funding and the deployment of the U.S. Coast Guard's new "Legend-class" National Security Cutters, and base one of them in Kodiak. House Joint Resolution 13, sponsored by Alaska House Finance Committee Co-Chair Alan Austerman, emphasizes Alaska's support for increasing the nation's maritime strength and presence in the Arctic. Alaska Native News
Joint Task Force-Alaska, University of Alaska Combine Arctic Expertise. Joint Task Force-Alaska (JTF-AK) Commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog, and University of Alaska President Patrick Gamble have signed a memorandum of understanding in an effort to develop a robust information-sharing relationship between Arctic experts on their staffs. The memorandum is designed to facilitate rapid information exchange, leveraging the unparalleled expertise at UA to support operations, planning, and ensuring JTF-AK decision making is expertly informed by the university's holistic understanding of the Arctic. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Friday.
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."
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.
Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Reovaniemi, 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.