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Arctic Daily Update: August 14, 2013

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August 14, 2013  
 
 
 
 

 
Institute of the North's "Week of the Arctic" August 12-18, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops are held as part of the Week of the Arctic, varied in form to reach different audiences and achieve multiple goals. The Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award dinner is the signature event for the Week of the Arctic. In recent years, the Award has been given to Red Dog Mine (2012) and Jacob Adams (2011). The award was created in 2000 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions toward sustainable development in the Arctic. Join us as we present CH2M Hill this year's Award. The Week of the Arctic culminates on Sunday, August 18 with a champagne toast in celebration of the Governor Walter J. Hickel Day of the Arctic."

 

The House of Representatives and the Senate remain on August recess.

 


Media   

 

Coast Guard Seal

U.S. Coast Guard to Test Oil Spill Technologies in Arctic. "The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) plans to test and evaluate oil spill detection and recovery technologies in the Arctic Ocean as part of Operation Arctic Shield 2013. A multi-agency team of engineers and scientists led by RDC researchers will conduct a series of demonstrations in September aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy to test and evaluate capabilities of various unmanned aerial systems (UAS), an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search for simulated oil spills." Maritime Executive

 

With Arctic Growth Looming, Airlines Put Off Planning. "Executives at Alaska Airlines and Peninsula Airways admit that their service to Unalaska isn't perfect. Lopsided demand for flights and rough Aleutian weather already make it tough for them to serve the community. But huge demand from Arctic oil employees might make it even tougher. As KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal reports in a follow up to yesterday's story, Unalaska faces an uphill battle to get better air service before growth picks up in the Arctic." Alaska Public Media

 

Will uptick in Alaska North Slope oil-and-gas lease bids continue in next sale? "Will a recent uptick in bidding continue when Alaska holds its annual North Slope oil and gas lease sale on Nov. 4? On the same day, the federal government will hold its own annual lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, which could prove critical for a state that has just begun tapping into its savings because oil production has fallen." Alaska Dispatch

 

Opinion: USCG Arctic strategy requires more ice breakers. "The number of ships through the Bering Strait grew 118 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. As nations attempt to stake claims for rich Arctic resources, the U.S. currently has little presence there. The Coast Guard has two ice breakers capable of operating in the region. That's four short of the six required to fulfill the agency's mission in both the Arctic and Antarctic." KTOO

 

19 ships register to sail through Northwest Passage this year. "Almost 20 vessels have officially registered with authorities to sail through the Northwest Passage this year, but the true number may be much higher. The coast guard says 19 vessels have formally registered with them for permission to cross through the passage this sailing season." CBC News

 

Opinion: Kara Strait will never be new Suez. "...the Northern Sea Route will never be like Suez where 19,000 vessels sailed through last year. In Panama, they counted 15,000. Increased traffic in the Arctic requires better emergency preparedness and a new set of shipping rules. The worst-case scenario is an accident somewhere way north of Siberia, far from any rescue capacities." Barents Observer

 

The Arctic is especially sensitive to black carbon emissions from within the region. "Black carbon, also known as soot, emitted from combustion of fuels and biomass burning, absorbs solar radiation in the atmosphere and is one of the major causes of global warming, after carbon dioxide emissions. When black carbon is deposited on snow and ice, the soot-covered snow or ice absorbs more sunlight, leading to surface warming. Due to the large amount of snow and ice in the Arctic-which has warmed twice as fast as the global average over the past century-the region is likely to be especially sensitive to black carbon." Phys.org

 

Opinion: The Arctic is no place for military spectacles. "With Parliament deep in summer recess, Prime Minister Stephen Harper can look forward to his annual Arctic adventure. This month, more than 1,000 military personnel will participate in Operation Nanook, what the Department of National Defence calls the 'premier' annual exercise in the Canadian north. Activities associated with Nanook are scheduled in four locations, each chosen for 'particular geographical and topographical challenges,' as a recent Defence news release put it." The Globe and Mail

 

Continued economic growth in Northern Norway. "Northern Norway is enjoying a period of continued good economic growth. This can be seen in all sectors of society. An important reason for the positive developments is the region's access to and exploitation of valuable natural resources. Substantial oil and gas discoveries in the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea have resulted in rapid growth in the oil industry, both directly and indirectly through many related industries, the report reads." Barents Observer


Legislative Action

  

No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday. 


Future Events

 

Arctic Drilling Safety Preparedness and Response: Mitigating Risks in a Tempestuous Environment to Achieve the Rewards of Safely Expanded E&P, August 15-16, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "The harsh and unpredictable climate of the Arctic territories has done little to deter the interest in oil and gas exploration. Particularly since it has been reported, "the U.S. Geological Survey estimates 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exist below Arctic waters." While the risks are considerable, so is the reward. As a result, there has been a great surge in development plans and permit requests. However, in order to responsibly drill and extract these resources, oil and gas companies must have thorough safety plans in place, while fostering an environmentally conscious approach to operations. This premier marcus evans conference will carefully examine how to assess risks, develop thorough safety plans and culture, quell environmental opposition through accountable actions, prepare a successful response plan and overcome lack of logistical support."

 
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(Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska).  The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting's draft agenda is now available here.

 

You can also view the 101st Commission Meeting announcement in this entry at the Federal Register.

 

 

 

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."

  

7th International Workshop on Ice-Drilling Technology, September 9-13, 2013 (Madison, WI). "The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO-IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics."

 

Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). 

"The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept is designed to meet specific business objectives during two days for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic communities addressing key issues such as sustainable business development and regional protection. As more and more data has confirmed that the Arctic is extremely rich in oil and gas reserves, locations such as Greenland and the Barents Sea have seen a huge growth in interest from the hydrocarbon industry. Despite the opportunities offered, there are many challenges that may hinder operations. The presence of cold temperatures, ice and a lack of infrastructure pose logistical problems that make exploration expensive and risky."

 

The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (Akureyri, Iceland).

 "The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is a multidisciplinary event expected to draw together several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policymakers, energy professionals and community leaders to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. Building on the work done at the highly successful 2007 Arctic Energy Summit and Technology Conference, the 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas: richness, resilience and responsibility.  The 2013 Summit will be hosted by the Institute of the North in cooperation with local host Arctic Portal."

 

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."

  

The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA) "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments.  

 

The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website: www.whoi.edu/projects/FAMOS

 

Workshop: Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, November 7-8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "This workshop will bring together diverse stakeholders to learn more about and respond to community desires to be part of oil spill first-response efforts that help protect food security and other local resources; come to agreement on the multiple roles local community members can play in responding to oil spills; and create an action plan for moving forward on this topic. The workshop is sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society." 

 

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 scientific research and 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."

 

International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII).  ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."

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

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