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Arctic Daily Update: August 11, 2014

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August 11, 2014  
 
 
 
 

 

capital Today's Congressional Action: 

Most members have returned to their districts or states for the August recess. The Senate will hold pro forma sessions during August. The next roll call vote in the Senate is scheduled for September 8th. The House is also in recess until September 8th.

 

 

Media  
 

[Opinion] Arctic Activity Highlights Need for Strong Leadership in Alaska. In two years, a floating city with a population larger than most Alaska villages plans to pass through the ice-choked waters of the Northwest Passage. The luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity hopes to float peacefully from Seward to Nome, through the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, traversing the northern regions of Canada before returning down the East Coast to New York City. The Crystal Serenity blows any vessel that has traveled this challenging route to date out of the water. It will carry more than 1,000 passengers, who are paying between $22,000 and $120,000 to take the 32-day trip. The 68,000-ton vessel has 13 decks, multiple pools, tennis courts and a sushi bar. It's hard to imagine anything more out of place in the challenging Arctic waters, where savvy adventurers have consistently been thwarted in their attempts to overcome extreme weather and constantly changing ice conditions. Alaska Dispatch News

 

Permafrost Lakes Are Long-Term Climate Coolers, Study Says. The tundra lakes that form over permafrost have been considered contributors to greenhouse gas accumulations and climate warming. The formation and dry-up of these lakes, scientists say, emits carbon dioxide and a far more potent greenhouse gas: methane. Scientists have documented methane bubbling up from lakes in Alaska and Siberia, and venting from the Siberian sea floor. Mysterious craters that recently appeared in Siberia might have been created by methane releases, scientists say. But over the very long-term -- millennia, not years or decades -- these lakes have absorbed carbon and cooled the planet rather than warmed it, according to a newly published study led by Katey Walter Anthony of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Alaska Dispatch News

 

Arctic Predictions for 2014. The Global Ice Center at Weathernews Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has announced their 2014 predictions for ice concentration in the Arctic Sea. Based on trends observed so far this year, the ice has been receding at a pace consistent with previous years, and experts at the Global Ice Center (GIC) expect this summer's minimum ice extent to be less than last summer. Weathernews is confident that the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will open in August both on the northeastern passage on the Russian side and northwestern passage along Canada, making the route fully accessible to commercial shipping traffic approximately one month earlier than last year. Use of the NSR by the shipping and energy industries is increasing year-on-year, so the need for detailed information on ice conditions is increasing, too. Weathernews is responding to these needs by providing nowcasts and forecasts to companies operating voyages through the NSR. Maritime Executive

 

[Opinion] How the EPA Ignores the Public and Science. The Environmental Protection Agency ignored both public opinion and science in writing its new economy-slamming regulations restricting carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. Although EPA head Gina McCarthy testified otherwise before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last month, the EPA's public consultations were a sham, clearly designed to give only the results desired by the agency. New York Post

 

Russian Navy 'Forces U.S. Submarine Out' of Arctic Boundary Water-Report. A supposed U.S. submarine was detected and "forced out" by the Russian anti-sub forces after it violated the country's boundary waters in the Arctic, a high-ranked source within the Russian Navy's headquarters said. "On August 7, a foreign submarine, presumably belonging to the US Navy's Virginia class, was detected in the Barents Sea by the alert forces of the Northern Fleet," the source told Russian media. RT

 

Coast Guard Seal USCG R&D Team Up Agencies for Arctic Awareness. When RDC members depart for the Arctic, they do so aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a 420-foot icebreaker homeported in Seattle, Wash., that serves as a perfect platform for conducting Arctic research. The Healy's expert crew knows its way around, and sometimes through, the ever-shifting ice floes of the north, and their nautical skills and experience on the sea are vital to the success of the RDC's mission. Also along for the journey or assisting from afar are 14 additional agencies and universities including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. NORTHCOM, U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Comman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory, and University of Cambridge. MarineLink

 

Rosneft & Russian Society on Arctic Science Development. Member of the Rosneft Board of Directors, RF President's Special Envoy for International Cooperation Representative in the Arctic and Antarctic Artur Chilingarov took part in a meeting of the Arctic Council member states, observer states and representatives of scientific community under the aegis of the Russian Security Council in the city of Naryan-Mar. The meeting participants discussed relevant problems of sustainable development and organization of safety on polar territories. Chilingarov announced that Rosneft and the Russian Geographical Society have started elaboration of a complex program on Arctic scientific development and are planning to engage leading Russian specialists to participate in the initiative. MarineLink 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events

  

Alaska Policy Commission Meeting, August 26-27, 2014 (Nome and Kotzebue, Alaska) The public is invited to observe the Commission in their work from 8:30am - 4pm. The Commission will accept public testimony on Arctic Policy issues at 11:30am in Nome (location TBD) and 12:30pm in Kotzebue at the Nulla─ívik Hotel. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign up to give public testimony. All voices and perspectives are welcome and appreciated. For the meeting agenda, additional information, and updates please visit here

 

World Trade Center Alaska: Arctic Ambitions Trade Mission to Northern Europe, September 4-14, 2014 (Finland-Norway-Iceland). The Trade Mission will visit Northern and Arctic Europe starting September 4th in Finland and ending September 14 in Iceland, with an intermediary stop in Norway. The itinerary includes three days in each country and features visits to Arctic communities. Familiarization with Northern Europe's economies, and in particular commercial development in the Arctic, is the main goal of this trade mission. The participants will gain useful networking opportunities and a wealth of information on these three countries. For registration and information, please contact WTCAK at (907) 278-7233.

 

Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 9-11, 2014 (Whitehorse, Canada). The Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region is a biennial conference for parliamentarians representing the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament. The biennial conference is attended by representatives from the national parliaments of the Arctic states and the European Parliament. The Arctic indigenous peoples are permanent participants to the cooperation. Observers participate from governments and inter-parliamentary organizations as well as from observer states and relevant international organizations. 

 

AOOS Film Contest, Submission Deadline September 15, 2014.

In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) is seeking short films highlighting Alaska's coast or oceans.   AOOS welcomes films of any genre relating to the ocean (i.e. people using the ocean and coast, marine research, marine wildlife, ocean-related policy issues, etc).  You don't need to be a professional to submit a film!   

 

102nd US Arctic Research Commission Meeting, September 15-16, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The 102nd USARC meeting will be held in Anchorage. Additional information and schedule to follow.

 

2014 Week of the Arctic, October 6-11, 2014 (Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow, Alaska, USA). The Institute of the North will host the 2014 Week of the Arctic. The 2014 Week of the Arctic is a platform for community leaders, subject matter experts and interested stakeholders to learn about the Arctic while contributing to a growing list of priorities and perspectives. Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops will be held in Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow. Throughout the week, presentations and interviews will be captured on video for distribution through social media and web-based sharing.

 

2014 FAMOS School and Workshop #3, October 21-24, 2014 (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 synthesize major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments. The major themes of workshop include but not limited by studies focused on: predictions; Arctic observational and modeling initiatives; fate of sea ice in models and observations; atmospheric, sea ice and ocean dynamics; process studies and parameterizations; model validation and calibration; numerical improvements and algorithms; ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry.

 

Transatlantic Science Week 2014, October 27-28, 2014 (Toronto, Canada). The purpose of the annual Transatlantic Science Week (TSW) is to promote enhanced cooperation between Canadian, American and Norwegian stakeholders in research, innovation and higher education. TSW is an arena where different stakeholders can meet with the purpose of developing long-term collaborations or partnerships. The conference also hopes to strengthen the linkages that currently exist between the research and education domains. Finally, TSW also provides an excellent arena for dialogue between the research communities and policymakers. 

 

Arctic Circle, October 31-November 2, 2014 (Reyjavik, Iceland).

The Arctic Circle is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to advance their own missions and the broader goal of increasing collaborative decision-making without surrendering their institutional independence. The Arctic Circle will organize sessions on a variety of issues, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Polar law: treaties and agreements; The role and rights of indigenous peoples; Security in the Arctic; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; The prospects and risks of oil and gas drilling; Clean energy achievements and sustainable development; Arctic resources; Business cooperation in the Arctic; The role of Asian and European countries in the Arctic; Greenland in the new Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; The science of ice: global research cooperation; Arctic tourism; The ice-dependent world: the Arctic and the Himalayas. 
 

US- Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum, November 4-6, 2014 (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada). Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Canadian Polar Commission in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, are hosting the fourth Canada - United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biennial meeting with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups and Northerners from both Canada and the United States. The Forum provides an opportunity to discuss current and future priorities for northern oil and gas research. The Forum will showcase the value of northern research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management.

 

Alaska Policy Commission. November 13-14, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) has more important work to do in 2014. The Commission will strive to gather public input and engage with Alaskan communities, state agencies, federal partners, and the international organizations working in the Arctic. In order to meet our goals AAPC will convene three in-person meetings over the course of 2014 and focus on implementation and final recommendations. 

 

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress, December 2-4, 2014 (Trondheim, Norway). The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will present and discuss the main scientific findings of the ABA; facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion, action and status updates on the policy recommendations in the ABA; provide scientific, policy, management, NGO, academia, Indigenous peoples and industry audiences the opportunity to collaborate around the themes of the ABA; advise CAFF on national and international implementation of the ABA recommendations and on the development of an ABA Implementation Plan for the Arctic Council; highlight the work of CAFF and the Arctic Council on circumpolar biodiversity conservation and sustainable development; and, contribute to mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services, ensuring that the recommendations of the ABA are implemented by not just governments, but many organizations and people across disciplines.

 

Arctic Change 2014, December 8-12, 2014 (Ottawa, Canada). The international Arctic Change 2014 conference aims to stimulate discussion and foster collaborations among people with a vested interest in the Arctic and its peoples. Coinciding with the pinnacle of Canada's chairmanship of the Arctic Council and marking ArcticNet's 10th anniversary, Arctic Change 2014 welcomes researchers, students, Northerners, policy makers, and stakeholders from all fields of Arctic research and all countries to address the numerous environmental, social, economical and political challenges and opportunities that are emerging from climate change and modernization in the Arctic. With over 1000 participants expected to attend, Arctic Change 2014 will be one of the largest trans-sectoral international Arctic research conferences ever held in Canada. 

 

Arctic Frontiers: Climate and Energy, January 18-23, 2015. The earth is in the midst of major climate changes. The Arctic is experiencing the impact of these changes more and faster than other parts of the globe. Processes starting in the Arctic may have deep and profound impacts on other parts of the globe. At the same time the Earth's population is rising and with it the global energy demand. New and greener energy sources are gaining market shares, but still the energy mix of the foreseeable future will have a substantial fossil component. The Arctic is expected to hold major oil and gas resources, while the regions green energy potentials are less explored. The Arctic Frontiers conference is a central arena for discussions of Arctic issues. The conference brings together representatives from science, politics, and civil society to share perspectives on how upcoming challenges in the Arctic may be addressed to ensure sustainable development. Arctic Frontiers is composed of a policy section and a scientific section. 

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