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Arctic Daily Update: June 19, 2013

Today's Events    
NOAA Arctic Science Days, June 19-20, 2013, 1-5 p.m. (Silver Spring, MD). The NOAA Arctic Task Force will be hosting Arctic Science days to discuss the range of activities NOAA is conducting in the Arctic NOAAregion. These two afternoon sessions will be framed around the six goals laid out in NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy. On Wednesday, NOAA will cover sea ice and weather prediction, as well as basic scientific research and partnerships. Thursday will focus on stewardship, navigation, and emergency response.

Location: Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, Room 12836.
The agenda is available here
 
If you are a NOAA employee in Silver Spring planning on attending in person, please RVSP to leah.fisher@noaa.gov.  
 
Please register for NOAA Arctic Science Days, Day 2 at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1363405764594264832
Media     

Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic. "The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy wilderness. The Arctic may hold 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas, but a series of blunders and failures there are making executives fight shy of such a sensitive area and turn their attention back to more conventional resources and the shale revolution." Reuters

 

Barents Council meeting to Tromsø. "Norway has decided to locate the next Barents Council meeting to Tromsø, the largest city in Northern Norway. When the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Sweden, Norway and Finland meet on October 28th and 29th, the plan is to approve a joint communique supposed to concretize the words in the second Kirkenes Declaration adopted earlier in June this year. How to improve east-west transportation; develop natural resources in a sustainable way and coping with climate changes are key topics. In other words, evolve the enormous potential for economic growth in the Barents Region without sacrificing any environmental goals." Barents Observer

 

Siberian caves warn of permafrost meltdown. "Climate records captured in Siberian caves suggest 1.5 degrees of warming is enough to trigger thawing of permafrost, according to a paper to be given at the Geological Society of London on 27 June. Permafrost regions cover 24% of the northern hemisphere land surface, and hold an estimated 17,000 Gt of organic carbon. Thawing releases CO2 and CH4, creating positive feedback during greenhouse warming." Phys.org

 

Arctic Canadian community to switch to liquid natural gas for pilot project. "The Northwest Territories Power Corporation hopes a pilot project in the town of Inuvik, in Canada's Northwest Territories, will lead to lower electricity costs in all communities which rely on diesel power. The goal of the project is to replace expensive diesel fuel with cheaper liquid natural gas. If the project proves successful, other diesel communities could soon be powered by natural gas." Eye on the Arctic

arcticcouncil Video interview with Patrick Borbey: Some hopes and priorities for the Canadian Chairmanship. "Chair of the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials' Patrick Borbey speaks briefly about some of the hopes and priorities for the Canadian Chairmanship 2013-2015." Arctic Council

 

The coming Arctic boom: As the ice melts, the region heats up. "The ice was never supposed to melt this quickly. Although climate scientists have known for some time that global warming was shrinking the percentage of the Arctic Ocean that was frozen over, few predicted so fast a thaw. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that Arctic summers would become ice free beginning in 2070. Yet more recent satellite observations have moved that date to somewhere around 2035, and even more sophisticated simulations in 2012 moved the date up to 2020. Sure enough, by the end of last summer, the portion of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice had been reduced to its smallest size since record keeping began in 1979, shrinking by 350,000 square miles (an area equal to the size of Venezuela) since the previous summer. All told, in just the past three decades, Arctic sea ice has lost half its area and three quarters of its volume." Foreign Affairs

 

White House Climate action coming soon, says Obama adviser. "President Obama's top climate and energy adviser said Wednesday that she wouldn't get 'in front of the big man' on specific climate plans, but that 'meaningful' action is coming. Heather Zichal spoke generally of bolstering energy efficiency, expanding clean energy on public lands and various regulatory 'tools' - such as the Clean Air Act - the administration has at its disposal." The Hill

 

Electrofuels: Charged microbes may "poop out" a gasoline alternative. "What if you could make biofuels without using plants? Or oil without extracting anything from the ground? That's been the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy's 'electrofuels' program, a $48 million research effort involving 14 separate projects that is wrapping up this year." National Geographic

Legislative Action 

Yesterday, Rep. Brindenstine (OK-1) introduced in the House H.R. 2413: To prioritize and redirect NOAA resources to a focused program of investment on near-term, affordable, and attainable advances in observational, computing, and modeling capabilities to deliver substantial improvement in weather forecasting and prediction of high impact weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and for other purposes. 

Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed S. 340, a bill to provide for the settlement of certain claims under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and S.155: A bill to designate a mountain in the State of Alaska as Denali.

To see the full agenda or watch the archived webcast, visit the Committee Site

 

Future Events

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013 (Washington, DC).   AGU logo

"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. See the 6/25 forum titled 'US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research.' The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D.C.-based international nonprofit scientific association." The USARC is a co-sponsor of the Arctic forum, through ARCUS.
3rd Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop, July 10-12, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "The 3rd Airship Workshop will follow up the achievements of last year's workshop by focusing on potential approaches and actions that would facilitate establishing strong cargo airship business commitments to serving customers in Alaska and other Northern areas. Workshops will consider specific actions that may be initiated."
  icedimArctic

The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) are co-hosting this 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.

New info: Meeting is open to all. Registration is $175. DOD participants can register and pay for this without special approval. The meeting is co-sponsored by the DOD, and in your internal request document, we've been advised that you should indicate that this activity is a "Review of Arctic Change Impacts." For Navy personnel, this means that approval by the DoN/AA is NOT needed.

Among the many confirmed speakers are:

Alaskan senators (Lisa Murkowski
and Mark Begich)
Murkowski Begich
USCG Commandant ADM Robert Papp & Navy Oceanographer RADM Jon White
Papp White 
NOAA's Acting Director, Kathy Sullivan, AK LT. Gov., Mead Treadwell, USARC Chair, Fran Ulmer, and Canada's Minister for Political Affairs, Sheila Riordon
SullivanTreadwell FranUlmerRiordon
   

 

Alaska State Society Brunch and Qugruk Forum with Fran Ulmer, Saturday July 20, 2013, 11 a.m. (Mr. Henry's, Washington, D.C.).  "This month's guest will be Fran Ulmer, the Presidentially-appointed Chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission. As Alaskans know, Fran Ulmer has also been, at various times, the chancellor of UAA; the Lt. Governor of Alaska; an Alaska state legislator; and the mayor of Juneau. We'll brunch for 30 minutes, then give the floor to our speaker. Under the banner, 'What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic,' Commissioner Ulmer will address Arctic shipping, research, climate change, and oil-spill prevention and response--all followed by questions and answers from the audience."

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.

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 logo with background (Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska). The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting agenda will be posted on the USARC website, www.arctic.gov, closer to the meeting date. 

 

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 workship 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."

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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