Arctic Daily Update: June 19, 2013
Location: Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, Room 12836.
The agenda is available here.
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
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
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
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
"Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students,
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)
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."