Arctic Daily Update: June 21, 2013
Feds visit Alaska for input on Arctic policy. "A senior federal government group led by a top White House official was in Alaska on June 14 meeting with state and local officials on President Barack Obama's new Arctic policy. Over the next few months the group will flesh out the policy, which was announced recently, Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council in Environmental Quality, told those at a public meeting held in Anchorage. State officials meeting with the group said they were not entirely satisfied and that the policy statement has a lot of generalities but no commitments." Alaska Journal of Commerce
China's Arctic Strategy. "China has certainly been busy since it won observer status at the May Arctic Council summit in Kiruna, Sweden. First, Yu Zhengasheng, Chairman of China's Political Consultative Conference, visited Finland, Sweden and Denmark with an eye to boosting general trade and cooperation, particularly in the Arctic." The Diplomat
Reporting on the resilience of Arctic ecosystems. "The Arctic Resilience Interim Report released on 15 May, finds that rapid - even abrupt - changes are occurring on multiple fronts across the Arctic, raising the risk of crossing thresholds that would cause irreversible changes to ecosystems, environmental processes, and societies. The report marks the half-way point in the project that aims to identify critical thresholds and sources of resilience in the face of environmental and social pressures." Arctic Council
[Scientists re-open] Cold War era Arctic research station. "On Bolshevik, scientists will re-open one of the three polar research stations the Soviet Union established on the island during the Cold War. The stations were closed in 1996 because of financial problems. Seven scientists will now be spending the summer on Bolshevik, and if the funding for continued research falls into place, they could be replaced with another group of scientists that will stay there during winter, Vesti reports." Barents Observer
The U.S. Consul General gives high appreciation to the regional cooperation. "'The cross-border cooperation is a very positive thing', - says Bruce I.Turner, the consul general of the United States of America during his official visit to Murmansk. Earlier this week the U.S. Consul General in Saint Petersburg paid an official visit to Murmansk to get a better understanding of the region, its role in the development of North-West Russia and the things happening here. Bruce I.Turner was amazed by the Barents cooperation success on the regional level, he said when visiting the Murmansk office of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. He stressed the importance of people-to-people cooperation and would like to have the same for Russia and the US." Barents Observer
House shifts to energy development, agriculture appropriations next week. "House Republicans next week plan to pass two energy bills aimed at facilitating energy development in offshore areas, as well as a bill funding the Department of Agriculture for 2014. The first of these is H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act. This bill would open up new areas to offshore energy production along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts requiring the Obama administration to implement a new offshore lease plan including these regions. Republicans say Obama's current lease plan keeps 85 percent of offshore areas closed to energy production. The House Natural Resources Committee approved this bill last week." The Hill
Opinion: Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating? "Climate experts have long predicted that temperatures would rise in parallel with greenhouse gas emissions. But, for 15 years, they haven't. In a SPIEGEL interview, meteorologist Hans von Storch discusses how this 'puzzle' might force scientists to alter what could be 'fundamentally wrong' models." Spiegel
Opinion: Cooling the Arctic is imperative. "I read with dismay the announcement from the Met Office meeting that the UK could be in the middle of a cycle of wet summers which could last 10-20 years. My dismay is because the Met Office has failed to acknowledge the likely strong influence of the loss of Arctic sea ice on northern hemisphere weather through rapid warming of the Arctic and disruption of jet stream behaviour." The Guardian
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Thursday.
"Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students,
The event will be held at the Capital Yacht Club, 1000 Water St. SW, Washington, DC 20024, on July 10th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It's accessible from the L'Enfant or Waterfront metro stops. Tickets are $20, and include hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie options, side
dishes and two drink tickets. Register here
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."