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Arctic Daily Update: June 23, 2014

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June 23, 2014  
 
 
 
 

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capital Today's Congressional Action:   

The House and Senate are in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.

Media 

The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession. There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there's one thing I've learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage. For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation's financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do. We're making the same mistake today with climate change. We're staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked. New York Times

 

Salmon Yukon Fish Health Handbook. In April the Government of Yukon published a handbook to provide health information about local fish. The handbook includes information about the benefits of eating fish, fishing best practices, food safety, mercury in local fish, parasites and diseases in Yukon fish, etc. Review the handbook here.

 

Botanists Head to Nunavut to Help Fill Out Gaps in Knowledge of Arctic Plants. A team of botanists is headed next week to a remote area in the Canadian territory of Nunavut to try to fill gaps in the knowledge about plant life in the far north. The month-long expedition to western Nunavut's Coppermine River is part of a multiyear project to catalog the plants growing in the North American Arctic, from Alaska's North Slope to the eastern stretches of Arctic Canada. Anchorage Daily News

 

sikuliaq2 Sikuliaq Readies for Ocean Research. Next summer, there'll be a new ship docking in Dutch Harbor and Nome on its way to the Arctic. But first, the research vessel Sikuliaq is headed to Honolulu for its inaugural research cruises. This summer, the 261-foot oceanographic research vessel will make its way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Panama Canal, stopping for testing and research along the way. By February 2015, it is expected to arrive in its homeport of Seward. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

 

Swedish-Russian-US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions- The SWERUS-C3 Program. SWERUS-C3 is a multi-disciplinary program with base funding supported from by the Swedish Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) aiming to investigate the linkages between Climate, Cryosphere (here: sea ice and coastal permafrost) and Carbon release from the sediment, with addition of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere. SWERUS-C3 includes principal investigators from Stockholm University, University of Gothenburg, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at University of Alaska, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at University of New Hampshire and Rice University. SWERUS-C3

 

New State Law to Bring Back Universal Vaccine Access. For 30 years, Alaska maintained a universal vaccine program, where federal funding paid for all the standard shots. But in 2011, the money started drying up, leaving only the most vulnerable populations covered. Now, universal access to vaccines may be back, with a law that uses the state as a broker between insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies to get a bulk rate discount. At the bill signing this week, State Sen. Cathy Giessel said the idea is to make sure "all Alaskans, insured and uninsured, had access to vaccines." On top of increasing access to vaccines, health care providers expect the law to save them time and money. Alaska Public Radio  

 

China to Release Northern Sea Route ChinaflagPilot Book. The guide will offer comprehensive, practical and authoritative information for Chinese cargo ships for sailing through the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast Passage, to Europe, reports China Daily, citing Zhai Jiugang, deputy head of the Ministry of Transport's Maritime Safety Administration. The new route can save Chinese cargo ships 5,186 kilometers and nine days from the traditional voyage to Europe, which goes through the Malacca Straits and the Suez Canal. MarineLink

 

After Global Summit, Research on Arctic Economy's Ocean Footprint Increasingly Important. Some Norwegian participants in last week's oceans conference in the U.S. said international policymakers demonstrated a commitment to ocean health but more research is needed to show how emerging Arctic industries affect nearby water ecology. The two-day "Our Ocean" conference was facilitated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C., and focused on sustainable fisheries and strategies for curbing ocean acidification and marine pollution. Barents Observer

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

H.R. 4412, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2014 (The bill is waiting for consideration by the House)

Future Events

Food Security, June 25, 2014 (Webinar). The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee will host a webinar to feature presentations by Carolina Behe, Traditional Knowledge/Science Advisor, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Alaska and Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, Social Science Program Director, Kawerak, Inc. The presentations will provide the basis for a broad discussion across disciplines. Understanding the challenges to food security in the rapidly changing Arctic and ensuring safe and consistent availability, access, and usage of food resources for indigenous communities is critical for sustaining livelihoods, promoting health and well-being, and helping to preserve cultures, traditional knowledge, and socio-linguistic heritage. Given projected climatic and environmental changes along with expected concomitant development activities and opportunities for increased natural resource exploitation, a reliance on community-based monitoring programs to track changes in the distribution and relative abundance of food resources will be crucial for safeguarding sustainable communities in the Arctic. Community-based monitoring programs can also address the impacts on biodiversity, cultural identity, health, language, livelihoods, and traditional knowledge.

 

The Future of Arctic Cooperation, June 25, 2014 (Washington, DC). The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a conference on the Future of Arctic Cooperation. The conference take stock of current patterns of international cooperation in the Arctic region and discuss the way ahead amidst uncertain geopolitical times.  Government officials and expert panelists will examine the most promising areas of Arctic cooperation such as scientific research, Arctic shipping regulations and search and rescue capabilities, current economic trends and future development, and the sustainability of fisheries and the marine environment, and will offer their perspectives on the future of Arctic cooperation in light of the upcoming U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Executive Director John Farrell of the US Arctic Research Commission will speak as part of a panel on "Enhancing Scientific and Research Cooperation in the Arctic."

 

Arctic in the Athropocene. June 23-July 2, 2014 (Potsdam, Germany). Under the overarching theme "Arctic in the Anthropocene", this two-week interdisciplinary and interactive event will be the first in a series of Potsdam Summer Schools to be held annually. The goal is to bring together early-career scientists and young professionals from research departments, governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations, as well as the private sector from all around the world. Participants will deal with global challenges and address urgent questions on how to shape sustainable futures in the Arctic and beyond from a scientific and socioeconomic point of view. 

 

ICETECH 2014, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). The International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures on Ice (ICETECH) is organized by the Arctic Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The theme of the conference is performance of ships and structures in ice (icebreaking ships, ice resistant structures, and operations in ice) with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. The conference will cover topics including:Global warming implications to Arctic ships and structures; Icebreaking ships, Naval Architecture, construction, and marine operations; Structures in ice/iceberg populated waters; Construction and logistics in ice-covered areas; Ice management; New offshore developments in ice-covered areas; Subsea pipelines and facilities in ice; Marine systems for offshore drilling and production operations in ice; Codes, regulations and standards; Ice conditions, forecasting and remote sensing; Safety, risk and environmental protection; Escape, Evacuation and Rescue (EER); and Arctic Geopolitics.

 

Alaska Policy Commission. August 26-27, 2014 (Kotzebue-Nome, 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.  

 

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. 

 

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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