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Arctic Daily Update: June 24, 2014

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June 24, 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

Evidence Grows That Warming Arctic May Cause Extreme Weather. Rapid warming of the Arctic may be linked with recent extreme weather in Europe and the United States, a paper found this week, finding more evidence for one piece in the jigsaw. The impact of a warming Arctic on world weather is one of the hottest topics in meteorology. The debate has spun out of observations that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the northern hemisphere, because of a combination of rising greenhouse gas emissions and melting sea ice. One mechanism has been proposed to explain how such Arctic warming may be linked with more frequent extreme weather further south. Responding to Climate Change

 

Norwegian Lawmakers Call for Arctic Railway Study. The possibility of a railway from Norway's Arctic coast to the Finnish interior that would create a rail corridor to the Finnish Baltic coast has moved a step closer after the Norwegian Liberal party earlier this month called for a feasibility study into the project. Proponents have in the past argued that such a railway would open the Finnish interior to development and provide a transport short-cut to Europe for goods being shipped on Arctic sea routes. The Liberals also want to identify if the Rovaniemi-Kirkenes line would also have environmental benefits. Arctic Journal

 

ocean.jpg Report Warns World's Fragile Oceans Pushed to Point of Collapse. A new report by a group of former world leaders, including ex-prime minister Paul Martin, says fixing our oceans will require unpopular, expensive changes. The Global Ocean Commission has put forward a report on the declining health of the planet's high seas, the 64 per cent of the ocean surface that isn't under the control and protection of a national government. The commission is a combination of public and private sector figures, including former heads of state and ministers as well as business people, supported by scientific and economic advisors working on ways to reverse the degradation of the ocean and address the failures of high seas governance. Their report sets out five main problems, from dramatic over-fishing to rising pollution, and a set of recommendations for reversing the decline. The Globe and Mail

 

Climate Change Study Heats Up Arctic Soil. Predictions for a global temperature increase within the next 100 years range anywhere from 2 to 10°C. In this warmer future, how will the planet maintain its delicate relationship with the atmosphere? What are the implications for agriculture on which humans depend for survival? Researchers at the Bioforsk complex in the Pasvik valley just completed installation of a system to test this temperature flux and show what the effects might be on food production for populations in the high north and measure changes in greenhouse gas emissions. Barents Observer

 

Wavy Jet Stream Linked With Extreme Weather. When the jet stream gets wavy, there's a greater chance of extreme weather. The jet stream is a band of wind that marks the boundary between cold Arctic air and warmer southern air, and it has some natural wiggle. In response to natural climate patterns, those wiggles can morph into big waves, pushing cold polar flows farther south and warmer air farther north. Big waves have coincided with past hot and cold spells, droughts and flooding in specific regions around the world, researchers report June 22 in Nature Climate Change. Science News

 

Different Paths to a Sustainable Society- New Issue of "Green Growth The Nordic Way." At their bi-annual meeting in May, the Nordic Prime Ministers underlined the importance of Nordic cooperation on bioeconomy, which alongside green growth points towards the economy of the future. The new issue of "Green Growth the Nordic Way" looks at different paths to realize this new economy and a more sustainable society, with a specific focus on circular economy and cultural affairs. The concept of a new circular economy was the theme of the EUs biggest event in the environment sector, Green Week in Brussels, which took place in the beginning of June. Arctic Journal

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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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