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Arctic Daily Update: March 6, 2014


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March 6, 2014  


capital Today's Congressional Action:   

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





Norad to Increase Focus on Arctic Surveillance. The joint Canada-U.S. North American Aerospace Defence Command wants improved surveillance systems to keep close tabs on increasing activity in the Arctic, particularly in the region's waters, according to documents obtained by the Citizen. Although the installation of any new systems wouldn't take place until around 2025, the final report on what needs to be done will be presented to top military commanders on both sides of the border this spring. Ottawa Citizen


Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change. A YouTube video by the National Academies.

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change
Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change



Scientists Look Into Winter Blues at Arctic Military Station. The military has wrapped up the first phase of a sleep study at Canadian Forces Station Alert in Nunavut's High Arctic. Researchers chose CFS Alert because of its extremes of no sunlight in the winter and 24 hours of light in the summer. A scientist with Defense Research and Development Canada, Michel Paul, wants to find out why people have trouble keeping their spirits up in the dead of winter. CBC News


Arktik Politik. Normally, the actions of the Swedish royal family are not the stuff of global politics (nor of this website). And, to be frank, few would consider the announcement this week that Sweden's princess Victoria would skip her visit to the Sochi Paralympics to be anything but a diplomatic murmur in the din emerging from Russia's invasion of the Crimean Peninsula... But, perhaps befitting Russia's importance to the Arctic, what the region's leaders are being less open-mouthed about is whether the invasion will have an effect on relations within their neighbor in the east. Arctic Journal


Jurassic Flu. Firstly, we should reassure our readers that the giant virus discovered by French scientists and reported on in the world's media yesterday is not dangerous to humans. Just amoebas. That said, the scientists that brought the 30,000-year-old organism back to life in a lab and then returned to its original infectious state said it should be seen as a harbinger the potential dangers associated with warming temperatures. "The revival of such an ancestral amoeba infecting virus ... suggests that the thawing of permafrost either from global warming or industrial exploitation of circumpolar regions might not be exempt from future threats to human or animal health," the team from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at Aix-Marseille University that made the discovery wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Arctic Journal


arctic shipping The Exchange: Booming Business in a Changing Arctic. Unalaskans know the effects of climate change as well as anyone - take this year's abnormally warm winter, for one. But we're also witnesses to a different kind of impact: the lucrative business opportunities created by rising temperatures. As ice melts, companies have more access than ever to the multi-billion dollar potential of Arctic oil. It's part of a new book, "Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming," by journalist McKenzie Funk. KUCB

Legislative Action


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events


Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.
New Vision for Sea Shipping Between Europe-Asia-USA, March 12-14, 2014 (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka Region, Russia). The Tranzit-DV Group, with the participation of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, is holding a conference in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The conference theme is the creation of a logistics complex - MILC (Multimodal Industrial-Logistics Complex) in the Asia-Pacific Region with developed infrastructure and traffic network. Topics include: Seaports in the Primorsky and Kamchatka regions: experience, opportunities, prospects and development of sea transport; use of the Northern Sea Route in the global transport services market; state programs for investment support and development of the Russian Far East; analysis of the situation on the Russian and global container transport and bunkering markets; prospects for port hub development and multimodal carriage; and, maritime insurance issues.


44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.

Navigational Developments and the Viability of Commercialized Shipping in the Arctic, March 20, 2014. (Washington, D.C.). The Federal Maritime Commission's Maritime Environmental Committee will be hosting a Brown Bag Speaker Series with a presentation by Dr. John Farrell, Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, and Captain David Murk, Senior Maritime Safety and Security Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The speakers will discuss the environmental impact commercial shipping may have in the Arctic, United States' interests in the Arctic, and the viability of commercial shipping in the region.


Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014 (Tampa, Florida).  Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson (stephenson@ucla.edu) for more information, and see attached flyer.


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11 (Helsinki, Finland). ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


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