Arctic Daily Update: May 3, 2013
The House and Senate are in recess this week.
Scientists Divided Over Threat to Pacific Northwest Salmon. Like mariners scanning the horizon from the crow's nest, scientists have for years been on the lookout in the Pacific Northwest for signs that a dreaded salmon-killing disease, scourge to farmed salmon in other parts of the world, has arrived here, threatening some of the world's richest wild salmon habitats. Most say there is no evidence. But for years, a biologist in Canada named Alexandra Morton - regarded by some as a visionary Cassandra, by others as a misguided prophet of doom - has said definitively and unquestionably that they are wrong. Wild Pacific salmon, she has said, are testing positive for a European strain of the virus that causes the disease, infectious salmon anemia, or I.S.A. New York Times
Independent Science Panels on Proposed Pebble Mine Set. Pebble stakeholders and interested parties, space is filling up for The Keystone Center's May 6-7 Independent Science Panels on the proposed Pebble mine. New information has been posted to our website including names and biographies of the independent scientists and the agenda. The panels will address wetlands, vegetation, wildlife, and threatened and endangered species. The panels will be held in the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and will be open to the public. They will also be filmed by 360 North for Alaska Public Television and broadcast live via web-stream on Keystone's website. Anchorage Daily News
Placing American Indian and Alaska Native Boys and Men Health Disparities on the Map. A group of stakeholders dedicated to raising awareness on health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) males has collaborated with Men's Health Network (MHN) and the Office of Minority Health to develop a brief report titled: A Vision of Wellness and Health Equity for AI/AN Boys and Men. Among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), males experience alarming rates of illness and disease compared to their female counterparts and those often exceed rates for all other U.S. racial and ethnic groups. Unfortunately these health disparities among AI/AN males are probably worsening. Based on data compiled by the Indian Health Service (IHS), for some age groups AI/AN males experience death rates 200 to 500 percent greater than AI/AN females for suicide, HIV/AIDS, homicide, unintentional injuries, diabetes, firearm injury, and alcohol-related deaths and 10 to 50 percent higher than AI/AN females from cancer, heart disease, and liver disease. Digital Journal http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1225004#ixzz2SFPyNEx0
White House Warned on Imminent Arctic Ice Death Spiral. Senior US government officials are to be briefed at the White House this week on the danger of an ice-free Arctic in the summer within two years. The meeting is bringing together NASA's acting chief scientist, Gale Allen, the director of the US National Science Foundation, Cora Marett, as well as representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon. Guardian
Preserving the Health of the Arctic Lars-Otto Reiersen is a marine biologist by training, now working as an environmental scientist in Norway. He has led the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) for over two decades. AMAP advises the governments of eight Arctic countries on issues relating to threats to the region from pollution. As a native of Tromsø in Norway, his "heart is in the north." Here, Reiersen speaks to youris.com about his role in monitoring polluting chemicals as a means to understand their effect on the Arctic environment and its inhabitants. Phys.Org
Gazprom Given Green Light for Arctic Work. Russian energy company Gazprom has the right to try to access the estimated 63.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the arctic, the prime minister said. Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree Friday that gives Gazprom the right to explore four natural gas fields in the Barents Sea. The four fields combined may hold more natural gas than the 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced by Gazprom last year, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reports. UPI
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.
International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.
Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.
10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2013) (June 2-5, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska) The International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS) and the Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will host a conference on "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions." Special Keynote Sessions each day include "Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Science and Engineering Practice"; "The Challenges of the Debris from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan"; and "Energy in Alaska - Current and Future Projects."
Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic (see 6/25 forum titled "US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research"). The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.
5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 16-18, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) co-host this follow-on 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. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations.
7th International Workshop on Ice Drilling Technology (September 9-13, 2013) (Madison, WI). The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO--IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the sixprevious ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International Workship on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics.
The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, (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.
Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.