Arctic Daily Update: May 9, 2013
The Senate will consider a water resources bill. The House will consider legislation regarding Treasury borrowing authority.
Aker Arctic Develops Even More Powerful Oblique Icebreaker. ARC 100 is set for delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport in early 2014, after a collaborative shipbuilding effort involving the OJSC Yantar shipyard in Kalingrad, Russia, and the Arctech yard in Helsinki, Finland (see earlier story). The resulting newbuilding is a breakthrough in asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas. The 76 m long ARC 100, with her oblique ice-breaking action, is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single oblique icebreaker can cut channels through ice for cargo ships to follow that are as wide as cut by two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side. Marine Log
Tank-Like Robot Rumbles Over Arctic. GROVER the Arctic rover resembles a tank with solar panels instead of gun turrets. This NASA-built machine may look like a kill-bot from after the robot apocalypse, but GROVER will actually keep scientists out of danger and save money as researchers study the changing environment of the far north. The six-foot tall, 800-pound rover boasts a ground-penetrating radar array capable of measuring the hidden features of glaciers. GROVER can map Arctic environments for less money than satellites, airplanes, or snowmobiles, according to NASA. Plus, human operators control the machine from the safety and comfort of a control booth. Discovery News
NATO Has 'No Intention' To Up Presence in Arctic. "NATO has no intention of increasing its presence and activities in the Far North," Fogh Rasmussen said in Oslo after spending two days visiting northern Norway. The Arctic is believed to hold some 90 billion barrels of oil and 30 percent of the world's yet-to-be discovered natural gas resources. Those riches have become increasingly accessible as the Arctic ice shrinks. Not only countries bordering the Arctic Ocean are keen to claim the resources but also other nations further afield, such as China, are looking on with interest. The Local
Gold Mine's Construction Delayed in Yukon. Victoria Gold Corp. says it will push back the start of construction on its Eagle Gold project in Canada's northwestern Yukon territory rather than dilute existing shareholders investments. Company president John McConnell said his company has $35 million in the bank but is having trouble raising money. Other small gold exploration companies working in the North have announced reductions in the scale of work this summer due to the drop in the price of gold. Alaska Dispatch
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.
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.
Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straights, (November 7-8, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska). This workshop will bring together a diversity of stakeholders to advance a collective dialog 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.
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.