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Arctic Daily Update: September 10, 2013

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September 10, 2013  
 
 
 
 

 

FranUlmerAlaska World Affairs Council: "U.S. Leadership in an Emerging Arctic," 12 p.m. September 10, 2013 (Anchorage, 

Alaska). The Alaska World Affairs Council will hold a Tuesday Lunch Program lecture featuring Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer and Ambassador David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

 

 

 

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 six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop 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."

Media   

 

Ongoing fixes delay

Image: UAF
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arrival of UAF's new Arctic research ship. "Next month marks a year since the launch of the National Science Foundation's new Arctic research vessel Sikuliaq. The 261-foot ice class ship, to be operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, remains at dock at a shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. UAF project principal investigator Terry Whitledge is closely tracking work on the vessel.'We're a little behind schedule, but, you know, these things are very hard to predict,' Whitledge said. 'It's a pretty complex set of systems that have to go together to make everything work. We had hoped originally - way back three years ago - that we would have everything completed by July; well we've found a few things that we needed to fix or to alter, and so we're running maybe 2-3 months behind what we had anticipated.'" Alaska Public Media

 

Northern Promise: Arctic road to prosperity paved with obstacles. "Seismic lines etched into the permafrost from decades-old exploration are still visible in the 137 kilometres separating the Town of Inuvik and the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Coast. About 50 kilometres north of Inuvik, the remnants of industrial prospecting mark the location of the Parsons Lake gas field, discovered in the 1970s and one of three proposed to anchor the moribund Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Today, they are an uneasy reminder of the ecologically fragile terrain northern infrastructure must traverse." Financial Post

 

Canadian soldiers participate in mock Arctic search and rescue exercise in Greenland. "Search and Rescue officials from the Canadian Armed Forces have returned home after participating in a simulated international maritime disaster. Search and Rescue Exercise Greenland Sea 13, which ran from Sept. 2 to Sept. 6, was hosted for a second consecutive year by Denmark near Ella Island off Greenland's east coast." Nunatsiaq Online

 

A climate alarm, too muted for some. "This month, the world will get a new report from a United Nations panel about the science of climate change. Scientists will soon meet in Stockholm to put the finishing touches on the document, and behind the scenes, two big fights are brewing. In one case, we have a lot of mainstream science that says if human society keeps burning fossil fuels with abandon, considerable land ice could melt and the ocean could rise as much as three feet by the year 2100. We have some outlier science that says the problem could be quite a bit worse than that, with a maximum rise exceeding five feet." New York Times

 

Oil industry and household stoves speed Arctic thaw. "The new study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics by researchers at IIASA and in Norway, Finland, and Russia, finds that gas flaring from oil extraction in the Arctic accounts for 42% of the black carbon concentrations in the Arctic, with even higher levels during certain times of the year. In the month of March for example, the study showed that flaring accounts for more than half of black carbon concentrations near the surface. Globally, in contrast, gas flaring accounts for only 3% of black carbon emissions." Phys.org

 

Damaged tanker waiting for help on Northern Sea Route. "The 6403 dwt tanker 'Nordvik' was hit an ice floe and started taking in water while sailing the Northern Sea Route (NSR) last week, as BarentsObserver reported. The tanker was fully loaded with diesel oil. As a result of the collision with the ice floe, the tanker got a hole in one of the ballast tanks and started taking in water. The hole has been plugged with a cement box and the water ingress has stopped, the Federal Agency for Sea and River Transport informs." Barents Observer

 

Conservative leader Solberg sweeps into power in Norwegian election. "Norway's opposition Conservatives, promising tax cuts and better healthcare, won elections in a landslide on Monday but faced tough coalition talks with a populist party that wants to spend more of the accumulated oil riches and curb immigration. Led by Erna Solberg, a former girl scout leader who has overcome dyslexia, the Conservatives promise to diversify the economy away from oil, privatize state firms, and reduce some of the world's highest taxes rates to give the private sector more breathing room." Reuters


Legislative Action

  

Today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on S. 157, the Denali National Park Improvement Act under suspension of the rules (requiring 2/3 vote to pass). The Denali National Park Improvement Act would authorize the National Park Service to issue permits to construct a natural gas pipeline in non-wilderness areas within, along, or near the approximately 7-mile segment of the George Parks Highway that runs through the Denali National Park. This section has remained an obstacle towards completing the Alaska Pipeline Project, which would transport natural gas reserves from the North Slope to Fairbanks and Anchorage. 

 

Additionally, the legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for microhydroelectric projects in the Kantishna Hills area of the Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Furthermore, this bill would authorize an exchange of land between the Department of the Interior and Doyon Tourism, Inc., and redesignate the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. This bill has already passed the Senate. 


Future Events

  

The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (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 Arctic Circle, an open assembly for international cooperation on Arctic issues, will hold its first gathering October 12-14, 2013, at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. This event will facilitate working meetings across issues and organizations and provide a forum for discussions hosted by different international and Arctic institutions. Agenda topics will include emerging topics of interest, such as sea ice melt and extreme weather, security, fisheries and ecosystem management, shipping and transportation infrastructure, Arctic resources and tourism."

  

**New This Week**
 
International Forum on Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems, October 15-16, 2013 (Tokyo, Japan). "The Forum will cover topics on effective polar data management, including submission of metadata and data, sharing of data to facilitate new interdisciplinary science, and long-term preservation and stewardship of data from a global viewpoint. Presentations on the successes and challenges encountered during IPY will highlight not only the best practices learned but also what must yet be done to ensure the data legacy of IPY. 

Presenters from all scientific disciplines are welcome, and interdisciplinary data management topics are especially encouraged. A significant outcome of the Forum will be the development of a new strategy and structure for the Arctic Data Coordination Network under the auspices of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON), IASC, and the Arctic Council. Fruitful discussions between the polar data community (SC-ADM, NADC, and SAON) and WDS-oriented contributors on data management issues are expected to give new horizons on data management and to forge interdisciplinary relationships. In particular, a new plan for polar data archives, such as PIC cloud, is expected to be sufficiently promoted."

 

Draft Agenda

 

Registration closes September 30.

  

The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (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. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments.  

 

The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website: www.whoi.edu/projects/FAMOS

  

17th Sitka WhaleFest: "Arctic Sea Change: What's Ahead?" October 31 - November 3, 2013, (Sitka, Alaska). "Sitka WhaleFest presents a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include symposium lectures, interactive student sessions, marine wildlife cruises with scientists, a marine-themed artisan market, music, local foods, student art show, and a fun run/walk."

 

"The Arctic is changing. This is an indisputable fact. How the people and animals who depend upon the Arctic will adapt to change is an open question. How will narwhals and polar bears cope with less summer ice? Bowhead whales may have their world rocked when humpbacks, fins and other baleen whales begin - they already are - feeding in their backyard. The resource users of the Arctic will need to make adjustments and changes to live in this new world. Who will be the sea winners and sea losers? These are questions we will discuss with the experts who are passionate about the Arctic."
 

Workshop: Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, November 7-8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "This workshop will bring together diverse stakeholders 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." 

 

Maritime & Arctic Security Conference (MAS13), November 12-13, 2013 (St. John's, NL, Canada). "For decades the Arctic has received increasing attention from the international community related to factors/considerations such as environmental, geopolitical, strategic, and security. More recently with shrinking Arctic ice leading to the pursuance of off-shore resources and the

opening of northern shipping routes, over a relatively short period of time we are seeing maritime security considerations start to blend with arctic security." 

 

"With a focus on Economic Development, Security and Public Safety, MAS13 will bring together organizations that play a key role in the execution of Maritime & Arctic Security: whether that role be Cultural, Research, Government Policy/Regulation, Education, Surveillance, Enforcement, and Technology Development/Application." 

 

Full Conference Agenda

 
Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge Request for Proposals Released August 15.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water announces a research and development effort to seek better and more affordable methods to deliver drinking water and sewage disposal services to communities in rural Alaska. The three-month long, international solicitation calls for individuals from a variety of diverse fields - engineering, science and research, behavioral science, and innovative design - to organize as teams and submit Statements of Qualifications. Up to six of the top ranked teams will be funded to develop proposals over a six month period next year. Future phases of the project include building prototypes and testing them in lab and field settings. 

 

For more information about the project please: 

 

 

 
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 scientific research and 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."

 

International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII).  ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."

USARC • 4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510 • Arlington, Virginia 22203 USA • 703.525.0111 • info@arctic.gov  arctic.gov

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