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Arctic Daily Update: September 4, 2014


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September 4, 2014  

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.


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

Most members have returned to their districts or states for the August recess. The Senate will hold pro forma sessions during August. The next roll call vote in the Senate is scheduled for September 8th. The House is also in recess until September 8th.





blueberries Nordic Diet a Heart-Smart Alternative. A Nordic diet is just as healthy as a Mediterranean one, a new study shows. The Nordic diet combines game meat, fish, berries, root vegetables, mushrooms, whole wheat bread and rapeseed oil. And the traditional diet seems to contribute to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, according to a study presented at the European cardiology congress in Barcelona, Swedish Radio reports. Alaska Dispatch News


Nunavik Gets New Management System for Beluga Harvest. The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans has approved a new management system for the beluga whale harvest in Nunavik. Under the new system, developed by the Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board, there will be no seasonal closures. The beluga hunting season has typically been open from late April to November. Nunatsiaq Online


Four Decades of Sea Ice From Space. One of the most visible signs of climate change in recent years was not even visible at all until a few decades ago. The sea ice cap that covers the Arctic Ocean has been changing dramatically, especially in the last 15 years. Its ice is thinner and more vulnerable - and at its summer minimum now covers more than 1 million fewer square miles than in the late 1970s. That's enough missing ice to cover Alaska, California and Texas. Phys.Org


thinice More Evidence that Arctic Warming is Behind the Weak Polar Vortex. This past year, the U.S. Midwest and Northeast suffered through a long, cold winter. The West, in contrast, saw a warm, dry season. Yet both were symptoms of the same cause-a leaky polar vortex. This situation gets even more counterintuitive, too. A contentious idea that's been kicking around for a while posits that, as backwards as it seems, a weak polar vortex (and the resulting cold winter) might actually have been a sign of global warming. And now a new study adds evidence that this may, in fact, be the case. Here's how it works. Normally, cold Arctic air is confined to the polar region by a strong atmospheric circulation around the pole. (That's the polar vortex.) Last year the polar vortex weakened, and the cold Arctic air spilled south, flash freezing the eastern half of the continent. Smithsonian Magazine


The Polar Bear's Vanishing World. Every summer, I keep a close eye on the rate and extent of the sea ice retreat in the Arctic. I know that sea ice can only decline as we continue to pump increasing quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But I keep my fingers crossed that natural variation in weather and climate patterns will moderate this human-caused trend, giving polar bears more time as they wait for us to reduce our emissions. This July, the average sea ice extent dipped to the fourth lowest level recorded for the month. Thankfully, for the bears it was not a record retreat. But it was still 1.85 million square kilometers lower than the July average -- an area nearly three times the size of Texas! And this summer's sea ice losses continue the long-term declining trend. Huffington Post 


canadian flag Charting Canada's Waters a Painstaking Process. The federal surveyors who chart Canada's waters have a habit of stumbling across sunken ships. Their sonar peers through the murky depths with sound waves that bounce off the sea floor to produce detailed colour images of contours and hidden shipping hazards like big, jagged rocks and shoals. The Toronto Star

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events


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.


 Art & Science: An Exhibition of Arctic Climate Change, September 10, 2014 (Washington, DC). Communicating the hard science of Arctic climate change is often a difficult task through language alone. Art, however, is an effective vehicle to communicate the complexities of climate change science to a broad audience. How do Arctic science and the art about it interact, and how does each influence the public perception of Arctic climate change?  Please join the Atlantic Council's Young Atlanticist Program for a roundtable discussion with prominent artists and scientists to discuss the role of visual arts in communicating Arctic climate change science to the public, and the next generation of scientists. Presenters include Dr. John Farrell, executive director of the US Arctic Research Commission


AOOS Film Contest, Submission Deadline September 15, 2014.

In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) is seeking short films highlighting Alaska's coast or oceans.   AOOS welcomes films of any genre relating to the ocean (i.e. people using the ocean and coast, marine research, marine wildlife, ocean-related policy issues, etc).  You don't need to be a professional to submit a film!   


102nd US Arctic Research Commission Meeting, September 15-16, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The 102nd USARC meeting will be held in Anchorage. Draft agenda available here


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 (Reykjavik, 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 17-18, 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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