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Arctic Daily Update: December 17, 2015


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December 17, 2015  
 
** New this week** Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians (CPAR), December 16-17, 2015 (Strasbourg, France). The European Parliament is the host of this Arctic Parliamentarians meeting. The Arctic Parliamentarians are expected to hear presentations on the European Union's Arctic policy, University of the Arctic and the Arctic Economic Council. The Standing Committee will also decide dates for the next year's Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region which will take place in Russia.
 
 AGU logoFall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, December 14-18, 2015 (San Francisco, California). The 48th meeting of the union brings together nearly 24,000 attendees, and lots of Arctic research results. The scientific program is here. There will be several Arctic-related "Town Hall" meetings, including those sponsored by NASA, DOE, NSF, ISAC, IARPC, and SEARCH.
 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The Senate is not in session. The House is expected to consider continuing appropriations legislation.
 
Media  
 
budget White House Will Sign Off on Spending Bill. President Barack Obama on Wednesday handed Congress a rare victory as the legislative year comes to a frantic close when the White House endorsed a massive, policy-rider filled omnibus bill and legislation that would extend a slew of tax cuts. Congressional leaders unveiled the package of tax break extenders late Tuesday, followed early Wednesday morning by a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending measure needed to avert a holiday government shutdown that would have left both parties politically damaged.  Roll Call 
 
2015 Arctic Report Card Shows Increased Heat, Browning Tundra. This year the Arctic got warmer - that's the latest from 72 scientists in 11 countries who weighed in on the 2015 Arctic Report Card from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released Dec. 15. This year's Arctic Report Card, issued annually since 2006, comes only days after COP21's Paris Agreement vowed Dec. 12 to keep the planet's temperature increase "well below" 2 C. Nunatsiaq Online 
 
Greenland's Ice Loss is Already Massive- And Now Its Speeding Up. A massive new study by 16 authors has calculated just how much ice the Greenland ice sheet has lost since the year 1900. And the number, says the paper just out in the journal Nature, is astounding: 9,103 gigatons (a gigaton is a billion metric tons). That's more than 9 trillion tons in total. And moreover, the rate of loss has been increasing, the research finds, with a doubling of annual loss in the period 2003 to 2010 compared with what it was throughout the 20th century. Alaska Dispatch News 
 
Another Offshore Driller Gets Ready for Exploration in Alaska. In early February, a stretch of Arctic coastline will come alive with industrial activity as Caelus Energy LLC begins drilling its first exploration well on Alaska state lands in Smith Bay, a remote inlet located 60 miles southeast of Barrow. If Caelus secures the required state and federal permits, the Dallas-based independent oil company plans to spud two wells at its leases during this winter's drilling season, which stretches from January to May. EE News 
 
Whale Research Center Comes Ashore in Southeast. A whale research foundation working in Southeast Alaska for the last 20 years is coming ashore. The Center for Coastal Conservation has acquired the former general store in Warm Springs Bay, on eastern Baranof Island, and has plans to expand its research programs beyond humpback whales. Don't picture a glass office building in Warm Springs - or an Auke Bay Laboratory, or even a Sitka Sound Science Center. The Center for Coastal Conservation is ambitious, but small. Alaska Public Radio 
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
Future Events
 
Norway-Russia: Bridging for Partnerships in Business, Education and Research, January 12, 2016 (Bodo, Norway). The conference will be devoted to an opening of new academic semester and an upcoming 25 years cooperation between University of Nordland and Baltic State Technical University (St. Petersburg). On the second day the educational project's results "Arctic Bridge: Cooperation on PhD Education and Research Training in the field of Management in Extractive Industries in the High North" will be presented.
 
"Arctic Matters" day at the National Academy of Sciences, January 14th, 2016 (Washington, DC, USA) This symposium is part of an ongoing initiative of the National Academies of Science Polar Research Board to expand public understanding of why the dramatic changes affecting the Arctic region ultimately matter to us all.  The agenda features engaging presentations and discussions with top Arctic science and policy experts, and displays and interactive exhibits that illustrate Arctic change and its global impacts.  The event is free and open to the public.  There are sponsorship opportunities, and a call for exhibitor applications.  Audience space is limited, so register today; and please encourage your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to participate-as our goal is to reach well beyond the small circle of specialists who typically attend Arctic-themed events in the DC area.   The U.S. Arctic Research Commission is the primary sponsor of this event.
Building upon the preceding Arctic Encounter event in Paris, the third annual Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) in Seattle, Washington will convene policymakers, industry leaders, and leading experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation, and development. The AES mission is to raise awareness, engage challenges, and develop solutions for the future of a region and a people. The two-day program includes two keynote luncheons, expert plenary sessions, break out sessions, a networking cocktail reception and seated dinner. A closing reception will take place at the conclusion of the program.
 
2016 Arctic Frontiers, January 24-29, 2015 (Tromso, Norway).The Arctic is a global crossroad between commercial and environmental interests. The region holds substantial natural resources and many actors are investigating ways to utilise these for economic gain. Others view the Arctic as a particularly pristine and vulnerable environment and highlight the need to limit industrial development. Arctic Frontiers 2016 will discuss the balance between resource utilisation and preservation, and between industrial and environmental interests in the Arctic. Envisioning a well-planned, well-governed, and sustainable development in the Arctic, how can improved Arctic stewardship help balance environmental concerns with industrial expansion? How can the industrial footprints from future business activities be minimised? And last, but not least, what role will existing and emerging technologies play in making industrial development profitable and environmentally friendly, securing a sustainable growth scenario for Arctic communities?
 
16th Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 25-29, 2016 (Anchorage, AK, USA)A valuable meeting focusing on research results from the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. Good, in-depth, research from Alaska's marine regions.The agenda is available here. 
 
** New this week ** Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 8-12, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) is Alaska's largest statewide gathering of environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit and for-profit businesses, community leaders, Alaskan youth, conservationists, biologists and community elders. The diversity of attendees and comprehensive agenda sets this conference apart from any other. Each year there are over 80 technical breakout sessions and sensational Keynote Events. There will be a full week of sessions on climate change, energy, environmental regulations, cleanup and remediation, fish & wildlife, solid waste, and more.
 
43rd Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, March 2-6, 2016 (Sitka, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Anthropological Association will be holding its 43rd Annual Meeting in Sitka, Alaska.  This year it is being organized by archaeologists and anthropologists of the National Park Service - Alaska Region.
 
5th Annual Fletcher Opening Arctic Conference, March 12, 2016. The Opening Arctic Conference builds on the Fletcher School's Warming Arctic International Inquiry series, to bring together high-level thought leaders from across disciplines, Fletcher's hallmark. Staged annually, Fletcher's event continues to address the foreign policy, economic, environmental and security implications of the opening Arctic, while dispelling myths.
 
Arctic Science Summit Week Arctic Observing Summit, March 12-18, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK, USA). ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations that support and facilitate long-term planning in Arctic research. In 2016, ASSW will be held in conjunction with AOS, which brings people together to facilitate the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems.
  
** New this week** Alaska Rural Energy Conference, April 26-28, 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Rural Energy Conference is a three day event offering a large variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects in Alaska, as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska's remote communities. Building on the growing success, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power have joined forces again to organize and sponsor the 10th annual Alaska Rural Energy Conference.   

14th IATS Seminar, June 19-25, 2016 (Bergen, Norway). The University of Bergen (UiB) is honored to host the 14th IATS Seminar in Bergen, Norway, from Sunday 19 to Saturday 25 June 2016 in co-operation with the Network for University Co-operation Tibet-Norway, an academic network with the universities of Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø as partners. The convenor is Professor Hanna Havnevik, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, and Chair of the Network.
 
11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2016), June 20-24, 2016 (Potsdam, Germany). The Alfred Wegener Institute has teamed up with UP Transfer GmbH and the University of Potsdam to organize a great conference for you, permafrost researchers. The conference aims at covering all relevant aspects of permafrost research, engineering and outreach on a global and regional level.
 
ICETECH 2016, August 15-18, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Arctic Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) together with Alaska's Institute of the North (ION) will host the International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice (ICETECH 16), the premiere international conference on ships and structures in ice. The conference will take place in Anchorage starting with an opening icebreaker reception on the evening of Monday, August 15, and concluding in the afternoon on Thursday August 18, with a possible workshop on Arctic EER on Friday August 19. 
  
Inuit traditions are a repository of Inuit culture and a primary expression of Inuit identity. The theme for the 2016 Inuit Studies Conference invites Elders, knowledge-bearers, researchers, artists, policy-makers, students and others to engage in conversations about the many ways in which traditions shape understanding, while registering social and cultural change. The institutional hosts of "Inuit Traditions," Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Nunatsiavut Government, invite you to contribute to an exchange of knowledge to be held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, October 7-10, 2016. Presentations on all aspects of Inuit studies will be welcome.
 

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