Today's Congressional Action:
The House is not in session. The Senate is expected to host a pro forma session.
Jewell, Governor, Delegation Descend on Northwest Arctic Borough. Instead of Juneau or Anchorage. For two days, the Northwest Arctic Borough is suddenly Alaska's seat of power, with the governor, the lieutenant governor, the whole congressional delegation, and 10 legislators all descending on the region. But the most high-profile visitor is Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior and a member of President Barack Obama's cabinet. Alaska Public Radio
Ocean Acidification Affects Alaska's Fisheries (Alaska Public Radio, live broadcast 2 pm DC time)
Repeat broadcast of "Arctic Council 101" here, 6 pm DC time
Verbal Warming: Labels in the Climate Debate. The words are hurled around like epithets. People who reject the findings of climate science are dismissed as "deniers" and "disinformers." Those who accept the science are attacked as "alarmists" or "warmistas. " The second term, evoking the Sandinista revolutionaries of Nicaragua, is perhaps meant to suggest that the science is part of some socialist plot. In the long-running political battles over climate change, the fight about what to call the various factions has been going on for a long time. Recently, though, the issue has taken a turn, with a public appeal that has garnered 22,000 signatures and counting. New York Times
Norway's Polar Satellite Center. Polar orbit satellites monitor what's happening at the ends of the planet -- and, of course, the regions in between. Ice conditions, land movement, shipping, pollution -- but how does that information actually make its way to the scientists and authorities who evaluate it and use it as a basis for all kinds of decisions? Alaska Dispatch News
Navy Funds a Small Robot Army to Study the Arctic. Earlier this month the U.S. Navy's research office rented out a conference center in Washington, D.C., to show off some of its hottest new technology. On display was an electromagnetic gun, and drones that could swarm around an enemy ship. But it wasn't all James Bond-style gadgets. In a little side room was a yellow machine, shaped like a torpedo with stubby wings sticking out of its side. "Looks like a banana - straightened out banana - to me, but that's maybe just the way my mind works," says Martin Jeffries, an Arctic researcher with the Office for Naval Research, which paid for the development of the strange device. National Public Radio
The US Army Corps of Engineers Taps Nome for Arctic Port Expansion. The US Army Corps of Engineers is set to unveil its first steps toward expanding deep-water Arctic ports in Alaska, and Corps officials said Friday they plan to start by expanding the existing Port of Nome. "The report is making the recommendation for Nome, for construction at Nome at this time, basically due to its highly developed area, having a good runway, good hospital, already strong support that's already there," said Bruce Sexauer, the Alaska Army Corps' chief of civil works. KNOM
Arctic Economic Council. The AEC now has a live website. See here. AEC also has a Twitter account. See here.
More Infectious Diseases with Climate Change. We not only have to worry about extreme weather including insane megadroughts and more tornadoes with climate change, but now new research shows increased infectious diseases are also in our future. Previous research has already shown the emergence of pathogens in parts outside of their native habitat as environmental dynamics change. For example, after humans hunted capuchin and spider monkeys out of existence in some regions of Costa Rica, their parasites immediately switched to howler monkeys, where they persist today. Also, in recent years lungworms have moved northward and shifted hosts from caribou to muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic. And the latest study findings indicate that similar shifts will occur as wildlife inhabits new areas to adapt to warming temperatures and changing environments. Nature World News
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
NSAR Tribal Consultations and Stakeholder Outreach meetings for Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, Round 2 (Fairbanks (Feb.19), Barrow (Feb. 20), Kotzebue (Feb. 23), Nome (Feb. 24), Bethel (Feb. 25), Unalaska (Feb. 27), Anchorage (Mar. 3), and Juneau (early April, TBD)) The Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy is announcing the second round of tribal consultations and stakeholder outreach meetings on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (NSAR), Ten Year Plan to Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment in the Arctic Region. For additional information, visit www.energy.gov/indianenergy. Tribal leaders and stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments on the draft Ten Year Plan, submitted to IndianEnergy@hq.doe.gov, or by fax to (202) 586-1534 (by March 21, 2015).
International Symposium on Northern Development, February 25-27, 2015 (Quebec, Canada). The Québec government, in collaboration with Université Laval, will co-chair with the Nordic Council of Ministers the International Symposium on Northern Development. The event will allow for the pooling of knowledge, experience and perspectives in the realm of northern development. It will assemble representatives of the northern countries, the universities and local populations, including the Aboriginal nations, and businesspeople and enterprises. The key themes will be the North as a living environment; the North as a physical territory; the North as a hub of economic development; and, the North as a hub of knowledge training and research.
2015 Public Policy Forum: Predicting and Preparing for a Changing Arctic. March 4, 2015 (Washington, D.C.). The Consortium for Ocean Leadership will host a forum on a changing Arctic. One panel will discuss the state of knowledge in predicting major changes occurring in the Arctic as well as identifying research and observational gaps. The second panel will consider the science needs of commercial and community stakeholders living and working in the Arctic.
US Arctic Research Commission's 103rd Meeting, March 4-5, 2015 (Washington, DC, USA). More information to come.
PNWER...Pacific NorthWest Economic Region's Arctic Caucus meeting, March 5, 2015, (Washington, DC, USA). More info to come.
Arctic Summit 2015, March 12, 2014 (Oslo, Norway) The Economist is hosting the Arctic Summit 2015 where discussions will focus on whether commercial interest in the Arctic is a bubble about to burst. There are discounted registration fees are available for NGOs, government, academics, charities and students. There are also discounts for groups of 3 or more people.
Polar Shelves and Shelf Break Exchange in Times of Rapid Climate Warming, March 15-20, 2015 (Lucca, Italy). The GRCs provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. The guiding principle of a GRC is to encourage communication and discussion of ideas and new unpublished results at the very frontier of a particular field of research, by bringing together outstanding scientists from academia, industry, and government, ranging from senior experts to Ph.D. students. With the increasing impacts of reduced sea ice and warming seawater conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic, this conference can act as a forum for potentially transformative discussions for interdisciplinary, international and compare/contrast evaluation of polar sciences. In addition, the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) will precede the GRC to provide a forum for graduate students and post-docs to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas with experts in the different polar fields of science.
Sweden-U.S. Planning Workshop on Joint Arctic Research Using the I/B Oden, March 30- April 1, 2015 (Stockholm, Sweden). The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic Section is supporting a 'Planning Workshop on joint Arctic Research using the Swedish Class 1A Icebreaker Oden.' This workshop is held in collaboration with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS) and the Swedish Research Council (Formas and VR). The US delegation will be led by Drs. Patricia Matrai (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences) and Peter Minnett (RSMAS, U. Miami), as workshop co-organizers with Dr. Caroline Leck (Stockholm U.). This workshop will bring together those with research and operational/ logistical interests in the Arctic and will discuss a baseline for establishing a new, longer-term collaborative relationship among U.S. and Swedish scientists for Oden-based research in the Arctic Ocean.
Leadership, Diplomacy and Science: Resolving the Arctic Paradox" April 13-14, 2015, (Medford, MA, USA). The 4th annual Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy International Inquiry on the Warming Arctic will convene high-level decision makers from diplomatic and security circles, cutting-edge energy and science researchers, and social, environmental and business stakeholders to investigate solutions to the Arctic Paradox and promote a sustainable future for Arctic inhabitants within a "High North, Low Tension" policy framework. Special appearance: the North American debut of the Arctic Circle Assembly's panel "Rising Stars: Young Arctic Energy Researchers". For more information: WarmingArctic@Tufts.edu
Arctic States Symposium, April 17-19, 2015 (Charlottesville, VA, USA).
ARCTIC STATES, a three-day symposium at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, brings together an international consortium of leading designers and colleagues from allied disciplines to posit the role of design in the rapidly transforming region, and generate critical discussions by sharing recent work that will trace, critique and speculate on its past, present, and future.
Arctic Science Summit Week, April 23-30, 2015 (Toyama, Japan). The Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is the annual gathering of the international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world.
The Polar Geography and Cryosphere, April 21-25, 2015 (Chicago, IL, USA). The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers will host its annual meeting in Chicago to consider: current topics in human-environment interactions; current topics in politics, resource geographies, and extractive industries; current topics in Antarctic research; advances in cryosphere research; high latitude environments in a changing climate; an mountain ice and snow.
6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 14-16, 2015 (Washington, DC, USA). Program in development...check back soon. To see the programs from prior symposia, click here.
The Polar Oceans and Global Climate Change, November 3-6, 2015 (La Jolla, California USA.) The American Polar Society will host this Symposium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. A flyer with a partial list of presenters is available on the Society's website (americanpolar.org) and from the Society's Membership Chairman by email.
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