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Arctic Daily Update: June 6, 2017


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Evidence Shows Increased Risk of Ozone Loss Over the US in Summer. A new study out of Harvard University reveals that the protective stratospheric ozone layer above the central United States is vulnerable to erosion during the summer months from ozone-depleting chemical reactions, exposing people, livestock and crops to the harmful effects of UV radiation... Using extensive aircraft observations in the Arctic stratosphere from the early 2000's, researchers established the chemical framework defining enhanced ozone loss rates with respect to temperature and water vapor. Then they employed recent NEXRAD weather radar observations to demonstrate that on average 4000 storms each summer penetrate into the stratosphere over the central United States, which is far more frequent than was previously thought. Phys.org
 
Here's the Infrastructure Wish List That Gov. Walker Sent to President Trump. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has sent President Donald Trump a wish list of projects for inclusion in a potential federal infrastructure package - roads, ports, assistance for the state's gas pipeline project and cash to relocate rural villages threatened by climate change. Walker sent the seven-item list to Trump and Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, on May 15. That was two weeks before Trump said he would pull out of the Paris accord on climate change, a move followed by a muted statement from Walker on the announcement. Alaska Dispatch News
 
[Canada] Urgent Action Needed on Indigenous Infant Health: New Study. 
A team of medical researchers says there is "an urgent need for interventions" to reduce the inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous infant health in Canada. That's after their study, published May 29 in the Canadian Medical Associations Journal, found First Nations and Inuit babies were hospitalized about two times more often in the first year of life compared with non-Indigenous babies-and many of the Indigenous babies ended up in hospital due to preventable illnesses. Nunatsiaq Online
 
Watch Explorers Track Struggling Polar Bears Across Russian Arctic. The Russian biologists were already on their third round of vodka shots over a dinner of canned reindeer meat, buckwheat, and pickles when a neighbor ran in and shouted, "bear!" Old Soviet forks clattered against plates as the group of scientists all stood at the same time and rushed out of the tiny kitchen in the Sea View, a grandly named hotel in the almost completely abandoned town of Amderma on the shore of the Kara Sea. "The polar bear is by the school!" the young woman yelled again, as the men got dressed in a chaotic jumble of boots, gloves, coats, and hats. National Geographic
 
wolverine Dwindling Spring Snowpack Could be a Troubling Sign for Alaska Wolverines. Earlier spring snowmelt in northern Alaska could mean future trouble for wolverines, elusive fur-bearing mammals that hide in snow caves when they are young and roam vast distances when they are adults. A newly published study examined end-of-May snowpack at wolverine den sites in northern Alaska and in the Rocky Mountains, and it finds the Alaska snowpack to be sparser. High-latitude wolverine tundra habitat may lose its spring snow earlier than low-latitude but high-altitude habitats, and future management should take that trend into account, said the study, published in the bulletin of the Wildlife Society, an 80-year-old international organization. Alaska Dispatch News

Future Events
     
Ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences: People and Places (ICASS IX), June 8-12, 2017 (Umea, Sweden). ICASS IX's theme is People & Place. Research on social sciences and humanities have a great responsibility to address the challenges for sustainable development in the Arctic, with a specific focus on the many different parts of the Arctic and the people that live there. The multiple Arctics have lately been addressed by many policy makers and researchers. The purpose is often to counteract the stereotypic understanding of the Arctic too often represented by icebergs and polar bears. A focus on people and place highlights the many variances across the region in terms of climate, political systems, demography, infrastructure, history, languages, legal systems, land and water resources etc.

2017 ESSAS Open Science Meeting on Subarctic and Arctic Science, June 11-15, 2017 (Tromsø, Norway). This 3rd Open Science Meeting (OSM) is intended to attract an interdisciplinary group of scholars who will be prepared to discuss their research in the Subarctic, in both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, and the Arctic Ocean. The title of the OSM is Moving in, out and across the Subarctic and Arctic marine ecosystems: shifting boundaries of water, ice, flora, fauna, people and institutions. It will document the changes that have occurred, the processes that led to these changes, and how future changes are likely to further affect these marine ecosystems. It will also to consider the people who depend upon these ecosystems and how they may be able to cope with the changes in the ecosystem goods and services that they derive from these ecosystems. These include the availability of subsistence foods and the opportunity for commercial fishing. Economic and societal pressures on coastal communities and nations will be sought in relation with the ecosystem changes. To put the present day in a longer perspective, the conference will include a session on the paleoecology of people in Subarctic and Arctic regions that were forced to adjust to the changing temperature and sea-ice conditions in the past.
 
The Wilson Center-Arctic Circle Forum: The United States and Russia in the Arctic, June 21-22, 2017 (Washington, DC USA). In light of recent world media attention towards Russia and the United States, the Arctic Circle and the Wilson Center will host a Forum on the two countries' complicated yet inherently linked role and relationship in the Arctic. The future of the Arctic will be greatly influenced by the actions of the United States and Russia. What are their policies, their plans and their relations with other states in the Arctic and the Asian and European countries seeking an increasing role in the Arctic? High-level representatives, policymakers and experts will gather in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, June 21, to address these questions and challenges. This event is co-hosted by Wilson Center and Arctic.
 
The 2nd Asian Conference on Permafrost, July 2-6, 2017 (Sapporo, Japan). Delegates will participate in state-of-the-art oral and poster presentations in the modern city of Sapporo (host of the 1972 Winter Olympics). Field trips will visit marginal and extrazonal mountain permafrost sites that support unique geo-eco-hydrological features. All aspects of frozen ground research will be covered, from needle ice to deep permafrost, from frozen ground engineering in cities to permafrost on volcanoes, and from links between frozen ground and ancient cultures to present-day outreach. Plan now to enjoy science and engineering, excellent food, and unique field trips in Sapporo.
 
This biennial symposium, co-hosted by U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC) focuses on a broad cross-section of naval and maritime operations and issues in an "ice-free Arctic." The symposium brings together nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic marine operations, infrastructure, science, environmental observations, and on a wide range of other topics. Registration is FREE. For the first time, the event will be webcast live, enabling broader participation.
 
As the Symposium is organized jointly by two leading Research Institutes of Russian Academy of Science - Institute of Water Problems and Melnikov Permafrost Institute, particularly the contributions on following research topics are welcome:
  • Observational evidences of change in coupled permafrost-hydrology system.
  • Present state and future projections of local, regional and pan-Arctic hydrology.
  • Modeling studies representing landscape evolution, dynamics of water storages and permafrost degradation.
  • Impacts of permafrost hydrology changes on local communities.
VII International Conference on Cryopedology, August 21-25, 2017 (Yaktsk, Russia). The conference will be hosted by the Institute for Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS). Plenary reports will be organized in the hall of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. The official languages of the conference are English and Russian (with translation). All technical facilities (projectors, computers, video sets) will be available during the conference for presentation of papers. Additional information will be available soon. See the Facebook page here.
 
2017 University of the Arctic Rectors' Forum and Conference, August 27-29, 2017 (Aberdeen, Scotland). This conference will also consider how northern scholarship can add to discussions on the North into broader terrains of intellectual engagement. In so doing, it will challenge dominant paradigms of research in both the natural and the social sciences, above all by calling into question the very separation of the world of nature from that of human society which underwrites the distinction between these two branches of scientific inquiry. In its place the conference will seek to forge a new practice of interdisciplinary research, done in collaboration with northern residents and on their terms, which recognizes that every discipline is itself an ongoing conversation, or a way of knowing, rather than a compartment within an overarching, hierarchically organized system of knowledge. Conversations from the North will, then, help to generate a science that is more open-ended, responsive to environmental variation and respectful of the wisdom of inhabitants. 
2017 Arctic Energy Summit, September 18-20, 2017 (Helsinki, Finland). The 2017 Summit will address energy in the Arctic as it relates to:
  • Small and off-grid community energy solutions
  • Oil and gas development
  • Renewable energy
  • Regulation and Financing
  • Transportation and transmission
The AES is a multi-disciplinary event expected to draw several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policy makers, energy professionals and community leaders together to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues.
 
2017 Arctic Circle Assembly, October 13-15, 2017 (Reykjavi­k, Iceland). The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 50 countries. The Assembly is held every October at the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall and is attended by heads of states and governments, ministers, members of parliaments, officials, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, indigenous representatives, environmentalists, students, activists and others from the growing international community of partners and participants interested in the future of the Arctic. 
 
Polar Law Symposium 2017 and Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit, November 13-16, 2017 (Rovaniemi, Finland). The purpose of the Polar Law Symposium is to examine, in detail, the implications of the challenges faced by the Polar Regions for international law and policy and to make recommendations on appropriate actions by states, policy makers and other international actors to respond to these emerging and re-emerging challenges. The Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference is integrated with the Polar Law Symposium, which will be organized by the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Center of the University of Lapland.
 
ISAR-5 Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research, January 15-18, 2017 (Tokyo, Japan). The fifth ISAR has been planned at the recommendation of the science steering committee of ISAR-4, which was held in Toyama, Japan in April 2015. The fifth ISAR will be devoted to discussions on environmental changes in the Arctic and their regional and global implications, to seek additional international scientific collaboration in this area by gathering, synthesizing and sharing information related to these changes occurring in the Arctic. Special emphasis will be placed on the fields of the social sciences and humanities, which were not included in the previous ISARs. ISAR-5 will consist of general sessions and special sessions. The general sessions will address the following topics: atmosphere; ocean and sea ice; rivers, lakes, permafrost, and snow cover; ice sheets, glaciers, and ice cores; terrestrial ecosystems; marine ecosystems; geospace; policies and economy; and social and cultural dimensions. Special sessions will be solicited on cross-cutting themes. 
 
POLAR 2018, June 15-27, 2018 (Davos, Switzerland). POLAR2018 is a joint event from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The SCAR meetings, the ASSW and the Open Science Conference will be hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL under the patronage of the Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research. The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is organizing POLAR2018.

 

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