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Arctic Daily Update: November 25, 2015


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November 25, 2015  
  
In the Spirit of the Rovaniemi Process 2015, November 24-26, 2015 (Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland). When the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, the so-called Rovaniemi Process, was adopted in 1991, it aimed at overcoming divisions and turning the zone of Cold War military tensions into a region of peace and co-operation. In this joint effort focusing on the protection of environment, and later, sustainable development, the Arctic states supported by indigenous organizations laid grounds for institutionalized collaboration and the emergence of Arctic regional identity. The second international conference will bring together decision-makers, scholars, artists, designers and students to address these questions and discuss the Arctic in global, regional and local perspectives.
 
Today's Congressional Action:   
The House and Senate are not in session. 
 
Media  
 
Mysterious Craters in Siberian Permafrost May Have an Underwater Analogue, Scientists Say. A recent scientific paper may have just cast new light on mysterious happenings on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia, where the appearance of numerous large craters in the permafrost has been attributed, at least by some, to the venting of large pockets of methane gas, possibly in a dramatic or sudden way. Now, say Pavel Serov and colleagues from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment, and Climate at the Arctic University of Norway, possibly related structures appear to exist offshore as well, embedded within the shallow continental shelf of the South Kara Sea. The researchers published their results in August in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, but they have recently gained more attention, thanks in part to a report in Siberian Times. Alaska Dispatch News
 
beluga Stunning Drone Video Shows Beluga Whales in Arctic. A stunning new drone video shot by an Arctic adventure tour guide is showing a rare bird's eye view of beluga whales in Nunavut's Cunningham Inlet. Twenty-four-year-old wildlife photographer Nansen Weber's family has been coming to the Arctic for three generations. While working at his small family-run adventure business, he took up wildlife photography and started to experiment with drones. The video, featuring more than 2,000 beluga whales, was captured last summer near Resolute. "This drone actually allowed me a new perspective of seeing what they're doing," said Weber. CBC News
 
How Exxon Mobil and Koch Brothers Created a Culture of Climate Doubt. One of the biggest studies to examine how climate change became controversial points to the unified dialogue coming out of the hundreds of individuals and organizations funded by energy heavyweights Exxon Mobil Corp. and the Koch brothers.
The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reviewed 20 years of data starting in 1993 to show that climate change-denying groups and individuals who received money from Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers began to unify their messages in 2007, amplifying supposed uncertainty surrounding the issue. Huffington Post
 
Arctic Leadership. Angus King, the United States Senator from Maine and co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus, recently spoke to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland about the qualities of leadership, defined by the great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton as follows: Vision, perseverance, teamwork, empathy, trust, flexibility, understanding, communication, optimism, and character. To lead well required those characteristics combined. Senator King was using this frame as a context for the United States as it assumed the Chairmanship in April of the Arctic Council, the international governing body, and its agenda for the next two years. Huffington Post
 
Arctic Nations Seek to Prevent Exploitation of Fisheries in Opening Northern Waters. Ruth Teichroeb, the communications officer for Oceans North: Protecting Life in the Arctic, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, sent a note this evening about new steps related to an issue I've covered here before - the rare and welcome proactive work by Arctic nations to ban fishing in the central Arctic Ocean ahead of the "big melt" as summer sea ice retreats more in summers in a human-heated climate. Given how little is known about the Arctic Ocean's ecology and dynamics, this is a vital and appropriate step. New York Times
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
Future Events
   
[Proposals due 11/27/2015] 14th IATS Seminar, June 19-25, 2016 (Bergen, Norway). Interested contributors to the session the 'Third Pole': science diplomacy and transnational connections between Tibet, the Arctic and Antarctic should send their proposed contribution to Rasmus Bertelsen by 11/27/15.
 
Arctic Council and Beyond, December 4, 2015 (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). This one-day conference hosted by The Northern Institute will focus on the role of the Arctic Council as a forum for Arctic cooperation, the place of the Arctic in Canada's foreign policy and approach to the circumpolar world, the role of the Arctic in global relations in light of the increasing interest in the region by European and Asian states, and the voice of Indigenous Peoples within the Arctic Council and in shaping circumpolar countries' Arctic policies.
 
Paris Arctic Climate Research Strategy Meeting, December 4, 2015 (Paris, France). The purpose of this facilitated discussion is to discuss future regional, national, and international funding opportunities for interdisciplinary Arctic climate research and develop concrete ideas for such research. All disciplines across humanities, social and natural sciences, art, health, technology and others as well as representatives of research, government, civil society, business and others are encouraged to attend.
 
The Arctic and Nordic Climate Science, Technology and Diplomacy in a Global Context, December 5, 2015 (Paris, France). This side event of the UN Climate Change Conference will address how the five Nordic countries, including their self-governing communities (Aaland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland) and indigenous peoples (Inuit and Sami) contribute to global climate diplomacy, regulation, mitigation and adaptation through Arctic science, technology and diplomacy.
 
Arctic Encounter Paris (AEP 2015), December 11-12, 2015 (Paris, France) (During the UN Convention on Climate Change - COP21). The Arctic Encounter Paris (AEP) will take place at the French Senate at Luxembourg Palace and the French Military College, École Militaire, in Paris, France, on the final days of the monumental United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP21) where thousands of global citizens and government delegates will be gathered to deliberate the world's response to our changing planet in Paris. The AEP is the only Arctic policy and economics side event currently planned to take place during the UN Convention. A reception will take place following the closing panel.
 
AGU logoFall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, December 14-18, 2015 (San Francisco, California). The 48th meeting of the union brings together nearly 24,000attendees, 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.
 
 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 (by Oct.31, 2015).  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 helping to sponsor 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. As the largest annual Arctic policy event in the United States, 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.
 
**New this week** 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)No detailed info yet (common guys...), but 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. AMSS.
 
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.
 
  
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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