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June 23, 2017


National Academies-BOEM Committee to Delve into Science Strategy and Environmental Studies June Meeting, June 22-23, 2017 (Washington, DC USA and via web link). The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) will hold the sixth meeting of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Standing Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment. The meeting is open to media and the public, although seating is limited. The Academies require advance registration to attend in person. The advance registration, agenda, and live webcast link for both days are posted to the NAS website. BOEM regional and headquarters scientists will give presentations on research related to a wide range of biological and physical oceanography, and social science sub-disciplines that are central to BOEM's science strategy and presented in BOEM's latest Environmental Study Development Plan
Media   

Tracking Nitrogen in Arctic Plants. The Arctic is warming more than any other region on Earth, which creates feedback loops that are notoriously difficult to predict. Thawing permafrost releases trapped carbon and methane into the air, fueling further warming. However, the thaw also releases previously frozen nitrogen and increases the rate at which nitrogen is transformed into forms that are useful for plants. More plant growth may have a cooling effect because plants bind up atmospheric carbon, but plant growth also allows comparatively more solar energy to be absorbed at Earth's surface than ice does. Accurate climate predictions depend on our understanding of the complex systems at play in the Arctic. EOS

Canadian Arctic Icebreaking and Sealift Season Starts EarlyThe Canadian Coast Guard's Arctic season is off to one of its earliest starts in 55 years. But the ice-breaking service will send in one less ship north than it did last year, according to a June 19 release. And yet, the Coast Guard's Arctic seasons and northern presence will expand over the next "several years," the news release said, citing a $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan released last fall by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which also handles the Canadian Coast Guard. Nunatsiaq Online

Supercam in the ARCTIC: Manned and Unmanned Planes with ADS-B. Unmanned Systems Group (Izhevsk, Russia) has successfully conducted joint flights of Supercam UAV together with manned aircraft (both equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system) in conjunction with FGUP "GosNIIAS" on a drifting ice base in the Arctic. Rapid deployment of an aerodrome and a base for scholars and tourists was a priority task. Possessing knowledge about ice condition is significant for people and infrastructure. Nowadays ice monitoring is executed by costly satellites along with piloted aviation. The specialists of Unmanned Systems Group have participated in an experiment on the Barneo Ice Camp set up annually by the Russian Geographical Society's Expedition Centre. The experiment was conducted to assess the use of unmanned technologies for ice monitoring. sUAS News
 
How Sea Ice Can Still be Thick in Places in a Warming Arctic. A June 12 Winnipeg Free Press story titled "U of M climate change study postponed due to climate change" describes a climate study delayed by unusual sea ice conditions around Newfoundland that necessitated the reassignment of an icebreaker vessel. (Similar stories were run by CBC News, The Guardian, and others.) It might seem to you that unusually thick local sea ice contradicts scientists' predictions of declining Arctic sea ice cover, but that would be an overly simplistic and incorrect assumption. That misconception of both climate science and the behavior of sea ice has surfaced in the past when polar research vessels encountered difficulties with sea ice, and this time is (sadly) no exception. The Energy Collective
Future Events
     
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.

** New this week **  107th Commission Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission. July 17, 2017(Washington, DC USA). The U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 107th meeting in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2017. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 8:30 am at the Naval Heritage Center, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. The focus of this meeting will include reports and updates on programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.

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. 

** New this week ** The Effects of Climate Change on the World's Oceans, June 4-8, 2018 (Washington, DC USA). The 4th International Symposium will bring together experts from around the world to better understand climate impacts on ocean ecosystems - and how to respond. The event is hosted by a variety of groups including International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
 
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.

** New this week ** Arctic Biodiversity Congress, October 9-11, 2018 (Rovaniemi, Finland). The second Arctic Biodiversity Congress is hosted by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, and the Ministry of the Environment, Finland. The second Arctic Biodiversity Congress will build on the success of the first Congress, held in 2014 in Trondheim, Norway, and will bring together scientists, policymakers government officials, Indigenous representatives, Traditional Knowledge holders, industry, non-governmental organizations, and others to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity. 

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