Polar News

News from a variety of sources dealing with polar related topics. Many thanks to APECS members for contributing to this shared resources! You can add these articles as a RSS feed in your favorite reader.

Arctic Council endorses a circumarctic inventory of ecologically and culturally significant areas, an essential first step towards sustainable development

Full arcticle on the WWF-Canada blog

 

The 2013 melt season report from Polar Portal has just been released! Polar Portal is a joint effort among the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to report near-realtime on the climatic state of the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic sea ice.

Important 2013 monitoring results you will find in the report include:

  • The Greenland Ice Sheet contributed net 1.2 mm freshwater to global sea level.
  • The surface mass gain was lower than normal; 166 Gt vs. an average since 1990 of 368 Gt.
  • The sea ice extent was 21% lower than normal (5.9 million sq. km vs. the 1981-2009 average of 7.5 million sq. km).
  • Record warmth in late July promoted strong ice sheet surface melting.
  • The wind helped to maintain both ice sheet and sea ice.
  • The glacier front positions had less strong deviations than in most of the previous decade.

The Eighth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) will be held May 22 - 26, 2014, at the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. The focus of ICASS VIII lies on Northern sustainabilities and their social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions.

For our session "Ecosystem sustainability - sustainable livelihoods?", we invite presentations that analyze how multiple anthropogenic and natural drivers are changing ecosystems and consequently impacting livelihoods of resident people. These livelihoods may conflict with other land uses, such as intensive resource exploitation, or tourism. Supporting sustainable multiple-use landscapes in both social and ecological terms and on various spatial, temporal and administrative scales requires information, knowledge and understanding. Planning for long term sustainability therefore may include trade-offs with short-term goals, as well as between different stakeholders. Collective decision-making and mutually agreed upon context-specific regimes may aid sustainable long term use of renewable resources and persistence of livelihoods. Nevertheless, societies have to take sides in how, for what and for whose benefit ecosystems are managed. But who finally defines sustainability?

We invite presentations from various disciplines studying these dilemmas in the circumpolar North. Paper abstracts should be submitted using the pdf or MS Word form available on the ICASS VIII website. Completed forms should be submitted to IASSA Secretary, Cher Mazo (mazo@unbc.ca).

Submission deadline for abstracts is December 17th.

Contact:
Prof. Jukka Käyhkö (jukka.kaykho@utu.fi)
Tim Horstkotte (tim.horstkotte@utu.fi)
Sonja Kivinen (sonja.kivinen@utu.fi)

The organisers of a session titled 'Sámi archaeology and postcolonial theory' announce a call for abstracts. The session will be convened at the XIV Nordic TAG (Theoretical Archaeology Group) Conference in Stockholm, 22 - 26 April 2014.

Session abstract:

"While postcolonial theory has been a relatively hot topic in archaeology for the last decade or so, explicit use of this theoretical complex has not been very prominent in Sámi archaeology. It could be argued that thoughts very close to postcolonial critique have been developed in Sámi archaeology even before this theoretical turn became fashionable in general archaeology, and indeed that the concept of Sámi archaeology is itself a distinct expression of the postcolonial times we are living in. Yet, a postcolonial theoretical framework for these thoughts is rarely explicitly discussed. The question is how the ideas of and in Sámi archaeology relate to the postcolonial turn; have they prepared the grounds for it in archaeology, has it inspired its development in archaeology, or are the protagonists for postcolonial theory in archaeology a separate group of researchers from the ones doing Sámi archaeology? In this session we would like to explore how researchers in Sámi archaeology relate to postcolonial theory, if at all, and whether it is problematic that postcolonial concepts like hybridity and creolism are discussed in relation to Sámi archaeology without further debating the theoretical framework as such. Is the lack of explicit mentions of postcolonial theory in Sámi archaeology is related to a sensitivity to a more or less factual Sámi need to establish the Sámi as one historically consistent group in order to claim present rights, opposing the original postcolonial theories' emphasize on creolization and hybridisation as continuous modes, rather than a result of the meeting between two essential entities? Considering that researchers in Sámi archaeology seem to have been particularly concerned with local participation and cooperation during the last decade, we would also like to discuss if there is a danger of this approach still resulting in a condescending asymmetrical relationship between the researcher and "the undeveloped native". Finally and most fundamentally our main questions for discussion are: What could a more explicit use of postcolonial theory add to Sámi archaeology? And can Sámi archaeology contribute to new theoretical developments?"

Paper abstract submission:

Send paper abstracts by e-mail to Marte Spangen: marte.spangen@ark.su.se before 15 December 2013. Paper abstracts should be up to 150 words.

The European Science Foundation is able to offer a few fellowships to sponsor students to attend the International Symposium on Glaciers and Ice Sheets Contribution to Sea-Level Change (Observations, Modelling and Prediction) held in Chamonix, France, 26-30 May 2014.

The fellowship includes free registration to the symposium, accommodation and meals at ENSA for the week. Travel to the symposium is not included. Students currently doing a PhD thesis or a Postdoc can apply.

To apply, you should send in a single PDF document (name_surname.pdf) to Olivier Gagliardini (olivier.gagliardini.at.ujf-grenoble.fr) before 10 January 2014, 23:59 GMT including:

- 1) a motivation letter for attending the symposium,
- 2) a short CV,
- 3) your abstract,

The notification of acceptance will be announced the 24 January 2014.

More information about the symposium can be found here: http://www-lgge.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/igs2014/
Abstract submission is open: http://www.igsoc.org/abstracts/

logo aagOne of the greatest challenges of any assessment of past, present, or future climate change is how to best capture climatic variability and provide the most realistic climate projections. During the past several decades, general circulation models (GCMs) and regional climate models (RCMs) have been developed and improved for comprehensive studies of global and regional climate changes. These climate models represent useful tools for the simulation of past, present, and future climate dynamics. We welcome papers focusing on any aspect of climate modeling, including evaluations (e.g., CMIP5) and applications of climate models and climate projections at regional to global scales.

Detailed information regarding registration, abstract submission, and other pertinent items can be found on the web page of the Association of American Geographers (http://www.aag.org ).

For those wishing to participate in the Climate Modeling session, please e-mail a copy of your abstract and your presenter identification number (PIN) no later than December 2 to:

Manuel Hernandez (mahernandez@tamu.edu) or Liang Chen (chenliang08@tamu.edu)

Department of Geography
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3147

logo aagCyber technologies have been impacting positively polar research in many ways: an increasing number of sophisticated sensors have been deployed in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enhanced computational power has allowed polar scientists to portrait the present state of the polar regions, to unveil past trends and project future changes of process-driving quantities; sharing of information, data, publications through virtual networks has allowed interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research and has expanded the boundaries of education.

We invite submissions concerning research from the field of cyberinfrastructure to support polar and environmental sciences. Cyberinfrastructure can be summarized as the set of physical and virtual environments that support advanced data acquisition, storage and management, as well as data integration and data mining and visualization, together with computing and information services. This session aims to bring together both computer scientists and geographers to foster the growth of a  'CyberPolar' community to advance the polar and environment research using this advanced software infrastructure.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • sensors, real-time data transmission and networking
  • data acquisition, storage and management (in particular supporting continuity of long-lived publicly accessible data sets)
  • web-based data discovery, access, and utilization
  • metadata, provenance and web service
  • spatial analytical workbench for automated geoprocessing
  • data integration, semantic interoperability
  • data mining, data-driven discovery and artificial intelligence
  • model simulation and forecasting
  • data visualization and software technologies
  • social media mining

Please send your PIN to Wenwen@asu.edu before December 3, 2013 if you are interested in presenting in this session.

Organizer:

Wenwen Li
GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Arizona State University

MSc Glaciology at Aberystwyth University, UK

The next major Masters-level recruitment event is the Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday 13th November, fully detailed in the Open Day brochure:

http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/media/departmental/postgrad/openday/18381-Nov-PG-WEB.pdf

The 1-year (or 2-year part time) scheme is unique in the UK, and provides an excellent and well-proven platform for students who wish to progress to careers in environmental monitoring or engage in PhD research projects in glaciology.

Note, Aberystwyth does offer to pay towards travel costs for those attending the Open Day. See: www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/postgraduate-open-days/

For further information regarding the Centre for Glaciology at Aberystwyth, please see: http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges/research-groups/centre-glaciology/

In June 2013, a new website was launched called Polar Portal, which brings together real-time and historical monitoring information on the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic sea ice. Ideal for background information!

The following informaiton is available:

Greenland Ice Sheet:

Surface conditions, glacier front positions and total mass change

Arctic Sea Ice:

Sea ice extent, ice surface temperature

The wesite is funded by the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building

Start notice - Western Spitsbergen Svalbard Science Forum

The Governor of Svalbard has started the work on a management plan for the national parks and bird sanctuaries on the west coast of Spitsbergen. The new management plan shall apply to Northwest-Spitsbergen, Forlandet and South-Spitsbergen national parks, as well as all the bird sanctuaries in Svalbard. They now ask for input to the process, also from the scientific community.

The Svalbard Science Forum will represent the international research community in the process, both in the Reference group and the Work group on Research and education.

Open information meeting
The Governor invites to an open meeting about the process in Svalbard Science Centre in Longyearbyen on November 5th.

Submit written input
Deadline for input to the process and information regarding the area and on-going scientific activity, is December 4th, 2013.

The SSF encourages the scientific institutions active in these national parks and in the bird sanctuaries to give input to the start notice and participate actively in the process.

For more information, see letter from the Governor and the start notice document, both in English at the Governor's website.

Contact: Halvard Ranestad Pedersen

 

Greetings!

I’m sending this invitation at the recommendation of Dr. Timothy Pasch of the University of North Dakota, one of our featured speakers for a unique Arctic-focused event in North Dakota on Tuesday, November 5th.

The event will trace the lasting impact of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, relay stories of its colourful leader, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (whose early years were spent in North Dakota), and outline Canada’s northern strategy and Arctic Council priorities. Featuring three Arctic historians/anthropologists/explorers/researchers who have never before appeared together as speakers (well-known explorer Will Steger, leading CAE scientist & historian David Gray, & Professor Pasch), plus Canadian Consul General Jamshed Merchant, we eagerly anticipate both the dialogue between the speakers and the unique content presented by each. We will also be connecting digitally with elders and community members from Arviat, Nunavut, during the event.

We plan to live-stream the entire event, and will be taking questions from online audiences (via the live stream and via Twitter, using #CAE100), as well as from those at the event.

Therefore, I am writing in the hope that you might participate online and inform your networks of this event, including via social media.

Many thanks in advance for anything you might do!

Dani Fisher
Public Affairs Officer | Agente aux affaires publiques

Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis| Consulat général du Canada à Minneapolis
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

701 4th Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1899
Telephone | Téléphone  612-492-2903
Facsimile | Télécopieur 612-332-4061

The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers call for papers for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the AAG under the following areas:

Polar Geography Sessions:

Sustainable Development in the Arctic (Issues pertaining to sustainable Arctic environments, cultures and economies amid climate change and globalization)

Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic (Examinations of development trends in and between Arctic communities)

Impacts of Climate Change on Arctic Communities and the Environment (Observed and anticipated impacts of a warming climate on natural and human systems in high latitude regions)

Northern Resource Geographies and Extractive Industries (Exploring the past, present and future of resource extraction in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions and its role in local and global economies)

Polar Geopolitics (Recent developments in the political landscape and governance of polar regions)

Send abstract and PIN to stephenson@ucla.edu

Cryosphere Sessions:

Advances in Cryosphere Research (Recent developments in remote sensing and modeling methodologies for any aspect of the cryosphere)

High Latitude Environments in a Changing Climate (Impacts of climate change on high latitude hydrologic, atmospheric, and terrestrial systems, including polar ice sheets)

Mountain Ice and Snow (Glacier environmental change and impacts on water resources)

Send abstract and PIN to venachu@ucla.edu 

Other sessions will be considered if there are sufficient submissions. Graduate students and young scholars are encouraged to apply. Please contact the organizers if you have any questions. If you wish to be included in one of these sessions, please register on the AAG website (http://www.aag.org/), and then submit your abstract and PIN to Scott Stephenson (stephenson@ucla.edu) or Vena Chu (venachu@ucla.edu). The deadline for submitting abstracts with a discounted registration fee is October 23, 2013. An extended deadline will be available through December 3.

Poster Session: R.S. Tarr Award for Student Research The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups are pleased to sponsor the annual R.S. Tarr Award for student research on any aspect of cryospheric science. The R.S. Tarr award is given to the undergraduate or graduate student presenting the illustrated paper judged best in the special R.S. Tarr Illustrated Paper Session held during the 2014 Annual Meeting. The recipient of the R.S. Tarr award will receive a cash prize.

We would like invite APECS members to contribute to a new climate science-public outreach website.

  1. Climatica(www.climatica.org.uk) is supported by societies, research institutes and the World Bank. The purpose of the website is to highlight the diversity of climate science research, and explain how the data is collected or processed and results derived. We discuss the incentive for scientific outreach in a recent Guardian article ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jul/22/climate-scientists-communication).

We would love to receive:

  1. Topical articles from early career researchers (especially in the areas of atmospheric, ecological and other observational sciences);
  2. Stories from the field - informal, blog-like pieces from postgraduates and early career scientists about field work adventures;
  3. Sets of photos (~10) of your research, showing the different stages (data collection to end result), whether it involves numerical modelling, fieldwork or lab work.

Please contact us for more information at  climaticauk@gmail.com.

The design practice, Lateral Office, is currently working on a publication exploring the past century of building and infrastructure in Canada’s north - looking at 5 themes: mobility, resources, monitoring, settlements and architecture. The release of this publication will coincide with the mounting of our exhibition representing Canada at the 2014 Venice Biennale, entitled ‘Arctic Adaptations’.

We would like to include some high resolution photography that focuses on the 5 themes listed above in our publication. Would the International Polar Year Organization have images (either archival or current) that show specific aspects of settlement in the North, such as buildings, towns, infrastructure, technologies, hunting, resource extraction or ways of moving? Any material that you would be willing to share would of course be credited to either the organization/photographer in our publication.

Contact: Julia Smachylo, www.lateraloffice.com, www.arcticadaptations.ca

We would like invite APECS members to contribute to a new climate science-public outreach website.

 

Climatica(www.climatica.org.uk) is supported by societies, research institutes and the World Bank. The purpose of the website is to highlight the diversity of climate science research, and explain how the data is collected or processed and results derived. We discuss the incentive for scientific outreach in a recent Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jul/22/climate-scientists-communication).

 

We would love to receive:

1.    Topical articles from early career researchers (especially in the areas of atmospheric, ecological and other observational sciences);

2.    Stories from the field - informal, blog-like pieces from postgraduates and early career scientists about field work adventures;

3.    Sets of photos (~10) of your research, showing the different stages (data collection to end result), whether it involves numerical modelling, fieldwork or lab work.

 

Please contact us for more information at climaticauk@gmail.com.

The Russian universities are changing fast and are trying to attract highly qualified and motivated post-Docs (according to my information both Russian and non-Russian) from the outside. The funding schemes are solid, for extended periods and should be attractive/ competitive on an international level. You should get in touch with your contacts in Russia to inquire about details and formalities. I have seen figures on potential salaries and additional scientific support which seemed highly attractive. I have a bit of knowledge of 2 of these schemes:

1. Post-Docs at SPbGU (information should be available on the SPbGU web-site: 100 Post-Doc positions have been made available in 2013, 60 have been awarded in the first wave, another 40 will be advertised in the near future. Applications probably through colleagues/ institutions of SPbGU. The only condition I am aware of that the potential candidates should be recruited from outside SPbGU (national or foreign).

2. New post-Doc program of the Federal Russian ministry of science and education; according to my sources the program should be made public in November 2013 and information should be/ become or is available under http://www.fcpk.ru/ and www.mon.gov.ru (here probably also in English).

---

Message for the APECS community from J. Thiede, professor at the Faculty of Geography and Geoecology, St.Petersburg State University

The International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks seeks two instructors in physical oceanography and arctic sea ice for the 2013 summer school session cruise on board the Russian research vessel "Akademik Fedorov." The 33-day cruise departs 20
August 2013 and returns 22 September 2013 from and to Kirkenes, Norway.

The 2013 IARC summer school session, entitled "Climate Change in the Arctic Ocean" is organized for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career scientists and will be conducted jointly with an arctic expedition as part of the Nansen and Amundsen Basin Observational System
(NABOS) project.

The session will consist of background lectures, fieldwork, and mini-projects. The mini-projects will be performed in collaboration with summer school instructors and members of the expedition. Each instructor is expected to prepare five to six lectures on special topics of the instructor's choice and one or two mini-projects that can involve modeling, collecting data, or working with available datasets. There is a possibility for instructors to conduct their own research program depending on compliance with permission issued by the Russian authorities.

Travel expenses to and from Kirkenes, Norway will be reimbursed and instructors will receive additional compensation.

Applications, including a curriculum vitae and letter of interest, should be sent via email to Tohru Saito (saito@iarc.uaf.edu).

For further information, go to:
http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/education_outreach/summer/2013

For questions, contact:
Tohru Saito
Email: saito@iarc.uaf.edu
Phone: 907-474-1544

The Antarctic continent is a frozen landscape of snow and sleet, but a new map from NASA exposes what the region would look This topography map, called Bedmap2, was compiled by the British Antarctic Survey and incorporates millions of new measurements, including substantial data sets from NASA's ICESat satellite and an airborne mission called Operation IceBridge. like if all the ice were to disappear. NASA released an animation this week revealing what lies beneath the planet’s largest ice sheet. It’s based on new data compiled by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey over the last two decades, including surface elevation readings and ice thickness data measured with ice-penetrating radar. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/06/07/tech-antarctica-ice-nasa.html

Plants that managed to re-grow after centuries buried under Arctic glaciers could prove useful for would-be pioneers hoping to explore life on other planets, research from a team ofThe plant samples from the glacier were sprinkled >explore life on other planets, research from a team of Canadian scientists has found. The results of the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest the land plants that form the foundations of many ecosystems are surprisingly resilient and may be a useful tool for the people who have already announced plans to set up a human colony on Mars, researchers said. A team of biologists from the University of Alberta travelled to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in order to survey plant life exposed by the retreat of the Teardrop Glacier. Lead researcher Catherine La Farge said the giant ice mass has been shrinking by between three and four metres a year since 2004, exposing larger swaths of plant life for scientists to analyze. <a href= Canadian scientists has found. The results of the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest the land plants that form the foundations of many ecosystems are surprisingly resilient and may be a useful tool for the people who have already announced plans to set up a human colony on Mars, researchers said. A team of biologists from the University of Alberta travelled to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in order to survey plant life exposed by the retreat of the Teardrop Glacier. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/05/28/science-plants.html 

Caribou

In the first study of its type in Canada, new research has shown caribou have a role to play in climate warming in the arctic. Despite declining herd numbers, caribou grazing is controlling plant growth in the arctic and reducing the effect of global warming! Caribou grazing has not previously been recognized as a key component to controlling tundra plant growth and therefore has been left out of models that project changes in arctic ecosystems and arctic warming.

The research was published in a recent edition of the Journal of Ecology

Read more here

Search APECS


APECS Login

Sign in with Facebook

APECS Partners and Sponsors

apecssponsors