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.

Canada's northernmost research lab won't have to shut down after all and will be able to resume year-round operations, with the help of a new grant from the federal government.

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CBC Canada

"At the beginning of your professional career, everything in front of you can appear daunting. During these formative years, you are deciding what you want to do, who you want to be and where you are going to start. Many of us change our minds about our future career before we hit the workforce, and then there are, of course, job changes throughout your career.

The overwhelming stress of this phase can be alleviated by finding a mentor to give you guidance and help you achieve your career goals. Learning from a successful mentor in your field of interest can elevate both your professional capabilities and confidence better than any Internet search results or well-intentioned parental advice.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of having a mentor in this competitive job market, as well as tips on how to find a mentor " - http://mashable.com/2013/04/28/mentor-career/

The International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is announcing a summer school for PhD students, postdocs and early-career scientists. The summer school will be conducted jointly with an arctic expedition as a part of NABOS project (Nansen and Amundsen Basin Observational System) onboard the Russian research vessel “Akademik Fedorov”. Both the summer school and NABOS expedition are funded by the National Science Foundation.

The one-month summer school will bring graduate students and young scientists together with specialists in arctic oceanography and climate to convey to a new generation of scientists the opportunities and challenges of arctic climate observations and modeling. Specifically, young scientists will gain

-       hands-on experience during the field campaign;
-       perspectives on the key issues in arctic climate from observational, diagnostic, and modeling perspectives;
-       exposure to the methods used in addressing arctic climate and climate change.

The summer school will consist of background lectures, participation in fieldwork and mini-projects. The mini-projects will be performed in collaboration with summer school instructors and members of the expedition.

Key topics to be covered in the lectures include, but are not limited to, the following:

-       arctic climate: key characteristics and processes;
-       physical processes in the Arctic Ocean;
-       sea ice and the Arctic Ocean;
-       trace gases, aerosols, and chemistry: importance for climate changes;
-       feedbacks in the arctic system (e.g., surface albedo, clouds, water vapor, circulation);
-       arctic climate variations: past, ongoing, and projected;
-       global climate models: an overview.

The 33-day long NABOS expedition will start on August 22, 2013 from Kirkenes, Norway. The vessel (“Akademik Fedorov”) will return to Kirkenes on September 23, 2013. Participants will need to arrive at least one day before the departure and book return tickets at least one day after the ship’s scheduled return. All participants will be accommodated onboard Akademik Fedorov in cabins for 2 or 4 people.

IARC will issue partial travel grants for travel to/from Kirkenes, with amounts determined through an application process.

Application deadline: May 15, 2013

Application package includes CV, letter of interest and a letter of support from supervisor. The cover letter should include estimates for the participant’s travel expenses to/from Kirkenes (including lodging in Kirkenes).

Please send your applications electronically to:

Tohru Saito,
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
930 Koyukuk Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: 907-474-1544
Email: saito@iarc.uaf.edu

The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) is an official network of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) that aims at investigating past, present and future changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem and their linkages with atmospheric, terrestrial and human components of the Arctic System (http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART). ART was founded and remains steered by Early Career Scientists, with the support of an advisory board composed of leading Arctic scientists from different disciplines.

The ART Network seeks two new Executive Committee (EC) members in order to strengthen its inter-disciplinarity, develop the science objectives of ART, and implement new network activities. New ART EC members are expected to be late PhD students or post-docs motivated by the scientific framework of ART who seek stimulating experience in network management and scientific leadership.

To apply, complete the application form available here: http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/en/ART

Deadline: 22 May 2013

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr. Carolyn Wegner (ART Chair)
GEOMAR, Germany

Dr. Alexandre Forest (ART Junior Chair)
Takuvik Joint Laboratory
Laval University, Canada

A record low in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic last September has been followed by a record refreezing of uncovered ocean surface, resulting in a winter maximum on 15 March that is still the sixth-lowest recorded since satellite measurements began in 1979. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said that the data indicate “a more pronounced seasonal cycle” and “the increasing dominance of first-year ice in the Arctic”. 


Washington Post

A new arctic research facility opened in Winnipeg Monday — the same day a major late-season blizzard hit southern Manitoba.

The Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility opened at the University of Manitoba, and adds 60,000 sq. ft. of space for researchers to work.

David Barber is the research chair in arctic system science at the U of M and said the facility is one-of-a-kind in Canada.

“We have our own sea ice tank on the University of Manitoba campus where we can grow our own sea ice under controlled conditions,” said Barber.

“We can test out different kinds of hypotheses about characteristics of the ice.”

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The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways.

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Fat-filled humps may have been an adaptation for surviving in the chilly polar forest, according to the lead author of the new findings.

“This completely changes how we think about the evolution of Paracamelus, which is the form that gave rise to the modern camel,” says Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa and a professor at Carleton University.

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Compared with regular media, social media is a two-way communication that lets you add comments while giving you that information. As a new way of distributing information, it has more than one billion users and plays a key role in the dissemination of polar information.

Polar practitioner, whose work is related to Arctic/Antarctic (including researchers and logistical support staff), holds the authoritative information about Arctic/Antarctic. Their participations and information behaviors are basic to the popularization process of polar science. Our research focuses on the information behavior of polar practitioner in social media. Based on this survey of habit, behavior motivation and social influence, we expect to understand the factors that influence the information behavior of polar practitioner.

Now this survey is open online. We’d appreciate approximately 15-25 minutes of your time to complete this survey. Here is the link to this online survey: http://www.sojump.com/jq/2156235.aspx

Your participation is necessary to complete this research. It is confidential and your identity will remain anonymous. The data analysis will be done on the aggregated responses.

As a token of our appreciation for taking time to participate in this survey, participants who complete the survey will receive a chance to be entered into a lottery for one of ten $20 Amazon gift cards.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this survey or if you are interested in receiving summary of the results, please contact Lin Li at +86-13770960890 or lilyli618@gmail.com 

nrf_logoNorthern Research Forum in cooperation with the ESPON-ENECON project: CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTHERN TERRITORIESSharing Experiences, Exploring New Methods and Assessing Socio-Economic Impacts

Conference in Akureyri, Iceland, 22 – 23 August 2013 - Kindly submit your abstracts to nrf@unak.is(pdf of call)

The central theme of the conference will be divided into three sub-themes:

  • Territorial socio – economic impacts of climate change
  • Methodologies for assessing socio-economic impact
  • Adaptation to climate change in regions and local communities – examining methods and sharing knowledge

Information on young researcher participation & Young researcher application form

Important dates!
24th January 2012: 2nd call for abstracts
28th February 2013: Deadline for abstracts
15th of March 2013: Deadline for young reasearcher´s abstracts
5th April 2013: Registration opens
1st May 2013: Final program
10th July 2013: Deadline for final registration

arctic_summit_economist2013The resource-rich Arctic is changing faster than anywhere on Earth, and its biggest transformation is just ahead. Due to climate change, the polar ice cap is shrinking and floating summer ice is projected to disappear altogether, setting alarm bells ringing for environmentalists, but opening up new perspectives for trade and development.
At The Economist’s Arctic Summit we will be discussing big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance.
The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers’ meeting in 2013.
A high-level group of 150 policy-makersCEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.  

More information at Arctic Summit Web-page


The Polar Journal is a peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary social sciences and humanities scholarly journal which will help to create a community among the considerable number of specialists and policy makers working on these crucial regions. The journal welcomes papers on polar affairs from all fields of the social sciences and the humanities.

The main purpose of the journal is to develop a forum for the scholarly discussion of polar issues from a social science and humanities perspective and to help build a community of scholars working on polar issues. The journal is especially interested in publishing policy-relevant research. In order to better develop the field of polar social sciences and humanities and build connections between scholars, each issue of the journal will either feature articles from different disciplines on polar affairs or feature a topical theme from a range of scholarly approaches.

The 'special issue' section of the journal will take up around fifty percent of the journal, with the remaining space available for papers on other topics submitted independently of the special issue theme. This will allow for timely publication of research which reflects current concerns, and will also ensure that each issue of the journal is both specialised and aimed at the wider body of polar scholars and those interested in polar affairs.

Instructions for authors here: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rpol20&page=instructions

The Polar Journal publishes two issues a year, in June and December respectively.

The Polar Journal publishes book reviews on the latest publications in polar studies. Publishers or would-be reviewers should contact our Book Reviews Editor, Julia Jabour, julia.jabour@utas.edu.au . We also publish reports on polar scholarly conferences and polar governance meetings such as the IWC and the ATCM. The contact for this section of the journal is daniela.liggett@canterbury.ac.nz . We welcome contributions to this section. Paper submissions to ThePolarJournal@canterbury.ac.nz

Several Northern projects have each won part of the first Arctic Inspiration Prize, worth a total of $1 million.

The awards were handed out Thursday night at the annual ArcticNet meeting in Vancouver. ArcticNet is a network of researchers focusing on the impacts of climate change and modernization in the Canadian Arctic. The prize is intended to support projects that use Arctic knowledge and research to benefit the Canadian Arctic and its people.

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Conditions in the Arctic are slipping rapidly from bad to worse as the pace of climate change accelerates in that region. That’s the message from an annual environmental assessment of the far North, released on Wednesday.

Read the Nature article.

No Roads Expeditions is organizing a sailing adventure on a 20 m yacht "The Blizzard" from Hobart to Cape Denison via Macquarie island in February 2014. The team of expedition is happy to help researchers and young scientists to get samples from the points of their route. For further information please contact Peter Miller at <peter@noroads.com.au> or visit the website http://www.noroads.com.au.

Conducting research in the Arctic has never been easy, but Canadian scientists continue to work in the North with support from the South — accruing benefits for all

By and
Click to enlarge
At PEARL’s Ridge Lab in Eureka, Nunavut, scientists study stratospheric ozone. (Photo: Paul Loewen/CANDAC)

November is typically the snowiest and windiest month in Churchill, Man., but that doesn’t mean life slows down in the small town on the western shore of Hudson Bay. The sun still shines for about seven hours each day in November, and the polar bear population near the community is at its annual peak. And every day in Churchill and at research stations scattered across Canada’s northern territories, scientists bundle up in GORE-TEX and goose down and trudge across permafrost, snow and ice to study the region. Using many fields of inquiry and deepening their knowledge by exchanging information with aboriginal peoples, scientists analyze the impacts of a changing climate in the Arctic. And they couldn’t do this work without the support network that keeps the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) and other research stations running.

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Nestled in a steep fjord beneath three kilometres of Antarctic ice, the lost world of Lake Ellsworth has haunted Martin Siegert’s dreams ever since he got involved in subglacial research a dozen years ago. Finally, the time has come for him to explore its mysterious waters.

Next week, Siegert, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol, UK, packs his bags for the long journey to the opposite end of the world. Once he has reached the Rothera Research Station of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on an island off the Antarctic Peninsula, he and his science crew will fly about 1,000 kilometres into western Antarctica. On 5 December, the real work begins: drilling straight down through the ice to the pristine lake beneath. In its shadowy waters they hope to find forms of life that have not seen the light of day in millions of years (see ‘Trapped under ice’). And in the lake bed sediments, the team will search for records of the poorly understood history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, potentially revealing how the mighty glacier has waxed and waned over time.

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The amount of plastic bags and other litter on parts of the Arctic Ocean floor has doubled since 2002, according to images gathered off the coast of Greenland.

“There’s a lot going around and there will be more because we produce more plastic — 230 million tonnes of plastic produced every year, that’s the current estimate. Ten per cent of this goes into the sea,” researcher Melanie Bergmann told the Toronto Star.

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