Flaggskipet har som mål å bidra med kunnskap som kan danne grunnlag for god norsk og internasjonal forvaltning av næringsaktivitet som kan komme i Polhavet gjennom å studere:

  • Klimaendringer som har betydning for det regionale og globale klimasystemet og for framveksten av nye næringer.
  • Betingelser for utvikling av skipsfart, fiskerier og petroleumsvirksomhet, konsekvenser av slik virksomhet og alternative forvaltningsregimer som kan ivareta de høye miljømålene som er formulert for Arktis.

Reduksjonen i utbredelse, tykkelse og alder på isen i Polhavet er et synlig resultat av klimaendringene. Utviklinga har vært forutsagt av globale klimamodeller, men tempoet har vært raskere enn modellene forutså. Havisen i Polhavet har stor betydning for det globale klimasystemet og for klimaet på den nordlige halvkule. Kunnskap om havisen har derfor betydning både for globale klimaforhandlinger som skal begrense temperaturstigning og for regional tilpasning til de endringene som vil komme.

En annen hovedeffekt av isens tilbaketrekning er at områder som hittil har vært nærmest utilgjengelige vil bli mer åpne for kommersiell næringsmessig utnyttelse.

Endringer i isforholdene forventes å skape store endringer i økosystemene. Vi ser allerede at utbredelsen til flere arter forskyver seg nordover. Det er imidlertid usikkert om produktiviteten i Polhavet vil øke når isen trekker seg tilbake og vannet blir varmere, i hvilken grad primærproduksjonen vil kanaliseres til kommersielt interessante fiskeslag, og hvor eventuelt nye fiskerier vil finne sted.

Økt utvinning av ressurser på land og i havet gjør at skipstrafikken i randhavene rundt Polhavet vokser. Det har også vært en økning i cruiseturismen i polare strøk. På litt lengre sikt forventes også transitt-trafikk mellom kontinentene. Forutsetningen er at rutene over Polhavet blir mer lønnsomme enn alternative sjøruter og landtransport, samtidig som regulariteten og sikkerheten er god nok.

Det er høye forventninger til petroleumsressursene i Arktis, selv om mesteparten ikke er påvist. Aktivitetene forventes gradvis å flyttes fra land til havet, hvor ressurspotensialet er størst. Det krever at det utvikles ny teknologi og at det blir lønnsomt å selge produktene selv med de økte kostnadene som følger av arktiske forhold og lange transportveier.

Felles for disse næringene er at drivkreftene som kan få dem til eventuelt å ekspandere kan knyttes til fysiske og biologiske klimaendringer, en rekke samfunnsmessige forhold og tilrettelegging med teknologi og støtte¬funksjoner. Det er behov for å analysere hva drivkreftene og forutsetningene for ekspansjon er, holde en strategisk beredskap ved å følge med på hvordan aktivitetene endres og løpende oppdatere sannsynlige forutsigelser om hva vi kan forvente.

Økt aktivitet reiser en rekke utfordringer om risiko, effekter på klima og økosystemer og samfunnsmessig nytte. Det er nødvendig å vurdere konsekvensene som et grunnlag for å komme fram til en bærekraftig forvaltning av menneskelig virksomhet i Polhavet. Mens generelle miljøkonsekvenser av mange aktiviteter er relativt godt kjent, mangler ofte spesifikke studier av effekter på arktiske økosystemer. Likeledes er det store begrensninger i vår evne til å forstå kumulative og indirekte effekter. Det er også behov for å få bedre kunnskap om sosioøkonomiske effekter av marine aktiviteter.

Forvaltningen av Polhavet utformes i et samspill mellom internasjonale avtaler og samarbeid, og nasjonale tiltak. Norsk politikk for Nordområdene og erklæringer fra landene i Arktisk råd understreker at utviklingen i Arktis må skje under strenge krav til miljøbeskyttelse. Det er behov for å analysere i hvilken grad eksisterende forvaltning er i stand til å møte nye utfordringer og identifisere mulige forbedringer.Dette kan innebære både å tilrettelegge for aktivitet og å regulere den, inkludert å skjerme verdifulle og sårbare områder og forby visse typer bruk.

Automised Large-scale Sea Ice Mapping (ALSIM)

Kontakt: Torbjørn Eltoft   torbjorn.eltoft@uit.no

Processes governing variable Arctic sea ice – the Barents Sea hotspot (ICEHOT)

Kontakt: Vidar Lien  vidar.lien@imr.no

Long-term variability and trends in the Atlantic Water inflow region (ATWAIN)

Kontakt: Paul A. Dodd vidar.lien@imr.no

Mesoscale modeling of ice, ocean and ecology of the Arctic Ocean (ModOIE)

Kontakt: Tore Hattermann  tore.hattermann@awi.de

Holocene ocean and sea ice history at north-east Svalbard – from past to present warm extremes (HOLIS)

Kontakt: Katrine Husum  katrine.husum@npolar.no

Using Tracers, Atmospheric Indices and Model Output to explain changes in the Arctic Ocean Inflow and Outflow through Fram Strait (TRIMODAL)

Kontakt: Paul A. Dodd paul.dodd@npolar.no

ArctisMOD – follow-up   (ArctisMod)

Kontakt: Pedro Duarte pedro.duarte@npolar.no

Assessment of ecosystem vulnerability and functioning in ice-affected waters  (ICEEVA)

Kontakt: L. L. Jørgensen  lis.lindal.joergensen@imr.no

Barents Sea harp seals in a changing Arctic  (BS Harp Seals)

Kontakt: K. T. Nilssen  kjell.tormod.nilssen@hi.no

Information systems in the Arctic Ocean (AO Info systems)

Kontakt: Maaike Knol maaike.knol@uit.no

Drivers, architecture, and effects on the development of marine economic activities (Arctic-BBNJ)

Kontakt:  Vito de Lucia  vito.delucia@uit.no

Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement of the Polar Code in Arctic waters (PolarICE)

Kontakt: Anne Katrine Normann  anne.katrine.normann@norut.no

A-LEX review

Kontakt: L. H. Larsen lhl@akvaplan.niva.no

Ice floe interaction with ships and waves  (IFiSaw)

Kontakt: Karl Gunnar Aarsæther  karl.gunnar.aarsather@sintef.no

Arctic Ocean Monitoring using automated unmanned marine vehicles – workshop(AO monitoring)

Kontakt: Lionel Camus  lca@akvaplan.niva.no

X2068 – Ice-9

Kontakt: Christine Cynn m.fl

Processes governing variable Arctic sea ice – the Barents Sea hotspot (ICEHOT)
92018

Vidar S. Lien
vidar.lien@hi.no
Havforskningsinstituttet

ICEHOT will utilize ocean observations and state-of-the-art numerical model simulations to address key knowledge gaps in our understanding of the sea-ice variability and decline in the Barents Sea during the last five decades. These knowledge gaps include what governs the changes in oceanic pathways and at what time scales, through which mechanisms is the ocean circulation affecting the sea-ice cover, and how does the changing sea-ice cover affect the air-ocean exchanges, including feedbacks. By addressing these scientific questions, we will enhance our ability to distinguish natural from human-made changes in key elements of the Arctic climate system at locations representing the frontiers between boreal and arctic ecosystems.

 

Utvikling i arktisk skipstrafikk 2013-2018 dokumentert fra Havbase
192018

Eirik Mikkelsen
eirik.mikkelsen@nofima.no
Nofima

The project will bring forward developments in actual ship traffic in the Arctic, and through it also demonstrate the opportunities that lie in the Havbase Arctic portal. This will be done through a scientific publication, as well as an article to the Fram Forum.

 

Assessment of ecosystem vulnerability and functioning in ice-affected waters (ICEEVA)
282018

Lis Lindal Jørgensen
lis.lindal.joergensen@imr.no
Havforskningsinstituttet

This project will contribute to an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) of the marine areas north and west of Svalbard and the northern Barents Sea, by evaluating ecosystem functioning and the vulnerability of ecosystem components (fish and benthos) affected by climate change. The project addresses ecosystem functioning and vulnerability empirically, combining trait-based methods with food web analyses and stable isotope analyses of main energy pathways using ecosystem data from the southern Arctic Ocean and bordering Arctic reaches of the Barents Sea. The main findings will be summarized in maps visualizing areal specific ecosystem vulnerability indicators, suitable to inform areal management (e.g. Norwegian management of the Barents Sea), and to international working groups within ICES and the Arctic Council.

 

Mesoscale physical and biogeochemical modeling of the ocean and sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean
332018

Pedro Duarte
Pedro.Duarte@npolar.no
Norsk Polarinstitutt

The main goals of this project are to: (i) validate two ocean and sea-ice coupled physical-biogeochemical models; (ii) use the models to test the hypothesis that phytoplankton and ice algal blooms may occur deep into the ice pack and not only as a “primary production front” following the marginal ice zone (MIZ); (iii) find proper parameterizations of mesoscale processes to use in Pan-Arctic models. The models that will be used in this project were implemented in previous Fram Centre projects: the A4 Pan-Arctic model, with horizontal resolution 4 km, and the S800, covering a large domain around Svalbard, with resolution 800 m. Climate warming has led to multiple changes in the Arctic Ocean ecosystems and there is an ongoing debate about how primary production (PP) will evolve in upcoming years. Central to this debate is an in-depth understanding of present-day PP dynamics and there is growing evidence that there is more to it than the “primary production front” paradigm. One of the limitations of current Pan-Arctic models is their capacity to resolve mesoscale processes, which may bias PP estimates. The availability of two models with different resolutions is a major asset to understand and tackle the challenges mentioned above.

 

Information systems in the Arctic Ocean: Drivers, architecture, and effects on the development of marine economic activities (ArcticInfo)
402018

Maaike Knol
maaike.knol@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The main objective of the ArcticInfo project was to analyze the development of weather and sea ice information infrastructures in the Arctic and how they affect economic decision-making and potentially alter the Arctic as a zone of risk. The project has resulted in a number of relevant publications (see under 6.1 below), however, we still have a lot of data that is unpublished. The applied funding will result in three additional publications: one peer reviewed scientific article, and two popular scientific contributions.

Drivers, architecture, and effects on the development of marine economic activities (ArcticInfo)
412018

Maaike Knol
maaike.knol@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The main objective of the ArcticInfo project was to analyze the development of weather and sea ice information infrastructures in the Arctic and how they affect economic decision-making and potentially alter the Arctic as a zone of risk. The project has resulted in a number of relevant publications (see under 6.1 below), however, we still have a lot of data that is unpublished. The applied funding will result in three additional publications: one peer reviewed scientific article, and two popular scientific contributions.

 

Barents Sea harp seals in a changing Arctic
452018

Dr Kjell Tormod Nilssen, IMR
kjelltn@hi.no
Havforskningsinstituttet

Arctic marine ecosystems are undergoing dramatic alterations driven by changes in the physical environment and human activities. The sea ice edge is a critical habitat for the marine ecosystem in this region. Changes in water properties, ice cover, and light intensity can cause changes in nutrient flux and primary production, precipitating changes that cascade through the trophic web to also affect top predators. Harp seals, key top predators in the Arctic ice edge ecosystem, target regions of elevated biological productivity and thus are good indicators of the state of the Arctic ecosystem. Recent research suggests that declines in one of two major harp seal breeding stocks in the Northeast Atlantic may be due to ice edge retreat and associated changes in ecosystem dynamics and prey availability. The current project will use animal-borne instruments to examine movements and habitat use of harp seals in relation to in-situ ocean properties. Detailed analyses of in-situ measurements and high-resolution satellite imagery of ice conditions will be combined with data on seal distribution and habitat use to better describe the dynamics of current seal migrations. Our results will be compared to historical data on harp seal movements and distribution in relation to ice-conditions. Furthermore, we analyze pollutant levels in the seals. The project will join an international effort to study ecosystem consequences of changing ice conditions in the Arctic. Our proposal will complement already planned and funded activities and optimize the use of common resources and logistics.

 

“Automised Large-scale Sea Ice Mapping (ALSIM)”
502018

Torbjørn Eltoft
torbjorn.eltoft@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

ALSIM is a proposal for a 3 years research project, which will address the problem of largescale mapping of sea ice from synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The project will develop computer-aided algorithms that can reliably, robustly and efficiently extract accurate sea ice information like ice concentration or ice floe size distribution from large SAR scenes. Results will be validated using complementary satellite data and data collected in the field. It is divided into four interrelated work packages. WP1 will use deep learning algorithms to develop automatic sea ice concentration maps. WP2 will use a similar approach to address retrieval of fine scale sea ice features, and WP3 will focus on methods for upscaling information across multiple sensors. WP4 will focus on fieldwork to provide validation information. It will have strong support from CIRFA, and take advantage of field data measured during e.g. MOSAiC and Nansen Legacy field cruises. The project has high relevance to ongoing work at all partner institutions. Results will be disseminated in form of scientific publications, outreach and a seminar.

 

Long-term variability and trends in the Atlantic Water inflow region (A-TWAIN)
542018

Paul A. Dodd
paul.dodd@npolar.no
Norsk Polarinstitutt

Atlantic Water flows into the Arctic Ocean via Fram Strait, and follows the continental slope north of Svalbard as it flows eastwards, deeper into the Arctic Ocean. This current is the largest oceanic heat source for the Arctic Ocean, and transports nutrients and organisms from lower to higher latitudes. The A-TWAIN project carries out a long-term measurement program, which combines instrument moorings deployed over several years with high-resolution, multi-parameter surveys during bi-annual cruises. The resulting data set allows for increased understanding of inter-annual variability, seasonal cycles, and more short-lived phenomena like eddies (Crews et al., 2017), upwelling (Randelhoff et al., 2018) and vertical mixing which influence the overlying sea ice cover (Renner et al., 2018, Rippeth et al., 2015). By studying these factors, the project contributes strongly to increased knowledge about an area which is presently receiving considerable attention, both scientifically and with respect to management and industry, from national as well as international groups. The present proposal is for a one-year continuation of the program, in anticipation that the program will be strengthened in years to come through strong collaboration efforts and associated new projects.

 

Deploying Floating Nuclear Power Plants in the Arctic: Legal and Regulatory Gaps and Challenges (Arctic FNPPs)
682018

Maria M. das Neves
maria.m.neves@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The proposed project stems from Russia’s deployment of a Floating Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) in the Arctic Ocean and from the increasing discussions concerning the adequacy of the legal and regulatory framework applicable to FNPPs during their characteristic lifecycle. The proposed project will identify the gaps and challenges of the legal and regulatory framework applicable to FNPPs that need to be addressed internationally, particularly taking into account the special and extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean. On the background of the initial identification, systematization and clarification of the applicable legal and regulatory framework, the proposed project will also set the foundations for a potential wider inter-disciplinary project on the deployment of FNPPs in the Arctic Ocean that could inclusively stimulate international research cooperation within in this topic.

 

Long-term variability and trends in the Atlantic Water inflow region (A-TWAIN)
722018

Paul A. Dodd
paul.dodd@npolar.no
Norsk Polarinstitutt

Atlantic Water flows into the Arctic Ocean via Fram Strait, and follows the continental slope north of Svalbard as it flows eastwards, deeper into the Arctic Ocean. This current is the largest oceanic heat source for the Arctic Ocean, and transports nutrients and organisms from lower to higher latitudes. The A-TWAIN project carries out a long-term measurement program, which combines instrument moorings deployed over several years with high-resolution, multi-parameter surveys during bi-annual cruises. The resulting data set allows for increased understanding of inter-annual variability, seasonal cycles, and more short-lived phenomena like eddies (Crews et al., 2017), upwelling (Randelhoff et al., 2018) and vertical mixing which influence the overlying sea ice cover (Renner et al., 2018, Rippeth et al., 2015). By studying these factors, the project contributes strongly to increased knowledge about an area which is presently receiving considerable attention, both scientifically and with respect to management and industry, from national as well as international groups. The present proposal is for a one-year continuation of the program, in anticipation that the program will be strengthened in years to come through strong collaboration efforts and associated new projects.

 

TRIMODAL: Using Tracers, Atmospheric Indices and Model Output to explain changes in the Arctic Ocean Inflow and Outflow through Fram Strait
802018

Paul A. Dodd
paul.dodd@npolar.no
Norsk Polarinstitutt

Freshwater exported from the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait exerts a major influence on global climate by modulating deep water formation in the North Atlantic. Despite good observations of the freshwater outflow, the causes of variations in the volume of freshwater exported from the Arctic are not known. TRIMODAL will test hypotheses about how the large-scale atmospheric circulation influences the pathways freshwater takes though the Arctic Ocean and how the volume of freshwater exported though Fram Strait is affected. Warm Atlantic water recirculating north of Fram Strait releases heat into the Arctic before returning south. The extent and location of Atlantic water recirculation may be influenced by the atmosphere potentially affecting the amount of heat released in different regions. TRIMODAL uses a long-time series of biogeochemical tracer measurements to identify the sources of different watermasses in Fram Strait and compares variations in the contribution of each source with the circulation pathways predicted by model simulations under different atmospheric conditions.

 

Long-term modelling and simulation of vessel icing in the Arctic Ocean using high resolution reanalysis data: Climatology and risk analysis.
902018

Truls Bakkejord Ræder
truls.rader@sintef.no
SINTEF

Sea spray icing is considered a major environmental challenge and a critical risk element for industrial operations in the Arctic Ocean. Although some studies on modelling and estimation of spray-icing rate have been carried out (e.g., RIGICE04 and ICEMOD models), it is shown that such models suffer from some unrealistic modelling assumptions and limited verification. Moreover, there is limited research on the prediction of icing rates in the long term, as well as climatological information on spray icing for long-term risk-based decisions in Arctic offshore industrial applications. A major challenge for such long-term predictions is the changing pattern of spray-icing factors including meteorological and oceanographic parameters due to global warming and sea-ice-edge retreat, which is not tackled in available studies. In this work, a newly-developed model known as MINCOG, is adapted to study and analyse the ice accretion rates on Arctic offshore vessels by employing high-resolution reanalysis data such as «NOrwegian ReAnalysis 10km» data set of meteorological and oceanographic parameters. Moreover, machine-learning algorithms will be used for predicting icing rates and its influencing factors in the long term by accounting for the decadal changes in the climate patterns, sea-ice retreat impact on spray icing in areas near the ice edge, and inter-dependencies of meteorological and oceanographic parameters. The developed mathematical framework will then be employed to develop the climatology of spray icing in the Norwegian Arctic waters. Finally, a spray icing risk indicator will be modelled and proposed for Arctic offshore applications including logistics operations.

 

Assessing the implications of a global treaty on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction for ecosystem-based governance in the Arctic Ocean (ARCTIC_BBNJ II)
922018

Vito De Lucia
vito.delucia@uit.no
UiT Norges arktiske universitet

The Arctic Ocean (AO) is undergoing dramatic changes due to sea ice melting and the opening of previously inaccessible sea areas. It holds a multitude of unique life forms highly adapted to its extreme seasonal conditions. Considerable and competing interests in the AO have arisen, ranging from shipping and exploitation of living and non-living resources to conservation of the fragile marine ecosystem. Nearly 2,8 million square kilometres of the AO are located in areas beyond the national jurisdiction (ABNJ) of the coastal states and are subject to a new treaty being negotiated at the United Nations (UN) under the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) on marine biodiversity in ABNJ (hereinafter BBNJ treaty). Arctic coastal states, however, have consistently declared that the AO should remain under their stewardship and reject the need for a new international regime. Conversely, the EU, many developing nations and environmental NGOs view the AO as a unique global common in need of strong conservation measures and believe that a BBNJ treaty would be the appropriate tool. Taking the BBNJ treaty negotiations as a starting point, the project will analyse the opportunities for AO governance with a view to protecting biodiversity, particularly through marine protected areas (MPAs) and ecosystem-based management (EBM). Various options for the outcome of the negotiations will be assessed against the existing AO governance regimes and the best available scientific knowledge, taking into account the complexities involved in reconciling ecological requirements for effective EBM and the realities of jurisdictional fragmentation.

 

Ice-Free Arctic Ocean: Dead end or new opportunities for biodiversity and habitat Expansion (FADE)
1062018

Janne E. Søreide
janne.soreide@unis.no
UNIS – Universitetssenteret på Svalbard

The Arctic Ocean is changing to a warmer and ice-free state, which may lead to substantial changes in biodiversity and ecosystem structures. An Atlantification of the zooplankton community is ongoing, and tiny invertebrates living in sea ice, assumed to be autochthonous are likely to face extinction with the loss of summer sea ice. The aim of this project is to 1) determine the fate of boreal zooplankton carried into the Arctic Ocean, 2) determine the destiny of ice fauna when the summer sea ice disappears, and 3) revise Calanus spp. species distribution and reproductive success in the main inflow path to the Arctic Ocean (N Svalbard/ N Barents Sea). Molecular analyses of not yet analysed ethanol zooplankton samples obtained during the N-ICE campaign from February to June 2015 will be essential for the project, as well as analysis of new samples that will be collected during the Nansen Legacy cruises in 2019-2020. In addition, regular UNIS student cruises will provide another sampling platform where students will be actively engaged in this project work. Ice fauna dependency on sea ice will be investigated by comparing Arctic Ocean ice fauna species composition (with a focus on meiofauna) with extensive sea ice meiofauna dataset from Svalbard fjords. This exercise will provide new insight into factors that may allow sea ice fauna to maintain populations in the seasonal absence of sea ice, as species occurring in landfast sea ice in Svalbard fjords are likely to have benthic or pelagic stages.

 

Mesoscale modeling of Ice, Ocean and Ecology of the Arctic Ocean
1072018

Hans Kristian Djuve
hkd@akvaplan.niva.no
Akvaplan-niva AS

The major model developments outlined in the 2012 project description have been completed and model simulations of the new fully coupled system are being finalized. The main objectives for 2019 are to maintain the model framework and extend the simulation period throughout 2019 as new ERA data is made available. Establishing a solid routine for validating the model results will also be prioritized, along with archiving and distributing model data to be used by other projects and present the new interdisciplinary modeling system in scientific publications. Synchronization and merging of code developed under different branches of the A4-A20 model setups with MET and NPI where relevant will also be done.

 

Ice-Free Arctic Ocean: Dead end or new opportunities for biodiversity and habitat Expansion (FADE)
1182018

Janne E. Søreide
janne.soreide@unis.no
UNIS – Universitetssenteret på Svalbard

The Arctic Ocean is changing to a warmer and ice-free state, which may lead to substantial changes in biodiversity and ecosystem structures. An Atlantification of the zooplankton community is ongoing, and tiny invertebrates living in sea ice, assumed to be autochthonous are likely to face extinction with the loss of summer sea ice. The aim of this project is to 1) determine the fate of boreal zooplankton carried into the Arctic Ocean, 2) revise Calanus spp. species distribution and reproductive success in the main inflow path to the Arctic Ocean (N Svalbard/ N Barents Sea) and 3) determine the destiny of ice fauna when the summer sea ice disappears. Molecular analyses of not yet analysed ethanol zooplankton samples obtained during the N-ICE campaign from February to June 2015 will be essential for the project, as well as analysis of new samples that will be collected during the Nansen Legacy cruises in 2019-2020 and the MOSAiC transpolar drift the same year. In addition, regular UNIS student cruises will provide another sampling platform where students will be actively engaged in this project work. Ice fauna dependency on sea ice will be investigated by comparing Arctic Ocean ice fauna species composition (with a focus on meiofauna) with extensive sea ice meiofauna dataset from Svalbard fjords. This exercise will provide new insight into factors that may allow sea ice fauna to maintain populations despite lack of sea ice, as species occurring in landfast sea ice in Svalbard fjords are likely to have benthic or pelagic stages. This project will contribute with essential knowledge for making better predictions of the ecosystem impacts of global warming and disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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