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Flaggship Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean, technology and regulatory frameworks Bjørn Fossli Johansen Gunnar Sander. Arctic sea ice extent 23.September 2010 Source : Polar View/Universität Bremen.

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SeaIce in the Arctic Ocean, technology and regulatoryframeworks

Bjørn Fossli Johansen

Gunnar Sander

Arctic seaiceextent 23.September 2010

Source: Polar View/Universität Bremen


From the shipment of iron ore from Kirkenes through NWS summer 2010. Photo from Russian ice breaker in the area with most sea ice

research themes arctic ocean
Research themes “Arctic Ocean”

X = to be adressed in lecture

icefree arctic ocean no still a deep freezer in wnter
Icefree Arctic Ocean? No – still a deep freezer in wnter

-2.6 % per decade (relative to 1979-2000 average)

-4.2 % per decade

-11.6 % per decade

Decline throughout all seasons in almost all regions. Exception: Bering Sea in winter

Implications for shipping: Must adapt to ice – even in summer (drift ice)

Large differences summer – winter conditions

when will summer sea ice vanish
When will summer sea ice ”vanish”?

IPCC 2007 underestimateddecline: towards end ofcentury

now likely by 2050
Now: Likely by 2050

Six IPCC AR4 models closer to observations; Sea ice-free summers likely by 2050. (Wang and Overland, 2009)

Maybe earlier?

Do we understand the processes?

Are global models good enough at regional scale?

Large and even increasing variability expected: relatively low/high years around trend

sea ice gets younger and thinner



Sea ice gets younger and thinner



Alder på arktisk havis i mars. Maslanik og Fowler, Univ. Colorado

Implication: Even in winter, the navigability of the Arctic Ocean will improve

change in accesibility for light icebreaker 2050 today
Change in accesibilityfor lighticebreaker, 2050 - today

Green: New accessible areas

White: Still inaccessible areas

Basedonclimate scenario A1B and climate modell CCSM3. Average 2045-59 compared to 2000-2014

Stephensenet al 2011

a main conclusion from arctic marine shipping assessment
A main conclusion from Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment:

“Arctic voyages through 2020 will be overwhelmingly

destinational, not trans-Arctic”

Lawson Brigham (leader of AMSA):

“Destinational shipping is Arctic shipping as good as


Trigger off mostlythe same need for improved

infrastructure and regulations

  • Murmansk – Dudinka – Shanghai 15.Sep – 13 Oct 2010
  • Speciallydesigned for independent operations in ice
  • Not escorted by ice breaker
an over simplified approach to the future of arctic transit
An over-simplified approach to the future of Arctic transit
  • Ice disappears – “Ice free Arctic Ocean”
  • DistanceYokohama – Rotterdam reduced by 1/3
  • Inter-continental shipping in transit will increase

Kilde: DNV, ARCON -prosjektet

arctic governance what are the questions
Arctic governance: What are the questions?

Sovereignty and jurisdiction: Who has the right to which maritime areas and what can they decide within these?

Peace and political stability – or the absence of this

Protection of the environment – sustainable development: How to regulate human activities in the Arctic Ocean?

is the law of the sea convention the answer
Is the Law of the Sea Convention the answer?

For sovereignty and jurisdiction, yes – and the only one

for regulating human activities losc is a framework a constitution for the seas

LOSC sets the principles and gives mandates to states, other conventions etc. for making concrete, detailed regulations.

For regulating human activities: LOSC is a framework – a “Constitution” for the seas

Min. of Foreign Affairs Jonas G. Støre about Illulisat:

We agreed that we have an international legal framework in place – namely the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. All states abide by the Convention’s provisions, including the US (…). This framework must now be filled with concrete policies.

instruments regulating arctic activities
Instruments regulating Arctic activities

UN LawoftheSea Convention

Multilateral environmentalagreemntsoni.a.

  • Climatechange: UNFCC
  • Pollution: POP-convention, LRTAP
  • Biodiversity, protectionof nature and species: CBD, Ramsar, CMS, CITES, Polar beartreaty
  • Regional seas: OSPAR
  • Prosess-oriented instruments: Espoo and Aarhus

Instruments onsectors/particularactivities

  • Shipping : ca 55 IMO-conventions + ILO + FAO + WHO-instruments
  • Fisheres: Globalt - UNFSA, FAO Codeofconduct, port statecontrolRegional - NEAFC and NAFO + salmon and several ”small” in North Pacific
  • Marine mammals: IWC and NAMMCO
  • Deep oceans: LOSC implementationagreement , ISA + later regulations

Many bilateral treatieswithinthemesmentionedabove

Int. collaboration: Arctic Council, severalonscience etc.

some major issues
Some major issues

Global treaties dominate. Relevant/sufficient for the Arctic?

Few regional treaties. Almost none with the Arctic Ocean as geographical scope (Polar bear and SAR-agreement)

Fragmentation versus need for integrative approach: ecosystem approach to marine management

Who experience problems, who creates and can solve them? Origin inside – outside Arctic. Unclear linkages and participation

Hard law – soft lawFuture role of Arctic Council?

Missing accession to important international treaties

Implementation of international instruments?

accession to instruments s signatory p party na not applicable
Accession to instrumentsS = signatory, P = party, NA = not applicable

Illulisat declaration:

AO coastal states declare themselves to have ”a stewardship role in protecting (the unique Arctic ecosystem).”

international regulations of shipping
International regulations of shipping

Only voluntary standards for construction, design, equipment and manning (CDEM), including regulations on fuel and treatment of ballast water (Polar code negotiations)

No binding, Arctic-specific standards for discharges to air and water

No binding rules for seafarers competence, manning and working conditions on ships in polar waters apart from general minimum standards defined by IMO, ILO and WHO

No Arctic routing systems approved by IMO

(No regional search and rescue agreement) In place now!

Rules for liability and damage are fragmented and insufficient

Insurance is not regulated internationally