Arctic Shipping

arctic shipping v2

Nowhere are the impacts of climate change more visible than in the Polar Regions, where warmer temperatures have contributed to the significant decrease of both first year and multi year sea ice in the past few decades. Not only do these changes represent a threat to the stability of northern ecosystems, they also impact the lifestyle of local Inuit peoples. In fact, a longer navigable season in the Arctic may benefit northern communities economically, as shipping goods by sea is much cheaper than by air. In fact, the number of active vessels in the Canadian Arctic has been on the rise in the past few decades.

On an industrial and commercial standpoint, the melting Arctic provides opportunities for northern resource developments that were previously unattainable. Transit traffic through the Arctic will likely increase, as maritime routes such as the Northwest Passage and the Artic Bridge become more accessible, warranting a shorter route between Europe and Asia. The lengthening of the navigable season is also encouraging an increase in cruise tourism and private yacht ventures.

The projects under this section aim to understand new and shifting shipping trends in the Arctic, and to develop a comprehensive database that will include any information relating to shipping activities such as tourist destinations, sensitive areas, marine mammal migratory trends and traditional use of the water by Inuit peoples. Ultimately, this research initiative will create an indispensable tool for policy makers, helping them in regulating activities in the north, and in protecting local peoples and the environment, and in promoting sustainable development strategies for our emerging northern economy.

Arctic Shipping Projects

Climate Change Adaptation Assessment for Transportation in Arctic Waters  (CATAW)

Climate Change Adaptation Assessment for Transportation in Arctic Waters (CATAW)

Climate Change Adaptation Assessment for Transportation in Arctic Waters  (CATAW) Primary Researchers: Lindsay Matthews, Jackie Dawson, Larissa Pizzolato The CATAW project will undertake activities under two phases, the first is entitled Marine Shipping ...
Sea Ice Pressure Events

Sea Ice Pressure Events

Identifying and Understanding Sea Ice Pressure Events for Winter Shipping in the Eastern Canadian Arctic Primary Researcher: Olivia Mussells (M.Sc. Candidate)   The Arctic is changing rapidly. Climate change and subsequent shifting sea ice...