PRISMAS: Delivering policy-relevant knowledge about past and projected change, risk and safety of maritime activities around Svalbard

Climate change affects marine systems most drastically in polar regions. As a consequence, new and remote areas are becoming accessible. This leads to increased maritime traffic, and a stretching and surpassing of limits in terms of operational seasons and areas, and entrepreneurial initiatives. This raises strong concerns about Search and Rescue and emergency response capacities. The increase in maritime activity also puts pressure on the improvement of Arctic weather and sea ice forecasting services. In PRISMAS, a team of social and natural scientists from the University of Tromsø, the University Centre in Svalbard and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute will study the dynamics of maritime activities around Svalbard with the aim to deliver policy-relevant knowledge to provide guidance for mitigating risk and enhancing safe navigation. We will do so by a) providing a comprehensive understanding of past and projected change; b) developing a holistic overview of safety and preparedness capacities in Svalbard waters, and analyze the extent to which these are efficiently supported by forecasting infrastructures; and c) assessing risks related to navigating in Svalbard waters through performing predictability studies on hazardous ice and temperature conditions.

Start: April 30. 2020
End: December 31. 2022
Unit: Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics

Project categories: Shared Cost Project
Keywords: Svalbard / Arctic / Shipping / Polar Code


Maaike Knol-Kauffman
Peter Arbo