ONR Researchers Explore a Changing Arctic

By David Smalley
Monday, April 14, 2014
Photo by Bill Shaw, Naval Postgraduate School

As sea ice continues to recede at a record pace in the Arctic, officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) on April 14 announced new efforts to determine the pace of change in what some are calling Earth's final frontier.

Scientists sponsored by ONR have traveled to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean, placing new sensors in the ice and in the frigid waters below, to better understand the processes contributing to a dramatic decline in sea ice thickness and extent-and provide new tools to help the U.S. Navy predict conditions and operate in once-inaccessible waters.

"A changing Arctic means significant new responsibilities and opportunities for the scientific and research communities, the nation and our allies," said Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, the chief of naval research. "ONR researchers, working in one of the world's most challenging environments, will give U.S. naval planners the essential data we need."

The effort, which includes partnership with the government of South Korea, involves aircraft and icebreakers to deploy sensors to compile and coordinate new data on rapidly changing conditions, particularly as it applies to the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), where ice and open ocean meet.

ONR scientists aim to assist Navy planners not only in short-range (zero-five days) but long-range (six or more months) timeframe predictions in these areas where the ice is located between solid pack ice and the sea.

"Where we have had ocean models and weather models, we clearly need new ice models as well," said Scott Harper, MIZ project manager for ONR. "We need better operational predictions-Sailors and ships are at risk without higher resolutions and shorter forecasts."

The effort to gain knowledge about new waterways in once-inaccessible regions supports a directive from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who has made understanding changes in the Arctic a priority.

"The U.S. Navy recognizes that the opening of the Arctic Ocean has important national security implications as well as significant impacts on the U.S. Navy's required future capabilities," he noted in the U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap 2014-2030. "Today, the observed changes in the Arctic Region climate and the reduced extent of summer sea ice reveal the potential for the Arctic Ocean to become a more viable route for international shipping over the coming decades."

The director of the Task Force Climate Change and Oceanographer of the Navy, Rear Adm. Jon White, emphasized the importance of the research.

"ONR's research focus is aligned with the Navy's Arctic Roadmap Implementation Plan, and will help us better understand and predict an environment that will still continue to present significant challenges for surface and air operations," said White. "While there is much preparation the Navy needs to do before it starts conducting routine operations in the Arctic, understanding the dynamic environment and the rate of change is a critical foundation for these future operations."

ONR's research into Arctic environmental conditions will focus on three major areas: sustained observation of the Arctic Ocean environment; better understanding frozen ocean processes; and developing computer models and prediction methods that look at how air, ice, ocean and waves will respond to climate change.

The five-year analysis of the MIZ will utilize a combination of some of the most advanced technologies, including ice mass balance buoys, wave buoys, ice-tethered profilers, autonomous gliders, ocean flux buoys, remote sensing and more.

ONR researchers say the detailed study will provide essential new data for the Navy.

"There's a lot more open water in the Arctic Ocean today, so there are significantly greater waves and swell," said Harper. "That didn't happen before, and we need to give Sailors every possible tool to operate safely in new environmental conditions."

David Smalley is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

onr.navy.mil

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Det Norske to Restore Production at Alvheim after Leak

Norwegian oil firm Det norske said it expected to reach full production at its Alvheim FPSO (floating storage, offloading and producing unit) overnight after a leak,

This Day In Naval History: July 28

1861 - During the Civil War, the frigate, USS St. Lawrence, spots a schooner flying English colors and gave chase. Some four hours later, as she is overhauling the schooner,

SNMCMG2 Completes Third Black Sea Deployment

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) has completed its third deployment into the Black Sea under the command of Captain Ramazan Kesgin, Turkish Navy.

News

Container-on-barge Returns to Baton Rouge

Container-on-barge services have returned to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge to provide the petrochemical industry with another option to move its products.   Operated by SEACOR AMH,

Cenac Marine to Christen New Vessel, Donate Barge

A ceremony will be held July 29 at Cenac Marine Services headquarters in, Houma, La. To commemorate the christening of its newest vessel, M/V Quincey Cenac, as

Enterprise to Export First Ethane Cargo from Houston Terminal in August

Enterprise Products Partners on Thursday said the first ship to load ethane for export from its new terminal on the Houston Ship Channel will arrive on Aug. 1,

Marine Science

Fuel Consumption, Emissions Monitoring Software Updated

As part of the ongoing Blue Star Delos Renewable Energy Innovation Project, Eco Marine Power (EMP) stated that the Aquarius Management & Automation System (MAS)

Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking to North and Baltic Seas?

For the first time, AWI scientists have found evidence of living, potentially pathogenic vibrions on microplastic particles. With increasing water temperatures

Arctic Operations

Keel Laying for Russia's Second Nuclear Icebreaker

Today the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg (part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) laid the keel of Ural, Project 22220’s second series-produced nuclear icebreaker.

Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

Eni Cancels Vessel Deal with Viking Supply Ships

Viking Supply Ships A/S (VSS) has received an early termination notice of the contract for the Ice-class 1A AHTS “Njord Viking”. The vessel has been working for

Ocean Observation

Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it Reshape Global Trade?

The future of trade in Asia could depend heavily on what becomes of China’s expansive One Belt, One Road initiative, which calls for massive investment in and

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking to North and Baltic Seas?

For the first time, AWI scientists have found evidence of living, potentially pathogenic vibrions on microplastic particles. With increasing water temperatures

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1046 sec (10 req/sec)