Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arctic Region Underprepared For Maritime Accidents, Report Finds

Date:
February 4, 2009
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report.

Ice and open water in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska.
Credit: NOAA

The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The report details findings from a panel of experts and decision-makers from Arctic nation governments, industry and indigenous communities convened by the Coastal Response Research Center, a UNH-NOAA partnership housed at the university. The panel, which included representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Arctic Research Commission, assessed the potential threat of maritime accidents in the Arctic and the ability of nations in the region to respond effectively to vessels in distress, oil spills and other situations.

“The reduction of polar sea ice and the increasing worldwide demand for energy will likely result in a dramatic increase in the number of vessels that travel Arctic waters,” said Nancy Kinner, UNH co-director of the CRRC and a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “As vessel traffic increases, disaster scenarios are going to become more of a reality.”

The report’s key recommendations include:

  • Strengthening multinational plans and agreements for all types of responses
  • Improving logistical support capabilities for disaster responders
  • Updating weather data and navigational charts for the Arctic
  • Studying the behavior of oil in cold water and improving technologies for spill response in Arctic conditions
  • Designating potential ports in the Arctic where damaged vessels can be taken to safeguard them against the Arctic’s harsh environmental conditions and reduce the risk of harm to the environment

The report’s findings and recommendations are based on the panel’s examination of five potential emergency response scenarios: a grounded cruise ship whose 2,000 passengers and crew must abandon the vessel; an ice-trapped and damaged ore carrier; an explosion on a fixed drilling rig north of Alaska; a collision between a tanker and fishing vessel that results in a large oil spill; and the grounding of a tug towing a supplies barge in an environmentally sensitive area near the Bering Strait.

"Now is the time to prepare for maritime accidents and potential spills in the Arctic," said Amy Merten, NOAA co-director of the CRRC. "This report clearly indicates that international cooperation and adequate resources are key to saving lives and protecting this special region."

The report is available online at http://www.crrc.unh.edu/workshops/arctic_spill_summit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Arctic Region Underprepared For Maritime Accidents, Report Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175331.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2009, February 4). Arctic Region Underprepared For Maritime Accidents, Report Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175331.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Arctic Region Underprepared For Maritime Accidents, Report Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202175331.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German World War II Bomber Found in Croatia's Adriatic

German World War II Bomber Found in Croatia's Adriatic

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) A rare, well-preserved German World War II bomber has been found in Croatia's central Adriatic more than seven decades after it was shot down, the national conservation institute said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Volcano Rescue Video Released

Raw: Japan Volcano Rescue Video Released

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) The Tokyo Fire Department released video of rescue efforts following Saturday's eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan. It shows firefighters and military troops carrying injured people as plumes of smoke pour from the volcano behind them. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins