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4th Symposium on the Impacts of an
Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations

  • Please return to this page for links and updates.

June 20 - 22, 2011
Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Additional information:
Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon
Chief Scientist, National Ice Center

image: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory Animation: 2010 Arctic Sea Ice Extent
AGU Story on Symposium:

Please mark your calendars for the 4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice- Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, co-hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), June 20-22, 2011 at the Navy Memorial Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

This symposium addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies. This year's event is builds upon the inaugural symposium on "Naval Operations in an Ice-free Arctic" sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NIC, the Oceanographer of the Navy, and the USARC in April 2001, the next symposium on the "Impact of an Ice- Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations" co-sponsored by NIC and USARC in July 2007, and the prior gathering at the U.S. Naval Academy in June 2009. The first symposium focused mainly on naval operations and national strategic issues, but since 2007 the symposia have expanded the discussion to impacts on other maritime operations such as commercial transportation, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, fisheries, and oceanographic research. This year's symposium continues the discussion vis-à-vis recent events that include:

  • The continued downward trend of Arctic sea ice extent and total volume including significant loss of multi-year ice;
  • The response of U.S. agencies to the National and Homeland Security Presidential Decision on Arctic policy, such as the Navy Arctic Roadmap (pdf), the ongoing U.S. Coast Guard's Arctic Requirements and Planning efforts, and NOAA's Arctic Vision & Strategy;
  • National Ocean Council development of a Strategic Action Plan on "Changing Conditions in the Arctic," one of nine strategic action areas identified in the 2010 National Ocean Policy;
  • The Arctic Council Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Task Force development of an Arctic SAR Agreement;
  • The IMO development of a Polar Code for vessels operating in polar waters;
  • The increased interest in government as well as private industry joint Arctic oil spill response (PDF) research;
  • The expanded energy exploration activities as part of BOEMRE lease sales in the Chukchi Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Beaufort Sea;
  • The IMO/IHO/WMO establishment of 5 new Arctic NAVAREAs/METAREAs for maritime safety information services;
  • The International Polar Decade (PDF) proposed by the WMO Executive Council; and
  • The mounting calls for U.S. Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The symposium provides a unique high-level overview of the latest activities and plans of key agencies in response to an increasingly accessible Arctic Ocean. It also serves to further publicize results and outcomes from efforts such as the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and the CNO Naval War College Global Shipping Game. As in prior symposia, the 2011 gathering will continue to provide an opportunity to review changes in Arctic sea ice conditions observed over the previous 2 years, evaluate advances in sea ice seasonal and climate forecast model predictions, and discuss the impact of environmental conditions on naval and maritime operations.

2011 Symposium Information

Symposium Hosts

Participating / Invited Agencies

image of text: Hosted By:
National Ice Center logo
U.S. Arctic Research Commission logo
image of text: Supporting Agencies:
The Office of Naval Research logo
NOAA Center for Satellite Applications & Research (STAR) logo
The U.S. Naval Academy logo
Canadian Ice Service logo
image of text: Other Participants:
U.S. Navy logo
The Oceanographer & Navigator of the Navy - Task Force Climate Change logo
The Naval Oceanographic Office logo
The Naval Research Laboratory logo
The U.S. Coast Guard logo
International Ice Patrol logo
NOAA logo
National Aeronatic and Space Administration (NASA) logo
U.S. State Department logo
University of Alaska Fairbanks - International Arctic Research Center logo
University of Alaska Fairbanks - Geophysical Institute logo
Environment Canada logo
Transport Canada logo
Shell Exploration logo
Kongsberg Satellite Services AS logo
Office of Naval Intelligence
Canadian Coast Guard
University of Alaska - Fairbanks
CNA - Analysis & Solutions
United States Senate
UNH Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center logo
UNH Coastal Response Research Center logo
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) - Department of the Interior logo
U.S. Geological Survey logo

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