IMR ecosystem activity in the Arctic Ocean (IMR report no. 4 - 2013)


The Arctic Ocean is experiencing major transformations. The ongoing changes in the Arctic sea ice extent have already opened up large areas in the waters under Norwegian jurisdiction in the Arctic, enabling an increasing human presence and activity. These developments put pressures on Arctic Ocean ecosystems, and new challenges for their sustainable management arise (AC, 2004). The reduction in extent, thickness and age of the Arctic Ocean sea ice is a visible sign of climate change. The direction of change has been predicted by global models, but the speed of change has been underestimated (AC, 2011). The area in the Arctic Ocean covered by ice reached an all-time low in September 2012 (3.6 million km2).