The Nansen Legacy: Pioneering research beyond the present ice edge

The Nansen Legacy is a novel and holistic Arctic research project that will provide integrated scientific knowledge on the rapidly changing marine climate and ecosystem. A new knowledge base is required to facilitate a sustainable management of the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin through the 21st century.

The Nansen Legacy team consist of over 140 researchers from ten Norwegian research institutions. The research team includes interdisciplinary arctic marine expertise within physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, as well as geologists, modelers and underwater robotic engineers. Jointly they will investigate the past, present and future climate and ecosystem of the northern Barents Sea.

The Nansen Legacy will spend about 360 days at sea, using the new Norwegian research icebreaker ‘Kronprins Haakon’ as its main research platform. The ship-based sampling is complemented by the use of underwater robotics, year-round moored observing platforms and satellite-based observations. Complementary model tools are used to integrate field-based observations, and to investigate the dynamics of the physical and biological components of the northern Barents Sea climate and ecosystem at present and in the future.

The Nansen Legacy runs for six years (2018 – 2023), and is funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. They provide 50% of the budget while the participating institutions contribute 50% in-kind. The total budget for the Nansen Legacy project is 740 mill. NOK.

“The scientific investigation of a rapidly changing northern environment leads to research questions of such intellectual, empirical and logistical complexity—and of such importance to the management of national resources and associated international obligations—that they can only be addressed properly through national and prioritized cooperation, with the highest scientific standards.”

Read more about the Nansen Legacy