Nansen Legacy PI
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Kai Håkon Christensen
Norwegian Meteorological Institute
The ecosystem of the Barents Sea is the basis for Norway’s richest fisheries and the majority of the undiscovered petroleum resources in Norway is expected to be found here. Increased human presence in – and commercial exploitation of – the seasonally ice-covered northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin is already evident and expected to continue. This makes the sustainable management of the “Norwegian” Arctic a national priority and an international commitment.
The Nansen Legacy provides a scientific basis that is urgently needed before exposing the northern Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean to increased human exploration and commercial activity. With more recreational and commercial use of the Arctic, there is an immediate need for more reliable forecasts of harsh weather conditions. Directly related, but on longer time scales, are the prediction and projection of future climate and associated ecosystem change, allowing society to manage and adapt.
Future sustainable management of the northern Barents Sea and the adjacent Arctic Ocean is highly dependent on the efficient transfer of knowledge and a good dialogue between scientists and the various stakeholders in the Arctic. This is why the Nansen Legacy has dedicated one work package to the effective dissemination of its results, ensuring a long-lasting impact and legacy of the project.
Through workshop discussions about risks associated to different scenarios of a future Barents Sea, through contributions to national and international panel debates, and by proposing quantitative tools for integrated ecosystem assessment for the Barents Sea to ICES, the project contributes to communicating new knowledge to society and policy makers in a comprehensive way.