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ICE-ARC : Ice, Climate, Economics – Artic Research on Change


ICE-ARC investigates the current and future changes in Arctic sea ice, both from changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The project also analyses the consequences of these changes both on the economics of the area and globally, and social aspects such as on indigenous peoples. Particular focus is on the rapid retreat and collapse of Arctic sea-ice cover. The most spectacular retreat is occurring in summer, and the complete loss of summer sea ice may occur in a very short period of time – years to decades. There is also a significant reduction in sea ice extent in all seasons, which, if continued, will widen annual window of the ice-free season. Specific objectives of ICE-ARC are:

  • Improved climate prediction for the Arctic Ocean and the reduction of uncertainties in those predictions;
  • Improved understanding of climate change impacts on marine ecosystems;
  • Assessment of socio-economic vulnerabilities, both on the peoples of the north and on the planet as a whole;
  • Input to improve EU and international Arctic marine policies to cope with the implications of an increasingly ice-free Arctic;
  • Improved understanding of the living resources for Arctic human communities;
  • Effective policy and management options for societal responses to climate change.


The outcome of the project will be a better understanding of, and ability to predict, Arctic marine change. This will provide an improvement in the scientific baseline for guiding EU and international policies on the protection of the Arctic marine environment, at a time of increased socio-economic pressure, especially in the field of resource exploitation. The economic analysis will evaluate what will be the effects (impacts and opportunities) of transformative changes in the Arctic marine environment for the Artic, EU and global economy; it will also determine costs of policies to abate and adapt to the changing Arctic marine environment.

Project information

British Antarctic Survey (United Kingdom)

Ecorys Netherlands (Netherlands), Greenland Climate Research Centre (Greenland), Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Denmark), Danish Meteorological Institute (Denmark), Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), Ocean Atmosphere Systems (Germany), SINTEF (Norway), Norwegian Polar Institute (Norway), Pierre and Marie Curie University (France), National Center for Scientific Research (France), European Commission Joint Research Centre, Spanish National Research Council (Spain), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), Norwegian Meteorological Institute (Norway), Cambridge Polar Consultant (United Kingdom), Polar Scientific Ltd (United Kingdom), National Research Council (Italy), Mercator Ocean (France), Artic Marine Exploration (Russia), University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), Lancaster University Management School (United Kingdom).

Source of funding
EC Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

Reference information



Artic, collapse, communities, economic impacts, marine ecosystems, marine protection, modelling, observations, sea-ice cover, social vulnerability


2014 – 2017

Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures, Ice and Snow


Sector Policies, Observations and Scenarios, Vulnerability Assessment


Marine and Fisheries

Geographic characterization


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