Impact of climate change on arctic shipping : Vessel damage and regulations

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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleTechnical Report
AbstractThe purpose of this project was to assess the impact of climate change on the likelihood and severity of damage to vessels operating in Artic waters, and address the impacts of climate change on the pollution prevention regulations governing ship traffic in the Arctic. Transport Canada has the responsibility for regulating Arctic shipping in Canada as part of the Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations. A Zone/Date System (ZDS) is used North of the 60° latitude. The ZDS is based on historical data of ice conditions up to the early 1970舗s and on the premise that the ice conditions are consistent from year-to-year. The ZDS consists of sixteen geographic regions (Zones) and an associated Table that indicates the dates that each class of vessel is allowed in each geographical region. The Arctic Ice Regime Shipping System (AIRSS) is used by vessels wishing to access the Arctic Control Zones outside permissible dates for the vessels. The AIRSS, in contrast, allows shipping based on the actual, not historical, ice conditions. In this project a methodology to evaluate Canada舗s Arctic shipping Regulations was developed. Length of the shipping season in the Northwest Passage and Hudson Strait for a colder than normal and a warmer than normal year was analyzed by both the ZDS and the AIRSS, and both systems were then compared. The ice conditions in the North West Passage (NWP) shipping lanes and the access routes to the Port of Churchill in Hudson Strait were analyzed and a potential of damage to vessels was assessed. Based on this study advice will be provided to Transport Canada regarding the need for regulatory reform in the Arctic due to climate change.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Canadian Hydraulics Centre
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberCHC-TR-038
NPARC number12340992
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Record identifier2375617b-cac0-4ea0-b377-da8ca9e909cb
Record created2009-09-11
Record modified2016-10-03
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