To be the Front-runner Realizing the Sustainable Northern Sea Route

  • Professor Takuji Waseda, Associate Professor Ryota Wada, Lecture Tsubasa Kodaira
MEXT Project Series, GRENE-Arctic, ArCS, ArCS2, FY2011-
Integration of weather, sea ice, wave forecasts and Arctic Ocean route support information

 With the rapid decrease in the sea ice area in the summer Arctic Ocean, it has become realistic to use the Arctic Ocean as a commercial shipping route. The Arctic route will reduce the distance between Europe and Asia by 30 to 50% compar ed to the existing route through the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. In other words, fuel is saved and CO2 emissions from ships are reduced. This is a rare example where both mitigation and adaptation to global warming can be achieved simultaneously.

 To use the Northern Sea Route, it is necessary to understand the effects of sea ice on ships and to develop technology to determine the route. In this project, we participated in research cruises in the Arctic Ocean, gained valuable insights into the air-ice-wave-ocean conditions, and hull icing that is a unique issue specific to ships sailing in the Arctic. Members of the project include experts from various fields, including researchers from private companies. One of the major goals is to create a navigation support system for Arctic routes.

Arctic sea routes
Arctic sea routes
Ship icing due to collision between ship bow and waves
Ship icing due to collision between ship bow and waves