Implementation Plan

The implementation of ART will follow a three-phase approach extending from 2010 to 2020.

Summary: Arctic sea ice extent and thickness are declining rapidly, simplifying access to oil and gas resources, enabling trans-Arctic shipping, and shifting the distribution of harvestable resources. These projected socio-economical opportunities have brought the Arctic Ocean to the top of national and international political agendas. Alarmingly, current sea-ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years (Polyak et al., 2010) and is taking place more rapidly than projected by any of the 18 global climate models used by the IPCC (IPCC, 2007).

The persistent mismatch between observed and projected patterns makes planning and mitigation activities in the Arctic region complicated. Therefore, scientific knowledge of the present and past status of the Arctic Ocean and the process based understanding of the mechanics of change are urgently needed to make useful projections of future conditions throughout the Arctic region.

The Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) Initiative is an integrative, international, interdisciplinary, pan-Arctic network to study the spatial and temporal changes in sea-ice cover, ocean circulation, and associated physical drivers over multiple timescales to better understand and forecast the impact of these changes on the ecosystems and biogeochemistry of the Arctic Ocean.

The ART Initiative was initiated by early career scientists in October 2008 and subsequently endorsed by the Marine Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), formerly the Arctic Ocean Sciences Board.

The timeline below illustrates the 3-phase approach of the ART Network including key meetings and outcomes (click to enlarge).

Timeline of the 3-phase approach of the ART Network including key meetings and outcomes. ART milestones are detailed in text, such as the timing of deliverables and to whom it will be provided (click to enlarge).