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The Arctic to attract huge investment over the coming decade

In a report produced by Lloyd’s in co-operation with Chatham House, Arctic opening: opportunity and risk in the High North, Arctic is expected to attract huge amount of investment over the coming decade. The report estimates the investment to exceed $100 billion.

The exact amount of investment might depend a variety of factors like oil and gas pricing, local and global economic conditions, and so on.

Main players of the Arctic will continue to be the oil and gas industry, and mining and the shipping industries. These biggest drivers and beneficiaries of the economic development of Arctic will be supported by other smaller industries like fisheries, tourism, aquaculture, and scientific research.

Business in Arctic can be high risk or high potential based on the climatic condition and economic conditions. When Arctic is concerned the estimate of $100 billion can be, at best, a guess.

Arctic ice cover second lowest Level

Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the summertime sea ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low.


The September 9, 2011 ice cover, the lowest this year, was second in recorded history after 2007’s record melting. The yellow line shows the 30-year average ice cover – much bigger chunk of ice melted this year. The Northwest Passage shipping line is seen fully open (path in red line). Credit- NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Although the July level of ice was record low, the Arctic sea ice cover this year was second only to 2007. According to NASA, on the lowest Arctic ice cover day, Sept. 9, a total of 4.33 million square kilometers of ice was observed in the Arctic. The average area of ice on the month of September 4.61 million square kilometers, also the second only in the recorded history.

Hence, 2011 saw the second lowest ice extent both for the daily minimum extent and the monthly average.  When compared to the average ice cover from the years 1979 to 2000, this year’s cover was 2.43 million square kilometers less.

Tuomo Kärnä

Tuomo Kärnä  is the chief research scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He specializes in the fields of dynamic environmental actions and mitigation of structural vibrations. Kärnä has designed more than 30 dampers that are successfully working in high-rise masts and chimneys. He has also worked as a coordinator of domestic and international research projects.


Since April 2003, he is a Visiting Professor at the Dalian University of Technology in China. He found his research and consulting firm, Karna Research and Consulting, in 2006 and is working in investigating structures and dynamic actions.

Tuomo Kärnä got his doctoral degree in 1984 with the best possible scores in structural mechanics, mathematics. More details on Kärnä  can be found in his website (Photo credit: Tuomo Karna)

IPY 2012 – Abstract submission deadline is Sept. 30

logoIPY2012 The IPY 2012 Conference is going to be held from 22 to 27 April 2012 in Montréal, Canada. The conference is targeted to the "Polar scientists, policy makers and academics, government and industry representatives from around the world."

The abstract submission deadline is September 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

The abstract should only be submitted online and the organizers have told that they won’t accept other forms of submission. Details on the procedure is given in the Abstract submission page of the conference website.

Themes of the conference presentations are divided into four different areas:

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Last of the snow melted in Edmonton

At the time when we are done with the fun of the summer (and, waiting a snowfall anytime soon), Edmonton saw the last of the last year’s snow!


Well, it’s not from some glacier – but a last winter’s snow pile at its west-end storage site, one of the five snow-storage sites in Edmonton, melted ‘officially’ at 4 pm on Saturday, September 10. It’s uncommon but, in some years Edmonton does see September snow falls. Usually, the snowfall season starts in November.

In the beginning of September the west-end pile was told to be 3 meters high. But, high temperature in the first week helped in speeding up the melting process.

Usually Edmonton’s snow pile melts in or around July. Last year it was colder-than-usual so the ice took longer to melt this year. In the snow-storage sites by January, more than 900,000 cubic meters of snow was stockpiled. That was 100,000 cubic meters more than the annual average.

The 15th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium of SIMA, June 20-23, 2012

SIMA,  a nonprofit professional trade association for snow and ice is organizing the 15th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium, June 20-23, 2012 in Buffalo, NY!

More information on the education, events, and registration for the 2012 Symposium will be available in Winter 2012.

Interested in becoming a speaker in 2011-12? Speaker and education proposals are due August 31, 2011. Visit the Call for Proposals Page for more information.

Topics covered are:

  • Anti-Icing & Deicing
  • Legal Issues
  • Bidding
  • Marketing
  • Business Management
  • Purchasing
  • Case Studies
  • Safety
  • Contracts
  • Sales & Negotiations
  • Customer Service
  • Salt Usage
  • Equipment Operations
  • Site Technology
  • Fleet Management
  • Software Technology
  • Financial Operations
  • Subcontractors
  • Forecasting
  • Trends in Snow & Ice Management
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership

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ICETECH 2012 to be held in Banff, Canada

CETECH 12, the international conference and exhibition on ships and structures in ice, is going to be held in Banff, Alberta, Canada, from September 17 to 20, 2012. The conference is organized by the Arctic Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).


The important dates of the conference are:

Abstract Submission – by 17 January 2012
Abstract Acceptance – by 17 February 2012
Early Registration Discount – 17 March 2012
Technical Paper Submission for Review – by 17 April 2012
Notification of Acceptance or Revisions by 17 May 2012
Publication Copy – by 17 June 2012
Conference Begins: 17 September 2012
Conference Ends: 20 September 2012

The conference is themed "Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice," and it includes some of the important topics on Arctic region; like global warming, geopolitics, and future expectations for the Arctic through participation of relevant organizations and experts. Further details on the conference can be obtained from the official website of ICETECH 2012.

Molikpaq – Journey from Canadian Arctic to off-coast Russia

The drilling and oil production platform, Molikpaq, is a steel caisson, ice-resistant structure, built to explore for oil in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. It was used in the 1980s in the Canadian Beaufort Sea for the exploration drilling of oil and gas. The platform was extensively instrumented for the structural responses due to ice loads and other environmental forces. 

molikpaq_in_arctic Molikpaq on the Canadian Arctic

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POAC 2011 in Montreal concluded, POAC 2013 to be held in Finland

poac-2011In the 21st International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions (POAC 2011) was successfully held in Montreal, Canada from July 10 to 14, 2011. The conference with the theme "Resource Development and Transportation in Polar Regions," had a record number of participants in POAC history.

The conference included five keynote speakers, more than 140 technical papers (out of 182 accepted abstracts), and a panel on Arctic shipping – Polar Codes.

The conference awarded the POAC Founders Lifetime Achievement Award to J. Schwarz to recognize his work to promote the quality of the International POAC conference over a number of years, and his effort to make significant advances to understand the effects of ice on activities in ice-covered waters. Dr. Schwarz had been one of the POAC Presidents and he was the Symposium Chair of the 12th POAC, 1993, held in Hamburg (Germany).

The next bi-yearly conference of POAC is scheduled to be held in Helsinki (Finland) in the second week of June, 2013. The Symposium Chair for the 22nd POAC conference will be Jukka Thukuri.

This will be the third time POAC conference is going to be held in Helsinki. The 7th (Symposium Chair P. Jumppanen) in 1983 and 15th (Symposium Chair – K. Riska) in 1999 were also held in Finland.

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Structures in the Arctic

Arctic being cold and un-welcoming for human settlement, it has remained one of the most inhabitable places in the earth. That doesn’t mean human activities will not exist in the area. People have been living in the Arctic region for various activities including research, exploration, and oil drilling. These activities require job specific structures to be constructed in the area.

It is common for offshore structures in the Arctic region to interact with oncoming ice features. Such interactions are random in terms of intensity and direction, and are usually difficult to predict.


Understanding behaviors of different variables of ice-structure interaction can be helpful in achieving structural safety and economy of offshore structures by providing better design and construction guidance.

According to a USGC report published in 2008, the Arctic accounts for about 22 percent of undiscovered and technically recoverable natural resources. Although seemingly high, the estimate can prove to be highly conservative with the advancement in technology and future explorations of vast majority of unexplored arctic region.

To make use of such a vast resource, the Arctic region demands increased activities in the area in terms of exploration and investigation on the economical viability of explorations. Harsh climate in the Arctic region also demands for economical structures with better safety ratings against ice and environmental actions.

I will talk about ice-structure interaction in the next post.