Sea Technology

JUN 2018

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28 ST | June 2018 www.sea-technology.com "As the Arctic opens for more human activity, there will be greater requirements for the U.S. Navy to operate in the area," said Dr. Richard Carlin, head of the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Sea Warfare and Weapons Department. "Collaborative efforts among partner na- tions will enhance knowledge of, and capabilities in, this unique theater—ensuring a safe, stable and secure Arctic region. It's a challenging proposition, but one that must be faced." Armed with Arctic Knowledge The "U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap, 2014-2030" assigns tasks to various naval organizations to prepare the fleet for future Arctic operations. To satisfy these requirements, ONR—which oversees science and technology initiatives for the Navy and Marine Corps—is sponsoring diverse A mong the world's last great frontiers, the Arctic Ocean has seduced generations of hardy explorers seeking adventure, wealth and glory. For centuries, the thick sea ice encasing this desolate polar region offered seafarers only limited entry each summer—creating an aura of frigid impregnability and mystery. But that's changing as Arctic sea and air tem- peratures rise, and summer sea ice melts and fails to re- freeze as quickly. As this frozen cover diminishes, it opens previous- ly inaccessible waterways for extended periods of time each year. Since 1979, when satellite monitoring of sea ice be- gan, the Arctic has lost a substantial amount of its ice volume, which has shrunk in both overall area and thick- ness. Less of the ocean is covered in ice, which now tends to be thinner, seasonal ice instead of thick, older floes (known as white ice). As white ice gives way to dark ocean water, which absorbs more sunlight, the water heats further—accelerating the melt. This thaw provides once unimaginable access to the Arctic—an ocean with territo- rial claims by multiple surrounding coastal nations, including the United States. It also opens more commercial shipping lanes; increases opportunities for oil and natural gas exploration, fishing and tourism; and raises potential security concerns. With such accessibility comes the need to increase readiness for Arctic operations and develop capabilities to ensure the safety of the U.S. fleet. To meet that challenge, the U.S. Navy needs to learn more about the chang- ing Arctic environment, improve sea and weather forecasting for safer operations, and address ship vulnerabilities during ex- treme cold-weather operations. A Frigid Reception US Navy Looks to Bolster Ship Capabilities in Arctic Ocean By Warren Duffie Jr. U.S. Navy Ship's Serviceman Seaman Recruit Jamal Powell, left, and Seaman Recruit Stephen Harmon stand forward lookout watch aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) as the ship navigates an ice field north of Iceland. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy, Lt. j.g. Ryan Birkelbach

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