Developing Arctic modeling and observing capabilities for long-term environmental studies (DAMOCLES)

Contact person: Anna Stammler- Gossmann                               Start of the project: 2006
Research group: Sustainable development                                  End of the project:  2009

Funded by European Union in the framework of International Polar Year (IPY).


DAMOCLES will provide the largest ever effort to assemble simultaneous observations of the full Arctic ice-atmosphere-ocean system. This European Integrated Project represents the efforts of 45 European research institutions including more than 100 researchers, distributed among 12 European countries, and coordinated with the USA, Russia, Canada and Japan.

The focus of the current interest within DAMOCLES lies on a study of possible impacts of global warming in the Arctic on the environment and human activities in the Barents Sea region, particularly on the Kola Peninsula and Northern Norway. The Arctic sea ice is predicted by some coupled models to be greatly reduced during summer by the end of this century, while during winter the now-seasonally ice-covered Barents Sea will be ice free. There is a range of important, not only potential bio-geophysical consequences, but also associated socio-economic impacts of a shrinking ice cover. Project analyses the impacts on adaptation to, and vulnerability of human activities, such as fishery, shipping, offshore oil and gas extraction, tourism in the context of changes in climate and sea ice conditions.



The starting point of our study is to estimate the potential impact of predicted climate change on several economic activities in the Russian European North /Russian part of the Barents region, including fishery and shipping. The aim of our current analysis is thus to consider the likely response of the practice of fishery and shipping to climate change and to changes in the socioeconomic and political setting, taking the same timescale as the DAMOCLES project as a whole, and allowing for regional differences. This is not a straightforward task. However, we have attempted to identify the principal risks to which fishery and shipping are subject, and to compare their magnitude.

Key research questions:

• How climate data set and biophysical models could be utilized in the social issues?
• What is the “carrying capacity” of an biological ecosystem of Barents Sea?
• How do biological dynamics of higher trophic level species respond directly and indirectly to climate variability?

More information

DAMOCLES homepages

Anna Stammler-Gossmann
Researcher in Anthropology
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland