||Willy Ostreng, Karl Magnus Eger, Brit Floistad, Jorgensen-Dahl, Lars Lothe, Morten Mejlaender-Larsen, Tor Wergeland
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The main objective of the present study was to compare the shipping conditions along the Northeast, Northwest and Transpolar passages based on a state-of-the-art analysis. To fulfill this objective three core premises were applied. First, the concept of sailing conditions was defined at the intersection of a variety of interacting factors, e.g. geopolitics, global warming, sea ice melting, military affairs, international economic trends, environmental challenges, resources, ocean regulations and law, competing modes of transportation, logistics, corporate governance, jurisdictional matters and lights of indigenous peoples. On this premise, the study is multi- and interdisciplinary in approach and substance. Second, the report is to serve applied purposes - to provide a fact basis both for real-life decisions and for developing a comprehensive multiyear research program to fill in, expand, deepen. broaden and supplement existing knowledge of relevance to shipping in Arctic waters. For this reason, the study is empirical and highly fact-oriented, not least revealing the shortcomings of existing knowledge. Third, the study is to a large extent based on secondary scientific material stemming from research programs like INSROP, ARCOP, JAKSROP, AMSA, etc., all of which have a singular focus on the Northern Sea Route. To compensate for this bias and provide a satisfactory database for all three passages, the research team had to draw on a much broader range of literature - official as well as research based - and to produce its own data through interviews. not least in Canada. In this way, the study became much more of a research program in its own right than originally planned for...