Innovation and Cooperation for a Safer Arctic

Organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 25. August 2016

Friday, October 7, 15:30-17:00

Location: Kaldalón, Harpa First Level

The polar regions have been attracting more and more attention in recent years, fuelled by the perceptible impacts of anthropogenic climate change. Polar climate change provides new opportunities, such as shorter shipping routes between Europe and East Asia, but also new risks such as the potential for industrial accidents or emergencies in ice-covered seas.

Here, it is argued that environmental prediction systems for the polar regions are less developed than elsewhere. There are many reasons for this situation, including the polar regions being (historically) lower priority, with less in situ observations, and with numerous local physical processes that are less well-represented by models. WMO promotes cooperative international activities enabling development of improved weather and environmental prediction services for the polar regions, on time scales from hours to seasonal.

The plan for the Breakout session is to focus on on two priority thematics:

  • The urgent need to invest in observational networks and prediction capabilities to address immediate safety requirements and climate services needs in the Arctic region, and ensuring social, economic and environmental sustainability;
  • The urgent need for greater international cooperation to support public and private sector strategic planning and enhanced global security in the face of climate change.

The session will be moderated by renowned speaker, Lucy Hockings from BBC and will involve brief interventions by each panellist, followed by an exchange with the audience.


  • Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chairman Arctic Circle


  • Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary General, WMO
  • Alexander Frolov, Director, RosHydroMet Mark Doherty, Head of ESA/EO Exploitation Development Division, European Space Agency
  • Mark Doherty, Head of ESA/EO Exploitation Development Division, European Space Agency
  • Andrea Tilche, Head of Unit European Commission; DG Research & Innovation
  • Michael Kingston, Maritime Lawyer of the Year 2015, Insurance Marine Trade & Energy


  • Lucy Hockings, Presenter, BBC World News