The Central Arctic Ocean, and in particular its deep-sea ecosystems, remain one of the least studied regions of the planet, due to the difficulty of conducting research at great depths under permanent ice cover. However, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and experts predict a continuous decline of sea-ice coverage with potentially significant impacts on Arctic marine ecosystems. It is thus timely to hold an international workshop that will bring together natural and geo-scientists and governance experts to assess the latest knowledge on the composition, structure and processes of deep Arctic ecosystems to support the conservation and management of the Central Arctic Ocean. The aim of the event is to identify major knowledge gaps and propose two or more research projects that will address these gaps. The event and post-workshop activities will be developed in the framework of the UN Ocean Decade endorsed programme Challenger 150, providing a robust framework for a multiyear legacy. The outputs will also address targets of UN SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG14 (Life Under Water) and SD16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).
The workshop will take place in Tromsø and will be open to 35 participants, including 15 international experts and 8 early career researchers. The workshop will last 2.5 days and will be structured as follows:
Day 1: overview of key topics in the deep CAO. Broadcasted to the wider community by Zoom.
Day 2: breakout groups to identify major knowledge gaps and initial discussions on potential proposals.
Day 3: breakout groups to start planning the structure of at least 1 RCN research proposal and 1 EU COST Action networking proposal.
The outputs will be disseminated through relevant networks and organisations, such as DOSI, REV Ocean, Prince Albert 2 of Monaco Foundation, ICES/PICES/PAME.