Assessment of Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Condition Differences in the Scope of the Polar Code

Karahalil M., Özsoy B.

JOURNAL OF ETA MARITIME SCIENCE, vol.9, no.1, pp.31-40, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/jems.2021.32448
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-40


Polar regions face increasing challenges resulting from the interactions between global climate change, human activities, and economic and political pressures. As the sea ice extent trends diminish, maritime operations have started increasing in these regions. In this respect, an international concern has arisen for the shrinking of sea ice, preserving the environment, and passengers' and seafarers' safety. The International Maritime Organization has enforced the Polar Code (PC) for the ships navigating in these challenging Arctic and Antarctic waters. Polar regions are similar in some aspects but exhibit significant differences in geographical conditions, maritime activities, and legal status. Therefore, the PC that applies to both regions should be reconsidered, accounting for the differences between the areas for further development. This study considers the Arctic and Antarctic geographical differences relevant to the PC's scope. The emphasis is placed on the changes regarding the sea ice extent and sea ice condition differences in the two regions, which are essential in maritime safety. This study also addresses the aspects of the PC that need improvement.