With climate change, new possibilities for an increased utilization of Greenland's oil reserves have opened. Shipping traffic, such as cruise ships, is also increasing due to the longer periods of ice-free waters near Greenland. This increases the risk of accidents and thus oil pollution at sea.
There is an increasing focus on the development of technologies and knowledge regarding containment and degradation of oil in the Arctic environment. One challenge in containment of oil pollution the Arctic is the large distances and difficulties to access some areas as well as the presence of ice in the water which can complicate the clean up of an oil spills. As Arctic areas have a unique aquatic ecosystem, it is particularly vulnerable to oil pollution.
The Department is researching in oil spill pollution and clean up methods under Arctic conditions in close collaboration with the Department of Bioscience.