Climate Change Impacts on the Maritime Sector

Short Description/Aims

Climate change is affecting practically all aspects of human life including shipping and the maritime industry. Impacts are already noted in ports and ship channels due to rising sea levels and changed erosion and sedimentation patterns. Completely new routings are being planned at sea as a result of the melting of the sea ice particularly in around the North Pole. The decreasing polar ice will also enable a number of other maritime activities such as mineral exploitation and fishing in polar areas. The course will review how the maritime industry will be affected technically as well as economically of the climate change.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide an overview of how climate change is affecting ocean and coastal environments now and in the future;
  • Examine how shipping and maritime activities are likely to be influenced by climate change;
  • Review efforts by international and national agencies, as well as by the industry itself, to deal with the GHG footprint of shipping;
  • Review the different strategies and techniques how to deal with the problems of adaptation and mitigation

Course Outline

  • Climate change scenarios, impacts on ocean phenomena, extreme events – locations and probabilities;
  • Coastal erosion, coastal hydrology under climate change conditions;
  • Navigational hazards, impacts on operations, emergency response, ice, spill response, vulnerabilities in ports;
  • Arctic routes in the next 25 years, possibilities and limitations;
  • Economic opportunities, insurance issues;
  • Adaptation, the international response

Teaching & Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Discussions

Who should attend

• Managers in the industry; • Officers in marine, maritime and environmental agencies; • Post-graduate researchers, NGO representatives.

Additional Information

Basic background and knowledge in maritime affairs is an advantage

Course length

4 days

EC Credit

2.0 EC

Mode of Delivery

Open Enrollment


Olof Lindén

Professor, Nippon Chair in Marine Environmental Management, Dr. Linden also holds a part time professorship in Coastal Management at the University of Kalmar.

Neil Bellefontaine

Professor Neil Bellefontaine has been Vice President (Academics) at WMU since April 2011. He previously held the Canadian Chair in Marine Environmental Protection from October 2006 to April 2013. He was formerly a senior executive with the Canadian Fisheries and Oceans Department with broad professional experience in maritime administration, fisheries and marine aquaculture and coastal and oceans management.

Henrik Nilsson

Henrik joined WMU in 2010 and has been involved in a project focusing on transboundary water management. The particular focus has been on the Öresund between Sweden and Denmark where he, together with local and regional stakeholders, develops a Marine Spatial Plan for the Sound that illustrates increasing competing interest for the sea space.

Anne-Marie Warris

Dr Anne-Marie Warris has over 25 years’ experience in sustainable mattersand is a leading expert in climate change and environmental issues. She was voted on to the top ten on the inaugural Environmentalist power list by readers of The Environmentalist in July 2014. The power list reveals those who are believed to be the most influential in helping organisations to better their environmental impact or who have had an influence on raising environment issues up the business and policy agendas.