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Press conference to present the results of "High North 17” Campaign

21 September 2017 12.00

Today, at the Navy Headquarters, at the at the presence of the Defense Chief-of-Staff,  General Claudio Graziano, and the Navy Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Valter Girardelli, was held a press conference for the conclusion of the Sea Geophysical Campaign in the Arctic "High North 17".

 Also present were Captain Luigi Sinapi, Director of the Italian Hydrographic Institute, who coordinated the scientific activities; the plenipotentiary minister and president of the Arctic Table, Dr. Carmine Robustelli, and representatives from the most important research national institutions ((CNR, OGS, ENEA) who participated in the campaign, as well as the NATO  Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE).

The campaign was carried out on board the Alliance on the waters near the Svalbard Islands, in the area between Bear Island and the Spitzbergen, coordinated by Professor Roberta Ivaldi, and with the technical-logistics supervision of Commander Maurizio Demarte, the Hydrographic Institute and the main research institutions.

With this activity, the Italian Navy and the Hydrographic Institute have resumed with new vigor the scientific research in the Arctic. It was specifically acknowledged that High North 17 has represented a philosophy of integration and synergy among the research institutions. This allowed fulfilling the set objectives within a single project, and yet maintaining their individual specificity. The results produced exceeded by 30% the original program.



The results were multifaceted, as highlighted by the director of the Hydrographic Institute, Captain Luigi Sinapi, and they included the identification, for the first time, of a dense and salted bottom sea stream, that certainly influences the circulation of water masses and the environment.  This will be the focus for future in-depth research, both concerning past climate changes, the shaping of the present and the forecast of future dynamics.

The Director also added: "The result that best synthetizes High North 2017 is the new mapping of uncharted areas on the sea bottom. These data are also indispensable to update the navigational cartography of the region and improve safety of navigation in the Arctic. "The data collected will increase the databank of the bathymetric map of the oceans, and support the important role played by Italy in the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission (ARHC), as a newly associated country, a relevant position in the arctic geo-strategy.

 The Italian Navy Chief-of-Staff, in his speech stressed that "the High North 2017 Campaign reinforces the Italian Navy ability – through its excellency in the hydro-oceanographic field, namely the Italian Navy Hydrographic Institute in Genoa – to manage and scientifically coordinate a polar research campaign at sea, that is integrated, synergic, multidisciplinary and multisector.

In consideration of the exciting feedback, both for the scientific and the industrial sectors of our country, at the end of his speech, the Italian Navy Chief-of-Staff expressed his intention to support the continuation of these activities in a near future.

The Defense Chief-of-Staff underlined how "the Italian Navy Campaign in the Arctic is a multifaceted activity; first of all it highlights  the dual capacity of our Armed Forces, from the capacity relevant to the security and defense of our Country, to the scientific activity. These capabilities are exclusive to our Armed Forces, but can also be put at service of the whole collectivity."