The research group's area of work is studies of sea ice, the physics of the ice, and its role in the climate system. The most important tool in this work, which is under constant improvement, is the Nansen Center's unique sea-ice model.

The group’s core expertise is modelling, remote sensing and sea-ice research, and knowledge of waves in ice-covered sea areas. With warming in the Arctic, it is expected that waves will affect the sea-ice cover to a greater extent. The group’s research contributes to new knowledge about the marginal ice zone, and how waves and ice mutually influence each other.

It is complicated to describe sea ice-dynamics mathematically in a model. The group’s researchers have developed a method that provides an approximately correct representation of nature’s processes. This unique model describes how forces in the ice cause it to crack. The sea ice is modelled to find why it behaves the way it does, among other things with a view to the shrinking ice cover of recent decades. Work is also being done to identify the physics behind this dynamic behaviour. Research is also aimed at increasing the understanding of how sea ice moves and breaks up. The combined use of the sea-ice model and data from satellites makes the group’s research complete.

On a daily basis, the Nansen Center produces forecasts for sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, nine days ahead. The forecasts are generally through “Copernicus Marine Service”, an EU-service that monitors and disseminates basic, quality-assured information about the state of the sea.