The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.
The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.
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The objective of the station is to facilitate ecosystem research in the High Arctic. According to the framework programme of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (ZERO) this includes: - Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes; - Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions; - Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes; - Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change. The programme is coordinated with Nuuk Ecological Research Operations (see below) within the Framework of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM). Main gaps: Winter dynamics
The objective is to allow comparative studies of ecosystem dynamics in relation to climate variability and change in respectively a high arctic and low arctic setting as Nuuk Basic comprises the same components as Zackenberg. According to the framework programme of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (ZERO) this includes: - Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes; - Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions; - Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes; - Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change. The programme is coordinated with Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (see above) within the Framework of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM). Main gaps: Winter dynamics
The main purpose of IMO is to contribute towards increased security and efficiency in society by: • Monitoring, analyzing, interpreting, informing, giving advice and counsel, providing warnings and forecasts and where possible, predicting natural processes and natural hazards; • issuing public and aviation alerts about impending natural hazards, such as volcanic ash, extreme weather, avalanching, landslides and flooding; • conducting research on the physics of air, land and sea, specifically in the fields of hydrology, glaciology, climatology, seismology and volcanology; • maintaining high quality service and efficiency in providing information in the interest of economy, of security affairs, of sustainable usage of natural resources and with regard to other needs of the public; • ensuring the accumulation and preservation of data and knowledge regarding the long-term development of natural processes such as climate, glacier changes, crustal movements and other environmental matters that fall under IMO‘s responsibility. IMO has a long-term advisory role with the Icelandic Civil Defense and issues public alerts about impending natural hazards. The institute participates in international weather and aviation alert systems, such as London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), the Icelandic Aviation Oceanic Area Control Center (OAC Reykjavík) and the European alarm system for extreme weather, Meteoalarm. Network type: Thematic observations in 6 different fields
Monitoring of ice conditions: providing of collection, analysis, archiving and presentation of information obtained from different information sources The continuous monitoring system is based on information from two main groups. The first one is immediate direct observation of the state of ice cover. The information sources are Roshydromet’s permanent polar stations, automatic weather stations and buoys, satellite images in different wave ranges through international hydrometeorological information exchange channels under the auspices of WMO (ETSI) and Ice Services of different countries. Occasional observations by marine expeditions and “North Pole” drifting stations also belong of this group of observation. These are so-called initial or raw data to be further processed, accumulated and archived. As a rule, this information is interesting only to specialists and is not presented without special processing. The second one is processed and summarized information, i.e. diagnostic, analytical and prognostic information. Diagnostic information is a result of processing of initial or raw information. These are adapted and geographically bound satellite images, ice maps, diagnosis of the current state in the form of descriptions and different bulletins. Analytical information is a consolidation of heterogeneous initial and diagnostic information on the ice cover state in the form of overviews and bulletins for different periods of time and different components of ice conditions. Prognostic information is a forecast of different lead times for different phenomena and characteristics of ice conditions. Actually ESIMO AARI web-portal presents a series of group 2 information products having the best informativity and ready for the direct use by customers.
1. Priority Research Theme (1) Clarification of the mechanism of the Arctic amplification. (2) The role of Arctic in the global climate change and future projection. (3) Evaluation on the influence of the Arctic Environmental Change to the weather in the Japan area and fishery. (4) Future projection of the sea ice distribution in relation to the evaluation Arctic route. 2. Basic infrastructure (1) Arctic research cruises by Japanese and foreign ships/ice breaker. (2) Cloud radar system. (3) Data archive system. 3. Establishment of “Japan Consortium for Arctic Environment Research” 4. Budget size: 650, 000, 000 Japanese Yen per year. (appox. 8 million USD per year) Network type: research programme
Ice-drifting buoy observation in sea ice area of the Arctic Ocean Main gaps: not well documented…
monitoring of thermal and humidity parameters of arctic atmospheric boundary layer in horizontal and vertical profile covering glaciated area, non-glaciated area and mountain peak
1. Snow cover (Spitsbergen) - Study of multi-year changes in snowiness near Nordenskiöld Land - Study of impact of spring-summer snow melting on superimposed (infiltration) ice formation on glacier surface - Study of mechanical and thermophysical properties of snow cover in different Spitsbergen landscapes - Study of impact of snowiness and summer melting conditions on the STL conditions under modern climate change (by the example of multi-year measurements near Barentsburg) - Study of structure and dynamics of large and multi-year snowfields as indicators of current climate change in this region. Contact person: Nikolay Osokin (email@example.com), Ivan Lavrentiev
NASA satellites (Figure 13) and numerous instruments provide high accuracy, stable, circum-Arctic measurements for ocean and sea ice observing, including surface vector winds over the ice-free ocean, sea surface temperature, marine phytoplankton and sea ice temperature. The NASA satellites and ocean and sea ice data sets include: 1. Passive microwave time series of sea ice extent begin in 1978 and are archived at NSIDC. 2. The major Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) time series is from the Canadian RADARSAT satellite launched in 1995. RADARSAT data of the Arctic Ocean are processed by the RGPS (RADARSAT Geophysical Processing System, yielding high-resolution charts of ice motion, age/thickness and deformation. All RGPS data are archived at the NASA-supported Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF), University of Alaska Fairbanks. 3. GRACE is a joint NASA/German mission that measures the changes in gravity associated with the changing mass of the ocean, land, and ice sheets. In experimental measurements, GRACE has measured the changes of mass associated with the shift of ocean currents in the Arctic Ocean. 4. The ICESat satellite is in a high latitude orbit (86°N) and can determine the free surface height of the Arctic Ocean up to that latitude. These laser measurements can be used to determine the geostrophic flow. ICESat also measures the height of the snow/air interface of the sea ice, which can be used to estimate sea ice thickness when combined with other data, e.g., snowfall and ice motion, or radar altimeter measurements of the sea ice freeboard. 5. Sea surface temperature (SST) and ice surface temperature (IST) are measured by NASA with the MODIS instrument aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites. The AMSR-E instrument on Aqua measures all-weather sea surface temperature. The follow-on instrument to MODIS is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), scheduled for launch in 2010 on NPP (NPOESS Preparatory Project). The NPP follow-on satellite is the NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellite System) series beginning in 2013. 6. Satellite-derived ocean color is used in combina-tion with environmental data to provide primary productivity. NASA currently provides ocean color from observations taken by the MODIS instrument on Aqua. Under present plans, the MODIS replacement is VIIRS on the NPP and NPOESS satellites. Because VIIRS on NPP is not expected to yield the same high quality of ocean color measurements as MODIS, there may be a gap in the high accuracy of these measurements.
The USCG contributes to ocean and sea ice observa¬tions through a number of activities. First, USCG supports Arctic research through its icebreaking operations. Assets include three polar class icebreak¬ers, of which HEALY operates in the Arctic, POLAR SEA has recently completed drydock work, and POLAR STAR is in caretaker status pending an Administration decision on how the US can best meet polar icebreaking requirements. USCG carries out the annual International Ice Patrol (IIP). The activities of the IIP are governed by treaty and US law to encompass only those ice regions of the North Atlantic Ocean through which the major trans-Atlantic shipping lanes pass. There remain other areas of ice danger where shipping must exercise extreme caution. Information concerning ice conditions is collected primarily by air surveillance flights and from ships operating in the ice area. All iceberg data, together with ocean current and wind data, are entered into a computer model that predicts iceberg drift. Every 12 hours, the predicted iceberg locations are used to estimate the limit of all known ice. This limit, along with a few of the more critical predicted iceberg locations, is broadcast as an “Ice Bulletin” from radio stations around the US, Canada, Europe and over the Worldwide Web for the benefit of all vessels crossing the north Atlantic. In addition to the Ice Bulletin, a radio facsimile chart of the area, depicting the limits of all known ice, is broadcast twice daily. USCG has begun the Arctic Domain Awareness (ADA) program to prepare for increased maritime activity as climate changes provide greater access to the Arctic. Understanding the Arctic Maritime Do¬main is part of a DOD and DHS effort to improve Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) by developing an effective understanding of the global maritime domain and supporting effective decision-making as outlined in the National Strategy for Maritime Security. MDA includes both environmental condi¬tions and human activities that could affect maritime safety, security, the economy or environment. As MDA is expanded to the Arctic, there are likely overlaps in resource needs and sensors that could apply to both MDA/ADA and AON, and coordina¬tion of their activities will be mutually beneficial. The IIP works closely with the National Ice Center (NIC), a multi-agency operational center operated by the US Navy, NASA, NOAA and the USCG. The NIC mission is to provide the highest quality strategic and tactical ice services tailored to meet the operational requirements of Federal agencies. The NIC also coordinates and represents the many funding agencies and partners of the US Interagency Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). NIC also funds the coordinator of the program, and NSF supports IABP data management and coordination at the University of Washington. US buoy contributions to the IABP are funded by NOAA and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). NSF supports the fabrication and deployment of drifting ice mass balance buoys by the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), US Army Corps of Engineers.
Both NOAA and NASA operate satellites with cover¬age of the Arctic region. The major observations and products are: 1. Daily, near real-time plots of surface, cloud, and radiative properties from AVHRR; 2. Near real-time MODIS and AVHRR polar winds; 3. Daily, near real-time plots of clear sky, low-level temperature inversions from MODIS; 4. Daily profile plots of Arctic temperature, humid-ity and winds; 5. Near-daily plots of surface winds over open water; and 6. Surface temperatures for land, sea and sea ice.
Upper-air temperature Homogenized upper-air temperature analyses: extended MSU-equivalent temperature record, new record for upper-troposphere and lower-stratosphere temperature using data from radio occultation, temperature analyses obtained from reanalyses. Water vapour Total column water vapour over the ocean and over land, tropospheric and lower stratospheric profiles of water vapour. Ozone Profiles and total column of ozone.
DMI is responsible for the systematic surveillance of sea ice conditions in the Greenland waters. Observations concerning ice conditions have been collected for approximately 125 years and an extensive volume of data is available in a graphic format as monthly summaries, ice maps etc. Since 1959 special emphasis has been on the waters south of Cape Farewell (the southern tip of Greenland) in order to improve navigation safety in what is an important navigation area. Ice maps containing detailed information on the relevant ice conditions are prepared several times a week. The most recent maps are available in vector graphic format. Since 2000 weekly summaries of the ice conditions for all Greenland waters have been prepared. These summaries, which are based on satellite data, are generated semi-automatically and are primarily intended for climatological analyses as the energy radiation from the sea is highly dependent on whether it is covered with ice or not.
The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) maps ice extent and type for shipping and weather prognoses (Table 6, #4.1). The ice extent at sea is of great importance for navigation, and assistance from an icebreaker is often needed, especially for harbors in the Bothnian Bay. Hence, ice conditions are mapped daily during the winter period, normally from the end of November until the end of May. Ice meteorologists take advantage of detailed reports about ice type and ice thickness from observers along the coast, e.g. pilots, special ice observers, and from the icebreakers passing through the ice-covered sea. Observations from helicopters are part of the regular icebreaking activities. Satellite images, especially from US weather satellites (NOAA-15, NOAA16 and NOAA-17), complement the ice reports and provide information on the large-scale ice situation on the scale 1 km x 1 km during clear sky conditions. More detailed ice information, down to the scale 20 m x 20 m, can be retrieved from a satellite-based instrument called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). SAR sensors are also found onboard the Canadian RADARSAT (in operation since 1996) and on the European ENVISAT (since 2003) and provide information on the ice situation regardless of weather conditions and time of day. A good description of the ice situation is also needed as input data for weather prognosis models because the extent of sea ice has a major influence on weather (especially in coastal areas), and on temperature, cloudiness, and precipitation. Results from daily ice mapping are saved in a database from which e.g. climate statistics for the Baltic region may be generated.