CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group

The first ICE cruise from Rijpfjorden, Svalbard to the edge of the Arctic Basin.Photo: ©Tor Ivan Karlsen, Norwegian Polar Institute, 2010

The CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (CASIWG) concentrates on improving the coordination between the sea-ice observation and modelling communities to establish protocols for standardizing and archiving data across the different national and international activities.

The establishment of a CliC Arctic Sea-Ice Working Group complements ASPeCt in arctic regions. This working group is initially focused on improving the coordination of surface-based sea-ice and snow observations, establishing protocols for standardizing and archiving data across the different national and international activities, and linking partners to ensure that functional, sustained observing networks are established for long-term observation and monitoring of these regions.

Progress in observations should be continued in the area of assimilation of the variety of sea-ice observations into coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. This will contribute to create a basis for global ocean and climate system re-analysis.

Goals of the Working Group

The goals of the Climate and Cryosphere Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (ASIWG) are:

  1. Develop, standardize, and implement observation and measurement protocols for Arctic sea ice in coastal, seasonal, and perennial ice zones;
  2. Integrate surface-based observations with remote sensing and modelling efforts; and
  3. Establish and foster connections between international groups involved in sea ice observations, modelling, remote sensing, and data assimilation.

CASIWG organized several workshops, a major part of their activities, which have fostered the needed international collaboration in achieving our goals. Results from these workshops have been disseminated through journal articles and reports, and have been published on the web. These workshops include:

  • Workshop on Arctic surface-based sea ice observations: Integrated protocols and coordinated data acquisition, Tromsø, January 2009
  • 2nd Meeting of the CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group, Tromsø, June 2010
  • CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group Meeting, Boulder, October/November 2011
  • Workshops on Passive Microwave Remote Sensing of Sea Ice at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD in 2011, and the Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark in 2013
  • Workshop on Boundary-Layer Processes (co-sponsored with IASC), Boulder, June 2012
  • MOSAIC Science Workshop (co-sponsored with IASC), Boulder, June 2012
  • CliC Sea Ice Modelling and Observing Workshop, Tromsø, June 2013
  • Snow on sea ice field workshop, Barrow Alaska, April 2015
  • Sea ice summer camp, Barrow Alaska, May 2016
2017 Updates from the Working Group

ASSIST, the sea ice observation software, continues to be used on both research and tourist cruises. ASIWG members have continued to contribute to the Sea Ice Section of the NOAA Arctic Report Card and to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society State of the Climate issue. ASIWG members have participated in the planning of MOSAiC – Multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. ASIWG members participated in 2017 Sea Ice Prediction Network and in a joint modeling/observing workshop examining sea ice thickness.

2017 Publications
Richter‐Menge and others. The Arctic (in “State of the Climate in 2016”). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 98, 2017.

Plans of the Working Group for 2018 and beyond

The ASIWG will continue to integrate Arctic sea ice related activities into MOSAiC and the Year of Polar Prediction. Coordinating autonomous buoy deployments is a particular focus. This coordination is critical since the Year of Polar Prediction happening now and the MOSAIC field campaign will start in fall 2019. We will work with MOSAiC to standardize snow and ice observational protocol. We will continue disseminating the ASSIST ice watch software to research vessels and to cruise ships operating in the Arctic. We plan to work on implementing an essential sea ice variables sustained observing framework. These proposed activities will be done in collaboration with other CliC groups. An ASIWG workshop in 2018 is being planned, most likely to be held in conjunction with a MOSAiC planning meeting.

Chair & Contact person Melinda Webster (past chair Don Perovich)

Name Address Email Main fields
Melinda Webster (Chair) University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA  Arctic snow and sea ice
Hajo Eicken (Steering comittee) International Arctic Research Center (IARC), University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
Sebastian Gerland (Steering comittee) Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway Sea ice thickness and optics, Svalbard, Greeland and Barents Seas
Jennifer Hutchings (Steering Comittee) Oregon State University, USA
Walt Meier (Steering comitee) National Snow and Ice Data Center, USA Remote sensing