SAON: Meeting of the Board in Helsinki, Finland

1The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) has been established by the Arctic Council (AC) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) to lead the facilitation of international collaboration among government agencies, researchers, and northern residents, including indigenous people, and to promote a sustainable, and effectively coordinated circum-Arctic observing system.

At the latest meeting of the SAON Board it was decided to establish committees on (1) Observations and Networks (CON), and (2) Information and Data Services (CDIS). These Committees shall address issues that transcend individual Arctic observing and data platforms and all scales of organizational capabilities. The Committees should prepare overall strategies to improve the situation within the Northern areas regarding:

* Collection of data/information from Arctic social, economic, health and environmental sciences and observations, including permission to access geographical areas and platforms, and to present financial options for long term funding of platforms and operations (for CON)

* Establishment of a Circum-Arctic set of early warning indicators (an indicators network), focused initially on indicators of climate change that link to existing and ongoing Arctic assessments and provide the Arctic community with a status of the health of specific Arctic natural and human systems (for CON)

* Free and easy access to data and information (for CDIS)

* Integration and dissemination of data and information will be provided through a SAON-led Circum-Arctic Information System (for CDIS)

The chair of CDIS is Dr. Peter Pulsifer, National Snow and Ice Data Center, USA. The Committee will meet for the first time in November in Potsdam.
The chair of CON has not been appointed yet.

You can find the minutes from the Board meeting here

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SOOS Townhall on Southern Ocean Ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables

1- SOOS is a CliC Endorsed Project

SOOS will be running a lunchtime Town Hall meeting alongside the SCAR Open Science Conference to inform all interested of the outcomes from the recent SOOS workshop on Identification of ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables. This Town Hall is open to all interested to participate.
A light lunch will be provided for the first 50 participants on a first-come first-served basis.
For more information, please contact Louise Newman (newman [AT] soos [DOT] aq)

Auckland, New Zealand, 27 August 2014, The Auckland Room 13:30 - 14:30

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Update on the Arctic Observing Assessment

Thank you to all that contributed to the first phase of the Arctic Observing Assessment. In recent weeks, a first round of anonymous input about societal priorities in the Arctic was received by phone, e-mail, and the web. These responses were wide-ranging. A draft attempt has been made to group these responses into categories that would serve as the basis for the next steps of the Assessment. 

At this time, 11 categories have been identified and made public in an online survey. Your input is again welcomed for the next step of the Arctic Observing Assessment for the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) and the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON). Please visit to review these categories and their descriptions and provide feedback about missing categories or edits to category descriptions. Input is requested by August 8, 2014.

The categories identified by this process will be mapped into an open access relational database that includes products, information sources, and tools identified as necessary for informing decisions. The build out of the database will be featured on the ArcticHub ( and will allow for the community to crowdsource information and products into the database. Frequently Asked Questions about the Assessment, including more information about IARPC and SAON, are also available on the Hub.

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Submarine Arctic Science Program (SCICEX) Science Advisory Committee Meeting Held in May

1The Submarine Arctic Science Program (SCICEX) Science Advisory Committee (SAC) held their annual meeting in Arlington, VA on May 20-21, 2014. SCICEX is a collaboration between the U.S. Navy and the arctic marine research community to create a program to utilize nuclear-powered submarines for the study of the Arctic Ocean with the goal of acquiring data about the sea ice canopy, water properties, and bathymetry. Over 20 scientists and policy makers attended the meeting where topics discussed included the 2014 State of SCICEX, data
collection and processing procedures, data management, recent observations, and new collection opportunities coming up in the future. A meeting summary and the presentations given can be found on the SCICEX SAC web page <>. Also available from the SCICEX Data Inventory web page <> is the archive of data collected from U.S. Navy submarines, beginning in 1993 and continuing to 2012, as well as a listing of more observations that will soon be available from 2011, 2012, and 2014. Visit the SCICEX web site <> to register to be alerted when new data becomes available.

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Workshop Announcement: Large-scale climate variability in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

We are pleased to announce an open call for expressions of interest to participate in a workshop on 'Large-scale climate variability in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over decades to centuries, and links to extra-polar climate', for which a limited number of places are available. The workshop will be held March 24-26 2015, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.  It is organized as part of the WCRP Research Program Polar Climate Predictability Initiative in collaboration with PAGES. We have limited support for travel, which we will be reserved to support early career scientists and scientists from developing nations, who are especially encouraged to apply.

The objective of the workshop is to develop an assessment of large-scale patterns of Antarctic climate variability over the last decades to centuries, and the extrapolar-polar teleconnections, by combining proxy records, historical data, modern instrumental records, and model results.  Further information on aims of the meeting can be found in the attached file.

In order to make the workshop as productive as possible, we anticipate holding one or two telecons in the months leading up to the workshop in order to identify key variables that we'll want to examine during the workshop.  A planned outcome of the workshop will be a journal publication presenting our assessment. More information can be found here:

If you are interested in participating, please send an email before September 15, including information on the four items below, to Hugues Goosse (hugues [DOT] goosse [AT] uclouvain [DOT] be):

  • Name, and affiliation
  • Your position (in particular if you are an early career scientist, i.e. PhD student or PhD completion less than 5 years ago).
  • Why would you be interested in participating and/or contributing to the workshop (5 lines max).
  • Would you require funding, or would you be able to participate in the workshop without support for the meeting organization?

The workshop organizers will review all applications, taking into account the potential contribution of each applicant to the workshop and availability of funds, and they will inform you of the outcome before October 6.

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NSF Arctic Research Opportunities – Ice Drilling

1Researchers intending to submit proposals requiring ice drilling or ice coring support to the National Science Foundation (NSF) 2014 Arctic Research Opportunities (14-584) solicitation are reminded that they must contact the Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO)/Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDDO).

Contact must be made via email (IceDrill [AT] dartmouth [DOT] edu) at least 6 weeks prior to the proposal deadline, in this case by 9 September 2014.

For more information about requesting ice drilling support, visit:

For information and ideas about partnering with the IDPO for broader impacts, please visit:

Information about the 2014 Arctic Research Opportunities (14-584) funding opportunity, is available at:

For questions, please email:
IceDrill [AT] dartmouth [DOT] edu

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Six priorities for Antarctic science

1Rob Massom and Jenny Baeseman represented the CliC Community through this process

The official outcomes of the 1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Horizon Scan were published online today as a COMMENT in Nature (512, 23–25; 2014 entitled “Six priorities for Antarctic science”.

In April 2014, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) convened 75 scientists and policy-makers from 22 countries to agree on the priorities for Antarctic research for the next two decades and beyond. This is the first time the international Antarctic community has formulated a collective vision through discussions, debate and voting. The Horizon Scan narrowed a list of hundreds of scientific questions to the 80 most pressing ones.

The questions fall broadly into six scientific priorities: 
1) define the global reach of the Antarctic atmosphere and Southern Ocean;
2) understand how, where and why ice sheets lose mass;
3) reveal Antarctica’s history;
4) learn how Antarctic life evolved and Survived;
5) observe space and the Universe; and
6) recognize and mitigate human influences.


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Private funding could help Australia’s role in the Antarctic

1The Australian government’s blueprint for the Antarctic is due out soon. Given the recent cuts in public funding for science, what hope is there for any extra monies for the polar region. And what should Australia’s future be in Antarctica?

Tony Press, ex-director of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), was commissioned last October to review Australia’s Antarctic engagement and to develop a 20-year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan. It’s due to be delivered to the Environment Minister Greg Hunt in the coming weeks.

Many aspects of our Antarctic commitment will be covered, including the strategic importance of our Antarctic interests, transport to and within the continent and Australia’s commitment to globally relevant science, to name a few.

Australia claims some 42% of the Antarctic continent and since 1929 the Australian government has supported scientific research expeditions to the great southern land.

In 1947 these expeditions were formalised as the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) and in 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) was established within the Department of External Affairs.

Read the rest of the article here

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