CliC Executive Officer Position Available

The Climate and the Cryosphere (CliC) Project and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) invite applications for a permanent position as Executive Officer for the CliC International Project Office.

As a core project of the World Climate Research Programme, the "Climate and Cryosphere" project encourages and promotes research into the cryosphere and its interactions as part of the global climate system. It seeks to focus attention on the most important issues, encourage communication between researchers with common interests in cryospheric and climate science, promote international co-operation, and highlight the importance of this field of science to policy makers, funding agencies, and the general public. CliC also publishes significant findings regarding the role of the cryosphere in climate, and recommends directions for future study. The CliC International Project Office is hosted by the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI).

The application deadline is 7th October 2014.

More information on CliC is available at and
More information about the Norwegian Polar Institute can be found at

Download the job description and application information


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Open Data Portal for low-bandwidth sea-ice information delivery

1The OPEN DATA PORTAL for On-Site Sea ice Information (OSSI) have now been released.

The service is intended for researches and stakeholders in sea ice covered regions with low data bandwidth connection. Fill in a request in the web-based order form, and you will receive updates via email with sea-ice concentration information in your area of interest up to 8 updates a day.

Sea-ice concentration data from GCOM-W AMSR2 (© JAXA) at 6.25 km resolution
Choice of various data and image formats
Full Arctic/Antarctic Oceans or custom region of interest
File size optimized for Iridium transfer (e.g. Fram Strait with a region size of 800 km and GeoTIFF option: 6.5 kB)
Updates are based on individual swaths rather than daily composites
Delay between satellite acquisition and delivery is therefore less than 2 hours

New features and datasets will be added incrementally in upcoming releases:

higher spatial resolution sea-ice concentration data (3.125 km resolution)
additional data formats (netCDF, GRIB)
sea-ice edge and lead information
sea-ice drift information
Sentinel-1A/1B SAR maps

Feedback concerning all aspects of this new sea-ice data service is most welcome, write to Stefan Hendricks of the The OSSI team


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Call for Abstracts: Arctic Science Summit Week 2015, Toyma, Japan

The Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is the annual gathering of the international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world. The ASSW 2015 will be held in Toyama (Japan) on April 23-30 and include business meetings of the participating organizations on April 23-25, excursions and a public lecture (in Japanese) on April 26 and a four day science symposium on April 27-30, combining the Fourth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR‐4) and the Third International Conference on the Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III). Several sessions are directly linked to CliC activities and we encourage you to submit an abstract and attend the conference.

The Call for Abstracts for oral and poster presentations at the ISAR‐4 / ICARP III is now open. The Symposium will address the overarching themes “Rapid change of the Arctic climate system and its global influence” (ISAR-4) and “Integrating Arctic Research: a Roadmap for the Future” (ICARP III). Conference Organizers invite you to submit abstracts to one of the session listed below. Submissions can be made via the conference website at The call for abstracts closes November 10, 2014. Download the 3rd circular for more information.

Full session descriptions can be found here:


Continue ReadingCall for Abstracts: Arctic Science Summit Week 2015, Toyma, Japan

Science Feature: Norwegian Young Sea ICE Cruise

DRIFT PATH The RV Lance will freeze into the ice north of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, and passively drift with the ice, likely in a SW direction. Map: Norwegian Polar Institute

- Contributed by Harald Steen, Norwegian Polar Institute

The Arctic Ocean is experiencing a dramatic sea ice loss, not just the area covered by ice but also sea ice volume. We are obviously heading towards a system that was dominated by ice cover throughout the year to seasonal ice cover. This will understandably lead to a change but exactly how the climate, and weather patterns and ecosystem are going to change is more uncertain. To better our prognosis of future change we need good and relevant data. At present we only have scattered data from the drift ice north of Svalbard on the seasonal variation in physical and biological parameters. To close this gap of knowledge the Norwegian Polar Institute will through the Norwegian Young sea ICE cruise (N-ICE2015) project provide a comprehensive dataset on metrology, oceanography, cryosphere, chemistry and the ecosystem.

In January 2015 the research vessel Lance will be frozen into the ice north of Svalbard, at 83.25°N 30°E, and will passively drift with the ice. Judging from historic sea ice drift trajectories, it is likely that RV Lance will drift in a SW direction. The actual drift trajectory and speed are impossible to predict, but the ship will probably be freed from the ice by the end of March. RV Lance will then return to her starting position and start a second drift. Under all circumstances, the ice drift project will end in late June.

The Primary objective is to understand the effects of the new thin, first year, sea ice regime in the Arctic on energy flux, ice dynamics and the ice associated ecosystem, and local and global climate. The experiment will help to (i) understand how available ocean heat is mixed upwards towards the sea ice and to what extent it influences the sea ice energy budget, (ii) understand the fate of solar radiation incident on the first-year sea ice in the region and how its fate is affected by properties of the atmosphere, snow, ice, and ocean, (iii) quantify the changing mass balance of Arctic sea ice and its snow cover, (iv) model and understand the dynamics of the drifting ice, (v) understand the ice associated ecosystem and model future changes, and (vi) understand the effects on local and global weather systems.

N-ICE2015 will give us a golden opportunity to do science in an area, and at a time of year, that has seldom been studied before. An endeavor such as this is impossible without collaboration from many national and international groups. Through this joint effort, N-ICE2015 intends to produce a new and comprehensive dataset on the new sea ice regime in the north, enabling us to meet the future well prepared.

Data collected during this project will help to support the many activities of the CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group, as well as the Sea Ice and Climate Modeling Forum and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate Grand Challenge efforts.

For more information on this project visit: or contact Harald Steen, the project leader.

The CliC International Project Office is hosted by the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Continue ReadingScience Feature: Norwegian Young Sea ICE Cruise

New Release of Fluctuations of Glaciers Database

The current version comprises reported observations on glacier changes up until the observation period 2011/12 including:
- 5,300 glaciological balances from 413 glaciers (partly including ELA, AAR, seasonal and elevation bin balances, and point observations),
- 920 geodetic balances from 446 glaciers,
- 44,000 front variations from 2,340 glaciers, and
- 420 special event reports from 295 glaciers.

For a detailed overview and quick data access, please use the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) MetaData Browser:

All data and information is freely available for scientific and educational purposes. The use only requires correct citation of the WGMS and/or the original investigators and sponsoring agencies according to the available meta-information.

WGMS work relies on the cooperation and help of many scientists and observers throughout the world. WGMS highly appreciates their long lasting contribution in collaboration with National Correspondents, who are coordinating the annual data collection in more than 30 countries for submission to the WGMS. Special thanks go to Paul Leclercq (Univ. Oslo and Univ. Utrecht) and Graham Cogley (Trent Univ.) for supporting the integration of their datasets.

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Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere

(University of Southern Denmark) Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity. The Arctic is now so warm that the extent of sea ice has decreased by about 30 percent in summer and in winter, sea ice is getting thinner. New research has shown that sea ice removes CO2 from the atmosphere. If Arctic sea ice is reduced, we may therefore be facing an increase of atmospheric concentration of CO2, researchers warn.

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Public domain GIS package “Quantarctica” version 2 is released

The Norwegian Polar Institute is pleased to announce the version 2 of “Quantarctica”, public-domain GIS package for Antarctica. Both the full package and the update-only package from version 1 are downloadable at:
if you want to learn Quantarctica in one minute, here is a YouTube video for the version 1.
Since its first release one year ago, there is a growing community of Quantarctica users. Quantarctica is a package of Antarctic continent-wide datasets optimized for the use on free GIS software QGIS. It currently includes ADD-based maps, continent-wide mosaics and high-resolution satellite imagery, and  glaciology/geophysics data; here is a list of data included in the package:

We use universal color to help people who have color vision deficiency. End users can modify the package freely; many people use it as the base of their own project GIS package.
The Quantarctica package includes QGIS software for Windows, but QGIS also supports MacOS X, Linux, and Android, and the distributed data package and project file are supposed to work on these platforms as well. We tested only on Windows, but heard from users that it works fine on MacOS X and Linux.
We appreciate all data contributors to Quantarctica. When you use Quantarctica, please look the meta data page (double click the layer, and go to the meta data tab), and appropriately cite the original reference of a specific dataset that you refer. And we are really happy if you mention Quantarctica in your publications/presentations.

For more information, please contact Kenichi Matsuoka.

Continue ReadingPublic domain GIS package “Quantarctica” version 2 is released