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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New MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (NSIDC USO)

1The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is pleased to announce the release of the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (MOA2009). This data set consists of two cloud-free digital image maps that show surface morphology and a quantitative measure of mean optical surface snow grain size on the Antarctic continent and surrounding islands.

MOA2009 represents the second in a series of MOA image mappings. The image map products have been generated and presented in a near-identical manner as the first mapping, the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2003-2004 image Map (MOA2004). MOA2004 has also been updated with several new grain size image files providing both springtime and summer estimates of mean snow grain size.

A third MOA image mapping, based on data from the 2013-2014 austral summer (MOA2014), is planned for future publication later this year.

The data for MOA2009 were generated from 259 orbit swaths from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrumentation on board the NASA EOS Aqua and Terra satellites. The algorithm and tools for assembling the mosaic were developed by the NASA Cryospheric Sciences Program. Final processing and some adjustments to the snow grain size were completed under the NASA MEaSUREs Antarctic Ice Velocity grant. The Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC) at NSIDC offers data access, tools and information at the following page:

MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica 2008-2009 Image Map (MOA2009)

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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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Arctic Freshwater Synthesis Project Update

- contributed by Arvid Bring and Johanna Mård Karlsson, Stockholm University, project co-leads

There is increasing scientific recognition that changes to the Arctic freshwater systems has produced, and could produce even greater, changes to bio-geophysical and socio-economic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce some extra-arctic effects that will have global consequences. To address such concerns, a scientific synthesis is being conducted that focuses on assessing the various Arctic freshwater sources, fluxes, storage and effects. Notably, most of these are directly or indirectly controlled by cryospheric components and processes.

The Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFS) is structured around five major components: atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology and resources, with modeling as a sixth cross-cutting component. The AFS is currently being developed with scientific and financial support from the World Climate Research Program’s Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.

Publication plans for the AFS include a number of reports tailored to the scientific foci of the individual participating organizations, and to a suite of scientific-journal review papers.  Research needs identified by the AFS are also to act as benchmarks for the upcoming International Conference on Arctic Research Planning III, planned for 2015 and will form the basis for policy recommendations to be presented to the Arctic Council.

So far, the project has involved two meetings of scientific co-leads that are responsible for each component. Writing teams for each component have been formed, and first-order drafts of each review paper have been finished. Next steps involve meetings and continued work for each component writing team to produce the final texts.

For further information contact the project leads: Terry Prowse, Arvid Bring, Johanna Mård Karlson.

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Johansson, Kang and Pavlova to Join CliC SSG

Margareta JohanssonWe are pleased to announce that the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) has appointed Margareta Johannsson (Sweden), Shichang Kang (China), and Tatiana Pavlova (Russia) as new members of the CliC Scientific Steering Group (SSG) beginning in January 2015.

Dr. Margareta Johansson is based at the Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University and at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Sweden. Dr. Johansson has a broad experience in Arctic research, ranging from glaciology/climatology to Arctic ecology and for the last eight years focussing on permafrost in a changing climate in northern Sweden. Her research experience includes helping to coordinate major environmental assessments such as a chapter in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) on terrestrial ecosystems, and international networks such as “A circumarctic network of Terrestrial Field Bases" (SCANNET). She is currently the Executive Secretary for a FP7 EU project INTERACT networking more than 60 research stations in the north and for a nordic top-level research initiative DEFROST and was a co-coordinator of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) during 2006-2008 when it was initiated. Dr. Johansson was one of two convening lead authors for two chapters (snow and permafrost) of the SWIPA assessment (Snow Water Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic) that is a follow up on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment but are focussing on the cryosphere. The SWIPA report was published in December 2011.

Shichang KangDr. Shichang Kang is a Professor and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Dr. Kang has been awarded the "Talent Project" of CAS and National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars. He has been a PI or co-PIs for more than 40 projects, and has organized more than 30 expeditions in the Tibetan Plateau including several 7000+ meter expeditions. He has supervised more than 20 PhD and Master students. Dr. Kang is the associate editor of Atmospheric Research, and a member of Education and Capacity Building of IUGG. Dr. Kang mainly focuses on glacier and climate changes, environmental chemistry of snow/ice and atmosphere, and paleo-climate and environmental variability recovered by ice core records in the Tibetan Plateau. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, with more than 150 papers published in international journals.

Dr. Tatiana Pavlova is a lead scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric General Circulation and Global Climate Modelling, Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (MGO) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received M.Sc in meteorology from the Leningrad Tatiana PavlovaHydrometeorological Institute and Ph.D. (also in meteorology) from MGO. Tatiana’s research interests include climate modeling, climate change and variability in extratropics, cryospheric processes. She is an expert in terrestrial processes modeling (including permafrost). Tatiana was a contributing author to IPCC WGI AR4 (2007) and IPCC WG1 AR5 (2013), an author and lead author of Russian national first (2008) and second (2014) climate assessments. She is a member of WG27 PICES: “North Pacific Climate variability and Change” (PICES- The North Pacific Marine Science Organization) and a member of the Russian National Committee for CliC.

Please join us in welcoming Margareta, Shichang and Tatiana to the CliC SSG.

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