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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Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop Report Available

In June 2014 CliC supported the Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop 2014 ( researchers-workshop.html), which was held in conjunction with the Fourth European Conference on Permafrost 2014 in Evora, Portugal ( This workshop involved about 100 early career permafrost scientists and engineers. The major focus of the workshop was to determine future avenues of permafrost research from a young researchers‘ perspective. This activity was mentored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), who is leading the process towards ICARP III (3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning), and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) together with CliC, both coordinating permafrost activities within ICARP III.


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ICARP III and the Cryosphere

The scientific, political and economic interest in the Arctic is rapidly growing and the increasing number of Arctic and Polar research programs requires a better coordination in order to ensure the best value for funds spent. Thus, agreeing on shared objectives, across all eight Arctic states and with other countries and international programs is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) initiated the planning of a third ICARP, to be held in conjunctions with its 25th anniversary in 2015, and invited all interested partner organizations to participate in shaping the future of Arctic research needs.

CliC is one of the members of the ICARP III Steering Committee and is contributing through a number of projects:

Arctic Freshwater Synthesis
Permafrost Research - A Roadmap for the Future
Linkages between Arctic Climate Change and Mid-latitude Weather Extremes
Arctic Snow Cover Changes and their Consequences
Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop
Where Are They Now?
ICARP III FrostBytes

The Fall 2014 Issues of the IASC Newsletter provides an introduction to ICARP III and features some of the projects that CliC is sponsoring.  For more information on ICARP III and the current list of projects related to the cryosphere, visit

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Gwen Hamon Joins CliC Office

The CliC Office is happy to welcome Gwénaëlle Hamon to our team for the remainder of 2014. Gwen will work on various CliC activities but will more specifically help the team with the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis Project in preparation for the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III). Gwen holds a Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University Paris-Sud XI in France where she is from. Gwen worked for more than four years for the Global Ocean Forum, an NGO dealing with international marine policy issues based at the Center for Marine Policy of the University of Delaware in the USA. She had a central role in the NGO in terms of project management and science coordination. Before that Gwen worked at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as an intern working on scientific research and commercial uses of marine genetic resources. Gwen is currently on contract here in Tromsø until mid-December.

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