– Contributed by Jenny Hutchings (OSU) and Stephen Ackley (UTSA)

Based on discussions at the CliC Sea Ice Observations and Modeling Workshop, a joint subgroup of SCAR/CliC Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) and the CliC Arctic Sea Ice Working Group has been formed to work on updating sea ice observation technology from vessels and apply these technologies to vessels working in both the Arctic and Antarctic.  The group and its planned activities are summarized below.  We will be providing updates on the activities as they occur with a specific target of informing the general community at the IGS Sea Ice Conference in Hobart next March.  Any questions or input for this group’s consideration are welcome, and can be addressed to any of the members. The following is the description of the committee:

Shipboard and on-ice sea ice observations are routinely collected during expeditions to ice covered seas. This data, if well managed, is of value to operational sea ice services, industry, researchers, and environmental planners. We recognize a need to share resources between groups working in all sea ice regions to support collection and archival of standardized, quality controlled data.

Our goals are to facilitate: 1) standardization of observational methods; 2) archival of data collected; 3) near-real time transference of data to users; and 4) rescue and integration of historical data collections.

These goals may be accomplished through the following objectives:
  a) development of a comprehensive Arctic/Antarctic observation system that can be adjusted to the local conditions;
  b) design of robust equipment and software to facilitate standardized and autonomous observations;
  c) development of novel observation methods, providing data follow WMO or accepted standards.
  d) exchange  technical information on hardware and software between institutes and nations to best leverage limited funding availability; and
  e)  provide expert development of technical and training material to broaden participation in sea ice watches with sufficient standardization and quality control.

Initial Membership:  Jenny Hutchings (OSU), Petra Heil (AAD), Blake Weissling (UTSA), Alice Orlich (UAF), Marcel Nicolaus (AWI) and Stephen Ackley (UTSA).  Other members are welcome to join, or may be asked to join, based on their interest and expertise in contributing to the objectives of the Technical Committee.