logo image for top of page

a core project of
2018WCRPspon col July2018 01 1

CliC News

Here's what has been happening lately in CliC. Let us know if you have things to share.

Subscribe to CliC News:


New Paper Published: Arctic Freshwater Synthesis: Summary of Key Emerging Issues

-The Arctic Freshwater Synthesis is a CliC Targeted Activity

CliC IASC AMAPIn response to a joint request from CliC, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) an updated scientific assessment has been conducted of the Arctic Freshwater System (AFS), entitled the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFSΣ). The major reason behind the joint request was an increasing concern that changes to the AFS have produced, and could produce even greater, changes to biogeophysical and socioeconomic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce extra-Arctic climatic effects that will have global consequences. The AFSΣ was structured around six key thematic areas: atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology, resources, and modeling, the review of each coauthored by an international group of scientists and published as separate manuscripts in this special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.

This AFSΣ summary manuscript was published in October, 2015, before the rest of the Synthesis. The Summary reviews key issues that emerged during the conduct of the synthesis, especially those that are cross-thematic in nature, and identifies future research required to address such issues.

The publication and Open-Access costs for the AFSΣ summary manuscript were covered by CliC. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided a substantial amount of funding to support the scientific analysis of the project.

The AFSΣ summary is available here.

Read more about the AFS here.

Citation: Prowse, T., A. Bring, J. Mård, E. Carmack, M. Holland, A. Instanes, T. Vihma, and F. J. Wrona (2015), Arctic Freshwater Synthesis: Summary of key emerging issues, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 120, 1887–1893, doi:10.1002/2015JG003128.

10th Session of the CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel

-Contributed by Nico Caltabiano
-The Southern Ocean Region Panel is co-sponsored by CliC, CLIVAR, and SCAR

participants Frascati SORPmeetingThe CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP) met at the European Space Agency (ESA) headquarters in Frascati, Italy, on 24-25 September, to discuss progress of activities in the past year and plan future activities. The panel has strengthen the links with the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project by including in the membership expertise in areas such as sea-ice and ice shelves. The panel will also continue to work with Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) on aspects of air-sea fluxes in the Southern Ocean, following the "SOOS/WCRP/ESA Workshop on Southern Ocean air-sea fluxes" that preceded the panel meeting. Air-sea fluxes is also a topic identified in the contribution from SORP to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) plans. Metrics to be used by modelling groups in ocean model evaluation and ocean synthesis will also be revisited.

Presentations of the meeting will soon be made available online soon on webpage of the Tenth Session of the CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel. Stay tuned!

Minutes Available: CliC Leadership Online Meeting - An Update from the CliC Groups

Thumbnail GroupCallThe Minutes summarizing the discussion during the CliC Leadership online meeting are now available. On October 20, 2015, the CliC Leadership had a very productive meeting about the various CliC Working Groups, Fora, and Panels. Representatives from the various groups gave an update on what happened in 2015, announced their plans for 2016, and gave some details on their involvement in the Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP), if any.

Read the Minutes here.
Find out more about the CliC Leadership Online meetings here.

Publication of Ice Rise Review Paper and Inventory

-Contributed by Kenny Matsuoka
-The 2013 International Workshop on Antarctic Ice Rises was co-sponsored by CliC

PictureIceRisesNewsItemA review paper on Antarctic ice rises and rumples is now published in Earth Science Reviews:
Matsuoka et al. (2015): Antarctic ice rises and rumples: Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution. Earth Sci. Rev., vol. 150, pp.724-945.

This paper is a community paper contributed by 20 authors from multiple disciplines, including glaciology, geology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, and climate. It reviews the current status of our knowledge, and highlights the knowledge gap, and discusses key directions of the future research. The inventorying work presented in the paper found 170 ice rises and 510 ice rumples. The inventoy is available here.

This is a direct output of an International Workshop on Antarctic Ice Rises in 2013, sponsered by SCAR's Standing Scientific Group of Physical Sciences, CliC, APECS, Research Council of Norway, British Antarctic Survey and Center for Ice, Climate and Echosystems of the Norwegian Polar Institute. We thank all of the workshop participants and the sponsors.

These paper/dataset as well as workshop presentation materials are downloadable from the workshop website hosted by CliC.

We hope that this paper is useful to develop ice rise/rumple research further.

Permafrost Carbon Network: October 2015 Update

-Contributed by the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN)
-PCN is a CliC co-sponsored activity

permafrost carbon networkA few news items from the Permafrost Carbon Network….

1) A simplified, data-constrained approach to estimate the permafrost carbon-climate feedback. This newly published article was led by Charlie Koven and is based on collective efforts and syntheses of many members of the Permafrost Carbon Network. The article is online available at Philosophical Transactions A.

Media summary: Permafrost is expected to lose carbon to the atmosphere in response to global warming, as increased soil temperatures lead to faster decomposition of old organic matter that is currently frozen in the ground.  We construct a model of permafrost soil carbon losses using multiple estimates of permafrost thermal dynamics, soil C stocks, and the response of permafrost soil carbon to experimental warming. Our results show that the magnitude of the feedback from thawing permafrost is a substantial fraction of the total global amount, and will play an important role in determining the amount of warming that accompanies fossil fuel release.

Koven CD, Schuur EAG, Schädel C, Bohn TJ, Burke EJ, Chen G, Chen X, Ciais P, Grosse G, Harden JW, Hayes DJ, Hugelius G, Jafarov EE, Krinner G, Kuhry P, Lawrence DM, Macdougall AH, Marchenko SS, Mcguire AD, Natali SM, Nicolsky DJ, Olefeldt D, Peng S, Romanovsky VE, Schaefer KM, Strauss J, Treat CC, Turetsky M (2015) A simplified, data-constrained approach to estimate the permafrost carbon–climate feedback. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 373, DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0423

2) 2015 Arctic Observing Open Science Meeting, Nov 17-19, Seattle, WA: The meeting will focus on sharing science results, with a key goal to stimulate cross-project and cross-program investigator-driven collaboration that leads to high impact science products. The core of the meeting will be parallel science sessions that will include both talks and discussion period. The parallel session discussions will engage participants in sharing science results, developing concepts for new cross-program observation campaigns, new uses for existing data, and new observing technologies and new synthesis products,  including benchmark data sets and scientific papers. This is a great opportunity for individual scientists to interact with the broader interdisciplinary Arctic observing community. We also welcome modelers; you are well positioned to identify concepts for multi-scale benchmark data sets to inform models and their evaluation.

More information, including registration and abstract submission is available here.

3) AGU Session: Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change.
Poster session will take place Wednesday, December 16, 8:00 am – 12.20 pm, Moscone South, Poster Hall
Oral Sessions will take place Thursday, December 17, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Moscone West, 2004
Special Session including a panel discussion will take place Thursday, December 17, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Moscone West, 2004

4) The 5th Annual Meeting of the Permafrost Carbon Network takes place Sunday, December 13th, 2015(9:00 am – 4:30 pm) before AGU at the InterContinental in San Francisco (888 Howard Street).

In the morning, we will provide an update on previous and ongoing Permafrost Carbon Network activities and we will have short presentations by synthesis leads/co-leads about topics being discussed in breakout discussions in the afternoon. The detailed agenda is available on the PCN website.

This year, we are inviting everyone interested in Permafrost Carbon Network activities to attend the morning presentations, whereas the afternoon breakout discussions are optional and specifically for those that would like to be involved and actively contribute to a specific synthesis product. We encourage you to sign-up for one of the breakout discussions in the afternoon if you have data to contribute or want to contribute in another way to a synthesis product. Also attached to this email are short descriptions of the possible breakout topics.

It is important that everyone who plans to attend our meeting signs up for it by November 3rd, even if you have told us before that you are participating, please sign up.

You have the option to sign up for:
1) Morning presentations (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
2) Lunch at InterContinental, provided by IASC and PCN (12:00-1:00pm)
3) Afternoon Breakout discussions (1:00-4:30 pm)
4) Choose your individual breakout discussion (1:00 – 3:30 pm)

The sign up form is available here.

For questions please contact Christina Schädel or Ted Schuur .

5) More recent publications:
Abbott BW, Jones JB (2015) Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4, and N2O in upland tundra. Global Change Biology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13069

Hope C, Schaefer K (2015) Economic impacts of carbon dioxide and methane released from thawing permafrost. Nature Clim. Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2807

Lawrence DM, Koven CD, Swenson SC, Riley WJ, Slater AG (2015) Permafrost thaw and resulting soil moisture changes regulate projected high-latitude CO2 and CH4 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 10, 094011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094011


Paper Published: "On the Rocks: The Challenges of Predicting Sea Level Rise"

nyu abu dahbi logocliclogo1As the loss of West Antarctica's ice sheet threatens to raise sea level and flood the world's coasts, scientists must improve projections by understanding the physics where glaciers meet the ocean.

To move toward coupled, interactive glacier-ocean models, CliC launched a targeted activity focused on modeling of West Antarctica at a meeting held 27–29 October 2014 at New York University in Abu Dhabi. The 30 participants represented a crosscut of glaciological and ocean modelers spanning the international community. The meeting resulted in the establishment of the Marine Ice Sheet–Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP). This project aims to develop a suite of coupled glacier-ocean model benchmark tests in idealized model configurations, followed by regional simulations of specific outlet glaciers, such as the Thwaites. Further technical details for those interested in participating in the activity are found on the CliC website.

In this context, the MISOMIP leads have been working on an article now featured in EOS, and called "On the Rocks: The Challenges of Predicting Sea Level Rise." The paper is available here and is also featured on the front page of the EOS website.

Author Information:
David Holland and Denise Holland, Center for Global Sea-Level Change, New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Citation: Holland, D., and D. Holland (2015), On the rocks: The challenges of predicting sea level rise, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO036667. Published on 19 October 2015.

Workshop Summary: Air-Sea Fluxes in the Southern Ocean, September 21-23, Frascati, Italy, 2015

-Contributed by Sarah Gille

NOAAesasoosWCRP“Air-Sea Fluxes for the Southern Ocean: Strategies and Requirements for Detecting Physical and Biogeochemical Exchanges” was the focus of a workshop held in Frascati, Italy, from 21-23 September 2015. The workshop attracted a total of 48 participants. Together the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the European Space Agency (ESA), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and US CLIVAR provided sponsorship for the workshop, which was hosted by the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN).

Air-sea flux measurements pose significant challenges in the Southern Ocean because of the remote location, high sea state, and icing conditions of the region.  Recent technological developments have given new hope to the prospects for obtaining high-quality flux observations in high-latitude conditions. The workshop considered a broad range of these new technologies, including wave gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft observations, new moorings (the Southern Ocean Flux Station, the Ocean Observatories Initiative moorings in the southeast Pacific and the Argentine Basin), and shipboard flux covariance measurements with the eventual possibility correcting for airflow distortion around the ship. In situ observations are critical but need to be interpreted in a broader context that can come from satellite observations and from reanalysis or state estimation.

Three specific recommendations emerged from the workshop. First was the importance of including air-sea heat and momentum fluxes in the list of Essential Climate Variables, with specific requirements for accuracy and precision of measurements. Second participants recommended development of a pilot study focused on a targeted measurement campaign in a compact region near a mooring, along with related satellite data assessment and assimilation efforts. The objective to target a small region will allow evaluation of eddy-scale spatial variability in fluxes, since these scales play a significant role in determining the representativeness and underlying physics behind individual flux observations. Finally, participants supported the development of a SOOS Capability Working Group to oversee activities related to the first and second recommendations.  

[Workshop Webpage]

Torgny Emil Vinje, Norwegian Sea-Ice Researcher, dies at 86

-Contributed by Tordis Villinger

TorgnyVinjePhoto Credit: Ann-Kristin Balto/Norwegian Polar InstituteTorgny Emil Vinje, known to most in the ACSYS/CliC community for his research on sea ice, passed away at Ullevål hospital, Oslo, Norway, on 23 September, 2015.

Torgny obtained his Cand Real (MSc) degree in Meteorology at the University of Oslo in 1956, and was hired by the Norwegian Polar Institute the very same year. Torgny participated in- and led -numerous expeditions and research programmes during his 40 years at the Institute. He served on a long list of national and international science and reasearch committees.

During the 1980s, Torgny began a project to produce a historical archive of Arctic Regions ice charts. This eventually became an ACSYS project in the early 1990s when the Project Office was set up at the Norwegian Polar Institute. The data, published in 2003 as The ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive (1553-2002), reveals a retreat of the sea-ice extend in the Nordic Seas starting long before the observed warm period in the 1990s. The data set was distributed to all major centers for snow and ice and generated much interest both in the science community and in international news.

Torgny had a quiet sense of humor, he mostly stayed in the background, but did not shy away from speaking up when necessary. He was a great colleague and patient mentor to many and appreciative young researchers who remember him fondly. His large contribution to Polar research will not  be forgotten.

Torgny Emil Vinje's funeral takes place at 12:00 on Friday, 9 October at Ormøy church, Ormøy, Oslo.

The Norwegian Polar Institute's obituary is available here.

Summary & Presentations Available: ISMASS Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects, August 2015

-ISMASS is a SCAR/IASC/CliC activity

ismassbannerThe Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects (MISMIP+, ISOMIP+, MISOMIP1) was held on Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 2-5 pm at Churchill College in Cambridge, UK, during the International Glaciological Society Symposium on Contemporary Ice-Sheet Dynamics: ocean interaction, meltwater and non-linear effects. About 40 participants from around the world attended the workshop, which was co-sponsored/supported by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project. The workshop was focused on presenting the design of three MIPs: the third Marine Ice Sheet MIP (MISMIP+), the second Ice Shelf Ocean MIP (ISOMIP+) and the first Marine Ice Sheet Ocean MIP (MISOMIP1).

The Summary of the ISMASS MISOMIP Workshop is now available here and the the slides presented at the meeting can de downloaded at:

[ISMASS MISOMIP Workshop Webpage]
[ISMASS Website]