The Report of the 34th Session of WCRP Joint Scientific Committee, held in Brasília, Brazil, from 27-31 May 2013 is now available. To read the whole report click here

Jenny Baeseman, the CliC IPO Director, gave the CliC talk on behalf of CliC SSG Chair Greg Flato who was unable to attend. Since 2012 the CliC IPO has acquired an Office Assistant.  A 5-year agreement was signed in 2013 between WCRP and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) on hosting the CliC IPO at NPI.  CliC renewed or entered into a number of agreements with partner organizations. The sponsorship of CliC has changed. It is now a WCRP project, and IASC and SCAR are CliC partners in several joint activities. This change better reflects the nature of cooperation between CliC, IASC, and SCAR. The project has now a completely new and up-to-date website and a mailing list. The CliC Newsletter has restarted.  There are WCRP resources for project activities, and they are augmented by contributions based on a proposal funded by the Research Council of Norway. 13 CliC-cosponsored workshops have been held since June 2012 and eigth more meetings are being planned for 2013.

A major cryospheric meeting “Earth Observations and Cryosphere Science” with participation of approximately 200 scientists from 30 countries was organized jointly by ESA, CliC and EGU in Frascati, Italy, on 13-16 November 2012. Recommendations on the cryospheric remote sensing were summarized in the special issue of the open access online journal “The Cryosphere”. They update recommendations summarized in the 2007 IGOS Theme on Cryosphere Report. A comprehensive poster archive from this conference is maintained through the CliC website.

CliC operates two active sea-ice working groups. The Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate Group (ASPeCt) is co-sponsored by SCAR. The CliC Arctic Sea-Ice Working Group is involved in a number of research activities in the Arctic. Sea ice is the topic of a series of two connected CliC workshops in 2012, which are focusing on Norwegian sea-ice research networks, and the international sea-ice modelling and observing community.  CliC is supporting the, an Arctic sea-ice measurement campaign coordination tool, and, in cooperation with IARC, the Ice Watch, a mechanism for standardization of research observations on sea ice.

At the ninth SSG meeting in Potsdam, Germany, on 4-7 February 2013, several new CliC activities were discussed by the CliC renewed SSG, as follows:

•    West Antarctic glacier – ocean modeling;
•    Understanding linkages between cryosphere elements;
•    Coordination of cryosphere observations for model evaluation and prediction initialization;
•    Arctic freshwater system synthesis;
•    Ice-sheet model intercomparisons;
•    Arctic climate scenarios information archive and delivery;
•    Permafrost retrospective simulation, merged with remote sensing;
•    Water availability from mountain glaciers and response to climate change; and
•    New forums on ice-sheet modelling, sea-ice and climate, and permafrost modeling.

Some of these potential activities are actively moving ahead.

The West Antarctic Glacier-Ocean Modelling is led by David Holland. This group aims to create state-of-the-art regional-scale simulations and physically based estimates of SL coming from WAIS over the present century and beyond. The main goal is to produce a climatological, annually repeating simulation, forced by a ‘common-year’ forcing dataset with atmospheric, oceanic, glaciological, and bathymetric inputs for initial and boundary conditions. It will be followed by model intercomparisions to understand the possible response of WAIS to IPCC scenario climate forcing. This is a 5-year initiative, which will likely result in multiple articles, a contribution to the next IPCC, and a CliC contribution to the RSL GC.

There is increasing scientific recognition that changes in the Arctic freshwater systems are producing subsequent changes in bio-geophysical and socio-economic systems of particular importance to northern residents and also produce some extra-Arctic effects that will have global consequences. To address such concerns, CliC proposes an “Arctic Freshwater Synthesis” that will assess various Arctic freshwater sources, fluxes, storage, and effects.  Most of these are directly or indirectly controlled by the cryospheric components. The range of sources and fluxes to be assessed include: atmospheric vapour transport, precipitation-evaporation, river flow, ablation of glaciers and ice caps, sea ice formation/ablation and marine (low-salinity water) exchanges. Extra-Arctic sources/fluxes from lower latitudes will also be included given their relatively large influence on the overall Arctic freshwater budget. In considering the changes in the various freshwater components, synergistic roles among components, and the overall budget, the assessment will also evaluate their role in producing effects on regional and global climate, biological productivity and biodiversity, and human and economic systems. The assessment is currently being developed jointly by CliC and IASC. Involvement and roles of AMAP and Arctic – Hydra are also considered. A workshop is being planned for late 2013.

Together with SCAR and IASC, CliC will cosponsor the Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level Rise (ISMASS) Working Group that focuses on interactions between ice sheets and the climate system and evaluation and promotion of scientific understanding of ice sheet models with an aim to quantitatively estimate their contributions to SL.

CliC is responsible in the WCRP for the Cryosphere GC. A workshop “Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” is planned to this effect in Tromsø, Norway, for 16-18 October 2013. It is cosponsored by the Research Council of Norway.

Before joining CliC, Dr. Baeseman, the Director of CliC IPO, was the founding Executive Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists. With arrival of Dr. Baeseman the CliC is benefiting significantly from cooperation with this community, which is now a very large and vibrant network. CliC will benefit from joint workshop planning, co-leading initiatives and activities, support of and access to databases and catalogs, and an extensive suite of communication and outreach activities of APECS.

CliC is very well equipped and active in supporting and leading cryospheric and polar activities in the new era of scientific communication. The new CliC resources include:

•    Support / access to information on cryosphere in the media and news;
•    Access to recent cryosphere literature publications;
•    Community calendar and planning resource;
•    Cryosphere community news;
•    Support to polar and cryosphere job opportunities;
•    Videos, photos, reports and other useful resources; and
•    Cryosphere specialist directory.

Some of these resources are now available for WCRP. CliC was actively engaged in the development of WCRP communication strategy and related activities.

Project organizational development plans include:

•    Development of operating procedures and branding;
•    Review of current working groups;
•    Establishing better connections to WCRP Projects;
•    Support to a cryosphere thesis database;
•    Support to journal abstract podcast series;
•    Webinars for science communicators;
•    Outreach and Capacity Development Committee;
•    Cryosphere Projects Catalogue;
•    Revision of CliC Implementation Plan; and
•    Desirable increase of staff and institutional memory.

Main points raised during discussions:

The JSC thanked Jenny Baeseman for standing in for Greg Flato. It emphasized the need to speed up the preparation of the CliC Implementation Plan, with a focus of the Project’s contribution to WCRP priorities such as GCs and accelerated development of cryospheric models, and start prioritizing the activities based on the Plan.  A concern was expressed regarding the number of new potential initiatives. The JSC has highlighted that the support to development of ice-sheet and ice-shelf models on behalf of the entire WCRP network is one of key WCRP needs, and CliC has all opportunities to help developing a network of scientists involved in this type of modelling research and accelerate the model developments.  A similar requirement exists for sea-ice modelling.  Developments in cryospheric modelling need to be communicated and taken up in the overall climate and Earth System modelling and climate prediction and projection. In this connection, CliC, WGSIP and WGCM were asked to develop proposals on facilitating their interactions. WGSIP and WGCM were encouraged to participate in the Tromsø Workshop on the Cryosphere GC in October 2013.

Following the concerns by CLIVAR with regard to the lack of a WCRP dedicated body to address the role of Arctic in the climate system, and in view of the number of international bodies involved in Arctic research, JSC asked CliC to identify opportunites for greater cooperation with Arctic Ocean research communities for addressing WCRP research priorities, e.g. GCs. One example of an initiative of potential interest and importance for WCRP and CliC is the Arctic Sea-Ice Outlook.