Academic researchers and forecasters strive to develop and deliver polar environmental prediction products that can facilitate the decisions of those living and working in polar regions. What kind of information is needed by the captain of a vessel navigating polar waters, or by the pilot of an aircraft operating in Antarctica? Our knowledge of what really matters at the end of the forecast chain is rather limited. One important goal of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is to strengthen the dialogue between polar forecast providers and users, in order to guide research towards significantly improved and applied polar prediction capabilities in a way that is meaningful to the various stakeholder groups involved.
We are delighted to launch Polar Prediction Matters today at https://blogs.helmholtz.de/polarpredictionmatters/ with the specific aim to foster the exchange between information users and experts on polar prediction. The platform is a means to collect and share individual insights by polar environmental forecast users. These user perspectives will be complemented with contributions by “providers”, such as natural scientists working at meteorological and sea-ice services and at universities, but also by social scientists trying to shed light on how forecast information and products are created, delivered, and utilised.
Polar Prediction Matters is launched with two short articles: The first contribution is a welcome statement by Helge Goessling, Director of the YOPP Coordination Office, introducing briefly the idea behind Polar Prediction Matters and what to expect from the format. In the second article, Uwe Pahl, who served as the master of a research icebreaker for almost two decades, provides his view on the role of environmental information in the practical planning and management of an ice passage. We hope these articles find your interest and provoke curiosity about forthcoming contributions.