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The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

The CryoSat-2 Level 4 Sea Ice Elevation, Freeboard, and Thickness data set is now available at NSIDC: 

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Dr François Massonnet, member of the APPLICATE consortium and team member of WP4: Support for Arctic observing system design, spent part of summer 2017 in the United States in the context of his research on sea ice predictability and data assimilation.

The August report for the 2017 Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) is now available. The SIO is an activity of the Sea Ice Prediction Network project (SIPN) as a contribution to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). The goal of the SIO is to improve Arctic sea ice prediction on seasonal time-scales.

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The last few months have been a very busy period, as can be seen from this third issue of PolarPredictionNews. For example, YOPP has been officially launched at WMO on 15 May 2017;

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The Ice Watch ship observations initiative is an international collaborative program to coordinate Arctic-wide visual sea ice observations collected from ships operating in ice-covered seas of the northern hemisphere ( The associated observation protocol was developed in collaboration with the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (CliC-ASIWG).


The MOSAiC team announces and invites you to participate in the MOSAiC Implementation Workshop on November 13th to 16th. 2017. 

Adoption of an international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code)

​IMO has adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) and related amendments to make it mandatory under both the  International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The Polar Code entered into force on 1 January 2017. This marks an historic milestone in the Organization’s work to protect ships and people aboard them, both seafarers and passengers, in the harsh environment of the waters surrounding the two poles. 

In our previous work Melia et al (2016) we showed how trans-Arctic shipping routes would become more available through the 21st century as sea ice declines, using multiple Climate models calibrated to current sea ice observations, eg Figure 1. But sea ice will continue to close shipping routes to open water vessels through the winter months for the foreseeable future and the availability of open sea routes will vary greatly from year to year. In a new paper just published Melia et al (2017) looks at whether the shipping season period (when sea routes are open) can be predicted in seasonal forecasts, again using several climate models, and testing both perfect and imperfect knowledge of the initial sea ice conditions.