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 (https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/ice-watch/). 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.
The July 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.
Since October 2015, more than fifty projects aiming at improving polar prediction skills by various scientific approaches have been endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) initiative. We now open the institutional YOPP endorsement and invite research institutes, operational forecasting centers and various other groups and networks whose activities contribute to the succes of YOPP to request endorsement. Institutional endorsement differs from the hitherto available project endorsement by YOPP as it addresses general contributions to improving polar predictive skill rather than individual academic projects or programmes often sponsored through third party funding. With the institutional endorsement we provide the possibility for research consortia such as operational weather forecasting centres, academic institutions, or networks to link with the Year of Polar Prediction.
A new study has been published by members of the APPLICATE consortium in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (http://126.96.36.199/aas/EN/10.1007/s00376-017-6290-4#AbstractTab) in which methods from numerical weather prediction are employed to understand how the Arctic influences weather and climate in mid-latitudes. Two pathways are identified along which the Arctic influences mid-latitudes, one pronounced one over Eurasia and Eastern Europe and a secondary one over North America.