On this page you can find relevant news related to polar weather and climate prediction and predictability. Besides, you can download all issues of our newsletter called PolarPredictNews. We also provide an overview of PPP and YOPP appearance in the media.

23 September 2020: Home Coming – A Year of Observations in the Backpack

by Daniel Butkaitis

After a full year in the Arctic, the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern is now on her way back home to Bremerhaven. Two airborne campaigns IceBird and ACA (Airborne observations in the Central Arctic) complemented observations during the last weeks of the MOSAiC drift.

Since when the research icebreaker RV Polarstern set sail from Tromsø, Norway, in September 2019, it truly has been an exciting year for the whole team involved in MOSAiC. Not only has it been the largest polar expedition in history, scientists in the field were able to take the closest look ever at the processes going on in the Arctic – the epicenter of global warming – to gain key insights to better understand global climate change.

In addition, two airborne campaigns IceBird and ACA, which launched on 28 August, were performed with the research aircraft Polar 5 (ACA) and Polar 6 (IceBird). Aim was to complement the measurements obtained during the MOSAiC drift across the Arctic Ocean for about two weeks. IceBird’s major focus was on sea ice, while the ACA campaign looked at atmospheric processes. ACA is part of the YOPP-endorsed project (AC)3 – ArctiC Amplification: Climate Relevant Atmospheric and SurfaCe Processes, and Feedback Mechanisms.

Polarstern’s return to her home port in Bremerhaven on Monday morning, 12 October 2020, can be followed online. Watch out for further information during the upcoming weeks on Twitter and Instagram @polarprediction.

22 September 2020: This Year’s Arctic Sea Ice Extent – Second Lowest Ever Recorded

by Daniel Butkaitis

On September 15, the Arctic sea ice shrank down to its annual minimum extent of 3.74 million square kilometers (1.44 million square miles), thus being the second lowest value since the beginning of modern record keeping in the late 1970s. The long-term trend is alarming.  

After a period of rapid melting rates in the Arctic during August and the beginning of September, the extent of sea ice dropped below 4.0 million square kilometers. This happened only once before, in 2012, when the sea-ice extent reached its all time record low of 3.39 million square kilometers (1.13 million square miles). After 8 September 2020, daily melt began to level out, leading to a minimum extent of 3.74 million square kilometers on 15 September 2020. However, a shift in wind patterns or a period of late season melt could still push the ice extent lower.

The 2020 ice retreat has been part of a well-defined pattern. The 14 lowest minimums for sea-ice extent have occurred during the last 14 years. The downward trend is likely to go on, leading to an ice-free Arctic during summer by the next ten to twenty years, according to Mark Serreze, Director of the Colorado-based NSIDC. “That is rather telling,” Serreze said. “The story is, we are in this new age.”

The new state of the Arctic might also have a big influence on weather and climate conditions in major population centers such as in North America, Europe and Asia, especially during winter. Less ice cover in the Arctic leads to a stronger heat release into the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean, which influences low and high air-pressure systems over the Arctic as well as, through air mass exchanges, in lower latitudes.

21 September 2020: The Northern Climate Observer – E-Journal from the North

by Daniel Butkaitis and Kirstin Werner

As part of the globally active Local Environmental Observer (LEO) network, the Northern Climate Observer (NCO) e-journal regularly issues climate-related news including those about unprecedented changes to nature from the circumpolar northern latitudes.

The impacts of climate change to nature are getting more and more dramatic. This is particularly evident in the polar regions. The people living and working in the circumpolar north, in particular in the northern parts of Canada, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden or Alaska, are strongly affected by the ongoing changes in their surroundings. For the approximately 13.1 million people living in this area, it is therefore important to stay up-to-date about the prevailing environmental dynamics in the Arctic.

Published and distributed by the Centre of Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), the e-journal Northern Climate Observer (NCO) collects the latest news about climate-related health issues and unprecedented environmental changes in the high northern latitudes. The NCO thus provides important information from various resources such as the LEO-Network or the ClimeMap. In addition, the newsletter also links to highlights published by various other organisations and online newspaper resources from the region.

Regular readers of the NCO e-journal therefore acquire a deep understanding of the observable consequences of climate change, and how these directly impact the live and work of the northerners. In more or less weekly releases, NCO shares tangible insights about a changing environment in the circumpolar north. In their latest release, for example, a link is provided to a news release by the Norwegian broadcasting company NRK on the record heat on Svalbard this summer, causing the flooding of a coal mine by thawing glaciers. Another article linked from the Independent Barents Observer features the impacts of climate change on wildlife in Russia.

In addition, NCO provides their own articles such as on the Fireweed Mystery, about the changing characteristics of the fireweed plant that recently started to grow with multiple flowering heads – an observation made by someone within the community. As the LEO Network is a globally acting network of local environmental observers, basically everybody can contribute data or information to the network. As such, people from the area who notice particular changes in their environment can share their observation with the LEO-Network. To do this, ANTHC provides a mobile-phone app called the LEO Reporter where one easily can report any unusual observation or discovery. The idea behind this concept is to improve the dialogue and exchange between the local community and experts either local to the region or specified in a particular topic.

More information about the LEO Network can be found on their YouTube Channel. To subscribe to the NCO e-journal, follow the link here.

17 September 2020: ICO Support from the South

As the Polar Prediction Project is now in the middle of its Consolidation Phase, a lot of work has to be done in terms of coordination and communication. Therefore, two new interns recently relocated from the south of Germany to support the International Coordination Office (ICO) for Polar Prediction at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.

Laura Hüßner
is currently studying environmental engineering at the University of Applied Science Weihenstephan-Triesdorf in Triesdorf, close to Nuremberg, Southern Germany. In 2018, she already completed a Bachelor of Music. Laura will assist the YOPP International Coordination Office, as well as APPLICATE and ESM project until February 2021.

Daniel Butkaitis is studying Water Resources Management at the Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Science, close to Stuttgart, Germany. As a member of the non-governmental organisation  “Technology without Borders“, he recently supported a project in Gambia where he already gained some practical experience within project management. Driven by his interest in science and climate change, he will assist the YOPP International Coordination Office, as well as the APPLICATE and ESM project teams in their daily business until March 2021.

15 September 2020: The Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 2020

by Daniel Butkaitis, Laura Huessner, Sara Pasqualetto and Kirstin Werner

Every year around mid-September, the sea-ice extent in the Arctic shrinks down to its annual minimum. This year, after an entire month of abnormally high melting rates, many scientists expected to see another new negative record for the sea ice minimum extent. While the diminishing trend is ongoing, it is, however, almost certain now that the 2020 sea-ice minimum will not fall below the record minimum of 2012.

Regular changes in sea-ice extent over seasons, months, weeks or even from day to day fall under what is called the natural variability. As such, around mid-March, the Arctic sea ice usually reaches its maximum, while the Antarctic sea ice reduces to its lowest extent. During mid-September, the situation is reversed. Comprehensive records on sea-ice variability in the Arctic have been rare until the late 1970s, prior to the start of satellite observations. Nowadays, satellite data build the base for many of the sea-ice prediction models. The graph shows the average September Arctic sea-ice extent since 1979.

A discernible downward trend can be noted; on average the sea-ice extent has decreased by almost 13 percent per decade. Accordingly, the temperatures in the Arctic have increased more than twice as fast as the current global average of 1,8°C, compared to pre-industrial period (1720-1800). If the ongoing trend continues, the Arctic summer ice is expected to be gone completely by 2035, a recent study published in Nature Climate Change prompts.

This year’s development of the sea ice has been particularly thrilling. In August 2020, the Arctic sea ice was experiencing rapid sea-ice loss extending into the last week of August, which made many scientists foresee another new minimum for the sea-ice extent. However, with the onset of autumn, the melting rate has slowed down in the Arctic. The upcoming week will determine if this year can break the overall record of 2012.

Daily updates on the current sea-ice status are provided on the website seaiceportal.de, maintained by the Alfred Wegener Institute in cooperation with the University of Bremen.

11 September 2020: YOPP Research Publications and Acknowledgement

by Laura Huessner

Acknowledgement of YOPP is highly appreciated in order to help determining the success PPP and YOPP.  To inform the wider community, authors of YOPP-related papers are invited to send their papers to the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO).

In order to help determining the success of PPP and YOPP towards the end of the Consolidation Phase, the ICO kindly asks authors of YOPP-related papers to include the following statement in the acknowledgements section of their articles:



'This is a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), a flagship activity of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP), initiated by the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). We acknowledge the WMO WWRP for its role in coordinating this international research activity.'

Furthermore, please cite the following paper whenever you consider it applicable as it provides a good overview of the scientific rationale and the main components of YOPP:

Jung, T., Gordon, N.D., Bauer, P., Bromwich, D.H., Chevallier, M., Day, J.J., Dawson, J., Doblas-Reyes, F., Fairall, C., Goessling, H.F., Holland, M., Inoue, J., Iversen, T., Klebe, S., Lemke, P., Losch, M., Makshtas. A., Mills, B., Nurmi, P., Perovich, D., Reid, P., Renfrew, I.A., Smith, G., Svensson, G., Tolstykh, M., Yang, Q., 2016: Advancing Polar Prediction Capabilities on Daily to Seasonal Time Scales. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00246.1



The ICO welcomes any information on new papers that provide contributions to YOPP, optionally including a short summary on the paper, formulated for a general audience, to potentially feature selected publications on the website or in the newsletter to inform the wider community. 


Please send references of newly published papers (plus a short summary) to office@polarprediction.net.
Research publications related to polar prediction topics, and in particular resulting from the various Year of Polar Prediction efforts, are listed in chronological order under https://www.polarprediction.net/publications/research-publications/.


09 September 2020: Update - Arctic Frontiers goes Online

by Sara Pasqualetto

The 2021 edition of the Arctic Frontiers Science Conference will be organised in a new format. Taking into account concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the organising committee of Arctic Frontiers decided to hold the meeting online, instead of the in-person gathering in Tromsø, Norway, on 1-4 February 2021. Amongst six different topics, a session on polar prediction is going to be part of the conference. Abstracts can still be submitted by 6 October 2020.

"While we believe now more than ever in the importance of bringing people together”, explain organizers in a note on the conference website, "we have decided to move the content of Arctic Frontiers 2021 online to ensure that no one will lose out on the Arctic Frontiers experience. So the Arctic family will meet from February 1-4 2021 in a slightly different way than what we are used to."

The abstract submission deadline has also been moved: there is now time to submit contributions until 6 October 2020. YOPP and our co-organizing partners ECCC, DKI and Met Norway are looking forward to many scientific updates for our session entitled Advanced prediction capabilities for the Arctic and beyond.

For all information and updates on the Arctic Frontiers conference visit their website or Twitter account.

03 September 2020: Arctic Change 2020 – Call for Abstracts

by Laura Huessner and Kirstin Werner

From 7 to 10 December 2020, the Arctic Change Conference 2020 will take place. While usually held as a face-to-face meeting around Canada, this year’s ArcticNet annual science meeting will be organized completely virtual. A YOPP-related session chaired by PPP-SERA members Gita Ljubicic and Jackie Dawson will be part of the program. Abstracts to contribute are due on 8 September 2020.

The Arctic is experiencing an unprecedented change. Circumpolar nations face an increased demand to enhancing their observational capacity and to better understanding Arctic processes to ensure availability of all information needed to support evidence-based policy and decision-making. Science and knowledge mobilization play a pivotal role in this process.

A major goal of the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) ArcticNet is to engage Inuit organizations, northern communities, universities, research institutes, industry as well as government and international agencies as partners in the scientific process and the steering of the network. What started as the first Arctic Change conference in 2008 in Québec has developed into one of the largest trans-sectoral international research conferences. The 2020 online-only meeting is the fourth Arctic Change conference to bring together the world’s foremost northern scientists to discuss the emerging global challenges and opportunities to face them.

Co-chaired by PPP–SERA members Gita Ljubicic and Jackie Dawson, the Year of Polar Prediction is participating in the Arctic Change 2020 conference with the session entitled ‘Tailoring Polar Weather, Water, Ice, and Climate Information and Services to Address Diverse User Needs’. It is the third of a series of sessions that Ljubicic and Dawson so far have organized for ArcticNet where various initiatives that tailor, translate, or adapt current weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information and services are invited to present how to suit the diverse user needs. This time, focus is on „Arctic or Antarctic examples and experiences with tailoring polar WWIC information and services" in a range of, amongst others, the following sectors: subsistence hunting and harvesting, fisheries, shipping, tourism or aviation.

Find more on the YOPP session here. An overview of all Topical Sessions at the Arctic Change 2020 Conference can be found at https://arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2020/topical-sessions. Abstract submission is due on 08 September, 2020 at midnight EDT. Final decision notices will be sent to authors by Friday, September 25, 2020. For submission guidelines, go to https://arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2020/call-abstracts.

ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence and partners warmly invite the global Arctic community to join the conference – from wherever you are. For further information, visit https://arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2020/.

20 August 2020: Second International Verification Challenge – Seeking for Best New Verification Metrics

Original article from community.wmo.int/news/2nd-international-verification-challenge

The Joint Working Group of Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR) calls for participation in the second International Verification Challenge – Seeking for the Best New Verification Metrics Making Use of Non-Traditional Observations.

Forecast verification is evolving beyond traditional metrics for basic weather variables to make use of many new sources of data to assess forecast quality. This additional information gives people greater confidence to use the forecasts in their decision making.

Research shows that impact-based forecasts and warnings are more effective than traditional weather forecasts and warnings in prompting people to take action, but we are only just starting to quantify the impact of the weather on human activities and use this information to evaluate forecasts. The advent of social media and the ease of sharing photos and other data from smart phones and home weather stations means that citizens can now contribute relevant information for assessing forecasts and warnings. Weather and climate sensitive industries also have a strong interest in measuring the utility of forecasts and warnings for their business, which means translating the forecasts into user-relevant variables (e.g. energy output, crop yield, aircraft departure rates, etc.) that can be verified against industry measurements.

To encourage the development of verification approaches making use of new sources and types of observations, the World Meteorological Organization's Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR) is conducting a challenge to develop and demonstrate new forecast verification metrics using non-traditional observations. The contest is in support of the WWRP projects on High Impact Weather, Subseasonal to Seasonal Prediction (S2S), and Polar Prediction Project (PPP).

The challenge will consider all applications of meteorological and hydrological forecasts, deterministic and ensemble, that are relevant to the public and user sectors including operational forecasting, agriculture, energy, emergency management, transport, etc. The metrics can be quantitative scores or diagnostics (e.g., diagrams), but they must use non-traditional observations to be considered for the prize.
The JWGFVR warmly encourages all interested researchers and practitioners to participate.
 
Please find more information including the submission forms here.

12 August 2020: 2021 Arctic Frontiers YOPP and Partners Session – Abstract Submission Open

During the 2021 Arctic Frontiers Science Conference, the Year of Polar Prediction and partners will hold a session entitled “Advanced Prediction Capabilities for the Arctic and Beyond”. Abstracts submission is open until early September.

Since Arctic Frontiers started out in 2006, this northernmost Nordic winter conference has steadily grown to what is now ‘the event’ when it comes to a pan-Arctic forum for dialogue and exchange between science, government and industry. Escorted by beautiful northern lights, Tromsø in February is usually the place where new partnerships across nations, generations and ethnic groups are being built. And so – ‘Building Bridges’ – is the title of the 2021 Arctic Frontiers Science conference that is scheduled from 1 to 4 February 2021.

Session by YOPP and Partners
The session on ‘Advanced Prediction Capabilities for the Arctic Region and Beyond’ organized by YOPP, WMO, MET Norway, ECCC, and DMI capitalizes on and consolidates recent scientific accomplishments for advanced probabilistic climate, weather and sea-ice Arctic forecast information, tailored to key social, environmental and economic needs. Welcome are any presentations on activities and results from YOPP-endorsed projects as well as contributions from other projects that focus on Arctic environmental monitoring, prediction and services for safe and sustainable Arctic operations as well as on basic science, observations, model development and implementation. For further information on the session organized by YOPP and partners, please check the session proposal site

Abstracts can be submitted by 8 September 2020. The abstract submission form can be found on the Arctic Frontiers website.

The Arctic Frontiers secretariat will closely monitor the situation with Covid-19 and develop an optimal technical solution and format for the conference. As of now, it will likely combine elements of a traditional in-person and digital conferences, with a possibility to participate online. Further information and updates on https://www.arcticfrontiers.com/pillar/science/

4 August 2020: Improving Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information in the Canadian Arctic

The Canadian project Community WWIC Uses and Needs (CWWICUN) recently received YOPP Endorsement. CWWICUN looks at improving the weather, water, ice and climate information and services available to Canadian Inuit communities.

For people living in the Canadian Arctic, information on weather and ice conditions are crucial for planning their daily life and work. However, with the ongoing changes in climate and industrial development, weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information and services have become less unpredictable, posing a risk for Inuit and other northern residents. The CWWICUN project led by Gita Ljubicic, an Associate Professor in the School of Earth, Environment and Society at McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), aims to better understand what Canadian Arctic communities need to inform safe travel and how the required information can be better accessed and communicated. Local research coordinators are facilitating surveys in their home communities, and responses will inform service providers and policy makers with the ultimate goal of improving WWIC information and service delivery from local to international scales.  More information on CWWICUN can be found on the project‘s website.  

CWWICUN and other YOPP-endorsed projects can be found at the data base https://apps3.awi.de/YPP/endorsed/projects. (kw/nm)

31 July 2020: Around-the-Clock November 2020 International Verification Method Workshop

by Barbara Casati

The WMO Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR) is organizing the 2020 around-the-clock International Verification Methods Workshop Online (2020-IVMW-O). This virtual event intends to fill the time-gap between the 7th and 8th International Verification Methods Workshop, since the latter has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020-IVMW-O will span two weeks, from the 9th to the 13th and from the 16th to the 20th of November 2020, and will consist in 2-hour online daily sessions, with live-stream presentations and discussion.

The goal of the workshop is to discuss recent aspects of verification research and keep the research community updated on new verification practices, as applied to different types of weather forecasts and environmental predictions, on all spatial and temporal scales, from weather and sub-seasonal to seasonal and decadal, as well as for long climate projections. Participants are welcome from operational, research and forecast-user communities. The sessions will be staggered across time-zones in order to accommodate presenters from different countries around the Globe, while maintaining the verification discussion spinning around-the-clock.

The workshop will include keynote talks along with contributed presentations. Abstracts are solicited on all aspects of verification methodology. Note that the focus of abstracts and presentations should be on the methodology rather than application of the methods to specific datasets. Subjects of interest include (but are not limited to): physical process diagnostics; error tracking; spatial verification methods; verification of high impact weather and extremes; use of alternative observations; representativeness and observation uncertainty; user-oriented verification and estimation of forecast value; verification of probability and ensemble forecasts; inference and properties of verification methods; verification tools and software; verification practices in operational environment. Abstract contributions from the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) endorsed High Impact Weather (HIW), Polar Prediction Project (PPP) and Sub-seasonal to Seasonal prediction project (S2S) are particularly encouraged.

Abstract submission and registration open: 30 June 2020.
Abstract submission closes: 31 August 2020.
Registration closes: 30 September 2020.
Participation to the 2020-IVMW-O is only for registered attendees.
Registration is free of charge.

Find the official announcement as pdf here.
Further information are available on the 2020-IVMW-O web-site https://jwgfvr.univie.ac.at/

29 July 2020: The Fifth Episode of The IcePod – 77 Luftballons

by Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

In episode 5 of The IcePod, the podcast about polar science and the people, atmospheric scientist and project manager of MOSAiC Anja Sommerfeld explains why she set her alarm clock to exactly 7.13 am every morning during Leg 2, what it took to prepare 77 early-morning weather balloons for their ascent, and why working with Lady Miss Piggy can be a tough job.

Here is the scary episode of the IcePod. In the fifth full episode of the IcePod, we talk to Anja Sommerfeld, atmospheric scientist and project manager of MOSAiC. During Leg 2 on board Polarstern, however, Anja had an additional role to fill: In the murderer game she happened to pick the 'wrong' ticket but fulfilled her job as a murderer brilliantly. Nobody ever suspected her, and so colleagues were rather puzzled when Anja approached to kill them, of course just by saying so. 



Anja not only had an excel spreadsheet of people to murder aboard Polarstern, but is in general one of the most organized people we met so far. For her job as a project manager she makes to-do lists for everything: for today, for next week, for the long term, and, guess what, Markus Rex has his own to-do list. Over time, she consolidated her strategy and through learning-by-doing, Anja grew as a project manager together with MOSAiC.
 


As part of Team Atmosphere during Leg 2, Anja woke up at exactly 7.13 am every day to launch 77 early-morning weather balloons from Deck A of the research vessel (in total, there are four radiosondes launches per day on board Polarstern). Special conditions require special preparations: Because of the Arctic low temperatures, the weather balloon needed to be pampered in a bath of oil and kerosene before actually being sent up in the air. 



Special guest of the expedition and Anja's highlight when working on the ice was Lady Miss Piggy. Everybody loves that big and hard-to-miss red balloon and her home, balloon town, which appears to be the prettiest place on the ice floe observatory. Preparing a flight with Miss Piggy can be a tough job though, as the drama queen is very sensitive to winds.

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox (no sign-up needed) or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

If you miss the music, find the very special playlist that Anja created on Spotify.

The episode with music is also played at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/ (Bremerhaven) on the following dates:

Saturday, 5 September 2020, 2–4 pm CEST

For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/

---
The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV where the full episode with music will be played at www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/. For dates check back with polarprediction@gmail.com.



Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

28 July 2020: Summer 2020 PolarPredictNews Issue Out Now

The summer 2020 issue of PolarPredictNews, the newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, 
is now available with updates and news from the polar prediction community, and with the beautiful watercolour drawings by sea-ice scientist Amy MacFarlane.

For the 15th issue of PolarPredictNews, the YOPP Coordination Office has done some research about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the polar prediction community so far, what is expected for the coming polar field seasons and how the German Weather Service took immediate action to compensate for the loss of airborne observations caused by the reduced commercial air traffic that came with the pandemic.

Fostering Creativity for Networking and Exchange
But the pandemic may also introduce new habits and foster creativity among the science community. “In some cases, the new way of networking might even be an advantage, with new collaborations between far-apart colleagues being established and online conferences being much more accessible to everyone”, says Helge Goessling, former director of the YOPP Coordination Office and climate scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute. New options how to organize exciting meetings to provide networking and exchange are explored these days; among them is the upcoming APECS Southern Hemisphere Workshop where YOPP runs an entire session plus a live broadcast of the YOPP podcast The IcePod. Abstracts can already be submitted to the 2021 Arctic Frontiers Science Conference from 1 to 2 February 2021 – expected to probably come as a hybrid meeting with face-to-face and online sessions –  where YOPP with partners organizes another session, entitled Advanced Prediction Capability for the Arctic and Beyond

Contributions from the Community
Benefits of a new multi-layer snow scheme that is being implemented into the ECMWF weather forecast and scheduled to become operational within the next upgrade. Highlighted in the new issue of PolarPredictNews is also a recent study on seamless sea-ice prediction. 

Further, two more YOPP Special Issues are now available, one on the progress being made in Antarctic meteorology and climate, and another one on the Societal Value of Improved Forecasting. As well, two new contributions to Polar Prediction Matters, the dialogue platform between users and providers of forecast, have been published. And make sure you don't miss the interview with the German meteorologist and PI of the YOPP-endorsed project DACAPO-PESO

YOPP Endorsement Continues
For those of you currently submitting – or considering to submit – new research proposals: YOPP Endorsement is still available for projects, initiatives and institutions and will be until the end of 2021. We have now also introduced what we call a ‘blind’ YOPP-endorsement process for competitive funding situations.


The PolarPredictNews #15 Art-and-Science Project
As a special treat, PolarPredictNews #15 features beautiful watercolour cartoons drawn by sea-ice scientist Amy MacFarlane during MOSAiC leg 3. Find the drawings across the issue with the full drawing in the middle – you may want to print it as a poster to decorate your (home) office walls.

Get your issue of PolarPredictNews #15 as a pdf to read on the screen, or take out your prints to the lake to enjoy it with a summer drink – whatever way you choose: enjoy reading! (kw)

27 July 2020: New Contribution to Polar Prediction Matters – Ice and Weather Forecast Software Onboard Merchant Vessels

by Thomas Viguier and Kirstin Werner

A new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters – the Helmholtz dialogue platform
for users and providers of forecast in the polar regions – is now published by Thomas Viguier. As an expert in Arctic shipping and maritime industries, he provides insights on why it is so important to have accurate ice and weather predictions on board and what challenges the currently available forecast software on the bridge are facing.

Shipping in polar regions is challenged by extreme ice and weather conditions. Over the past years, electronic ice and weather forecast software has been introduced and is nowadays the preferred tool for navigation from the bridge. It not only provides information about the current weather and ice situation but displays forecasts to support officers in their decision-making process. Focused on the interactions between the final users and the software application, Thomas Viguier explains the concept, benefits and challenges of the Integrated Bridge System (IBS). "In the IBS approach, there is a clear tendency in making data more accessible through software applications to maritime and shipping professionals, aiming to reduce risk related to navigation in polar regions." Yet, often the available software to display weather and ice forecasts appears complex, lacking user-friendliness. Involving maritime end users to develop future on board systems will be crucial to rapidly integrate new tools for successful use by the shipping industry.

Find the entire article here.

23 July 2020: YOPP Endorsement Open until 2021

by Kirstin Werner, Thomas Jung and Jeff Wilson

Projects, initiatives and institutions that contribute to the aims of the Year of Polar Prediction are invited to request YOPP endorsement until the end of 2021. A ‘blind’ YOPP-endorsement process is now also available on request for competitive funding situations.

Projects, initiatives and institutions that contribute to the aims of the Year of Polar Prediction are invited to request YOPP endorsement until the end of 2021. A ‘blind’ YOPP-endorsement process is now also available on request for competitive funding situations. The Polar Prediction Project (PPP) and its flagship Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) initiative provide a unique collaboration and coordination opportunity for researchers involved in increasing the understanding and improvement of polar environmental prediction. Projects, initiatives and institutions may seek endorsement from the PPP Steering Group. Benefits of YOPP endorsement include increased visibility of research activities (e.g., listing on the PPP website, featuring in PolarPredictNews newsletter); an international framework for research to help leverage support and funding; improved coordination between different activities; and enhanced networking and communication within the PPP/YOPP community. The opportunity for receiving YOPP endorsement has been extended until the end of 2021.

Blind YOPP Endorsement
A blind YOPP endorsement process has now been introduced. This new mechanism will allow people to request YOPP endorsement for competitive projects for which a funding decision is still outstanding. As for the regular YOPP endorsement, activities that request blind endorsement will receive a YOPP endorsement letter. However, in order to treat certain activities more confidential, they will not be listed on the YOPP-endorsement page until funding is secured. Through the blind YOPP endorsement, it is also possible to preclude particular reviewers.

Institutional Endorsement
Institutional YOPP endorsement is also still available. Research institutes and operational forecasting centers whose activities contribute to the success of YOPP are invited to request institutional YOPP endorsement. This differs from the project YOPP endorsement in the way that 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, the PPP Steering Group provides the possibility for research consortia such as operational weather forecasting centres and academic institutions to link with the Year of Polar Prediction.

Further information can be found https://www.polarprediction.net/key-yopp-activities/yopp-endorsement/ or via email to office@polarprediction.net

14 July 2020: YOPP at APECS Workshop “Antarctic Science: Global Connections”

by Clare Eayrs

YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) researchers will be contributing to an APECS Online Workshop “Antarctic Science: Global Connections” taking place alongside the online events for the cancelled Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research biennial Open Science Conference and Delegates Meeting (SCARCOMNAP2020). A live session of the YOPP Podcast The IcePod will be broadcasted on 11 August, 10:30 GMT.


The workshop aims to bring together polar Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from around the globe to network, engage with topics presented at the workshop through a series of plenary and workshop sessions, and to potentially develop new research ideas and collaborations to take forward into their careers in the future.

YOPP Session (11 August 15:00 GMT)


The YOPP-SH session on 11th August at 15:00 GMT offers an overview of some of the key activities associated with the YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) efforts. The presenters will introduce a variety of YOPP-SH activities and provide an opportunity for ECRs to find out how they can use weather and ice forecasts for their research, what kind of meteorological data are available, and ways to contribute to YOPP and PPP.

1.    ​YOPP-SH Overview: David Bromwich, the YOPP-SH Task Team leader, will kick-off the session with an overview of YOPP-SH and the Polar Prediction Project.

2.    YOPP Communications: Sara Pasqualetto will describe how the International Coordination Office works together with the participating members of the Polar Prediction Project and other international programs to disseminate Polar Prediction stories and activities.

3.    SIPN South: François Massonnet will provide an update on sea-ice prediction in the Southern Ocean and how realistic prediction exercises are being aligned with YOPP’s Special Observing Periods. François leads the Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) initiative.

4.    ANTCLIMNOW: Tom Bracegirdle will describe a new group, the Near-term Variability and Prediction of the Antarctic Climate System (ANTCLIMNOW) that aims to answer fundamental science questions (as identified by the SCAR Horizon Scan), relating to Antarctic Climate variability.

5.    Antarctic AWS system: Taylor Norton, Sophie Orendorf, and Matthew Lazzara will report on the annual activities and status of the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center (AMRC), Automatic Weather Station (AWS), and Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) and how these contribute to the YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere.

6.    Gone with the Wind – Providing Forecasts to the Polar Windsled Expeditions: Sergi Gonzalez will describe the atmospheric observations taken across the data-poor Antarctic Plateau using a zero-emissions Windsled, and how weather guidance was used to plan and develop the expedition

7.    ASPeCT observations: Marilyn Raphael will describe the ASPeCT sea-ice program and how this program complements and contributes to YOPP and other international science programs. 

8.    YOPP Data Portal: Siri Jodha Khalsa will close the session with an introduction to the YOPP Data Portal and information on how to link and access data sets collected across the YOPP projects.

Link to connect to the YOPP-SH session:
YOPP Session (15:00 - 18:00 GMT) - Zoom Link: Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eUwd4tSITA-zv5ePd6jRhg

Live Session of The IcePod (11 August, 10:30 GMT)

In addition, Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto from the YOPP International Coordination Office will interview Vicki Heinrich, a psychology PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, in a live broadcast of The IcePod on 11th August at 10:30 GMT.

Through surveys, interviews and experiments, Vicki’s PhD project examines how, when, and why people use weather and climate information in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic. Vicki is interested in how we may apply metacognition, social, and behavioural theories to better understand people’s weather-related risk perception and decision-making and ultimately assist people in making safer weather decisions. This research is endorsed by YOPP (find on Facebook @UWCIAntarctica).

Further details on the schedule, a list of presenters, and information on how to register for the event will be available on the APECS website soon.

Link to connect to The IcePod Live Session:
YOPP IcePod Session (10:30 - 11:30 GMT) - Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hO4G0jwyR2aL5SjaUYpF2Q

10 July 2020: Registration Open for SCAR 2020 Online

Registration is now open for the SCAR 2020 Online Conference that will take place from 3 to 7 August 2020.

SCAR stands for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. SCAR’s Open Science Conferences have been a focal point for the Antarctic research community for over fifteen years. Through SCAR 2020 Online many of the science highlights that were originally planned to be displayed at the Hobart OSC, which was sadly cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are now going to be presented in a virtual gathering of the Antarctic research community.

Registration is free and open to everybody so it will indeed be a great opportunity to learn about what’s going on in Antarctic research and maybe even do some virtual networking with colleagues. At the same time, you can enjoy some ‘hygge’ time following the conference from your comfy-cozy sofa or garden chair.

All the activities of SCAR 2020 Online will take place via the OnAIR event portal. To join you will need to register here. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email. Your login details for the OnAIR portal will be sent to you on July 20. If you register after July 20, login details will be sent to you immediately upon registering. If you do not receive your login email, please first check your Junk inbox, before contacting brittany@laevents.com.au.

More information at https://www.scar2020.org/

9 July 2020: YOPP Sea Ice Experts: Farewell and Welcome

by Kirstin Werner and Helge Goessling

For over eight years, Greg Smith has supported the Polar Prediction Project with his knowledge and expertise to move forward capabilities in sea-ice prediction. Moving on to other duties within Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), he recently decided to step down from the PPP Steering Group. His co-lead in the YOPP Sea Ice Task Team is taken over by Amy Solomon from the University of Colorado and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

As a research scientist in ECCC’s Environmental Numerical Prediction Research department, Greg Smith was ideally suited to provide his profound expertise on high-resolution ice-ocean modelling and forecasting to the PPP Steering Group. In collaboration with the Canadian Ice Service, he has helped much in fostering the transfer of new model sea-ice forecast products into operations. Due to new duties within ECCC, Greg Smith has now stepped down from PPP SG as well as from co-leading the YOPP Task Team on ‘Sea Ice Prediction and Verification’.

For the remainder of the Polar Prediction Project until end of 2022, Amy Solomon will lead the task team together with Helge Goessling from the German Alfred Wegener Institute. Amy is a senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO and the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL). Her interest is in Arctic short-term forecasting, meteorology and climate, with a special focus on cloud properties and processes and interactions of clouds with the boundary layer and surface.

The PPP Steering Group and International Coordination Office are grateful for Greg’s invaluable contributions to move forward various PPP and YOPP activities and thank him for his continuous support to improve Arctic predictions. Fortunately, Greg will continue his activities in another Task Team that currently prepares the YOPP Final Summit taking place from 2 to 5 May 2022 in Montréal, Canada.

A warm welcome to Amy Solomon, who has been part of the PPP community for a long time and brings broad and deep knowledge and experience to the Sea Ice Task Team. We are very much looking forward to working with her on polar prediction science.
 

8 July 2020: Call for Community Input – COVID-19 Impacts on Arctic and Antarctic Operations and Research within Weather and Sea Ice Forecasts

by Kirstin Werner

We invite the polar prediction community to contribute to a survey in order to better understand what the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic so far had, and are expected to have, on Arctic and Antarctic Operations and Research within Weather and Sea Ice Forecasts.

A survey has been created in order to better understand what the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic so far had, and are expected to have, to the community working within the field of weather and sea ice forecasts in the polar regions. Answers to the survey will be used for a newsletter article in PolarPredictNews https://www.polarprediction.net/news/polarpredictnews/

The survey can be found at forms.gle/PP6bgJQPN7eyDGtv9
 
We appreciate your input. Questions and further input can be sent to office@polarprediction.net

7 July 2020: Special Issue on the Societal Value of Improved Forecasting

by Daniela Liggett

The academic journal Polar Geography has just published a special issue ‘Societal Value of Improved Forecasting’ that compiles a range of papers detailing work that has been undertaken in conjunction with the PPP’s Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) Task Team.  

PPP-SERA championed this special issue as a community-building effort that also aims at reaching out to stakeholders world-wide. The publications featured in this special issue showcase research results and perspectives on “the use and potential improvement of WWIC [weather, water, ice and climate] services for the polar regions in an effort to translate scientific and technological advances into societal value” (Lamers & Liggett, 2020). The authors examine the multiple and complex ways of producing and using WWIC information in the polar regions and shed light on who is involved in this process, what their information needs are, what kind of information systems and infrastructures are being utilized, how data is being managed and how WWIC services are funded.  To this end, regional case studies are included in this special issue and highlight how diverse the WWIC ‘actorscape’ is, and what current capabilities and constraints frame WWIC information provision and use.

There is increasing erosion of the duality of WWIC information users vs. providers and an increase in users also producing weather and climate information and vice versa. This development seems to go hand in hand with a move away from nation states and the public sector as the main providers of WWIC service towards a more prominent role for the private sector in this space. Overall, the articles in this special issue address some important questions regarding the use of WWIC and user needs as well as provider priorities, but they also raise further questions that serve as a timely reminder that further work is needed on the effects shifts in the WWIC actorscape, infrastructure and funding landscape have for the continued and reliable provision of WWIC services, ideally with the aim of reducing risks and improving operational (and environmental) health and safety in the polar regions.

The Special Issue in Polar Geography, Volume 43 (2–3), 2020 can be found here.



30 June 2020: A Virtual AGU Fall Meeting – Abstract Submission Open

Abstracts can now be submitted to this year’s AGU Fall Meeting which will mostly be a virtual event to be held from 7 to 11 December 2020.

Meeting organizers state on their website that even though mostly virtual, the AGU Fall Meeting 2020 “remains the global convening meeting for the Earth and space sciences community”. Featured meeting content will be held during the original 7-11 December dates, with additional content scheduled to best meet the needs of international attendees around the world. Content will include real-time sessions, networking opportunities and poster hall time. As a special offer, there will be recorded sessions that can be watched, or even ‘binge-watched’, at anyone’s convenient time. Convergent themes including global science policy, data, natural hazards and climate science will be prominently featured.

There are quite a number of sessions that are relevant to the Year of Polar Prediction. Among them is the session “Integrating Observations and Models to Better Understand a Changing Arctic System” that welcomes presentations on activities that combine models and observations to enhance the understanding of the changing Arctic system. Organizers of the session “Coupled-system Processes of the Central Arctic Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Ocean System: Harnessing Field Observations and Advancing Models” encourages abstract submissions that incorporate cross-disciplinary research topics, interseasonal linkages, and/or combined observing-modeling syntheses, with contributions from recent central Arctic field campaigns like MOSAiC being particularly relevant. The session on “Atmosphere and Cryosphere Coupling in the Arctic: Observations, Modeling, and Implications for Future Arctic Changes” will give the community a timely opportunity to review the current understandings and challenges ahead for advancing our knowledge about the Arctic energy cycle and climate change.

A list of further sessions relevant to YOPP/PPP can be found here.

To submit an abstract, you need to be an AGU member. A non-refundable abstract processing fee will be charged, which is separate from the registration fee, this year reduced about 50 per cent from the usual in-person fee, with in particular lowered rates for graduate students.   

Abstracts can be submitted until 29 July 2020 at the following link: https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting/2020/Present/Abstracts

25 June 2020: The IcePod with PPP Captain Thomas Jung

In the second bonus episode of the IcePod on the Targeted Observing Periods, we speak with Thomas Jung, captain and structured mind behind YOPP and PPP.

Here is the second episode on the YOPP Targeted Observing Periods, or TOPs. This time, we speak to Thomas Jung, head of the section Climate Dynamics at the German Alfred Wegener Institute and professor for Physics of the Climate System at the University of Bremen. Even more important, as the chair of the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group, he is the captain and structured mind behind YOPP and PPP.

His ability to chair a meeting even with fever from his bed not only provides him with all the skills needed to steer the Polar Prediction Project during a pandemic, but has been the ultimate test of his leadership skills. Keeping a healthy balance between management and science is probably his secret to success, in addition to creating extensive but ultrapractical mind maps and building an international network across the academic community and forecasting experts.

Thomas has also been the winner of our YOPP TOP Twitter challenge. How did he overcome the jumpiness of forecast? Here, he unveils his secret: Well, it's just like planning your next barbecue weekend (something we all look forward to during this COVID-19 summer).

Take your time between an ice cream and a cold drink and listen to this episode for a look behind the scenes of YOPP, how the project came to life and how it still surprises its master of mind maps and virtual meetings. 

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox (no sign-up needed) or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

---


The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction www.polarprediction.com

16 June 2020: New Podcast Episode – Gunilla Svensson on The IcePod

A new bonus episode of the IcePod, the podcast for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now on air. In this episode, we talk with the meteorology professor Gunilla Svensson about the YOPP Targeted Observing Periods, the process-based model evaluation project YOPPSiteMIP and why MOSAiC is a paradise for every Arctic Scientist.

Gunilla Svensson is a meteorology professor at Stockholm University, Sweden. She is also member of the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group and leads the YOPP Processes Task Team. Within her role, she coordinates the YOPPSiteMIP project and the currently ongoing YOPP Targeted Observing Periods, or TOPs, aligned with MOSAiC. Wait a minute – what is YOPPSiteMIP? And what is a Targeted Observing Period? Well, listen to the new bonus episode of the IcePod where we speak with Gunilla about one of the key activities for the Year of Polar Prediction.

In our first episode of what we call the TOP series of the IcePod, Gunilla explains not only what these pan-Arctic campaigns of enhanced observations are meant for. She also talks about how the TOP studies of warm air intrusions from the mid-latitudes to the central Arctic are impacted by COVID-19. And: why Polarstern's current location in the Arctic is a paradise for every Arctic scientist.

Observations are just one part of the puzzle, and so is modelling. But blending the two allows to see the bigger picture. This is done within the YOPP Supersite Model Intercomparison activity – which is a long title so we just call it YOPPSiteMIP. Here, atmospheric and sea ice data from across the Arctic including MOSAiC, and respective modelling output are currently simultaneously examined.

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox (no sign-up needed) or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

---


The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction www.polarprediction.com

09 June 2020: 2021 Arctic Frontiers – Building Bridges on Arctic Weather and Climate Prediction

During the 2021 Arctic Frontiers Science Conference, the Year of Polar Prediction and partners will hold a session entitled “Advanced Prediction Capabilities for the Arctic and Beyond”.

Since Arctic Frontiers started out in 2006, this northernmost Nordic winter conference has steadily grown to what is now ‘the event’ when it comes to a pan-Arctic forum for dialogue and exchange between science, government and industry. Escorted by beautiful northern lights, Tromsø in February is usually the place where new partnerships across nations, generations and ethnic groups are being built. And so – ‘Building Bridges’ – is the title of the 2021 Arctic Frontiers Science conference that is scheduled from 1 to 4 February 2021.

Session by YOPP and Partners
The session on ‘Advanced Prediction Capabilities for the Arctic Region and Beyond’ organized by YOPP, WMO, MET Norway, ECCC, and DMI capitalizes on and consolidates recent scientific accomplishments for advanced probabilistic climate, weather and sea-ice Arctic forecast information, tailored to key social, environmental and economic needs. Welcome are any presentations on activities and results from YOPP-endorsed projects as well as contributions from other projects that focus on Arctic environmental monitoring, prediction and services for safe and sustainable Arctic operations as well as on basic science, observations, model development and implementation. For further information on the session organized by YOPP and partners, please check the session proposal site

The abstract submission form will be activated in late June 2020 on the Arctic Frontiers website. The Arctic Frontiers secretariat will closely monitor the situation with Covid-19 and develop an optimal technical solution and format for the conference. As of now, it will likely combine elements of a traditional in-person and digital conferences, with a possibility to participate online. Further information and updates on https://www.arcticfrontiers.com/pillar/science/

27 May 2020: Call for Abstracts – 10th International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Assimilation, Observations, Predictions and Verification

by IICWG-DA

The 10th International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Assimilation, Observations, Predictions and Verification will be held from 20 to 22 October 2020 in Toulouse, France, and Montréal, Canada, simultaneously. The workshop is supported by the Year of Polar Prediction. 

This workshop aims to build on a series of successful workshops by the IICWG Data Assimilation Working Group to advance international capabilities for sea-ice prediction on timescales from hours to a season. Cross-cutting issues in sea-ice modelling and assimilation and how deficiencies of current systems can be more efficiently diagnosed and addressed will be discussed.General topics considered appropriate for this workshop include:

•    Sea ice observations and uncertainties;
•    Sea ice data assimilation (methods and results);
•    Sea ice model parameterizations and coupling to ocean and atmosphere models;
•    Verification approaches for sea-ice analyses and forecasts;
•    Recent research to sea ice operation transfer;
•    Automated predictions systems.

The workshop is jointly organized by the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), OceanPredict (former GODAE OceanView, GOV) and the Coordination & Support Action KEPLER by the European Commission. It will be arranged around a few keynote and contributed presentations with ample time for discussion. As the number of participants is limited, a short abstract (or motivation for attending) is requested in the registration form. Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution, in the form of an oral or poster presentation.

For this 10th event, the workshop will be held in Toulouse and Montréal simultaneously via video conferences facilities. Participants are asked to mention in which place they will physically attend the workshop.

Registration is open until 15 June 2020 at the following link:
https://marinecopernicus.typeform.com/to/i3ufps

21 May 2020: Risks and Reward – New Polar Prediction Matters Contribution on Greenland Ice Sheet Melting

by Kirstin Werner and Anastasia Maksimova

A new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters – the dialogue platform for users and providers of forecast in the polar regions – is now available. In her article, PhD student Jennifer Ross from the University of Sheffield summarizes on the risks of the currently ongoing Greenland ice sheet melting, and the rewards to reliably predict and prevent harmful conditions.

Today, the Earth’s ice sheets are constantly losing mass because of climate change. With about 79 % ice-covered surface, Greenland has the second-largest ice sheet worldwide, after Antarctica. Ongoing melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet strongly affects the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, through sea-level rise and iceberg release. This not only causes the global ocean circulation to destabilize, but the water masses and numbers of icebergs released into the sea also bear a number of risks for human and environment.

In this new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, Jennifer Ross describes the risks of sea-level rise and iceberg abundance in the Nordic Seas caused by the ongoing Greenland Ice Sheet melt. While there are fluctuations between seasons, the general trend of increased numbers of icebergs and meltwater input over the years is likely to further rise. There is thus a need to better understand and predict the risks that are associated with both, enhanced flooding and potential impacts to coastal areas, as well as hazards for ships and offshore platforms in the open ocean. To reliably forecast risks and thus help prevent hazards in the open ocean will be most rewarding to scientists and forecasters able to support environmentally safe operations in the northern regions. 

Find the full article here.

About Polar Prediction Matters

Polar Prediction Matters is a non-peer reviewed forum initiated as a means to foster the dialogue between those that research, develop, and provide polar environmental forecasts and those that use (or could use) polar environmental forecasts to guide socio-economic decisions. It is hosted by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Center's blog portal and maintained by the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction at the German Alfred Wegener Institute.

18 May 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online – Joint YOPP-APPLICATE Session at EGU2020

by Kirstin Werner

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint YOPP-APPLICATE live text chat took place on 8 May 2020, as part of this year’s European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly #shareEGU20 online experiment.

Europe’s largest and most prominent geosciences conference, the EGU General Assembly, had to explore new grounds this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vienna happening which usually attracts more than 16,000 scientists from all over the globe had to be moved online. A week-long series of live text chats, closely aligned to the originally planned physical science sessions, symposia, debates and Townhall events, was held from 4 to 8 May 2020.

Joint YOPP-APPLICATE Session

To exchange knowledge and share results, a joint YOPP-APPLICATE session “Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" was scheduled in the form of a #stayathome live chat on 8 May 2020. Presenters had the chance to upload their material two weeks prior to the event to give the community a chance to look at in preparation of the chat. The live text exchange was organized by Luisa Cristini, APPLICATE project manager and convener of the session, in the way that three presenters at a time were asked to provide main outcomes of their research in the chat window. Followers of the chat could then type their questions and remarks. 14 out of 17 presenters were available for the discussions with, in total, more than sixty people following the session. Presentations resembled a manifold mixture of activities and scientific results from the YOPP and APPLICATE projects, in addition to contributions from other projects and institutes, with a focus on how to best capitalize on existing and additional Arctic and Antarctic observations to improve forecast initial states, verification, and model physics, and to optimize the future polar observing system.


Silent but Busy

Compared to the usual noise level, it was a silent EGU2020 this year – except one would turn on the radio while actively discussing or shyly following the soundless text chat conversation. Nevertheless, according to the EGU2020’s website, the experimental format turned out to be a great success throughout the week, with more than 18,000 abstracts presented in about 700 scientific sessions. 26,219 individual users joined the 721 live text chats and posted 200,400 messages. The EGU Programme Committee and the organizing team are more than satisfied: “We are very grateful and proud to see how our community has turned the challenges of the pandemic into opportunities and we are sure that part of these achievements will continue and contribute to greener events in the future.

The material of the YOPP-APPLICATE session can still be viewed and downloaded at https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2020/session/36745

14 May 2020: Bonus Episode of the IcePod – Markus Rex about MOSAiC Leg 1

by Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

In the new bonus episode of the IcePod, MOSAiC coordinator Markus Rex talks about his experiences and impressions during Leg 1 of the ever largest expedition in the Arctic.

When the world still has been in order and people were allowed to hang out in cosy offices, Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto met with Markus Rex, leader of the MOSAiC ice drift, who came to Bremerhaven for two days in February to join the YOPP Science Workshop at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Markus Rex is one of those people who always manage to sleep well, even when the stress level is high. In his interview with the YOPP International Coordination Office, he talks about the greatest challenges, nicest moments and biggest surprises during Leg 1 of the MOSAiC expedition. Luckily, coordinating MOSAiC means not only work to him: Finding those rare moments of solitude skiing on the ice floe, with the full moon enlightening the out-of-the-world Arctic landscape, gives him reward and energy. At the moment, Markus is preparing for his return to the Arctic with Leg 4. As excited as he is to see the ice camp in daylight, we wonder: Will he be able to sleep even during polar day?


Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox (no sign-up needed) or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

---


The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction www.polarprediction.com

11 May 2020: Third Coordinated Sea-Ice Forecast Experiment in the Southern Ocean

by François Massonnet/UC Louvain

The Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) just issued its third post-season report evaluating forecasts of sea ice conditions around Antarctica for the austral sea ice minimum season 2019/2020.

Operations in the Southern Ocean are intensifying, both as a result of increased scientific interest for this remote region and a growing interest from stakeholders. Navigating Antarctic waters is not without risk though. The presence of sea ice, even in summer months, can hinder the progression of vessels and, in the worst case, become a real danger. In recent years, the study of sea ice predictability in the Southern Ocean has progressed and several potential mechanisms have been identified that bear promise for skillful predictions.


SIPN South (https://fmassonn.github.io/sipn-south.github.io/) is an international initiative endorsed by the Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP), that aims at coordinating realistic seasonal summer sea ice forecasts in the Southern Ocean. SIPN South has just issued its third post-season report evaluating forecasts submitted in lated November 2019 and targeting the three-month period December 2019-February 2020 (report available here). One of the key findings, already hinted at last year, is that forecasts based on statistical approaches seem more skillful than forecasts based on fully coupled dynamical models. This indicates a large potential for improvement in our physical understanding of the Southern Ocean sea ice using process-based models. Key regions like the Ross Sea appear to be intrinsically difficult to predict and strongly influenced by unpredictable weather events.

SIPN South will continue to collect forecast for the coming years, including for the winter YOPP-SH Special Observing Period that is scheduled for mid-April to mid-June 2022.

07 May 2020: New Sea Ice and Ocean Variables in S2S Forecast Database

by Lorenzo Zampieri, Alfred Wegener Institute and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

In Phase II of the Subseasonal-to-Seasonal (S2S) Prediction Project, nine new ocean and sea-ice variables have been introduced to its database. Most of the S2S forecast systems now feature dynamical ice models and assimilate sea-ice and ocean observations.

The Subseasonal-to-Seasonal (S2S) Prediction Project is an initiative endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that aims to improve our understanding of the Earth system predictability at the S2S timescale from 15 to 60 days into the future, with special emphasis on high-impact weather events. The main outcome of this project is the implementation of a database that collects forecasts from several Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) centers and research institutions all over the world. These forecasts are produced with state-of-the-art probabilistic fully-coupled forecast models, meaning that the atmosphere, ocean, and sea-ice model components interact and allow to simulate the complex feedbacks in the Earth system. Furthermore, these models are run multiple times from slightly different initial conditions, generating an ensemble of forecasts that takes into account the uncertainties of observations, physical parameterizations in the model, and the Earth system‘s chaotic nature. The S2S forecasts are available for an overall period of almost three decades, allowing us to draw robust conclusions and to develop a deep understanding of the system. There are many beneficial aspects for the Polar Prediction community to explore the S2S database and to benefit from such a well-structured initiative. Firstly, there are good reasons to believe that the evolution of the sea ice, polar oceans, and snow on land could be predictable at the S2S timescale. Secondly, the description of the polar climate in the S2S forecast systems has grown in complexity since the start of the S2S initiative in November 2013. Most of the forecast systems now feature dynamical ice models and assimilate sea-ice and ocean observations. And finally, the focus of Phase II of the S2S Prediction Project has been broadened beyond the atmospheric domain, with the introduction of nine new ocean and sea-ice variables to the database. 

These include:      

•    Depth of 20°C isotherm;   

•    Mean sea-level practical salinity in the upper 300 meters; 

•    Mean sea-level potential temperature in the upper 300 meters;

•    Ocean mixed-layer thickness defined by sigma theta 0.01 kg/m3;   

•    U-component of surface current;

•    V-component of surface current; 

•    Sea-ice thickness;

•    Sea-surface height; 

•    Sea-surface practical salinity.

Since 1 January 2020, these new variables are archived in the S2S database in the GRIB2 format on a 1-degree latitude/longitude grid, they are openly available and ready to be investigated by the scientific community. “The new variables will help researchers to explore the predictability of ocean and sea-ice conditions and to compare the representation of air, ocean and sea-ice interactions in different models,” says Frederic Vitart, ECMWF scientist and co-chair of the S2S Prediction Project. Such additional information will increase our ability to understand and possibly correct the biases in models that so far limit the forecast skills in polar regions. At the same time, it casts light on still unknown or poorly understood predictability mechanisms, especially in polar regions. The implementation of the new ocean and sea-ice variables is thus an encouraging example of how the interaction between the S2S and the Polar Prediction communities improves our comprehension of the polar weather and climate. Additional information can be found on the S2S Prediction Project and ECMWF websites.

30 April 2020: PolarPredictNews #14 – Restyled!

PolarPredictNews come in new design and style! The 14th issue of the Year of Polar Prediction newsletter provides latest updates on activities within the polar prediction community and features an art-and-science project that evolved from the MOSAiC expedition. 

Of course, the MOSAiC one-year ice drift is - once again – focus also in this new issue of PolarPredictNews: Scientists shed light on how the drift of RV Polarstern during the MOSAiC expedition is continuously being forecasted in SIDFEx (p. 5). The MOSAiC Near-Real-Time Verification invites further contributions to evaluate the skill of short-term forecasts with MOSAiC observations as part of the YOPPSiteMIP activity (p. 9). During spring and summer this year, YOPP invites Arctic meteorological stations to contribute with extra weather balloon observations to the YOPP Targeted Observing Periods when Arctic cold-air outbreaks and warm and moist air mass intrusions are being simultaneously forecasted and observed (p. 10).

But it's not all about MOSAiC 

Read the interview with the Norwegian marine ecologist Marit Reigstad, PI of the YOPP-endorsed Nansen Legacy project (p. 32). Learn about new sea ice and ocean variables in the S2S Forecast Database (p. 13) and find a how-to on publishing YOPP Datasets (p. 12). Just before travelling has been strongly reduced for much of the remainder of the year, the YOPP Science Workshop (p. 26) and the twelfth PPP Steering Group meeting (p. 24) took place in February. Meeting updates due to the corona pandemic can be found on page 22 – with two sessions on polar prediction the EGU 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online definitely sticks out as one of the online highlights this year (p. 22).

And if you are in the mood of taking a pause from reading
Savor the digital drawings of the MOSAiC Distributed Network of instruments produced by school teacher Friederike Krüger and modelling lecturer Thomas Rackow during the MOSAiC School, featured in this issue (p. 4). And of course, never forget to listen to new episodes of the IcePod, the official Year of Polar Prediction podcast (p. 16).

Find all of this and much more in PolarPredictNews #14: download here.

21 April 2020: AAS Special Issue 'Antarctic Meteorology and Climate: Past Present and Future'

by Jenny Lin, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, original article from Eurek Alert!

The April 18 special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, entitled, "Antarctic Meteorology and Climate: Past, Present and Future" presents latest findings from expanded and ongoing research efforts in Antarctic meteorology, weather prediction, climate variability and climate change.

The issue presents research conducted during the Year of Polar Prediction – an international effort by the World Meteorological Organization to improve predictions of weather, climate and sea-ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. This collection of peer-reviewed papers provides evidence of variability and change in Antarctic environmental conditions, mostly based on enhanced observations carried out during the YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Ocean, the most extensive period of observations ever conducted in and around Antarctica.

More Reliable Weather Forecasts and Climate Predictions
YOPP efforts in the Southern Hemisphere stimulated additional research in Antarctic meteorology and climate by enabling increased data collection and enhanced computing power for modeling. The AAS special issue suggests that future Antarctic weather forecasts and climate predictions will be more reliable based on the combined new insights into the atmosphere, land surface, ocean conditions and sea ice variability--ultimately making operations in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean safer.

"These studies make important contributions to our understanding of the weather and climate systems in the polar regions and can improve future climate projections while producing important information for policymakers", said Ming Xue, an AAS editor-in-chief, and professor and director of the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

The special issue also indicates that long-term weather and climate changes are already underway across Antarctica and the Southern Ocean with potentially far-reaching consequences, which will be the object of future research.

Predict the Future Antarctic Climate more Accurate
"Climate change research in the Antarctic is relatively neglected compared to the Arctic," said Jiping Liu, the issue's lead editor and associate professor at the University at Albany in Albany, New York. "However, it's clear that climate change is already impacting the Antarctic and that studying the changes is vital, because it enables us to predict the future climate more accurately."

Signs of climate change in the Antarctic, added Liu, include a strong warming over the Antarctic Peninsula, a deepening of the Amundsen Sea low, rapid warming of the upper ocean north of the circumpolar current, an increase of sea ice since the late 1970s followed by a recent rapid decrease and accelerated ice loss from ice shelf/sheet during the same period.

"This is the second special issue published by AAS highlighting scientific progress in important areas addressed by the YOPP", said Thomas Jung, professor at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and YOPP coordinator. "In 2018, AAS also published a special issue focusing on the impact of Arctic change on Eurasian climate and weather."

###

AAS is co-published by Springer and Science Press. Special issue guest editors include David Bromwich, Dake Chen, Raul Cordero, Thomas Jung, Marilyn Raphael, John Turner and Qinghua Yang. The AAS editorial team appreciates efforts of the YOPP and International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences in soliciting papers for the special issue.

17 April 2020: PPP Steering Group – Departures and Arrivals

by Aaron-Christoph Frehlich

During the 11th Steering Group meeting, held in February 2020 in Bremerhaven, Germany, three new members were elected to join the PPP Steering Group.

We are happy to welcome three new PPP Steering Group members who were elected at the recent PPP Steering Group meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Qizhen Sun is an Associate Professor at the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center (NMEFC) of China who is also responsible for the operational weather forecasts for the Chinese National Antarctic & Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). Together with Qinghua Yang, Qizhen will coordinate Chinese contributions to YOPP, with a special engagement in the Southern Hemisphere.  

Clare Eayrs works at the New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as an ocean-ice scientist. Her long experience with the Association for Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) makes her an excellent choice to take over the education parts for YOPP, having a leading role in the YOPP Communication, Outreach & Education Task Team.

Eric Bazile from Météo France has already been strongly engaged on the YOPP Southern Hemisphere Task Team as well as in a number of YOPP modelling activities. Eric also leads the GEWEX/GASS Atmospheric Boundary Layer Study GABLS4 to study the strong stable boundary layer in the Antarctic. Eric basically takes over the PPP SG membership from earlier PPP SG member Matthieu Chevallier who in the meantime became the Director of the Marine Forecasting and Oceanography department of Météo France.

At the same time, we would like to thank our former PPP-SG members Matthieu Chevallier and Mikhail Tolstykh for their continuous efforts and contributions to PPP/YOPP.

Matthieu Chevallier joined the PPP-SG in 2014. With his expertise on sea-ice prediction and atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions, he has coordinated various Météo France contributions during the YOPP Core Phase and has been strongly involved in the YOPP Modelling Task Team and the YOPP-endorsed H2020 project APPLICATE.

Mikhail Tolstykh has been member of the PPP-SG since the early days of PPP. Since 2012, Mikhail has coordinated the Russian contributions to PPP/YOPP and contributed with his expertise in medium-range and seasonal forecasts as well as in climate prediction modelling. Past his official PPP-SG membership, he will continue to be around, e.g., to participate in several YOPP activities such as the YOPPsiteMIP initiative.

Learn more about the PPP Steering Group here.

16 April 2020: The IcePod Episode Four – How do you like your eggs?

Remote Sensing Episode number two of The IcePod is now online! For this fourth episode, we met with sea-ice physicist Gunnar Spreen from the University of Bremen.

Gunnar Spreen from the University of Bremen joined leg 1 of the MOSAiC sea-ice drift. After the Moon Episode with Stefan Hendricks, we dive even deeper into how the Space Lords Gunnar and Stefan use remote sensing techniques to study Arctic sea ice. Gunnar brings into the MOSAiC Project Board his expertise on sea-ice physics and how to use satellites to tell us more about the status of the (decreasing) sea ice. Listen to why he did prefer studying sea ice instead of apple trees and how he likes his eggs cooked by Polarstern's chief cook on Thursdays and Sundays. Find out why Gunnar isn't happy with cloud uncertainties in satellite data and with scientists not taking part often enough in public debates.

In this fourth episode of The IcePod, Gunnar explains to us how do microwaves help him to figure out the season's maximum sea-ice extent and why a carpenter is needed to help scientists fix their broken instruments. And he uncovers for us what people get as their birthday present at Polarstern as well as... you've been waiting for it... which MOSAiC team jacket he has been wearing not only during the expedition but now and then still keeps him warm in his office in Bremen. (kw/sp)

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

If you miss the music, find the very special playlist that Gunnar created on Spotify.

If you want to listen to the full episode with music, check back with us polarprediction@gmail.com

. The episode with music is also played at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/ (Bremerhaven) on the following dates:

Thursday, 28 May 2020, 4–6 pm CEST

Friday, 5 June 2020, 8–10 am CEST

Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 11am–1 pm CEST

Tuesday, 16 June 2020, 10 pm–12 am CEST

Saturday, 20 June 2020, 12–2 pm CEST

For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/
---
The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV where the full episode with music will be played at www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/. For dates check back with polarprediction@gmail.com.



15 April 2020: First Arctic Targeted Observing Period this Week

by Felix Pithan and Kirstin Werner

A first Year of Polar Prediction Targeted Observing Period (TOP) was identified during this past Easter Weekend. A warm and moist air intrusion coming from the Atlantic is expected to reach the MOSAiC camp in the central Arctic by the weekend. We invite the community to provide forecasts of surface temperatures at the Polarstern location for Sunday, 19 April, 12 UTC.

During this past winter season, the YOPP Processes Task Team led by the Swedish professor Gunilla Svensson has been tasked to define the YOPP Arctic Targeted Observing Periods aligned to the MOSAiC one-year drift through Arctic sea ice. The Task Team has endured a long wait, as an unusually zonal circulation allowed one cyclone after the other to pass the Atlantic towards Europe without guiding much moisture towards the pole. Finally, over the Easter weekend, forecasts suggested that an intrusion was about to occur in the Atlantic sector and is likely to cross the MOSAiC platform on its way towards the pole. 

A band of low atmospheric pressure formed by initially two distinct low-pressure systems located east of Greenland and over Scandinavia, respectively, joined by high pressure over Scandinavia to the east, building the canonical pressure dipole that channels warm, moist air high into and possibly across the Arctic. Over the next few days, forecasts suggest that this flow will transport warm air from Eurasia across the Arctic ocean passing over Svalbard and the current location of Polarstern. The air mass will pass the North Pole on the Siberian side and then bend towards Alaska as it leaves the Arctic Ocean.

A number of observational sites along the pathway such as the Finnish station Sodankylä, the German-French AWIPEV station in Ny Alesund, Svalbard and Egilssta∂ir, Iceland have increased their radio sounding frequency to up to four weather balloons per day to get the best possible coverage of the event. From Polarstern, radiosondes are launched every six hours during the entire MOSAiC campaign. In addition, the MOSAiC sounding staff launches in 3-hour slots whenever feasible, depending on workload and other ongoing activities.

We invite the polar prediction community to provide forecasts of surface temperature that will reach the Polarstern location on Sunday, 19 April, 12 UTC. Please submit your forecast on twitter @polarprediction. The winner of this challenge will be invited to explain their predictive approach in one of the coming episodes of the Year of Polar Prediction podcast The IcePod.

15 April 2020: Prix de Quervain for Early Career Scientists in Switzerland

The call for the “Prix de Quervain” for Polar and High Altitude Research – an award annually granted to early career scientists for their outstanding achievement in a master or PhD thesis, or any other research project – is open now.


The "Prix de Quervain" is funded by the Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research (SKPH) and the Commission for the Research Station on Jungfraujoch (SKJF). Early career scientists who have submitted their master or PhD theses within research conducted in, or concerning polar regions between April 2018 and April 2020 in Switzerland are invited to submit their information to apply for the Prix de Quervain award which is 5,000 CHF.

Awardees will be given the opportunity to present their research results during a public symposium in November 2020 in Berne.

Application are due by 30 April 2020. The announcement letter featuring the details concerning the participation and the inscription form is available in German and French here. (nm/kw)

09 April 2020: Background Story – Tell it with a Comic

by Sara Pasqualetto, Alfred Wegener Institute

Thinking of alternative ideas to get scientific results across is becoming a greater part of the science process. Not only for peer-reviewed publications but also when writing research proposals and managing science projects, communication is playing a crucial and ever increasing role. The question often is: how to deliver my message to a larger audience, without losing important pieces in the process?

A team of researchers and artists thought about this and came up with a brilliant solution to make science fun and more accessible: In occasion of the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle (see also news item from 10 February 2020), artists from the RIVA Illustrations start-up company created amazing pieces of art, inspired by the scientific presentations at the meeting. APPLICATE coordinator and PPP Steering Group chair Thomas Jung Thomas Jung (AWI) was among the presenters of the session on “The Future of Earth’s Climate: A World of Extremes?”, organized by the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). While Thomas was discussing the APPLICATE project and its objectives and results, among the audience, the artist Fiammetta Ghedini transformed his words and science graphs into a drawing.

In an interview with Fiammetta Ghedini, who founded RIVA Illustration, we discuss with her what is behind this and many other illustrations of her start-up, we talk about visual storytelling and the relation between science and art. Read the full article in the Background Stories.

08 April 2020: Combining Modeling and Observations for Improved Sea-Ice Predictions

by Lars Nerger, Alfred Wegener Institute

In a study recently published in the Journal of Advances in Modelling Earth Systems, a seamless sea-ice prediction system is introduced with a focus on the data assimilation component. 

Sea ice is an important component of the Earth system because it strongly influences heat exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere. Models are used to predict the state of the sea ice over time scales from days to years.


In a recent study, published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Longjiang Mu and his colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research developed and assessed a seamless sea ice prediction system with a focus on the data assimilation component. Data assimilation combines models with real observational data. In the study, this methodology is used to generate improved model fields which are then used to initialize the computation of model predictions. Other applications of data assimilation are the assessment of model error and an optimized representation of model processes.


A particularity of the model and data assimilation system is that a so-called coupled model – the Alfred-Wegener-Institute Climate Model (AWI-CM) – was used. AWI-CM simulates interactions between the ocean and sea ice as well as the atmosphere and land surface. In this study, the data assimilation software Parallel Data Assimilation Framework (PDAF) is directly connected to AWI-CM to provide online data-assimilation functionality. Directly combining the model with the data assimilation as done here reduces the computation time. In the study by Mu et al., the data assimilation focused on ocean and sea ice, by assimilating observations of the sea surface temperature and sea-ice properties like thickness, concentration and drift velocity.


Including the data assimilation, the sea ice and the ocean circulation becomes more realistic, as can be shown when comparing the study with independent, non-assimilated, observations. In general, the data-assimilation methodology is configured in a way that each observation type can influence all model variables. These effects can be assessed by studying single data types. For example, the sea-ice drift velocities help to improve the representation of the sea-ice thickness, and the sea-surface temperature observations improve the ocean circulation at mid depth.


The study by Mu et al. is therefore an important step toward a fully-featured sea-ice prediction system. It further builds the sea-ice component of the assimilation system that is currently developed in the Advanced Earth System Modelling Capacity (ESM) project funded by the German Helmholtz Association (see more here). Within the ESM project, also other observations of the ocean and the atmosphere will be assimilated into various models to find good initial fields for prediction simulations, but also for the assessment of the models’ skills.

The original article has been published here.

Mu, L., Nerger, L., Tang, Q., Losa, S.N., Sidorenko, D., Wang, Q., Semmler, T., Zampieri, L.,  Losch, M., Goessling, H.F. (2020) Toward a Data Assimilation System for Seamless Sea Ice Prediction Based on the AWI Climate Model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019MS001937


02 April 2020: Updates of Meetings due to Corona Pandemic

While EGU has decided to run their sessions online this year as a Sharing Geoscience Online event from #stayhome offices, the fifth YOPP-SH meeting as part of the Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate had to be cancelled, as it was attached to this year's SCAR Conference as well cancelled. Also, the PPP-SERA Task Team annual meeting in 2020 had to be cancelled. The YOPP session of the planned ICASS X conference will be postponed to next year's ICASS conference in Arkhangelsk.

01) Polar Prediction Sessions at EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online (#shareEGU20)

The EGU 2020 management committee has decided to cancel this year’s physical General Assembly in Vienna in order to minimize a growing COVID-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, scientific research and collaboration are of significant importance. It was therefore decided to hold this year's EGU as online event instead, with a week-long series of activities from 3–8 May 2020.

Joint YOPP-APPLICATE Session
To exchange knowledge and share results, the joint YOPP-APPLICATE session “CL2.12 Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" has been re-scheduled for a live #stayhome chat on Friday, 08 May, 14:00–15:45. Activities and results from the YOPP and APPLICATE projects will be presented, as well as contributions from other projects and institutes that focus on how to best capitalize on existing and additional Arctic and Antarctic observations such as Copernicus to improve forecast initial states, verification, and model physics, and to optimize the future polar observing system.

Further details of the session programme can be found here.


Climate Variability and Prediction in High Latitudes
The CL4.15 on "Climate Variability and Prediction in High Latitudes" is now scheduled as a live chat for Friday, 8 May 2020, 10:45–12:30. Here, mechanisms that control high-latitude climate variability and predictability at sub-seasonal to multi-decadal time-scales will be discussed. The session aims to discuss how a better understanding and better representation of the mechanisms that control high-latitude climate variability and predictability in both hemispheres at sub-seasonal to multi-decadal time-scales in past, recent and future climates can be achieved. Ongoing efforts to improve climate predictions at high latitudes at various time scales (as e.g. usage of additional observations for initialization, improved initialization methods, impact of higher resolution, improved parameterizations) and potential teleconnections of high latitude climate with lower latitude climate will also be discussed. 
Further details of the session programme can be found here.

02) Cancellation of 2020 YOPP-SH Meeting and Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) in Hobart, Tasmania



Due to the international updates related to COVID-19, the 15th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) and the 5th YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting in Hobart, Tasmania from July 29-31, 2020, had to be cancelled. Those who planned on attending WAMC are invited to send a status report. These can be in the form of a short PowerPoint presentation, or as an extended abstract in the American Meteorological Society format. The reports can be sent to tnorton2@wisc.edu and orendorf@wisc.edu so they can be displayed on the WAMC 2020 page.

03) Postponing ICASS X and YOPP Session

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X) to be held in Arkhangelsk, Russia, from 15 to 20 June 2020 has been postponed. ICASS X will now take place in Arkhangelsk, Russia on 15 to 19 June 2021. The includes des YOPP session on “Tailoring Environmental Forecasting Information and Services to Diverse Polar Needs” that was supposed to be co-convened by PPP-SERA co-chairs Machiel Lamers and Daniela Liggett.

04) PPP-SERA 2020 Annual Meeting and Open Session Cancelled

The sixth annual PPP-SERA Task Team meeting including an Open Session to engage with users of polar forecast products which was supposed to be held from 20 to 24 April 2020 at the German Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, had to be cancelled due to travel restrictions related to the Corona pandemic. Until their next annual meeting in 2021, the group will have regular online meetings.

31 March 2020: Polar Prediction Project Steering Group Meeting #11

The eleventh meeting of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group (PPP-SG) took place from 19 to 21 February 2020 at the headquarters of the Alfred Wegner Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The meeting was preceded by the YOPP 2020 Science Workshop where results from the Special Observing Period (SOP) activities as well as efforts that have commenced during the PPP Consolidation Phase activities were reported (see here for more information on the YOPP 2020 Science Workshop).

The Wednesday morning session, 19 February, started off with break-out group discussions where both, YOPP Science Workshop participants and PPP SG members jointly reviewed progress of individual YOPP Task Teams activities.

The eleventh PPP SG meeting formally started after lunch on the same day, 19 February. Specifically, the meeting focused upon reviewing progress during the YOPP Consolidation Phase – the final phase of the Polar Prediction Project that will conclude by end of 2022. During the discussion, options for the PPP evaluation were considered, plans for the Targeted Observing Periods aligned with MOSAiC in spring and summer 2020 (see more here) were developed, and major activities such as the Final YOPP Summit were planned.

Following extensive discussion on the YOPP legacy, the PPP-SG recommended to hold a YOPP Legacy Scoping Workshop in 2020 for looking at how to capitalize on PPP accomplishments in the years following 2022. PPP-SG noted excellent progress on PPP science activities in Numerical Experimentation, Verification, Sea Ice Forecasting, and the YOPPSiteMIP initiative to evaluate model performance at YOPP Supersites in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The PPP-SG members agreed to extend the YOPP Southern Hemisphere effort (YOPP-SH) to the end of December 2024 due to the YOPP-SH Targeted Observing Periods (TOPs) potentially needing extra time for thorough planning. PPP-related education activities will be pursued alongside the Arctic Science Summit Week in Lisbon in March 2021, during a PPP Spring School in Abisko, Sweden planned for March 2022, and around the YOPP Final Summit in May 2022. The YOPPSiteMIP effort was endorsed as a high-priority activity by PPP-SG as one of the lighthouse activities. PPP-SG also underlined the importance of the YOPP Data Portal for YOPPSiteMIP and other YOPP Legacy activities. A YOPP Final Summit will be held from 2 to 5 May 2022 in Montreal, Canada, for which the overall concept and outline was endorsed by PPP SG.

The meeting report can be downloaded from here. (jw/kw)

30 March 2020: Start of Arctic YOPP Targeted Observing Periods

In support of the MOSAiC one-year ice drift, additional weather balloons will be launched during episodes of strong interactions between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes in spring and summer 2020. These so-called YOPP Targeted Observing Periods, or TOPs, will help to better understand cold-air outbreaks from the pole and warm air intrusions coming from the mid-latitudes.

In September 2019, the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project (www.mosaic-expedition.org) commenced. The resulting central Arctic Ocean MOSAiC observations in concert with the ongoing measurements at the surrounding Arctic terrestrial observatories will provide an unprecedented opportunity to document the intricacies of the entire Arctic system for one year.
Linkages between the Arctic’s and mid-latitudes atmosphere are the focus of the upcoming YOPP Targeted Observing Periods, or TOPs. Starting from now and onwards into summer, TOPs will take place whenever the atmospheric circulation is favourable for strong interactions between the Arctic and mid-latitude atmosphere. During a TOP, the radiosonde frequency will be increased, similar to what happened during the Arctic Special Observing Periods in winter and summer 2018. The Targeted Observing Periods are different from SOPs, however, as extra observations will be taken for certain flow types only, that when air masses are undergoing a strong transformation on their way into or out of the Arctic. 


YOPP Special Observing Periods

The main objective of the earlier YOPP Special Observing Periods (SOPs) during 2018 and 2019 was to assess the impact of increased frequency of observations in the polar regions on the prediction skill over the Northern Hemisphere. First results from observing system experiments (OSEs) suggest that on average this led to only minor improvement in prediction skill. There were, however, larger impacts during certain large-scale flow situations. Therefore, the PPP Steering Group decided at its tenth meeting in Helsinki in January 2019 to revise the concept for additional observations. Episodes of particularly strong Arctic-mid-latitude linkages and their associated air mass modifications are now targeted during what is called a TOP. Aligned with the MOSAiC campaign, this approach will further capitalize on the increasingly strong partnership that has been built between YOPP and the MOSAiC observing assets. 
In order to prepare for the YOPP TOPs, the PPP Steering Group requested national weather centres to support on-demand radiosonde launches from Arctic meteorological stations during spring and summer 2020 to complement the MOSAiC Drifting Observatory radiosonde launches. Support was also requested from national centres and research institutions for a developing framework with regards to increasing the data uptake that will be achieved through data management and coding strategies that facilitate coordinated process-based evaluation of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) output.

Targeted Observing Periods (TOPs)
The focus of the YOPP TOPs planned during the MOSAiC experiment is on increasing radiosonde frequency during episodes of strong interactions between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, that is during warm air intrusions and cold air outbreaks. The start of the TOPs period was supposed to be aligned to an across-the Arctic aircraft campaign with AWI research aircraft Polar 5 and Polar 6 which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic. Events will now be selected for targeted observations between March 2020 until melt season, based on the atmospheric flow situation, aiming at air masses expected to undergo significant transformation that will pass over (i) existing YOPP Supersites including the MOSAiC ice camp and (ii) the ARM mobile facility at Northern Norway and Bear Island that currently are supporting the Cold Air Outbreaks in the Marine Boundary Layer (COMBLE) project. Focus for the additional radiosonde launches is on the Atlantic sector of the Arctic, where the majority of warm air intrusions and cold air outbreaks occur. The YOPP Processes Task Team will closely monitor the atmospheric flow situation to request the targeted launch of additional radiosondes. Participating countries, institutions and stations will be notified of a TOP five days ahead of time with details of requested launches 24 to 48 hours ahead of time.

Development of Integrated Observation/Model Data Files 
To support the TOPs, it will be important to facilitate the intercomparison of observations from densely instrumented observation sites with the high frequency model output in the immediate area around each of the identified supersites. This work is organized within the YOPP Supersite Model Intercomparison Project (see more on YOPPsiteMIP). The intercomparison concept is based on developing a well-defined file format and compatible semantics applicable across models and observations.

TOP Twitter Challenge and Social Media
To engage with the Polar Prediction community, a twitter challenge will accompany the Targeted Observing Periods. Aligned with the schedule of TOPs, the YOPP International Coordination Office will send out twitter posts for engaging the community: For expected cold-air outbreaks, the community could be asked, for example, to guess on the coldest temperature at the AWIPEV Station/Svalbard, including when it will happen; for moist air intrusion, the community might be asked to guess the maximum temperature at the of the MOSAiC camp. There will be a reward for the winner of the challenge.

We would also like to widely share the stories related to the TOP measurements with the community, using our Twitter and Instagram accounts @polarprediction and through partners’ social media channels. Therefore, participating stations are asked to share photos of radiosonde launches with the YOPP Office (send to: office@polarprediction.net) so material can be distributed via the @polarprediction social media accounts and through the PPP website (please do include copyright information, i.e. name of photographer).

See more information also on the website of the YOPP Processes Task Team.

16 March 2020: The YOPP Science Workshop 2020 – Polar Prediction in the Making

About fifty international scientists and representatives from a number of major numerical weather prediction (NWP) centres came together from 17 to 19 February 2020 in Bremerhaven, Germany, to share scientific advances resulting from observational and modelling studies in the Arctic and Antarctic undertaken as part of the Polar Prediction Project. The Polar Prediction Project has the ultimate goal of improving environmental prediction and services in polar regions.

Currently, the polar regions are lacking observational data. The large observational gaps in the Arctic and Antarctic has implications for the accuracy of weather and sea-ice forecasts in the polar regions which is a topic of increasing interest for tourism, shipping and other industries. These industries are ready to expand their polar activities as a result of ongoing climate-related changes at high latitudes.

For two days in February, experts from international research institutes and operational forecasting centres convened at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, to evaluate and discuss how additional observational data can help improving weather and sea-ice forecasts; how the representation of physical processes in a forecast model can be arranged to better reflect reality; and, how verification activities should implemented to assess the performance of the numerical models and the subsequent services.

Observing System Experiments

Of particular interest were the results from recent Observing System Experiments (OSEs) in the Northern Hemisphere which show that conventional observations have the highest impact during winter, which is partly due to shortcomings in assimilating microwave sounding data over snow and ice. In the summer months, the importance of microwave data predominated over the conventional observations which include radiosonde data. The additional radiosondes (increased frequency and coverage) released during the SOPs had a positive impact upon the forecasts with major impacts for particular weather events. This indicates that the current radiosonde network, when combined with satellite data, appears to capture the main atmospheric flow features. For particular weather events, additional radiosondes such as those deployed during SOPs can make a large difference. A Northern Hemisphere Targeted Observing Period (NH-TOP1), planned from March to April 2020 may provide further insight into this matter as well as provide more insight into the airmass transformation processes that cold air heading equatorward and warm air moving poleward undergo.

From Science to Services
One of the priorities for the final three years of YOPP will be to translate scientific advances of YOPP into operational products and services. Reaching users of forecasts in the polar region and providing them with the capacity to safely “navigate” these areas will be an important part of the YOPP legacy. The users of polar weather and sea-ice forecasts were the focus of an evening event hosted at the German Maritime Museum on 17 February. A panel discussion chaired by ICO director Kirstin Werner explored aspects of the topic of ‘Decision-Making and Polar Prediction’. The Panel was comprised of  RV Polarstern captains Thomas Wunderlich and Moritz Langhinrichs, MOSAiC coordinator Markus Rex, and managing director of the company Drift+Noise Lasse Rabenstein. The panel described what was needed to safely navigate a research vessel through sea-ice, and which potential forecast services would support decision-making during polar operations in the future. Lasse Rabenstein summed up the discussion in the following statement. “With all the data we have, a lot is possible: but we have to make this data usable for those who are not researchers, who have other jobs and need this as an assistance for their decision-making”.

The Science Workshop was followed by the 11th Polar Prediction Project (PPP) Steering Group meeting from 19 to 21 February 2020. Taking into account the discussions during the YOPP Science Workshop, the PPP Steering Group continued the strategic development of the Polar Prediction Project. A special focus was on the project’s legacy and the key activities to be organized and carried out from now until the end of 2022 (see link to corresponding text item).

All the participants provided invaluable contributions and contributed to fruitful discussions during the workshop. The agenda for the YOPP Science Workshop with links to presentations can be found here.

Photos from the evening event can be found on our @polarprediction Instagram account. (kw/sp/jw)

13 March 2020: Implementation Plan, version 3.0 for the Year of Polar Prediction

A new version of the YOPP Implementation Plan is now available. This third version of the YOPP IP provides further details on the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) Consolidation Phase and outlines an approach for developing the legacy of PPP and YOPP.

The Consolidation Phase of the Polar Prediction Project started in July 2019 and is now in full swing. This final phase of an international effort to improve environmental predictions in polar regions and beyond will conclude at the end of 2022. 

Details about the Consolidation Phase are now available from a third and final version of the YOPP Implementation Plan. Various activities that have been initiated during previous phases of PPP and YOPP will be continued during the Consolidation Phase. One example is data denial experiments, also called observing system experiments (OSEs). A number of modelling centres are coordinating to carry out OSEs to gain a better understanding of the impact of the additional observations during the three YOPP Special Observing Periods on prediction skill. A major effort during the Consolidation Phase will be using observation and model data from the three Special Observing Periods and the Arctic and Antarctic Targeted Observation Periods planned for early 2020 and during austral winter 2022, respectively, to gain a better understanding of the oceanographic, sea-ice and atmospheric processes in polar regions, particularly across the interfaces. To allow this research effort to progress, new data schemas have been developed to support the use of model and observational data.

In order to better prepare for the Consolidation Phase and what will be the legacies from PPP, the roles of the various PPP Task Teams, outlined in the new YOPP Implementation Plan, have been revised by the PPP Steering Group. Two new Task Teams have been formed while some of the earlier Task Teams were discontinued. Currently active Task Teams can be found here.

SAVE the DATE
A YOPP Final Summit will take place from 3 to 5 May 2022 in Montreal, Canada.

The new YOPP Implementation Plan is available here.

09 March 2020: Options for Publishing YOPP Datasets

(by SiriJodha S. Khalsa)

The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) encourages good data management practices among the YOPP-endorsed projects, and facilitates the documentation and discoverability of datasets through the YOPP Data Portal. This article aims at providing guidance on the options that researchers doing YOPP-related work have for publishing their data.

Data, in the form of observations and numerical simulations, is the foundation YOPP will build upon to achieve its objectives. The outputs of the research that is done using YOPP data also needs to be discoverable and accessible. In fact, most publishers now require that the data upon which a manuscript is based be openly accessible. Funding agencies are also now requiring that data generated through publicly funded research be made openly available for the purposes of reuse and reproducibility.

Publication of Research Data 


The publication of research data, as a scholarly output in its own right, stems from several different drivers, among them are: 1) the desire of researchers to publish as many works as possible, 2) the desire of dataset creators to be given recognition for their work, and 3) the desire of repository managers to quantify the impact of the data in their archives [1]. This has led to the creation of numerous journals focusing solely on datasets, and in some instances also experimental setup, data collection and analysis methodologies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 

When publishing research results it is important that the data used in the study is properly cited. The YOPP Data Portal provides basic guidelines for citing data in publications. Data citations aid in reproducibility, provide credit to the people and institutions who were essential for the data production, aid in tracking the use and impact of a data set, increase potential for finding new collaborators, and help future users learn how others have used a data set [2]. Data citation is greatly aided by having a digital object identifier (DOI) assigned to the dataset. Many data repositories now have the capability of assigning DOIs to the datasets they curate.

Publishing a Data Paper 

Publishing a data article is another method of obtaining a DOI. A data paper can supply details on the collection, processing, file structure and other aspects of a dataset without going into the specifics of the scientific analysis. Material that is often relegated to the “supplementary material” of a journal article can be expanded upon and made into a separate publication. This makes it possible to establish ownership of the dataset, especially if it is required to be made open immediately after collection, ahead of research results. The Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles [3] states that
Data citations should be accorded the same importance in the scholarly record as citations of other research objects such as publications.
A data article should therefore subsequently be cited in every publication that makes use of the data.

Data is becoming viewed as part of a scholarly ecosystem, which also includes software for data management and analysis, and the workflows used in the research process. The ultimate aim, which the F.A.I.R. Principles are intended to support, is to enable machines to automatically find and use data to generate new knowledge [4].

The YOPP ICO will advertise in its newsletter and website any published YOPP data articles. The YOPP Data Portal will display the citation for any data article describing data cataloged in the portal provided this information is included in the metadata that the Portal harvests. Alternatively, if the metadata has been submitted to the YOPP Data Portal via the metadata collection form, the “Dataset citation” fields will need to be completed.

References
[1] Callaghan, S., 2019. Research Data Publication: Moving Beyond the Metaphor. Data Science Journal, 18(1), p.39. http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-039

[2] ESIP Data Preservation and Stewardship Committee (2019): Data Citation Guidelines for Earth Science Data
, Version 2. ESIP. Online resource. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8441816.v1

[3] Data Citation Synthesis Group (2014): Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, Martone M. (ed.) San Diego CA: FORCE11. Online resource. https://doi.org/10.25490/a97f-egyk

[4] Wilkinson, M., et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18

04 March 2020: The MOSAiC Near Real-Time Verification Project

(by Amy Solomon)

A project led by NOAA/CIRES evaluates fully-coupled short-term forecasts with observations taken during MOSAiC in near real-time, with the ultimate goal of identifying biases in the representation of surface-boundary layer-cloud feedbacks that limit the skill of weather and sea-ice forecasts.

The MOSAiC Near Real-Time Verification (MOSAiC-NRV) project has been designed to evaluate the skill of fully-coupled short-term forecasts at the RV Polarstern location after each leg of the MOSAiC campaign, i.e. approximately every two to three months during the one-year ice drift campaign. Short-term forecasts of weather and sea ice are used in this project to identify potential errors in the representation of surface-boundary layer-cloud feedbacks that cause biases in climate model projections of Arctic climate change. The diagnostics that involve multiple models operated by different national weather services will focus on a process-based evaluation of the coupled Earth system to detect systematic biases that limit the ability to produce reliably forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions in the Arctic. Field measurements of snow and sea-ice characteristics (from Ice Mass Balance Buoys), the atmospheric structure (from weather balloon radio soundings), cloud characteristics (based on radar/lidar measurements), and surface energy fluxes (from four separate surface flux stations) will be used in the evaluation to compare model output with actual observations.

Your Contribution of Model Output to the MOSAiC-NRV Project
The MOSAiC-NRV project is based on the YOPPSiteMIP activity (see documentation on YOPPSiteMIP). Therefore, contributors of model output are kindly requested to use the YOPPsiteMIP protocol so that field definitions and units are consistent for files from the different modelling centers. Since the model output for MOSAiC-NRV is provided for the MOSAiC ice floe as a moving target, most modelling centers will not be able to produce model output while the model is running, so they need to extract fields from archived files, which limits both the time resolution of the model output and the available fields. For this reason, model output up to six-hourly and a subset of the YOPPsiteMIP variables are requested. The YOPPsiteMIP list of requested variables can be found here with the subset of fields requested for the MOSAiC-NRV project highlighted in yellow. Contributors are asked to please provide as many of the highlighted fields as possible. The model output should be submitted within a month after the end of each leg. For example, provide the model output for leg 2 by the end of March so a telecon can be scheduled shortly thereafter.
 Please contact Amy Solomon (amy.solomon@noaa.gov) for any questions or concerns, or if help is needed in formatting the model output using the YOPPsiteMIP protocol. All model files will be archived on the YOPP Data Portal operated by Met Norway.

A preliminary evaluation of five models (four forecast models and the climate reanalysis dataset ERA5) with Polarstern radio soundings and flux station data is available at https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/amy.solomon/MOSAiC_NRV.html. This webpage will be updated when more observations are available and after more models have been submitted. Separate pages will be created for each leg of the campaign. In a teleconference shortly after each leg, the performance of the models, current and future diagnostics and potential case studies will be discussed. A recent presentation on MOSAiC-NRV by Amy Solomon can be found here.

For any questions, contact Amy Solomon amy.solomon@noaa.gov

02 March 2020: Fall Open Online Course by APPLICATE, APECS and YOPP

(by Andrea Schneider and Gerlis Fugmann, APECS)

During Fall 2019, an open online course entitled "Advancing Predictive Capability of Northern Hemisphere Weather and Climate” was organized by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the project APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with a Changing Arctic climaTE) and the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP).

Designed for early career researchers (e.g., Master and PhD students, Postdocs) with a specific interest in Arctic weather and climate prediction and modelling, the course provided an overview of the state-of-the-art knowledge of Northern high-latitude weather and climate predictions.

Within eleven sessions, international experts provided their knowledge from September to December 2019 on a weekly basis to the participants. In total, 125 Master and PhD students as well as Postdocs from Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia followed the online seminars and challenged the lecturers with detailed questions. In preparation for each session, lecturers provided three to five top scientific papers from their field which fed into a comprehensive literature collection resulting from the course. The sessions were recorded and is available online via the APECS vimeo channel.                          

Fore more information, please see the full article on the APPLICATE website.

28 February 2020: Out Now – The Moon Episode of the IcePod

On the third episode of the IcePod, the official podcast for the Year of Polar Prediction, we talk to Stefan Hendricks, who joined the first Leg of MOSAiC and worked along the Remote Sensing team on board Polarstern.

Here’s the Moon Episode of the IcePod! For our Third Episode, we met with Stefan Hendricks, who is a sea ice physicist at the Alfred Wegener Institute and joined MOSAiC Leg 1 on board Polarstern with the Remote Sensing Team. Not only we talked with Stefan about the Moon – the Earth satellite, which had quite some impact on Leg 1 sea ice conditions – but also about Saturn's Moon (as you will hear, Stefan knows a bunch of fun facts also about other moons), the freeboard, the weight watchers club on Polarstern and about his favourite satellites.

Remote sensing is like looking at the Earth through binoculars; and with the new techniques, applied by Stefan and his colleagues during MOSAiC, you can learn lots of things about sea ice. After some hard work, Remote Sensing City was eventually built along with the other cities on the ice. What happens when lunar and solar tides are teaming up, and why Stefan prefers doing science rather than eating cake. Apparently, no one sleepwalked during polar night while the Moon was shining brightly and gave a spectacular light for Stefan’s photos. Check out our Instagram account @polarprediction to see his pictures!

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

If you miss the music, find the very special Moon playlist on Spotify.

If you want to listen to the full episode with music, check back with us polarprediction@gmail.com

For updates and other materials, check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/

---

The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV where the full episode with music will be played at www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/. For dates check back with polarprediction@gmail.com.



14 February 2020: Year of Polar Prediction Science Workshop 2020

On 17 and 18 February 2020, the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Science Workshop 2020 takes place at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany. More than forty international experts will discuss scientific advances resulting from the various international activities within YOPP with the ultimate goal to improve accuracy of weather and sea-ice forecasts in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Currently, the polar regions are lacking observational data. This large observational gap in the Arctic and Antarctic has implications to the polar weather and sea-ice forecasts’ accuracy which is, however, of rising interest for e.g., the tourism or shipping industries that only wait in the starting blocks to expand their polar activities, responding to the ongoing Arctic sea-ice melt and other climate-related changes at high latitudes.

For two days, experts from international research institutes and operational forecasting centers convene in Bremerhaven to evaluate and discuss where additional observational data can help improving weather and sea-ice forecasts, how components in a forecast model can be arranged so that it closest reflects reality, and how verification activities should be set up to better assess how closely a forecast has resembled the actual weather pattern.

The users of polar weather and sea-ice forecast will be focus of an evening event at the German Maritime Museum on 17 February. During a panel discussion on ‘Decision-Making and Polar Prediction’, RV Polarstern captains Thomas Wunderlich and Moritz Langhinrichs, MOSAiC coordinator Markus Rex, and managing director of the company Drift+Noise Lasse Rabenstein will discuss what it needs to safely navigate a research vessel through sea-ice, and which potential forecast services would support decision-making during polar operations in the future.

The Science Workshop will be followed by the 11th Polar Prediction Project (PPP) Steering Group meeting from 19 to 21 February 2020 when PPP Steering Group members will discuss on the strategic agenda-setting for the Polar Prediction Project in the upcoming years, with a special focus on the project’s legacy and key activities to be organized and carried out from now until the end of 2022.

The agenda for the YOPP Science Workshop can be found here. For following the workshop online, please send an email to office@polarprediction.net.

10 February 2020: APPLICATE and the Polar Prediction Project at the AAAS Annual Meeting

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the scientific journal Science, is organizing its annual meeting in Seattle (WA) and will take place on 13-16 February 2020.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the scientific journal Science, is organizing its annual meeting in Seattle (WA) and will take place on 13-16 February 2020.This is one of the main science events of the year, gathering researchers, policymakers, industry and journalists to report and share cutting-edge advancements in science, engineering, and innovation, with star-guest Bill Gates delivering a presentation on Friday, February, 14th.

It is in this setting that the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) have organized a session on “The Future of Earth’s Climate: A World of Extremes?”, held also on 14th February 2020. Here, APPLICATE Project Coordinator and Chair of the PPP Steering Group Thomas Jung is presenting on “Weather and Climate Extremes Caused by Rapid Warming of the Arctic”, including results from the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) and high-resolution simulations in the context of the YOPP-endorsed APPLICATE project. Thomas Jung will be presenting alongside representatives from other modelling projects from the European H2020 Research Programme PRIMAVERA and AtlantOS.

Browse the complete programme and other sessions on the meeting’s website.

06 February 2020: From Pole to Pole – The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum

On the 6th and 7th of February 2020, the city of Brussels will host the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum, an event organized by the European Commission to discuss strategies and cooperation in researching the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Representatives of institutes, projects, communities working on the Atlantic and addressing challenges and features of this environment will meet in the Belgian capital, to review the findings and recommendations stated in the latest IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere as well as in the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Since the signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation (EU - US - Canada) and the Belém Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation (EU - Brazil - South Africa) in 2017, many new projects and collaborations have been launched, which will be showcased during the Research Forum as stories of development and impact in the Atlantic research and cooperation.

Discussions will also involve the link between research with society, bringing together experts from all fields, ranging from science to industry to political leaders. The meeting will be an important occasion to set a strategic direction for the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, particularly for how the Alliance will contribute on matters such as the European Green Deal and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

You can read more on the Forum and the programme on the website of the Forum.

28 January 2020: The IcePod Episode Two – The Set-Up Scene

On the second episode of the IcePod, the official podcast for the Year of Polar Prediction, we take a further look behind the scenes of MOSAiC. The master student and professional photographer Thea Schneider was one of the lucky ones, namely one of the twenty early career scientists who went on board the Russian icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, which supported Polarstern in the Central Arctic.

In our interview, Thea Schneider from the University of Potsdam tells us about the difficulties of assembling a sea-ice buoy without IKEA instructions, what a smoking curl has to do with Arctic turbulences, and how lonesome you can (not) be as a vegetarian among Russian meat-eaters.

How does a photographer look at the Arctic, and how does a physicist? - Both are very creative, and with Thea, everything comes together. Because at heart, she is a theoretical physicist: she loves equations; through physics she found a way to make her photography even more complete.
And, if you are looking for a PhD student who likes modelling and at the same time enjoys field work in the Arctic, maybe Thea is the choice...

Read also Thea's report on the MOSAiC School here.

Find the new and all previous IcePod episodes e.g. on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox or on our website theicepodcast.home.blog

If you miss the music, find the very special playlist by Thea on Spotify

The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. It is produced in collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute and Radio Weser.TV where the full episode with music will be played at https://www.medialabnord.de/radio-livestream/. For dates check back with polarprediction@gmail.com.

Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto

10 January 2020: SAVE the DATE – Antarctic Meteorology and Climate Meetings 29–31 July 2020 in Hobart, Tasmania

Preceding the SCAR Open Science Conference 'Antarctic Science - Global Connections', the 2020 workshops on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) and on efforts for YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) will be held from 29 to 31 July 2020 in Hobart, Tasmania.

Both meetings will be held just before the start of the Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR, see more). The 15th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate will be focused on a variety of topics centered around Antarctic meteorological research and operational/logistical interests. Any presentations, workshop activities, and posters on these topics are welcome at the workshop. WAMC will be held at the CSIRO auditorium, Castray Esplanade, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania 7004, Australia.  

As in previous years, the Year of Polar Prediction in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting will occur in conjunction with WAMC. Also held at the CSIRO auditorium, the 5th YOPP-SH meeting will be focusing on the upcoming austral winter Special Observing Period.  

Additional information can be found at the following website: http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/meetings/meeting2020/

Further information on the meeting will be sent out as it becomes available. In order to stay up-to-date, send an email to office@polarprediction.net to be included to the YOPP-SH and PPP mailing lists.

08 January 2020: EGU 2020 Session "Climate Variability and Prediction in High Latitudes“

In the EGU session "Climate Variability and Prediction in High Latitudes" (CL4.15) mechanisms that control high-latitude climate variability and predictability at sub-seasonal to multi-decadal time-scales will be discussed.

This YOPP-related session aims for a better understanding and better representation of the mechanisms that control high-latitude climate variability and predictability in both hemispheres at sub-seasonal to multi-decadal time-scales in past, recent and future climates. Further, the session aims to discuss ongoing efforts to improve climate predictions at high latitudes at various time scales (as e.g. usage of additional observations for initialization, improved initialization methods, impact of higher resolution, improved parameterizations) and potential teleconnections of high latitude climate with lower latitude climate. We also aim to link polar climate variability and predictions to potential ecological and socio-economic impacts and encourage submissions on this topic.This session offers the possibility to present results from the ongoing projects and research efforts on the topic of high-latitude climate variability and prediction, including, but not limited to WWRP Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), NordForsk-project ARCPATH, and the H2020-projects APPLICATE, INTAROS, BlueAction, PRIMAVERA.

CL4.15: Climate Variability and Prediction in High Latitudes
Co-organized by AS4/OS1
Convener: Torben Koenigk | Co-conveners: Neven-Stjepan Fuckar, Yongqi Gao, Helge Goessling

The Call for Abstracts is open until 15 Jan 2020, 13:00 CET.

07 January 2020: Abstract to Joint EGU YOPP-APPLICATE Session due next Wednesday

The Call for Abstracts is due on 15 January 2020, 13:00 CET for this year's European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly to be held from 3 to 8 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria. A joint YOPP-APPLICATE session on "Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" will take place at this annually largest and most prominent European geosciences event.

To exchange knowledge and share results, we look forward to your abstract submission to our session “CL2.12 Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" at the upcoming EGU 2020 (Vienna | Austria | 3–8 May 2020).

We welcome presentations on activities and results from the YOPP and APPLICATE projects as well as contributions from other projects and institutes that focus on how to best capitalize on existing and additional Arctic and Antarctic observations such as Copernicus to improve forecast initial states, verification, and model physics, and to optimize the future polar observing system.

The Call for Abstracts is open until 15 Jan 2020, 13:00 CET.

06 January 2020: YOPP Session at ICASS X

PPP-SERA co-chairs Machiel Lamers and Daniela Liggett will co-convene a session on “Tailoring Environmental Forecasting Information and Services to Diverse Polar Needs” at the Tenth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X) which will take place in Arkhangelsk, Russia, from 15 to 19 June 2020.

To facilitate human safety, community well-being and environmental security in the changing polar regions, more and more specialized environmental forecasting services, based on weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information, are being made available by a growing range of providers, including national meteorological services, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and community-based organizations. The session aims to encourage a discussion of both research and practical cases addressing WWIC information requirements and services in terms of operational decision-making and user needs in various sectors, including, but not limited to shipping, tourism, science, government operations, search and rescue, fisheries, aviation, education, and subsistence hunting and harvesting. More on the session and conference can be found here.

Abstract submission has been extended to 20 January 2020 via https://icass.uni.edu/abstract-submission

23 December 2019: Bonus Episode of The IcePod with Stefanie Arndt

A bonus episode of The Icepod, the official podcast for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now available. 

In this extra episode, sea-ice scientist Stefanie Arndt talks about her preparations to join the third leg of the MOSAiC campaign.

Because it's Christmas, the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction decided to provide a special gift to enjoy over the holiday season. In this bonus episode, the sea-ice scientist Stefanie Arndt from the Alfred Wegener Institute shares with us how she's preparing for her departure to join the MOSAiC ice camp end of January to lead the sea-ice team during Leg 3. Steffi has been involved in the Year of Polar Prediction for a long time deploying sea-ice buoys in the Antarctic. Now she's going to the other side of the world to measure snow and sea-ice conditions in the central Arctic. Hear about how she has been trained as a polar bear guard and sort of a firefighter on the ice and why her parents would rather want her to be the "weather guy" on TV than spending more than a year in total in the polar regions. Leg 3 will be the coldest period of the expedition, and Steffi has particular preparation for that (not only her woollen underwear). But the sun is coming back at some point...

Listen to The IcePod on various podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcast or Castbox.

Check also our website: https://theicepodcast.home.blog/ or send us an email to polarprediction@gmail.com

20 December 2019: PolarPredictNews #13

The December 2019 issue of PolarPredictNews, the newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now available. 



In this new issue, read about two new ECMWF papers just published on observing system experiments utilizing the Arctic YOPP Special Observing Period extra data. Look into what YOPP ambassador Thea Schneider has to tell after her return from the MOSAiC School and learn about the Norwegian Weather App Yr.no that now provides weather forecast for the central Arctic. Also don't miss the interview with the Spanish weather forecaster Sergi Gonzalez on an exciting zero-emissions project to collect atmospheric data in the Antarctic. If you need something a bit more practical over the winter pause, have a try on DIYing your own MOSAiC Climate Cube (see the how-to-video) while listening to the first episode of The IcePod, the official Year of Polar Prediction podcast. 

This and much more on publications, meetings and insight views to find in PolarPredictNews #13.

16 December 2019: MOSAiC School – The Importance of Being the Support

Thea Schneider was one of the twenty early career scientists who participated in the MOSAiC School – a floating university aboard the Russian research icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, in support of RV Polarstern’s transit into the Arctic. In her very personal report now published on the Polar Prediction website, the Master student in Physics shares insights from her time aboard and on the sea ice.

Master student Thea Schneider and climate modelling lecturer  Thomas Rackow were supported through the WMO Polar Prediction Project to join the MOSAiC School. For six weeks in September and October 2019, the Russian research icebreaker Akademik Fedorov accompanied RV Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, on her transit into the central Arctic sea ice. In her report, Thea tells from the preparational days in Tromsø and from the collective search for an appropriate sea ice floe to be home for Polarstern for a year. She writes about the MOSAiC School participants’ support to install a comprehensive Distributed Network of instruments in a 50 km radius around Polarstern and the manifold topics covered in the MOSAiC School lectures.   

Read Thea Schneider’s report here.

09 December 2019: In Whose Service? A World-Café Focus-Group Discussion

During a focus-group discussion organized at the 14th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) in June 2019, questions on weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) services were raised and discussed with meteorologists, forecasters, and operators in the Antarctic.

The focus-group discussion aimed at beta-testing the envisioned series of the Weather and Society Workshops that PPP’s Task Team on Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) has planned for the coming year. A world-café approach was chosen to facilitate targeted smaller-group conversations in four different round tables. Antarctic meteorologists, forecasters, and operators were provided with four questions to move from one to another table.

The four questions addressed (1) the biggest inadequacies of WWIC services for the Antarctic community,  (2) the transition of PPP outcomes into better WWIC user experiences, as well as the (3) personal relevance of  particular Antarctic WWIC information and (4) projected most meaningful contributions resulting from PPP and translated into services for individual WWIC user groups and the society. It was agreed by all participants that a better understanding of the users’ specific needs was necessary, not just in the transition to better services but also in the production of outcomes. Similarly, communication with users should be carefully planned and thought-through. Read the full report on the PPP-SERA website.

Find the report on the WAMC focus-group discussion here.

06 December 2019: Gone with the Wind – New Contribution to Polar Prediction Matters

In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, the Spanish weather forecaster Sergi Gonzalez and the polar explorer Hilo Moreno explain what it took to plan and carry out an Antarctic expedition with a non-emission vehicle to measure weather conditions during the YOPP Southern Hemisphere Special Observing Period.

A windsled is a vehicle that has no engine but is only moved by wind through a 150 m2 kite that flies at about 100 to 200 m elevation above surface. It took the project team around the weather forecaster Sergi Gonzalez from the Spanish State Meteorological Agency AEMET quite a while to prepare for this windsled which was used in an Antarctic expedition during the YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere. With a Mobile Automatic Weather Station (the YOPP-endorsed M-AWS) installed atop the windsled, the team was able to obtain data of Antarctic weather conditions from the Eastern Antarctic Plateau. The track with the Windsled covered more than 2,500 km.

In their contribution to the Polar Prediction Matters dialogue platform for users and providers of polar forecasts, Sergi Gonzalez and his colleague Hilo Moreno share exciting insights on preparing and carrying out this Antarctic zero-emissions campaign.

Find the new Polar Prediction Matters article here.

03 December 2019: First Time The IcePod – A Podcast for the MOSAiC Year of Polar Prediction

The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. As a contribution to the YOPP-endorsed MOSAiC ice drift campaign, the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO) has launched a series of podcasts entitled The IcePod.

The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. Monthly episodes will feature a scientist involved with both the Year of Polar Prediction and MOSAiC. After two short trailers released in September and October, the first episode of The Icepod, entitled "The First Time" is now available. In an interview with Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto from the ICO, climate scientist Thomas Rackow talks about his duties as a YOPP modelling lecturer for the MOSAiC school aboard the Russian research icebreaker Akademik Fedorov that accompanied Polarstern on her transit into the central Arctic sea ice in September and October 2019. Hear more from Thomas Rackow talking about his support of setting up the distributed instrument network on the sea ice around Polastern and how this unique experience will likely impact his future life of a scientist on ‘The Icepod’.

The IcePod is produced in collaboration with the community radio station Radio Weser.TV and will be available on all common podcast platforms (e.g. Spotify, Apple Podcast, Castbox).

21 November 2019: Call for Contributions to Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South)

The Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) is inviting contributors to participate to the third coordinated sea ice prediction experiment in the Southern Ocean, targeting the period December 2019 to February 2020.

SIPN South is an international YOPP-endorsed effort to collect seasonal forecasts of Antarctic sea ice with the purpose to make an initial assessment of the ability of forecasting systems to predict circumpolar-average, regional-average, and local Antarctic sea ice conditions. With this call for contribution with a focus on the austral summer season targeting December 2019 to February 2020, the SIPN South Leadership team around François Massonnet invites the international community to participate in the third coordinated sea-ice prediction experiment in the Southern Ocean. Deadline for submission of the forecasts is 8th December 2019.

For more information about the project and for submission guidelines, see here. Find more on SIPN South also on the YOPP YouTube Channel (instagram story, presentation)

Questions or feedback may be directed to François Massonnet (francois.massonnet@uclouvain.be).

Who is part of the SIPN south Leadership team?

François Massonnet (UC Louvain, Belgium)
Phil Reid (BoM, Australia)
Jan Lieser (ACE CRC, Tasmania, Australia)
J. Fyfe (ECCC, Canada)
C. Bitz (U Washington, Seattle, US)
W. Hobbs (ACE CRC, Tasmania, Australia)

Congratulations!
François Massonnet will receive the 2020 European Union of Geosciences’ Arne Richter Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award for his contributions in the field of Earth sciences.

12 November 2019: Report of Fourth YOPP in Southern Hemisphere Meeting

The fourth meeting of the Year of Polar Prediction Task Team active in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) took place from 27 to 28 June 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. As in previous years, it was preceded by the annual Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC), this year organized by NAVWAR, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command.

YOPP-SH#04 aimed at bringing together all parties involved in Antarctic meteorology and the advancement of this discipline through scientific research and improving operational support during the Year of Polar Prediction. In particular, the efforts in extra observations made during the YOPP-SH Special Observing Period (SOP) from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019 were reported during this meeting. Updates on various modelling, verification, Observing System Experiments (OSE), and user engagement efforts for YOPP-SH were presented at the meeting.

During the meeting, it was agreed to hold a second Southern Hemisphere Special Observing Period (YOPP-SH SOP2) during Antarctic winter. In order to cover the sea-ice growth in early winter, the current intent is to schedule it between mid-April to mid-July 2021.

The Fifth YOPP-SH meeting will take place on 31 July 2020, again in conjunction with WAMC, preceding the Ninth SCAR Open Science Conference in Hobart, Tasmania, 31 July to 11 August 2020.

The meeting report can now be downloaded from here.

A joint report with WAMC on this year’s and the 2018 WAMC and YOPP-SH meetings will be published in the Special Issue of the Advances in Atmospheric Sciences journal in the coming months.

31 October 2019: Model Intercomparison over European Arctic – Accurate Numerical Weather Prediction Remains Challenge

(originally published by APPLICATE)

Despite important progress in prediction skills over the last decade, current Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) systems still fail to meet user requirements with larger forecast errors in the Arctic than for the mid-latitudes. A new model intercomparison carried out in the YOPP-endorsed APPLICATE project contributes to establish a baseline for Arctic short-range forecast capabilities.

A sparse conventional observation network remains one of the main reasons for errors in Arctic NWP systems. In addition, weather forecast models are developed on mid- and lower-latitude weather, which leads to deficiencies in the representation of small scales Arctic weather phenomena. As human activities in the Arctic region increase over the years, accurate weather forecast predictions become more and more important. Therefore, the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), the flagship activity of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP), is an opportunity to gain extra observation and model simulation data that the scientists working within the APPLICATE project can use to improve NWP systems.

Based on model simulations from the YOPP Special Observing Period Northern Hemisphere 1 (SOP-NH1, 1 February–31 March 2018), an international group of scientists took the opportunity to learn more about present Arctic short-range forecast capabilities.

The scientists compared the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System (IFS-HRES) and three high-resolution regional models: a version of the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System (IFS-HRES), and four regional models: The AROME-Arctic  employed at MET-Norway, the Canadian Arctic Prediction System (CAPS), and AROME with Météo-France for a part of the European Arctic.

The results of the intercomparison show that the forecast systems differ in their spatial details and forecast accuracy varies between systems and with a number of factors, such as region, parameter, weather type and lead time”, explains Morten Køltzow from MET Norway who led the study. “Despite some unique errors which occurred in different models, we also found several common model deficiencies related to for example forecasting temperature during cloud- free, calm weather; cold biases in windy conditions; and the distinction between freezing and melting conditions, underestimation of solid precipitation; less skillful wind speed forecasts over land than over ocean; and difficulties with small-scale spatial variability.” Figure 1 shows how the skill can vary according to a 2-meter air temperature (Y-axis: systematic error, X-axis:unsystematic error). 

Another interesting result is a case study that shows that as much as twenty to forty per cent of the difference between forecasted (wind speed, temperature and precipitation) and observed weather can be attributed to representativity issues. This means that the actual weather shows large local variability at spatial and temporal scales smaller than the resolution in the NWP systems. This difference between forecast and observations can therefore not be expected to be captured by the state-of-the-art forecasting systems. Furthermore, the study also shows that large observation errors for solid precipitation hide the real skill of the precipitation forecasts.

The study concludes that no NWP system is superior to the other systems in all aspects. However, the importance of high resolution, surface and upper-air assimilation of observations and adaptations to the region of interest is demonstrated.
 
The full open access research article “An NWP Model Intercomparison of Surface Weather Parameters in the European Arctic during the Year of Polar Prediction Special Observing Period Northern Hemisphere 1” by Køltzow, Morten; Casati, Barbara; Haiden, Thomas; Valkonen, Teresa can be found at: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/WAF-D-19-0003.1.

See a summary of the paper also in PolarPredictNews #12, page 20 (New Publications).

29 October 2019: Ambitious North Pole Expedition will Help Improve Weather Forecasts at Yr.No

(originally published by MET Norway)

A search for “Polarstern” at Yr will give you weather observations from the research vessel currently deployed in the Arctic Ocean. This ambitious expedition will help improve weather forecasts from the weather service Yr.

Temperature, precipitation and wind observations from the German icebreaker RV Polarstern are updated hourly on Yr’s new website and app. During the entire year Polarstern spends drifting with the ice near the North Pole, Yr will also present the weather forecast for the ship’s current location.
 
Yr is eager to be at the forefront and wants to help publicize this project that means so much for society. It is more important than ever to understand the ongoing changes in the Arctic Ocean”, says Ingrid Støver Jensen, Yr’s product manager at the Norwegian broadcasting company (NRK).
 
Polarstern left Tromsø on 20 September 2019 as part of the MOSAiC expedition, which is the largest Arctic research cruise ever. Several hundred scientists will be aboard the research vessel, which is being frozen into the ice for a full year to figure out what is happening in the Arctic. Six hundred researchers from 19 countries will participate in the expedition. The data they collect will be used by scientists all over the world and give climate research new wind in its sails.
 
Closing Knowledge Gaps
The goal is to fill knowledge gaps concerning the central Arctic Ocean, where wintertime observations are particularly scarce. Global warming is leading to a gradual disappearance of sea ice, and in a few years the ice may be gone. The expedition will try to determine if and when this might happen.
 
Like Fridtjof Nansen’s vessel during the Fram expedition of 1893-1896, RV Polarstern will be frozen into the ice. From Siberia in the east, the ship will drift at an average speed of seven kilometres per day. A network of observation posts have been set up as far as 50 kilometres from the ship, and data will be collected from 4,000 meters depth to 35,000 meters up in the air. Both the ship and the surrounding observation network will drift with the ice towards the Atlantic.
 
Better Models for Weather and Climate

These observations will lift weather and climate models to a new level and help improve weather forecasts for Arctic areas.

MOSAiC will increase our knowledge about interactions between atmosphere, sea ice, and the sea in the Arctic, so that the physical processes can be better represented in our weather forecasting models”, explains Jørn Kristiansen, director of the centre for the Development Centre for Weather Forecasting at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway).

Systematic and comprehensive understanding of the scientific fundamentals, obtained in part through the YOPP-endorsed Alertness research project, enables MET Norway to meet the operational needs of the weather forecasting service.

Much of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute’s contribution will come through the major research effort during The Year of Polar Prediction, which will make use of the observations from MOSAiC. In order to forecast weather into the future, we need highly accurate observations of current weather conditions. The global weather observation network is sparse in the Arctic and Antarctic. The sparseness of these observations, combined with our limited knowledge about the physical processes in polar regions, means that weather forecasts are less accurate in polar areas than, for example, in Norway or the rest of Europe. These limitations also affect the quality of the weather forecasts for areas far from the poles.

Predecessor RV Lance Improved Yr
Four years ago, the research vessel Lance was also frozen into the ice; the observations made at that time were used to improve weather models for Arctic areas – models now in use at Yr. Meteorological Institute researchers Malte Müller and Yurii Batrak did the work of improving the weather model and published their findings in the journal Nature Communications, as part of the YOPP-endorsed research project the Nansen Legacy.

About MOSAiC
MOSAiC’s research approach is multidisciplinary, with special emphasis on atmosphere, sea ice, oceans, biogeochemistry, and ecosystems.
 
MOSAiC is the abbreviation for the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. The expedition is backed by an international consortium of leading research institutions, and has a budget of more than 120 million EUR.

Follow the MOSAiC expedition here:
https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/
 
Images from the expedition for use by the media:
https://multimedia.awi.de/mosaic/#1571917079615_0

28 October 2019: Squaring the Circle – the Do-It-Yourself MOSAiC ClimateCube to Explore the Hotspot of Climate Change

(by Sara Pasqualetto, Helge Goessling, and Kirstin Werner)

Big topics need big ideas to come across and be understood: a team of scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute has come up with an exotic way to visualize the expected drift path of the MOSAiC campaign through the hotspot of climate change.

Climate change visualization projects have become an increasingly bigger part of today’s scientific outreach activities. The warming stripes by scientist Ed Hawkins are a prominent example. At the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helge Goessling, a physicist specialized in climate modelling and polar prediction, and his colleagues are now “squaring the circle” of climate visualization. The MOSAiC ClimateCube is set to be a playful means to bring the MOSAiC one-year ice drift campaign as well as climate change into school classes and living rooms.

On the occasion of the official start of the MOSAiC expedition on September 20th, 2019 (see here for more information), the cube that anyone with the use of some paper and a printer, scissors and glue stick can now DIY (do-it-yourself) features the drift projections of RV Polarstern locations during MOSAiC. Lines in the magnified Arctic show possible year-long drift paths of the MOSAiC ice floe and the frozen-into research icebreaker Polarstern, overlaid on the sea-ice distribution at the beginning of the sea-ice drift in September 2019.

Moreover, the MOSAiC ClimateCube portrays our planet by highlighting the temperature alterations and the patterns of warming that the Earth has experienced over the course of past climate changes, amplified in the Arctic. Holding a self-made cubed Earth in your hands is a truly tangible way to grasp the changes our planet has undergone from pre-industrial times to present days. The MOSAiC ClimateCube has been produced with the open source R package spheRlab which is an advanced toolbox for geophysical data visualization developed at AWI.

The ClimateCubes came into action for the first time during a creative workshop with school kids which was organized at the Bremerhaven Klimahaus a day before the international Climate Strike on Friday 20th September, 2019. AWI colleagues presented different variations of the ClimateCubes showing how climate is expected to change according to future projections simulated with the AWI Climate Model.

You can download your MOSAiC ClimateCube here: ENGLISH/GERMAN.

Need guidance to build your MOSAiC ClimateCube? Watch our video here for instructions.

25 October 2019: First Meeting of YOPPsiteMIP Group in Sweden

The first meeting of the YOPPsiteMIP team took place from 17 to 19 September 2019 at Stockholm University, Sweden. Amongst others, it has been agreed to hold on-demand Targeted Observing Periods (TOPs) when air mass transformations during MOSAiC occur. 

YOPPsiteMIP stands for the Year of Polar Prediction Supersite Model Intercomparison Project. As one of the key activities of the YOPP Task Team on Atmospheric Processes, YOPPSiteMIP aims to support detailed evaluation of the model representation of a range of physical processes, including the energy budget at the surface, momentum transfer and clouds and vertical profiles of a number of parameters. A workshop organized by YOPPSiteMIP leader Gunilla Svensson from the Department of Meteorology at Stockholm University brought together practitioners from the modelling and observational communities to discuss first results of the YOPPsiteMIP projects, future analysis and planned activities in connection to the MOSAiC ice drift campaign.

On-demand Targeted Obsering Periods (TOPs)
The YOPPsiteMIP activities overlap the work of at least three YOPP Task Teams, namely the Process Task Team, the Verification Task Team and the Data Task Team. This first meeting on YOPPsiteMIP therefore resulted in a number of strategic as well as tactical decisions. Strategically big steps were made in refining the contents, processes, semantics and procedures for creating and supporting the schemes to be used for holding the model and observational intercomparison data in NetCDF format. Recalling the decision by the PPP Steering Group to focus any additional YOPP observation and modelling campaign associated with the MOSAiC project on processes occurring during air mass transformations, it has been proposed to use on-demand Targeted Observing Periods (TOPs), preferably based around other intensive observation campaigns during MOSAiC such as the aircraft deployments during March/April 2020. Similar to the previous Special Observing Periods, the short on-demand TOPs will benefit additional radiosonde releases during the events in the path of the air mass transformations.

Merged Data File Specification (MDFS) Scheme
Notional dates for having some observational and model data in the new Merged Data File Specification (MDFS) scheme were set for the first quarter of 2020. The semantics for the various schemes were agreed on: MDFS is the generic parent scheme with the Merged Observatory Data Files (MODF) and Merged Model Data Files (MMDF) being its children. A common open toolbox of Python code to assist in the creation of the model and observational MDFS NetCDF files was agreed to be developed with a workshop proposed for late April 2020 in Boulder that would bring together the key data managers to create the MODF files.

For more information on the YOPPSiteMIP meeting in Stockholm, please see the Meeting Report.

The Processes Task Team and YOPPSiteMIP webpages will be updated in November.

24 October 2019: EGU Call for Abstracts – Joint YOPP-APPLICATE Session

The Call for Abstracts is now open for next year's European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly to be held from 3 to 8 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria. A joint YOPP-APPLICATE session on "Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" will take place at this anually largest and most prominent European geosciences event.

With the rapidly changing conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, reliable weather and climate forecasts are becoming increasingly important in the polar regions due to new challenges and opportunities in the economic, touristic, transportation, and scientific sectors. Likewise, the weather and climate of the mid-latitudes are significantly affected by what happens at the poles. While the impacts of severe weather phenomena on business and infrastructure can be significant, the polar regions are yet among the least-observed areas of our planet, and model predictions are challenged by the complexity of the polar climate systems.

To enhance our models’ predictive skills, more and better use of observation systems of the polar atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean are needed. It is on these premises that the World Meteorological Organization’s project Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and the European Horizon2020 APPLICATE project are carrying out their activities, initiating and promoting collaboration among international institutes, operational forecasting centers and stakeholders in an effort to bring together scientific expertise and know-how to work on better polar predictive skill.

To exchange knowledge and share results, please consider submitting an abstract to our session “CL2.12 Exploiting Polar Observations to Improve Weather and Climate Predictions" at the upcoming EGU 2020 (Vienna | Austria | 3–8 May 2020).

We welcome presentations on activities and results from the YOPP and APPLICATE projects as well as contributions from other projects and institutes that focus on how to best capitalise on existing and additional Arctic and Antarctic observations such as Copernicus to improve forecast initial states, verification, and model physics, and to optimise the future polar observing system.
We welcome abstracts on topics including, but not limited to: Arctic and Antarctic observations, modelling, prediction, data assimilation, verification, linkages to mid-latitudes, user engagement, and governance. New results, contributions from international projects with a focus in the polar regions, and cross-disciplinary approaches that involve natural and social sciences are particularly appreciated.

The call for abstracts is now open and will close on the 15 Jan 2020, 13:00 CET.

For more details on the session and how to submit your abstract, please visit: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2020/session/36745

If you like to sign an open letter to AGU and EGU to reduce carbon emissions please see here:
https://framaforms.org/signatories-of-the-open-letter-to-the-american-and-european-geophysical-unions-1571668994

15 October 2019: Saving Even One Life Is Worth Every Single Effort

The Norwegian project Alertness aims to develop world-leading, reliable and accurate Arctic weather forecasts in support of maritime operations, business and society. PhD student Matilda Hallerstig is one of the researchers in the YOPP-endorsed project Alertness. In her article published on the Alertness project website, the scientist explains what is driving her to contribute to improving Arctic weather predictions.

Long time ago, Matilda Hallerstig had realized how much the daily activities and critical decisions in areas close to the Arctic depend on reliable weather forecasts. During summer, it is the fog slowly moving from the ocean into the fjords and across land which cause airplanes to stay on the ground. In winter, strong winds and heavy snow showers can risk a fisherman’s life. In polar regions, a good forecast can make a huge and sometimes even life-saving difference. However, sparse observations in the Arctic make it still difficult to densely monitor the weather situation. Matilda Hallerstig has been working for several years as a weather forecaster in Norway. During her daily work with users of forecasts she found out more and more what is “under the hood” of numerical weather prediction models. In particular, she learned how weather conditions in the Arctic such as the small-scaled frequent polar lows, which are the Arctic answer to tropical hurricanes, but also shallow stable boundary layers, and the marginal ice zone with a mix of ice-covered and open ocean, need to be tackled to provide more accurate forecasts. From 2017 to 2018, Hallerstig had the opportunity to work in Reading, United Kingdom, to compare the Arome Arctic model used by MET Norway with the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) model used at the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF). Her current PhD work at the Norwegian Research Center NORCE and the Bjerknes Center for Climate Research is a continuation of this study to better understand how well models perform during historical weather events and during large observational campaigns such as the Year of Polar Prediction. Alertness which stands for ‘Advanced models and weather prediction in the Arctic’ is led by the Director of the Development Centre for Weather Forecasting at MET Norway Jørn Kristiansen who supports YOPP as a member of the PPP Steering Group. The Alertness project is a 4-year (2018-2021) project funded by the Norwegian Research Council with the goal to provide better weather warnings up to three days in the future. During her PhD project, Hallerstig focuses on polar low events and maritime icing. She hopes that her work “will lead to better forecasts to assist those who live in the Arctic and Northern Norway, and if even one life is saved by that, it will be worth every single effort.”

Read Matilda Hallerstig’s full article “Improving weather forecasts in the Arctic” on the Alertness project website (https://www.alertness.no/no/nyheter/2019/10/9/improving-weather-forecasts-in-the-arctic). For more information about the project itself, have a read on https://www.alertness.no/en/project.

The article has also been published as a contribution to the Polar Prediction Matters Helmholtz dialogue blog.

27 September 2019: Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Services at ArcticNet 2019

The ArcticNet Annual Science Meeting 2019 will be held from 2 to 5 December in Halifax, Canada. A session organized by team members of the YOPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications group will focus on how to improve weather, water, ice and climate services in the Arctic.

Understanding the current transformation of the Arctic Ocean due to climate change is one of the major challenges for the upcoming years. With the growing concern on ongoing changes of weather, water, ice, and climate (WWIC) conditions in the Arctic, there is an increasing demand to develop improved forecasting services tailored to the requirements of various Northern communities.

A session entitled "Tailoring Weather, Water, Ice, and Climate Information and Services to Address Diverse Northern Needs" will be held at this year’s ArcticNet Annual Science Meeting in Halifax, Canada. In the session, scientists, Indigenous people, stakeholders, and all levels of community and government decision-makers will come together from across Canada to share examples from the work they are doing.  International contributions are also very welcome. The session is organized by the Canadian scientists Gita Ljubicic and Jackie Dawson who are members of the YOPP Task Team working on ‘Societal and Economic Research and Applications’ (PPP-SERA). In their session, they encourage discussion on the development of improved WWIC services to support increased safety of living, traveling and working in the dramatically changing northern environments. They are looking for examples and experiences of how to improve and tailor forecast services to user needs from various sectors such as subsistence hunting and harvesting, fisheries, shipping, tourism and many more are invited to be presented at the session.

Abstracts are due by 30 September and can be submitted through the ArcticNet website.

For more information about the ArcticNet 2019 Annual Science Meeting, click here.

23 September 2019: A Long Expedition Always Enriches Life

"MOSAiC and YOPP – both projects strive to better understand the Arctic climate system", says MOSAiC expedition leader Markus Rex in his interview with PolarPredictNews.

The YOPP-endorsed Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition has started last Friday night when Polarstern left from Tromsø for the central Arctic to drift an entire year with the sea ice. This biggest Arctic expedition ever has played a key role for the Polar Prediction Project from the early start of MOSAiC planning. The unique comprehensive data sets which are expected from this huge overwintering field campaign will substantially contribute to improving polar predictive capabilities. We spoke with expedition leader Markus Rex from the Alfred Wegener Institute about his excitement for this upcoming science adventure, the challenges of such an international campaign and how MOSAiC and YOPP are strongly tied together.

Read the interview in our background stories.

Follow the MOSAiC expedition at https://www.mosaic-expedition.org, on social media (instagram, twitter) and use the progressive Web App at https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/.

Read more about the link between YOPP and MOSAiC in PolarPredictNews #12 and the Background Stories.

20 September 2019: Waving Goodbye to Polarstern

Today, the German research icebreaker Polarstern departs from Tromsø, Norway, to spend an entire year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in sea ice. A total of six hundred people from 19 countries will participate in the expedition. The data gathered during six cruise legs, covering full polar night and polar day conditions and everything in between, will be used by numerous researchers to take climate and ecosystem research to a next level. 

The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) will be the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring its climate system. It is the largest Arctic expedition following the concept of Fridtjof Nansen’s Fram expedition in 1893. The project with a total budget exceeding 120 Million Euro has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions, under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), led by the German Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and the University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), United States. RV Polarstern will serve as the central observatory, drifting with the sea ice across the central Arctic towards Fram Strait for a year. A distributed regional network of observational sites will be set up on the sea ice in an area of up to ~50 km distance from RV Polarstern. The ship and the surrounding network will drift with the natural ice drift across the polar cap towards the Atlantic, while the sea ice thickens during winter.

Link between MOSAiC and YOPP
A strong link between MOSAIC and YOPP has existed right from the beginning of MOSAiC’s planning. “Both projects strive to better understand the Arctic climate system”, explains expedition leader Markus Rex in his interview with PolarPredictNews (see #16). “MOSAiC has always been considered one of the key projects contributing to the Year of Polar Prediction”, says PPP Steering Group chair Thomas Jung. MOSAiC is thus also one of the first projects which received endorsement by the Year of Polar Prediction in late 2015, as it ‘supports YOPP by the evaluation of near-real-time observational data in a long-term context’. Ever since, MOSAiC planning has involved YOPP as an important partner.

Read more about the link between YOPP and MOSAiC in PolarPredictNews #12 and the Background Stories.

Back to School

Not only Polarstern will leave Tromsø harbour this Friday but also the Akademik Federov. During the six weeks of the expedition, the MOSAiC School 2019 will take place on board this Russian icebreaking vessel, which will support Polarstern on her way into the central Arctic. During the transit into the ice, twenty early career scientists will attend lectures, workshops, and hands-on exercises on e.g., Arctic atmosphere, sea-ice and ocean conditions aboard the floating university. YOPP supports Thea Schneider, one of the twenty early-career scientists, and mathematician and climate scientist Thomas Rackow who will join the school as a lecturer for climate and sea-ice modelling.
Once arrived in the Arctic, MOSAiC School participants will support the MOSAiC teams to set up the distributed regional network of observational sites within an area of up to ~50 km distance from RV Polarstern. On their way back to Tromsø, students will be given another set of workshops and practical exercises, this time on media and outreach. Each participant will work on an individual communication project to prepare becoming a MOSAiC ambassador after returning from the cruise.

Read about the eager and happy expectations, master student Thea Schneider and MOSAiC lecturer Thomas Rackow have shared with us before leaving for the Arctic in PolarPredictNews #12 and the Background Stories.

Follow @polarprediction on instagram and twitter, to find out about Thea’s and Thomas’ adventurous time with the MOSAiC School and follow the MOSAiC expedition at https://www.mosaic-expedition.org, on social media (instagram, twitter) and use the progressive Web App at https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/.

18 September 2019: PolarPredictNews #12 – MOSAiC Edition

The September issue 2019 of PolarPredictNews, the newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now ready for download. 



Waving Goodbye!

This Friday, the German research icebreaker Polarstern departs from scenic Norwegian town Tromsø to spend an entire year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in sea ice. Just in time for the start of the biggest Arctic expedition ever, the 12th issue of PolarPredictNews is all about MOSAiC. We invite you to read about how planning of YOPP and MOSAiC went along right from the early start of MOSAiC preparations. And do not miss our interview with expedition leader Markus Rex from the Alfred Wegener Institute about the YOPP-endorsed MOSAiC project.

Back to School

Not only Polarstern will leave Tromsø harbour this Friday but also the Russian icebreaking vessel Akademik Federov, onboard with her are twenty, very lucky early-career scientists who get the chance to join the MOSAiC School for the next six week in support of Polarstern making its way into the ice. Read about their eager and happy expectations, master student Thea Schneider and MOSAiC lecturer Thomas Rackow share with us in PolarPredictNews #12.

There is More to it

Make sure you know about the Météo France Arctic and Antarctic forecast data sets which can be used to compare with observational data produced during the YOPP Special Observing Periods. We invite you to participate in the survey developed by Vicki Heinrich who is a weather observer at Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean seeking dialogue with people who have been in Antarctica at least for six weeks. Also, the YOPP-endorsed SIRT team successfully reporting about their just completed fifth summer citizen-science season in the Arctic on board the Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 let Pobedy.

By the Way

German Weather Service DWD President Gerhard Adrian was elected new WMO President. And: EGU has launched a new open-access journal on "Weather and Climate Dynamics".

Meetings, publications, events – check out PolarPredictNews #12 here.

8 September 2019: Forefront of European Weather Research

The European Meteorological Society (EMS) offers a platform for scientific exchange in the week from the 9th to the 13th of September 2019 in Copenhagen.

Up to six hundred representatives of European excellence in the fields of meteorology and climatology are expected to present results, draw common approaches and forge collaborations at the annual EMS meeting: not only scientists but also businesses, civil society and users will contribute to carry European weather and climate discussions forward.A special focus of this year’s edition will be Arctic and Antarctic issues and challenges. Amongst others, colleagues from ECMWF will also showcase their centre’s contribution to advancements in polar forecasting. On Monday, 9 September, PPP Steering Group chair Thomas Jung will present recent activities and results from the Polar Prediction world in the Opening Session. The Year of Polar Prediction will thus be featured in one of the most important weather and climate-related scientific gatherings contributing to the considerations on how to enhance research and activities in the field of polar prediction. Visit the EMS Annual Meeting webpage to browse the complete schedule and check other sessions at the conference.

5 September 2019: Sea Ice at the Interface

(by Lorenzo Zampieri, Alfred Wegener Institute)

The city of Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) hosted the Sea Ice Symposium of the International Glaciological Society (IGS) from 19 to 23 August 2019. The Sea Ice Symposium is a gathering of the scientific sea-ice community that takes place every five years.

The focus of the 2019 event has been the “sea ice at the interface” and set a new participation record for an IGS events (see IGS website), with approximately 350 scientists from all around the world taking part to the meeting. Focusing on both polar regions, state-of-the-art sea ice research has been presented with an interdisciplinary approach. Beside the typical geophysical sea-ice research with observational and modelling approaches, the conference touched themes related to global climate, polar marine ecosystems, globalization, and Indigenous cultures. Specifically, the sessions focused on the implications that changes to sea ice, ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves and continental runoff have on climate systems within and beyond polar regions, including consequences for environmental and ecological integrity, and socioeconomic development.

Manitoba, Arctic-Facing Region

Arctic economy on different scales. The town of Churchill represents a good example in this context, being the only Arctic arbor connected to the rest of north America with a train line. The retreat of the Arctic sea ice in the Baffin Bay is opening new opportunities for this settlement and this summer, for the first time, a cargo ship transporting grain sailed from the Canadian Arctic towards the Mediterranean Sea. The expansion of human activities in these remote regions should, however, be accompanied by solid and seamless research to reduce the risks associated with the extreme polar environment but also to protect the fragile Arctic ecosystem and to allow local communities to be the first beneficiaries of this development, and not only marginal spectators. All these themes and open questions are well aligned with the mission of the Year of Polar Prediction, and this shows nicely how sea ice, and more generally polar research, is proceeding together to address the upcoming challenges.
 
The next IGS Sea Ice Symposium will take place in 2022 in the Bremen region (Germany), and will be organized by the Alfred Wegener Institute and the University of Bremen. This event will serve as an excellent occasion to take stock of the upcoming MOSAiC expedition, which is expected to further bring forward our understanding of the sea-ice system and its interaction with the global climate.

More information can be found on the workshop website.

3 September 2019: PAMIP – Investigate Causes and Consequences of Polar Amplification

(by Tido Semmler, Alfred Wegener Institute)

From 24 to 27 June 2019, almost forty invited participants met in Exeter (UK) to discuss first results of the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP).

A coordinated modeling effort is a must-have to assess how mid-latitude weather and climate are affected by the ongoing rapid changes in the polar regions. The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) investigates the causes and global consequences of polar amplification, through creation and analysis of an unprecedented set of coordinated model experiments. From 24 to 27 June 2019, almost forty representatives of various modelling centers worldwide met in the surroundings of Exeter, United Kingdom, to present early results from PAMIP and related modelling activities, and to strengthen collaboration between PAMIP contributors. The YOPP-endorsed European Horizon2020 project APPLICATE is one of the leading projects contributing to this effort.
As a result of the workshop, a common work plan has been established to efficiently organize the evaluation of the results. A series of papers will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals till the end of the year which is the deadline for consideration of the results in the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Presentations from the workshop can be found here.

Contact: Doug M. Smith doug.smith@metoffice.gov.uk

26 August 2019: YOPP Session at 2019 IUGG General Assembly

(by Barbara Casati, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Taneil Uttal, NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory)

First Results from the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) at the 2019 International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Assembly.

The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) General Assembly took place in Montreal, Canada, from 8 to 18 July 2019. Several scientific sessions and joint symposia were organized by the nine IUGG associations, including the International Association of Cryospheric Science (IACS) and the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science (IAMAS). Three polar-related sessions took place: "Past and Future Changes in Polar Climate System and their global Linkages", "The Arctic in the 21st Century: a Hotbed of Global Changes" and "First Results from the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)". The latter showcased several contributions gravitating on monitoring, prediction and verification efforts during YOPP including presentations describing the YOPP supersite model intercomparison (YOPPsiteMIP), preliminary results for the Canadian site of Iqaluit, the Finnish site Sodankylä, and the Antarctic sites Dumont D’Urville and Dome C/Concordia. The Canadian Arctic Prediction System (CAPS) developed specifically for YOPP by Environment and Climate Change Canada was also presented, along with verification results comparing the Canadian numerical weather prediction systems during the YOPP Special Observing Periods and post-processing and forecast products based on YOPP datasets for Arctic sea-ice and blizzard warnings. One track of the YOPP session dedicated to the Southern Hemisphere featured the significant contribution of Météo France with the AROME Numerical Experiments over the Antarctic, and several studies on measurements and validation of the microphysic structure of clouds and precipitation, as well as the atmospheric boundary layer. The session was overall quite successful and mirror the strong YOPP contribution to polar science.

Links to the three tracks of the YOPP session are:

Saturday, July 13th, 08:30 - 10:00
Saturday, July 13th, 13:30 - 15:00
Saturday, July 13th, 16:30 - 18:00

21 August 2019: Gerhard Adrian Elected New WMO President

(by Malena Andernach, Alfred Wegener Institute)

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), whose World Weather Research Programme runs the Polar Prediction Project, has a new President: After 19 years of collaboration within the committees and bodies of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Adrian, president of the German Weather Service DWD, was elected President of the WMO by the 18th World Meteorological Congress in Geneva.

The PPP Steering Group and International Coordination Office would like to thank the former president David Grimes for his continuous support of activities under the Year of Polar Prediction. At the same time, we welcome Gerhard Adrian elected as new WMO President during the 18th World Meteorological Congress held from 3 to 14 June 2019 in Geneva. Gerhard Adrian who has been leading the German Weather Service for nine years is the first German WMO President who will now coordinate future activities of WMO. He succeeds David Grimes, Assistant Deputy Minister and Head of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Meteorological Service, who served two four-year terms for WMO. The Argentinian WMO Permanent Representative Celeste Saulo, who participated in the launch event of YOPP in 2017 and has promoted the strategy of YOPP widely, was elected First Vice-President of WMO.
Gerhard Adrian has become Germany’s Permanent Representative at WMO in 2010; since 2011 he has also been member of the WMO Executive Council. During the coming four years, Adrian will further strengthen WMO through a sustainable strategy plan and efficient governance. He is engaged in implementing the current Governance Reform of WMO ensuring the motivation and commitment at all WMO levels will be preserved. A big effort will be devoted to enhance collaboration among the different WMO offices and members, as a contribution to an improved global meteorological infrastructure, including a global exchange of data.
Aim of the recently held World Meteorological Congress was to develop strategies to support the nations’ efforts to increase their resilience to extreme weather, water, and climate, to enhance meteorological observations and predictions, and to close capacity gaps by e.g, agreeing on a common future strategy. By the end of Congress, a new WMO strategic plan for the time period from 2020 until 2023 has been presented. It includes the high-level vision and overarching priorities of the future direction of WMO, expressed as long-term goals for 2030 and strategic objectives. Three overarching priorities are to (1) enhance preparedness and to reduce any kind of damage, to (2) support climate-smart decision making and to (3) enhance the socioeconomic value of WMO services. New governance structures set up at WMO will particularly help to better address major risks and to meet the challenges posed by a changing world.
The inauguration of Mr Adrian and the new strategic plan of the WMO will set new goals and policies for WMO with potential implications also for the Polar Prediction Project. The International Coordination Office will provide regular updates.

19 August 2019: This Week in Winnipeg, Canada – The 2019 Sea Ice Symposium

Not just a science conference: this year's Sea Ice Symposium organized by the International Glaciological Society will provide a platform for scientists to discuss updates, work on common strategies, and refresh partnerships.

The website www.igsoc.org describes it as "An international gathering of the world’s leading polar researchers and stakeholders": Winnipeg, Canada, seems to be the place to be in the week from 18 to 23 of August 2019. Every five years, the International Glaciological Society set up a stage for researchers to come together and share their knowledge with each other. For five days, scientists from institutes all over the world will meet in the capital of Manitoba to present their studies and show the latest progresses of projects working in the polar regions. Dialogues with stakeholders and policy makers will also be initiated to develop common strategies to manage undergoing changes affecting sea ice.

More to find at https://www.igsoc.org/symposia/2019/winnipeg/proceedings/index.html.

13 August 2019: Where to Track the Sea Ice

(by Malena Andernach and Kirstin Werner, both Alfred Wegener Institute)

The website seaiceportal.de makes an important contribution to YOPP by providing up-to-date information on Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice changes, including expert knowledge and a cartographic data archive with comprehensive sea ice information.

With the aim to share scientific knowledge and data of sea-ice trends in the Arctic and Antarctic with all levels of society, the Helmholtz Climate Initiative REKLIM, the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) launched the information and data portal seaiceportal.de (German version at meereisportal.de) in 2013. With its focus on weather and climate in the polar regions and beyond, seaiceportal.de is of particular interest for the YOPP community.

Coordinated by AWI colleagues Dr. Klaus Grosfeld and Dr. Renate Treffeisen, the website seaeiceportal.de provides background information on, e.g. the global relevance of sea ice and its trends and fluctuations. – What exactly is sea ice? When does it form? And how does the freezing process actually take place? The website provides answers to these and further questions. In addition, users can learn about sea ice modelling and monitoring methods of sea-ice variables. The observational data are presented in a wide range of maps, charts, and animations, while the original data collected by the University of Bremen can also be downloaded from the portal.

During the upcoming Arctic ice drift MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, see more information also at https://www.mosaic-expedition.org/), seaiceportal.de will provide up-to-date maps about sea ice related information of the expedition as well as showing the current position of the German research icebreaking vessel Polarstern. Find more here: www.seaiceportal.de/mosaic

Read the full article here.

Contact: Renate Treffeisen renate.treffeisen@awi.de

05 August 2019: Arctic and Antarctic Forecast Data from Météo France

As a contribution to the modelling efforts of the Year of Polar Prediction, Météo France now provides Arctic and Antarctic forecast data sets. The model output is publicly available and can be used to compare with observational data produced during the YOPP Special Observing Periods.

During three YOPP Special Observing Periods, the number of observations of the weather and sea-ice conditions were increased in the Arctic and Antarctica. Model experiments during the remainder of the Polar Prediction Project until 2022 will show at what locations and which frequencies extra observations will be needed so that meteorological and sea ice forecasts in the polar regions can be improved.

Small-Scale Large-Scale Research Action
One of the operational centers contributing to YOPP is the French weather service Météo France. The National Centre for Meteorological Research CNRM provides forecast data for the three Special Observing Periods that were held in 2018 and 2019 in the high northern and southern latitudes. CNRM’s essential tools for operational weather forecasting are the two global numerical weather prediction models ARPEGE (ARPEGE stands for Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle; in English: Small-Scale Large-Scale Research Action) and AROME (AROME is the acronym for Application of Research to Operations at Mesoscale).

A Data Point at Every 2.5 km
For the two Arctic Special Observing Periods from 1 February 2018 to 31 March 2018 and from 1 July 2018 to 30 September 2018, modelling output from ARPEGE are available with data points at about every 7.5 to every 12.5 km over the thirteen YOPP Supersites in the Arctic (Fig 1). This output data contains forecasts of temperature, wind, clouds, humidity and other parameters for three days. In addition, within the YOPP-endorsed project APPLICATE, model experiments were carried out with the higher resolution model AROME over a domain around Svalbard and the Barents Sea: "The model output from AROME provides data every 2.5 km for each day during the Arctic Special Observing Periods at 00 and 12 UTC", says Eric Bazile who leads this Météo France effort in support of YOPP.

High-resolution Area from France Moved to Antarctica
In the Antarctic, the Special Observing Period took place during the last austral summer, from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019. As a contribution to the YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) effort, Bazile and his colleagues Vincent Guidard and Niramson Azouz have developed a dedicated configuration of the ARPEGE model, called the ARPEGE-Southern Hemisphere (ARPEGE-SH) version. Usually, ARPEGE has a rather low resolution over Antarctica (one data point at every 35 km) and a much higher one over France (around 7.5 km distance between each data point). But for this Antarctic experiment, Bazile and his team have moved the high-resolution area to Antarctica instead. Five- and ten-day forecasts at 00 and 12 UTC, as well as six-hours forecasts at 6 and 18 UTC are thus available for all 17 YOPP Supersites in the Antarctic (Fig. 2) and for four additional sites over the Third Pole/high mountain area. The experiments of the high-resolution AROME model forecasts with data points at every 2.5 km are still running but will be provided soon for the Antarctic YOPP Supersites Dumont d’Urville, Alexander Tall Tower!, and McMurdo.  

The data and corresponding technical information are available from the YOPP Data Portal and from the ftp server ftp://ftp.umr-cnrm.fr (user: yopp/password: Arpege).

For any questions, please contact Eric Bazile eric.bazile@meteo.fr.

Fig 1: Surface temperature from the ARPEGE model in the Arctic. The inlet map displays the high-resolution orography used over a domain around Svalbard and the Barents Sea for the AROME model output.

Fig 2: Surface temperature from the ARPEGE-SH model version for the Antarctic. The inlet map displays the high-resolution orography used over the Antarctic region with the YOPP Supersites Dumont d’Urville, Alexander Tall Tower!, and McMurdo that will soon be available from the AROME model output.

31 July 2019: Survey on the Use of Weather and Climate Information

For the YOPP-endorsed project "Use of Weather and Climate Information: Risk perception and decision-making in the Antarctic" (UWCI), the psychology researcher and weather observer Vicki Heinrich seeks dialogue with people who have been in Antarctica at least for six weeks in the past three years.

In her exploratory study of weather and climate information use and decision-making in Antarctica (see more on the project in the latest PolarPredictNews #11, item #20, pages 17-19), Vicki Heinrich who is currently based at Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean invites eligible participants to complete a pre-interview questionnaire and conduct an interview with her (via skype or in person) so she learns how decisions based on weather conditions in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic are being made, and how people use, think about, and interpret climate and weather information.
The information collected in this survey will help provide evidence-based recommendations for improvements in weather and climate products for use in Antarctica and inform best practice weather-related decision-making. The outcome of this and following surveys and research within the UWCI study will particularly contribute to the efforts of the Year of Polar Prediction Task Team working on Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA).

The pre-interview questionnaire contains a few general questions about weather-related decisions and information sources that will contribute valuable data to the study from the additional participants. To complete the questionnaire please use the following link:
http://surveys.utas.edu.au/index.php/235241?lang=en​

The full invitation can be found here.

Project updates are posted on the @UWCIAntarctica project Facebook page.

Contact: Vicki Heinrich vicki.heinrich@bom.gov.au

26 July 2019: Winter is Coming – MET Norway Contribution to 'Polar Prediction Matters'

In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters – the dialogue platform of providers and users of polar forecast services – Gunnar Noer and Rafael Grote report on recent advances in forecasting of snow avalanches in mountainous parts of Norway.

Norwegian winter sports activities in the mountains have always been closely linked to being aware of avalanche risks. A well-prepared alpine skier thus carries an avalanche transceiver when leaving Tromsø for a cross-country skiing tour in the Lyngen Alps. 

In the past few years, the unusually high number of polar lows and long spells of heavy snowfall in northern Norway have led to an increase of winter accidents caused by snow avalanches, report Rafael Grote and Gunnar Noer from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway) in their article just published in Polar Prediction Matters.

Therefore, MET Norway has recently adjusted their avalanche forecast to international standards. The authors of the article provide information about the Norwegian snow avalanche service VARSOM and explain how decisions about the level of hazard risks are being made and communicated to alert the Norwegian public.

Read the full article here.

About Polar Prediction Matters
Polar Prediction Matters is a non-peer reviewed forum initiated as a means to foster the dialogue between those that research, develop, and provide polar environmental forecasts and those that use (or could use) polar environmental forecasts to guide socio-economic decisions. It is hosted by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers blog portal and maintained by the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction at the German Alfred Wegener Institute.

 

23 July 2019: Ninth International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Data Assimilation and Verification (IICWG-DA)

(by Lorenzo Zampieri and Sara Pasqualetto, both Alfred Wegener Institute)

More than sixty scientists attended the ninth International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Data Assimilation and Verification (IICWG-DA) from 17 to 19 June in Bremen, Germany. IICWG-DA is a joint initiative of the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), the Year of Polar Prediction, GODAE Oceanview (GOV), and the Coordination & Support Action KEPLER by the European Commission. The meeting in Bremen was part of a series of workshops organized by the IICWG Data Assimilation Working Group to discuss cross-cutting issues in sea-ice modelling, observations and data assimilation and how deficiencies of current systems can be more efficiently diagnosed and addressed.

'Diversity' and 'sharing' are probably the words that express the success of the IICWG-DA initiative. The meeting represented a friendly and inclusive forum for scientists from three different continents (America, Europe and Asia) with different backgrounds and working approaches. The synergies between the modelling and observational communities, as well as the collaboration between research institutions, numerical weather prediction centers and national agencies generated a constructive discussion that set the bar for further developments in the field of sea-ice prediction.
The workshop certified the tendency of assimilating more and more sea-ice observational products, together with their uncertainties in our sea-ice prediction models. Sea-ice thickness and freeboard measurement are now considered the new standard for data assimilation, and the sophistication of the assimilation techniques themselves has grown substantially in recent years. Interestingly, the resolution increase of the models has brought the community towards the employment of high-resolution observational products (SAR and MODIS images), while the fact that our models can now explicitly resolve linear kinematic features such as ice leads and ridges is currently boosting the research on new sea-ice rheologies for a better agreement of the model results with observations.

Presentations and posters of the IICWG-DA workshop can be downloaded from the workshop website.

8 July 2019: A Centennial of Geodesy and Geophysics

This week, the 27th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics starts in Montréal, Canada. One of the sessions will be dedicated to the "First Results from the Year of Polar Prediction".

More than 4,000 participants from Canada and around the world are expected to come to Montréal this week to discuss latest research results in geosciences. This year is the 100th anniversary of the IUGG meetings which is going to be celebrated from 8 to 18 July 2019 at the Congress Palais, a 10-minute walk away from downtown Montréal. The international science community will not only look at what has been achieved during a century of Earth and space science but more importantly is going to look forward into the future of geoscientific advancements.

Among the diverse ten-days program with various Union symposia, sessions, workshops, panels and special events, a session dedicated to the "First Results from the Year of Polar Prediction" – the flagship activity of the World Meteorological Organization’s decade-long Polar Prediction Project – will be held on Saturday, 13 July. The session is chaired by Amélie Kirchgässner from the British Antarctic Survey: "Significant improvements in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond will be presented in this symposium. I am particularly excited about advances in our knowledge that connect and combine disciplines, and look forward to lively discussions." Speakers will present their latest contributions to the Year of Polar Prediction, particularly first results from recent field campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic, connecting the atmosphere with the ocean, cryosphere and biosphere.

The program for the agenda can be found here. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Amélie Kirchgässner (acrki@bas.ac.uk) or the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (office@polarprediction.net).

1 July 2019: Start of YOPP Consolidation Phase

With 1 July 2019, the YOPP Consolidation Phase has officially started. To highlight the achievements of the Year of Polar Prediction to date and the challenges that lie ahead, three online seminars have been organized at the German Alfred Wegener Institute, the European Centre for Medium-Ranged Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on 24 and 25 June.

The Year of Polar Prediction is moving forward, and so is the restless effort to deliver enhanced prediction capacity for the polar regions. With 1 July, the YOPP Consolidation Phase is officially launched. During the final three years of YOPP, the data collected during its Core Phase will be made available to the community to improve predictive models and eventually transform these into more reliable products for people living and working in polar regions. The aim is to translate scientific achievements of YOPP into more reliable weather and sea ice forecast services.

Revised YOPP Implementation Plan
While cutting-edge science activities will also underpin the upcoming phase, the challenge for the Polar Prediction Project is to translate the scientific insights gained during the YOPP Core Phase into more reliable weather and sea-ice forecast services. In addition to consolidating and synthesising YOPP research and science, it will be necessary to prepare the ground for a post-YOPP structure of coordination and communication. "After three very successful Special Observing Periods in the Arctic and Antarctic, we are now very much looking forward to starting this new final phase of YOPP which is crucial for developing a legacy and making sure that the work initiated by the Year of Polar Prediction can continue past 2022", says Thomas Jung, chair of the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group.



To provide guidelines and structures on how to realize these goals, a third version of the YOPP Implementation Plan will be published during summer 2019. This document updates the previous two versions of the plan, giving detailed descriptions of actions during the YOPP Consolidation, including strategies and objectives in light of the results achieved until now. 

Three Online Seminars
To launch the new exciting period that lies ahead, the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) has organized three online seminars on 24 and 25 June 2019. These online courses were held by the German Alfred Wegener Institute (see on YOPP YouTube), the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (see on YOPP YouTube) and by Environment and Climate Change Canada (see pdf here). These online seminars by the chair of the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group (PPP-SG) Thomas Jung and the two PPP-SG members Irina Sandu and Greg Smith provide an overview of the work carried out as part of YOPP so far.

24 June 2019: PAMIP Workshop in Exeter (UK)

(by Tido Semmler, Alfred Wegener Institute)

From 24 to 27 June 2019, a workshop will take place in the surroundings of Exeter (UK) to share and discuss first results of the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP). 

Since it is well known that the Arctic and also the Antarctic peninsula are undergoing rapid change since a few decades, an important question is how the mid-latitude weather and climate may be affected. The need for a coordinated modeling project on this topic is evident and has been expressed at various workshops and conferences, to result then in the Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project, which is endorsed by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6). In this project, at least eight modeling centers worldwide are currently carrying out and evaluating model simulations according to a common protocol. The YOPP-endorsed European Horizon2020 project APPLICATE is one of the leading projects contributing to this effort. 

For more info, please contact Doug M. Smith doug.smith@metoffice.gov.uk.

17 June 2019: APPLICATE-YOPP Online Seminars – Training on Northern Hemisphere Weather and Climate Predictive Capability

The Year of Polar Prediction, in collaboration with APPLICATE, the Association of Polar Early-Career Scientists (APECS) and other partners will run a free online course "Advancing Predictive Capability of Northern Hemisphere Weather and Climate" in fall 2019.

The online course is designed for early-career researchers (e.g., Master and PhD students, and Postdocs) with a specific interest in Arctic weather and climate prediction and modelling. Various online lectures from September to December 2019 will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art knowledge of northern high-latitude weather and climate predictions, including aspects relevant for the Arctic climate system; linkages between Arctic and mid-latitude/global weather, and specific challenges of Arctic climate prediction and modelling. An important aspect of the course is the engagement of stakeholders who are using weather and climate predictions in their daily operations. The registration for either the entire course or separate sessions is now open. For more information, including the preliminary course syllabus, please visit the APECS webpage.

12 June 2019: PolarPredictNews #11

The June 2019 issue of the PPP newsletter is now available.

In the 11th PolarPredictNews newsletter issue, read about the final phase of the Polar Prediction Project: The Consolidation Phase comes with a revised YOPP Implementation Plan and three online lectures on 24 and 25 June where everyone is invited to join and discuss with the chair of the PPP Steering Group Thomas Jung (Alfred Wegener Institute), and the PPP Steering Group members Irina Sandu (ECMWF) and Greg Smith (ECCC) about YOPP research findings, community efforts and those activities that lie ahead.


Also, find out in the new issue what is behind the YOPPSiteMIP recipes for model and observation efforts, and learn about a tiny island in the Southern Ocean that contributed extra radiosoundings to the recent YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere.

In an interview with the Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council’s Working Group PAME, Soffia Gu∂mundsdóttir provides insights on what is the Arctic Shipping Data Base.

Also, don’t miss François Massonnet summarizing findings of the YOPP-endorsed SIPN South project; and read about a master thesis carried out in the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University (The Netherlands) about groups of forecast users from Arctic YOPP-endorsed projects.

Much more news to find in PolarPredictNews #11: download for screen or for print.

11 June 2019: Launch of YOPP Consolidation Phase – Three Online Seminars and a New Implementation Plan

1 July 2019 marks the official start of the YOPP Consolidation Phase. On 24 and 25 June, three online seminars will highlight the achievements of the Year of Polar Prediction to date and challenges that lie ahead.

The Year of Polar Prediction is moving forward, and so is the restless effort to deliver enhanced prediction capacity in the polar regions. June 2019 will mark the official start of the YOPP Consolidation Phase. During the final three years of YOPP, the data collected during its Core Phase will be made available to the community to improve predictive models and eventually transform these into more reliable products for people living and working in polar regions. The aim is to translate scientific achievements of YOPP into more reliable weather and sea ice forecast services.

Revised YOPP Implementation Plan
While cutting-edge science activities will also underpin the upcoming phase, the challenge for the Polar Prediction Project is to translate the scientific insights gained during the Core Phase into more reliable weather and sea-ice forecast services. In addition to consolidating and synthesising YOPP research and science, it will be necessary to prepare the ground for a post-YOPP structure of coordination and communication so that the work initiated by the Year of Polar Prediction can continue. 
 
To provide guidelines and structures on how to realize these goals, the third version of the YOPP Implementation Plan will be published in late June. This document updates the previous two versions of the plan, giving detailed descriptions of actions during the YOPP Consolidation, including strategies and objectives in light of the results achieved until now.

Three Online Seminars
To launch the new exciting period that lies ahead, the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) invites everyone to join three online seminars. Participants will be given an overview of the work carried out as part of YOPP so far, and they will have a chance to ask questions about the concluding elements of the Polar Prediction Project.

AWI Online Seminar
The first online seminar, hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), will take place on Monday, 24 June 2019 from 09:00 to 10:30 UTC. The chair of the PPP Steering Group, Thomas Jung, will provide an overview of the YOPP Core Phase and the plans for the Consolidation Phase. Please join the AWI online lecture on the day from your computer, tablet or smartphone (no prior registration required). If you have any questions, please send an email to office@polarprediction.net.

ECMWF Online Seminar
A second online seminar, hosted by ECMWF, will take place later that day, from 15:00 to 15:45 UTC. PPP Steering Group member Irina Sandu will talk about how YOPP helps to address challenges in modelling, observations and data assimilation - all key ingredients of numerical weather prediction. Please join the ECMWF online lecture on the day from your computer, tablet or smartphone (no prior registration required).

ECCC Online Seminar
A third online seminar will be run by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on 25 June 2019. At 15:00 UTC, PPP Steering Group member Greg Smith will talk about YOPP activities at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and efforts toward improved sea-ice forecasting. To join the live stream at ECCC, use the connection details below. Any questions can be directed to Gregory.smith2@canada.ca.

Video only:
https://pwgsc-nh.webex.com/meet/Gregory.Smith2Canada.ca | 558537926
 
Audio:
Join by phone
1-877-413-4791 Call-in toll-free number (US and Canada)
1-613-960-7515 Call-in number
279 263 6 Attendee access code

14 May 2019: Giving the People What They Want: "Translating" Weather and Climate Information in the North American Arctic

In the new blog post on the Polar Prediction Matters website, Rick Thoman from Fairbanks, Alaska, and Gita Ljubicic from Ottawa, Canada, give practical examples how local weather, water, ice and climate information can effectively be disseminated today within Arctic communities.

Residents' needs in the North American Arctic are often very different from standard services on weather and ice conditions that have historically been provided in lower latitudes. In this new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, Rick Thoman and Gita Ljubicic write about their experiences with Indigenous and northern residents who often consider sea ice as a platform for travel, subsistence, and economic activities such as hunting and fishing. Anticipating rapid changes of winds and the sea ice breaking off the floe edge is thus key for community members who make decisions about when or where to travel. Modern communication of weather and ice information is particularly challenging in northern North America due to limited bandwidth and unreliable Internet connectivity. The authors provide best-practices examples how to connect with local residents via traditional radio, newspapers, and social media.

Read the full article here.

29 March 2019: Fifth PPP-SERA meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile

The next PPP-SERA meeting will take place from 8–12 April in Punta Arenas, Chile. On Wednesday, 10 April, an Open Session will be held ath the Universidad de Magallanes (Auditorium Australis).

The fifth meeting of PPP-SERA, to be held in Punta Arenas, Chile, in April 2019, will focus on the development and planning of activities PPP-SERA promised to deliver during YOPP, including Special Services Projects and Weather and Society workshops. Furthermore, the PPP-SERA task team will use the opportunity to develop joint funding proposals in response to the Belmont Forum call, will work on an editorial to a Special Issue in Polar Geography, and will respond to requests by the YOPP Steering Group.

The PPP-SERA Open Session in Punta Arenas will extend the PPP-SERA network within South America. During the session, PPP-SERA will be reporting on current research to generate awareness of relevant themes and approaches and to engage in discussions with researchers, service providers and end-users from South America.

There will be remote connection to the PPP-SERA meeting and the Open Session at Punta Arenas time (CLST/UTC-3). If you would like to participate in the meeting remotely, please send an email to office@polarprediction.net.

A preliminary agenda can be found here.

20 March 2019: YOPP Antarctic Community Meets in Charleston SC This Year

The fourth YOPP Southern Hemisphere meeting will again be aligned with the annual Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate. The meetings will be held this summer in Charleston SC.

The Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate will be held 25-27 June, 2019 in Charleston SC, USA, at the Charleston Marriott Hotel. The Year of Polar Prediction in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting will be held in Charleston SC, USA, on June 27 Thursday afternoon and Friday morning of June 28 at the Charleston Marriott Hotel. This workshop focuses on bringing together all parties involved in Antarctic meteorology and the advancement of this discipline through research science and improving operational support.

Registration and detailed information are posted on the AMRC meetings page. This will be updated periodically with agenda and workshop details. There are twenty rooms blocked for the event at the Charleston Marriott*.

Informal Icebreaker:
Monday June 24, 2018, 1800-2200 at Charleston Marriott Hotel, Aqua Terrace Roof-Top Bar, 170 Lockwood Blvd, Charleston, SC

Workshop Location:
Charleston Marriott Hotel
170 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29403
Charleston, SC, USA
25-28 June, 2019

Hotel:
Charleston Marriott Hotel
*Rooms available Friday-Sunday (June 21-July 1)*
PH (843) 723-3000
170 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29403
Rates: $179/room
Group Name: 14th Annual Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology & Climate
(Available until May 24, 2019)

* Book your group rate for 14th Annual Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology & Climate
https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1552680781798&key=GRP&app=resvlink

(The title on the web page may say "Navy Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology & Climate" which is this event)

Chairperson for this event and POC is:
Arthur Cayette
SPAWAR Atlantic, Office of Polar Programs
DSN 588-4945, Comm +1 (843)-218-4945
Arthur.cayette@navy.mil

The deadline for submission of abstracts will be:
Abbreviated Abstract Submission Deadline - 1 May 2019.
- Provide your "abbreviated abstract" information via web page registration.

Extended Abstract Submission Deadline - 30 May 2019.
- E-mail your "extended abstracts" to arthur.cayette@navy.mil.
- Presentations will be collected at the time of the meeting 25-27 June 2019.

The deadline for registration is 30 May 2019.

For all abstract submission, registration details and general information, go to: http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/meetings/meeting2019/

For any question on the WAMC, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Lazzara mattl@ssec.wisc.edu Questions related to the YOPP-SH meeting can be directed to office@polarprediction.net or to David Bromwich bromwich@polarmet1.mps.ohio-state.edu.

11 March 2019: PolarPredictNews #10 Out Now

A new issue of PolarPredictNews is now available for download.



The recently finished Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere is one of the topics in this tenth issue of PolarPredictNews: Daily LIDAR plots are now publicly available from the French-Italian Antarctic Concordia station. It was also Concordia station where, thanks to the Italian educational project CAPIRE-YOPP, two more radiosondes per day could be added during two weeks in January.



Pick up news about an aircraft campaign over Iqaluit, Canada, last November, and make sure to check out an article previously published in Polar Prediction Matters about the efforts to develop forecasts for fish swarms. We are quite happy to feature the YOPP-endorsed project 'Wisconsin AWS' in this issue – PI Matthew Lazzara from the University of Wisconsin-Madison tells us about one of the largest Antarctic meteorological observing networks with more than forty years of observations.



Finally, if you haven't yet done online – enjoy reading the interview with the Peter Bauer, Helmholtz International Fellow, about his research at ECMWF and his efforts to advance weather prediction and the future prospects of technology and science (you can also watch the interview on
YouTube
)

.

Download PolarPredictNews #10 here.

07 March 2019: Antarctic LIDAR Data now Available

Daily LIDAR plots are now available from the Antarctic Concordia Station.

As a contribution to YOPP, daily LIDAR plots are now available to the public from the Antarctic Italian-French Concordia Station. The tropospheric LIDAR instrument provides year-round tropospheric profiles of aerosol and clouds every five minutes, 24 hours per day. The LIDAR instrument was funded through the Italian Antarctic Research Programme PNRA and has been used during the YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere as part of the YOPP-endorsed project "Water Budget Over the Dome C Station" (in short: H2O-DC) to distinguish solid from liquid cloud layers, with a vertical resolution of 7.5 m and a minimum overlap altitude of 10 m. The LIDAR covers the local troposphere from the surface up to approximately 7,000 m altitude, operating fully automatic at 532 nm.

Using the same wavelength as the CALIPSO satellite science mission, the new LIDAR data starting from 1 January 2018 provide a ground-truth point for satellite-borne LIDAR data. The capability to discriminate between water and ice phases provides a unique test ground for microphysical aerosol and cloud modelling in Antarctica. The altitude of origin of the precipitation can easily be estimated from the LIDAR plots, thus providing a reliable tool for tracking the origin of locally collected precipitation for isotopic and contamination studies. Studies on the inversion of radiometric and photometric data sensitive to the type and altitude of clouds will also benefit from the LIDAR-derived knowledge of cloud properties such as bottom and thickness.

The pre-processed data are updated on a daily basis but no quality-check is applied. Users of the data should note that the continuity of the data series might be broken by laser/datalink failures. Time-lapse videos of cloud coverage are also automatically collected. Further information and data samples are available at http://lidarmax.altervista.org/englidar/_Antarctic%20LIDAR.php.

The data (quick-look, daily false colour LIDAR plots), starting from 1 January 2018, are available at the following ftp server:
IP:       149.139.18.31   (port  21)  
user:    Concordia
pw:      station

For numerical data, the use of the data in publications, copyright credits or any other information, please contact the P.I. Massimo Delguasta massimo.delguasta@ino.it.

05 March 2019: PPP Steering Group meeting #10 – Meeting Report

The meeting report from the tenth session of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group (PPP-SG) is now available.

The tenth meeting of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group (PPP-SG) took place in Helsinki, Finland, at the headquarters of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) from 16 to 18 January 2019. The meeting report that is now available for download summarizes discussions during the meeting with regards to refining the plan for the YOPP Consolidation Phase, developing plans for the third Special Observing Period for the Northern Hemisphere (SOP-3) as well as general coordination and administrative matters.



The full meeting report can be downloaded here.

 

28 February 2019: Aircraft Campaign over Canada’s Iqaluit YOPP Supersite

(by Mengistu Wolde, National Research Council, Canada, Zen Mariani and Alexei Korolev, both ECCC)

An aircraft campaign to measure cloud microphysics and snow precipitation in the Canadian Arctic has been conducted the over Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada (~64N, 68W) in November.

The field project RadSnowExp is a multi-platform and multi-sensor study to address the pressing need for provision of precipitation measurements globally. For the project, the National Research Council (NRC) Convair-580 aircraft was instrumented by NRC and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) with state-of-the-art in-situ sensors, triple frequency (Ka, X, and W-band) polarimetric and Doppler radars, lidars, and a G-band radiometer. The aircraft was deployed to Iqaluit, Nunavut, between 19 and 30 November 2018 and conducted four flights (totaling twenty flight hours).

Iqaluit is one of ECCC’s Canadian Arctic Weather Science (CAWS) supersites which has also been identified as a YOPP Supersite. It is equipped with an extensive array of in-situ and remote sensing sensors; including a scanning Ka-band polarimetric radar and multiple lidars and radiation flux sensors, all of which operate 24 hours during seven days of the week for research purposes. Although satellite calibration and validation (cal/val) activities are not a core component of the RadSnowExp campaign, attempts have been made to fly along the satellite tracks of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission, CloudSat, and ADM-Aeolus satellites, taking coincident measurements at the same time the satellite was overhead.
Results from the campaign will provide information on the sensitivity and variability of the multi-frequency polarimetric radar and passive microwave signatures to different precipitation types in the Arctic, including intensive snow events over different surface types.

Contact: Mengistu Wolde mengistu.wolde@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca, Zen Mariani zen.mariani@canada.ca, Alexei Korolev alexei.korolev@canada.ca

25 February 2019: YOPP-IASC Arctic Science Workshop

(by Kirstin Werner and Helge Goessling, both ICO)

More than one hundred participants discussed recent progress and ways toward improved polar prediction at the Arctic Science Workshop that took place from 14 to 16 January 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. The meeting was jointly organized by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) International Coordination Office, and the Finish Meteorological Institute as host.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to keynote lectures to set the stage on current efforts to bring together observations and modelling during the Year of Polar Prediction. One of the foci during the following science sessions was the analysis of additional observations that have been obtained during the first two YOPP Special Observing Periods (SOPs) in the Arctic. Extra polar observations during the SOPs captured several extreme weather events that provide useful benchmarks to assess current forecast capabilities and to understand how such events unfold. A Sudden Stratospheric Warming during the Arctic winter SOP (February-March 2018) occurred ahead of the rare event of a polynya opening north of Greenland. While warm anomalies prevailed over the Labrador region as well as the Beaufort and Bering seas in March, northern Russia and large parts of Europe experienced a 'Beast from the East', or what the Finns whimsically call a 'Finnish Wednesday', with extremely low temperatures and heavy snowfall. Interestingly, the polynya north of Greenland re-opened during the Arctic summer SOP (July-September 2018), resulting from another period of anomalously warm southerly winds.

Results presented from first data denial experiments capitalising on the SOP data indicate that the polar observing systems clearly have impacts on forecast skills not only in polar regions but also in the mid latitudes, and that in particular conventional (i.e., surface, wind profiler, and upper-air) observations are most influential during winter.

A too simplistic, or partly completely missing, surface snow component in state-of-the-art numerical prediction systems has been highlighted as a prevailing cause of surface warm biases, both over land and on sea ice. The use of multi-layer snow schemes is a promising way to improve near-surface temperatures and the energy budget in models in cold atmospheric conditions.
During parallel breakout sessions on predictability, processes, verification, and user engagement, the workshop participants discussed current questions and topics that are particularly relevant to help shaping the YOPP Consolidation Phase (July 2019 to 2022). During this final phase, YOPP data and research will be synthesized to ensure sustained improvements in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond. Recommendations from the breakout groups included: to further promote and maintain YOPP observational and model data; to put focus on case studies with regard to extreme events captured by the SOP observations, Arctic process understanding,  and user engagement; to work toward specific and practical recommendations for the polar observing system; and to endurse the transfer of YOPP outcomes into operation and services, including the securing of funds for service development.

The abstract book and agenda with links to presentations can be downloaded from the workshop website.

20 February 2019: Renewal of Memorandum of Understanding between WMO and AWI

An extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU has been signed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). This MoU will ensure continued support of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) by the International Coordination Office until YOPP will come to an end in 2022.

With the MoU, AWI has offered to continue hosting the International Coordination Office (ICO) of the Polar Prediction Project in form of an in-kind contribution. Currently lead by Kirstin Werner, the International Coordination Office supports the PPP Steering Group in the planning and implementation of PPP and YOPP priorities and coordinates activities with other WMO programmes and international partner organizations. The renewal of the MoU ensures administrative and organizational support by the ICO until the end of the Year of Polar Prediction in 2022.

19 February 2019: In the Mind of the Modeller – Interview with Helmholtz International Fellow 2018 Peter Bauer

In 2018, Peter Bauer, Deputy Director of Research at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award. Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), handed over the Helmholtz Fellow certificate to Peter Bauer for his frontier work in the field of high-resolution modelling, prediction and computing on 5 February 2018. During his one-week visit at AWI, we had the chance to meet the Helmholtz International Fellow for an interview about his research at ECMWF, the challenges that come with it, and the potential for future advancements in the field of weather prediction.

Peter Bauer, Deputy Director of Research and Manager of the Scalability Programme at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), has been one of the pioneers shaping the Polar Prediction Project and the Year of Polar Prediction as a Steering Group member from Day 1. For his frontier work in the field of high-resolution modelling, prediction and computing he has now received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award: "I am very grateful for that as it emphasises the need and opportunity for international collaboration. An international fellow is, by definition, based on collaboration between Helmholtz as a whole, with its different institutes and disciplines, and an international organisation like ECMWF."

Peter’s work brought significant advancements in many fields of Earth system research, such as satellite remote sensing in weather and climate prediction, the assimilation of observations in numerical models, climate monitoring, weather and climate model development and, more recently, the preparation of models and forecasting systems for extreme-scale computing. In the different roles he had since he first joined ECMWF in 2000, Peter Bauer has significantly supported the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), as well as large-scale projects such as the EU Horizon-2020 APPLICATE and Helmholtz Earth System Modelling (ESM) projects.

Read the full interview here.

Watch the video interview on the YOPP Youtube channel.

 

6 February 2019: APPLICATE General Assembly 2019 and Early Career Event

Based on an article published on the ECMWF website.

Some 70 scientists reviewed 'exciting first results' at the second General Assembly and an early career event of the EU-funded APPLICATE project on polar prediction at ECMWF from 28 January to 1 February 2019. The overarching goal of APPLICATE is to develop enhanced predictive capacity for weather and climate in the Arctic and beyond, and to determine the influence of Arctic climate change on northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, for the benefit of policy makers, businesses and society.

"Just over half-way into the project, APPLICATE is well on track: exciting first results were discussed and we expect to make further substantial progress over the next year", says Irina Sandu, the coordinator of polar prediction activities at ECMWF and member of the PPP Steering Group.

One of the findings to date, reported by ECMWF scientist Heather Lawrence, is that existing observing systems in the Arctic improve forecast skill in the region in the short and medium range and in the mid-latitudes in the medium range.

"Interestingly, it appears that a better use of existing satellite observations, in particular over snow and sea ice, is probably just as important as new observations", Heather Lawrence notes.

In terms of modelling, ECMWF scientist Gabriele Arduini presented progress on a new multi-layer snow scheme being developed at ECMWF.

"Our results suggest that a better description of snow physical processes improves the representation of the snowpack in our numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and reduces systematic errors in short-range wintertime forecasts of minimum temperature over the Arctic", Gabriele Arduini says.

Other topics included atmospheric interactions between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes (Kunhui Ye, Alfred Wegener Institute); improving the representation of sea ice variability (Eduardo Moreno-Chamarro, Barcelona Supercomputing Center); and the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric response to Arctic summer sea ice loss (Svenya Chripko, CERFACS).

Training Sessions for Early Career Scientists
The last two days of the meeting were dedicated to supporting the work of early career scientists, which is also part of APPLICATE’S objectives. The event was jointly organized by APPLICATE, APECS and ECMWF and  involved stimulating lectures on scientific writing by François Massonnet, project management by Luisa Cristini, and development of case studies by Dragana Bojovic and Marta Terrado.

"Training of early carreer scientists is critical for transfering comprehensive skills to the next generation of climate scientists. We were delighted to have such high-profile talks from ECMWF including Peter Bauer, Irina Sandu, the Copernicus team led by Jean-Noël Thépaut, and from other APPLICATE partners", says APPLICATE project manager Luisa Cristini.

5 February 2019: YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere meeting #4 – SAVE THE DATE

The 4th YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere meeting will take place on 27-28 June 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina. 


As in previous years, a YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting will be held in conjunction with the Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC). Hosted this year by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic, the 14th WAMC will is scheduled for 25 to 27 June 2019 to take place at the Citadel College, Bond Hall in Charleston, SC. Following WAMC, the YOPP-SH meeting #04 will start at 1 pm on 27 June and will be continued in the morning of 28 June.

Project investigators and representatives of national agencies active in Antarctica are invited to provide updates on their activities during the YOPP Special Observing Period (SOP) in the Southern Hemisphere, November 16, 2018 to February 15, 2019. To make most effective use in data denial experiments of all the additional radiosonde observations collected during the SOP, we want to assemble complete radiosonde data sets from all operators. We will likely want to assemble all surface observations as well. A key question to be decided by the meeting is whether to hold a winter SOP in the April-June time period in either 2020 or 2021.

For further information about the 14th WAMC, please see here. Details on registering for 14th WAMC and YOPP-SH#04 meetings will follow.


Any questions can be directed to David Bromwich bromwich@polarmet1.mps.ohio-state.edu and Kirstin Werner office@polarprediction.net.

1 February 2019: Why Don’t We Have Forecasts of Fish?

Many challenges remain before fish forecasts become a less fanciful reality, says Mark R. Payne,  senior scientists at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU-Aqua), in the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters.

The sea not only is a source of food but sustains a source for employment, revenue, tradition and culture. Foreseeing fluctuations of e.g., fish swarms would enable many societies and communities in the Arctic and beyond to much better prepare for the variable conditions of marine life. In his article for Polar Prediction Matters, Mark Payne who leads the Climate Services work package within the EU Horizon2020 project Blue Action, describes the efforts to develop forecasts of living marine resources where the dynamics of a fish species and interactions between species are still complex and difficult to measure. While first fish forecast products have emerged already a decade ago, a predictive understanding of the relationship between the physical and biological environment remains challenging.

Read more here.

31 January 2019: Polar Prediction Project Steering Group Meeting #10 in Helsinki

The tenth session of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group (PPP-SG) took place in Helsinki, Finland, at the headquarters of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) from Wednesday 16 January 2019 to Friday 18 January 2019.

The meeting specifically focused upon refining the plan for the YOPP Consolidation Phase, developing plans for the third Special Observing Period for the Northern Hemisphere (SOP-3) as well as general coordination and administrative matters.

An updated plan for the YOPP Consolidation Phase (1 July 2019 to 31 December 2022) will be subsequently incorporated into a third version of the “WWRP Polar Prediction Project Implementation Plan for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)” which is expected to be completed prior to the launch of the Consolidation Phase at the 18th World Meteorological Congress in Geneva in June 2019. The new draft plan for the Consolidation Phase builds upon the original plan identifying the key research, operations and services activities that will need to be carried out over the four years of YOPP Consolidation. As well, a range of evaluation metrics will be identified in the new version of the YOPP Implementation Plan to determine the success of YOPP prior to and following the conclusion of PPP in 2022. The PPP-SG also agreed on a new working structure to better fit the activities foreseen for the next four years.

A full meeting report is currently being prepared.

17 January 2019: Four Daily Radiosoundings from Antarctic Concordia Station

About four hundred students are involved in the educational project which has added two more radiosondes daily for two weeks to the Italian Meteo observatory programme of the French-Italian Antarctic research station Concordia. As a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction’s Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere, for the first time, four daily soundings at synoptic hours were performed from this station on the Antarctic Plateau which is considered one of the coldest places on Earth.

In addition to the two radiosoundings launched by the Italian meteorological observatory programme as a contribution to YOPP, two more weather balloons were deployed every day from the Italian-French station Concordia (also known as Dome C station), as part of the Italian education project CAPIRE-YOPP. CAPIRE is the acronym of the Italian title of the project "Comprendere lA PrevIsione meteoRologica in antartidE sostenendo YOPP" and means "Understand Antarctic weather forecast sustaining YOPP". At the same time CAPIRE translates to UNDERSTAND. From 1st to 14th January 2019, Concordia station for the first time performed four daily radiosoundings at synoptic hours 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC. The unique data set that has been produced during these two weeks in early January adds to the meteorological activities performed at Terra Nova Bay on the Antarctic coast. It will allow modellers and operational forcasting centers to evaluate the effect of enhanced weather observations to their weather forecasts for the Ross Sea and Victoria land areas throughout to the East Antarctic Plateau.

Outstanding Educational Activity
The field activities within CAPIRE-YOPP are related to an outstanding educational activity involving 17 intermediate and high schools of the Milan metropolitan area and are promoted by the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Italian National Research Council CNR. Thanks to the fundamental contribution by the Italian National Agency of New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development ENEA and by the Meteo Service of the Italian Air Force, about four hundred students could be involved in the various activities connected to polar meteorology and climate such as in-depth events, seminars, lessons including a visit to one of the operational meteorological centres in Italy. High school class students will be also involved in performing data analysis and present their scientific results.

On 27 November 2018, the field campaign of CAPIRE-YOPP has been launched with a live connection to Concordia station when students and teachers were able to directly talk to scientists who are staying at the station to carry out meteorological observations during this ongoing austral summer. With closing of the field work on 14 January another live connection to the station allowed a delegation of students and professors to meet the researchers engaged with the extra-soundings activities during YOPP’s Special Observing Period in Antarctica. Students will analyse the data, report their findings and be awarded at a final event in summer which also marks the end of the YOPP Core Phase. With this educational activity, students who might become the next generation of polar researchers are given a unique opportunity to learn and apply scientific methodologies and techniques, but also become familiar early in their career with the language of scientific research, well as with topics related to polar meteorology.

Live connection events, together with movies and pictures showing balloon launches and field activities can be followed here: https://volarebeyondyopp.blogspot.com/.

Any questions can be related to Vito Vitale V.Vitale@isac.cnr.it or Massimo Gervasi massimo.gervasi@unimib.it.

 

24 December 2018: PolarPredictNews #09

A new issue of PolarPredictNews (#09) is now available for download. 

On 16 November 2018, the first YOPP Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere started. Read about the activiites of weather services and international scientists who are more than doubling the number of atmospheric and sea-ice observations from different Antarctic land stations, during terrestrial field expeditions, and aboard research vessels in the Southern Ocean for three months. Learn about the recent Italian support of the Year of Polar Prediction, read how YOPP was featured by the British Royal Meteorological Society, and find out about the sea-ice program from the German overwintering station Neumayer III in support of the Special Observing Period in the Antarctic. This and much more to find in PolarPredictNews #09.

24 December 2018: Initial Forecast Analysis of Seasonal Antarctic Sea Ice

(by François Massonnet/UC Louvain)

The initial analysis of seasonal sea-ice forecasts in Antarctica have been made available. 

As part of its activities, the SIPN South project has collected seasonal forecasts of Antarctic sea ice aligned with the Year Of Polar Prediction Special Observing Period (austral summer 2018-2019).An initial analysis of these forecasts can be found in the following document:

http://www.climate.be/users/fmasson/SIPNSouth_initialassessment_2018-2019.pdf

The full report will be produced after the summer season when verification data will be available.

The SIPN South Leadership team: F. Massonnet, P. Reid, J. Lieser, C. M. Bitz, J. Fyfe, W. Hobbs

21 December 2018: Newly Installed Ice Stress Sensors on Labrador Coast

(by Adrienne Tivy, Jean-François Lemieux/both Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Bruno Tremblay/McGill University)

New sensors to measure ice stress have been installed recently by Environment and Climate Change Canada south of the community of Nain in Canada.

Goal of the multi-year field experiment project in Voisey`s Bay on the Labrador Coast is to study the internal ice stresses in a landfast ice cover under the effect of tidal and wind forcing and interaction between ice floes at the mouth of the fjord. With this, the team around Adrienne Tivy, Bruno Tremblay and Jean-François Lemieux aims to confirm the recent finding by Hata and Tremblay (2015) that (1) thermal stresses exhibit anisotropy in land-locked sea ice, (2) thermal stresses at depth have the opposite sign as those at the surface (tensile at the surface and compressive at depth when the surface cools, and vice versa), and (3) whether low (inertial to synoptic) frequency forcing from tidal currents and surface wind can be recorded by a strain gauge.

In spring 2018, three ice stress buoys (with three sensors each) were deployed for a short time along with a weather station and a MetOcean UpTempO instrument to measure ocean temperature with depth.  This first deployment of the new sensors aimed at testing the equipment and identify potential problems before the first full season measurements start in winter 2019. Next year the team will also deploy a seasonal ice-mass balance buoy at the beginning of the freeze-up season in late fall.

Contact: Adrienne Tivy adrienne.tivy@canada.ca

18 December 2018: Ninth International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Data Assimilation and Verification

A joint workshop of the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), the Year of Polar Prediction, GODAE Oceanview (GOV) and the Coordination & Support Action KEPLER by the European Commission will be held from 17 to 19 June 2019 in Bremen, Germany.

Hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute, the workshop builds on a series of successful workshops organized by the IICWG Data Assimilation Working Group to advance international capabilities for automated sea ice analysis and prediction on timescales from hours to a season. In conjunction with the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) organized by the WWRP-PPP and GOV, a particular need has been identified regarding the development of more mature and meaningful methods for sea ice verification. The focus of the workshop is to discuss cross-cutting issues in sea ice modelling and data assimilation and how deficiencies of current systems can be more efficiently diagnosed and addressed.

Registration is due on 15 January 2019 via this website.

Participants will be contacted by 15 February 2019 regarding their proposed contribution. More information can be found here.

10 December 2018: YOPP Session at 27th IUGG General Assembly

YOPP will hold a session at the 27th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics that takes place from 8-18 July 2019 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Conveners of the session are Amelie Kirchgaessner (UK), Tom Bracegirdle (UK), Annick Terpstra (Norway) and Holger Schmithusen (Germany). The session will review efforts contributing to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), particularly reports and first results from recent Special Observing Periods and field campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the Year of Polar Prediction, contributions connecting the atmosphere with the ocean, cryosphere and biosphere are invited.

Deadline for abstract submission is 18 February 2019. Find more about IUGG 2019 at the meeting website. The description of the session M02 - FIRST RESULTS FROM THE YEAR OF POLAR PREDICTION (YOPP) can be found via iugg2019montreal.com/m.html

03 December 2018: New Director of YOPP International Coordination Office

From 1 December 2018, Kirstin Werner will serve as Director of the Year of Polar Prediction International Coordination Office.

Together with the chairman of the Polar Prediction Project Thomas Jung and the Steering Group, Kirstin Werner will continue fostering collaboration between international projects, initiatives, and programmes related to polar prediction research. Kirstin is an Arctic paleoclimatologist and has a master in science marketing with a focus on science communication. As project officer, she has already been engaged with the YOPP office since 2016 and is thus up-to-date and well-involved in a broad range of YOPP-related activities. The former Director Helge Goessling, who has taken over new responsibilities as research group leader at the Alfred Wegener Institute, will continue to support the International Coordination Office (ICO) and to contribute research aimed towards enhanced polar prediction. Paolo Ruti, chief of the World Weather Research Programme, the PPP Steering Group and the ICO thank Helge Goessling for his diligent efforts and committed support to plan, implement and internationally promote the Year of Polar Prediction.

28 November 2018: APPLICATE Scientists Involved in New Book on Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Prediction

(by François Massonnet) Scientists of the YOPP-endorsed project APPLICATE contribute a chapter on "The Role of Sea Ice in Sub-seasonal Predictability” in the newly published S2S book edited by Andrew Robertson and Frederic Vitart.

Predicting weather and climate fluctuations at sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) time scales is of high relevance for society, in the current context of rapid climate changes. Rapid progress in this emerging area of research has been possible thanks to an improved understanding of physical processes underpinning predictability, the sustained development of prediction systems and observational networks, as well as the advent of high-performance computing. In that sense, the APPLICATE project endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction is a prominent example of how the scientific community addresses the S2S prediction challenge.

The scientific literature on S2S prediction has flourished in recent years, and it appears difficult to have a broad and synthetic view on the current state of knowledge. In addition, S2S prediction is a multi-faceted research area using concepts from mathematics and statistics (data assimilation, bias correction, forecast verification, ensemble forecasting), physics (atmospheric dynamics, predictability mechanisms, teleconnections), computational sciences and even social sciences, when it comes to communicating climate information in meaningful ways. To embrace and synthesize all this knowledge, the book “Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Prediction” has recently been published. As an accessible yet rigorous synthesis of what is known on S2S prediction, this book edited by Andrew Robertson and Frederic Vitart will quickly become a reference for students, teachers and researchers all alike.    

Review by APPLICATE Scientists
The five APPLICATE scientists Matthieu Chevallier, François Massonnet, Helge Goessling, Virginie Guemas, and Thomas Jung were solicited to contribute a chapter on “The Role of Sea Ice in Sub-seasonal Predictability”. In this article, the main sources of Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice predictability, the current sea-ice forecasting capabilities and their limits are reviewed by the authors. Evidence is presented that sea ice can also be seen as a source of S2S predictability for the polar and extra-polar atmosphere. The chapter highlights the central role that sea ice is playing on S2S predictability in polar regions and beyond.

This contribution also is a recognition of the authors’ individual and collective leaderships in the field of polar prediction. To a larger extent, the chapter also underlines that global S2S prediction systems will have to account for the rapidly changing conditions happening at the poles – a notion that has been at the heart of APPLICATE since its inception.

The book “Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Prediction“ is available from here.


26 November 2018: Everyday Life in the Arctic – New Contribution to Polar Prediction Matters

In the new contribution to the Polar Prediction Matters dialogue platform, Tanja Joona, senior researcher at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, provides a personal report on the everyday life in Finnish Lapland.

While the Arctic is often described as a vulnerable, cold and exotic place with stereotypical images of indigenous and non-indigenous communities, it is not such a homogenous area. Tanja Joona’s article provides insights to the daily life in Finnish Lapland which is home to approximately 183,000 people, including  indigenous people: the Sámi.

Read more here.

22 November 2018: Call for Applications – MOSAiC School 2019

Applications are now accepted to participate in the MOSAiC School 2019. The school is jointly organized by the project 'Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate' (MOSAiC) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). The Year of Polar Prediction is one of the partners for the school.

From September 2019 to September 2020, RV Polarstern operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute will drift with the Arctic sea ice from the central Arctic Ocean towards Fram Strait. During one year, about three hundred scientists will be on board the German research icebreaker to investigate processes and the coupling of atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, bio-geochemistry, and ecosystem conditions. The MOSAiC ice drift will therefore help to better understand consequences of Arctic warming and related sea-ice loss. As MOSAiC is amongst the many projects that have been endorsed by the international WMO initiative Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), detailed data sets to improve weather and climate forecasts will be obtained during the one-year ice drift.

For the first cruise leg of the MOSAiC expedition, APECS and MOSAiC partners such as YOPP offer the unique opportunity to participate in the MOSAiC School 2019 aboard the Russian icebreaker RV Akademik Fedorov that supports RV Polarstern on her way into the ice. The school will start and finish at the port of Tromsø in Norway, and is envisaged to take place from 15 September to 26 October 2019 (plus/minus a few days depending on logistical or weather conditions). There will be no registration fee for the school participants. However, travel to and from Tromsø, Norway, has to be organized and covered by school participants. In case, additional travel support to cover flights to and from Tromsø should become available, MOSAiC School organizers will contact selected participants. However, travel support cannot be guaranteed at this point.

The MOSAiC School 2019 is open to up to twenty early career researchers, i.e., advanced graduate students and PhD students with none to limited experience with ship-based research. International experts who are part of the MOSAIC expedition will share their knowledge with students, engage in discussions and hands-on experiences in ground-breaking research, and thus help to educate future Arctic researchers. In addition to lectures, the participants will help the MOSAiC teams on site to set up their instruments and experiments.

For more information and how to apply, please visit the MOSAiC School 2019 website. Application deadline is 22 January 2019 13:00 GMT
For any questions, please contact mosaic-school@apecs.is

20 November 2018: Year of Polar Prediction Featured by Royal Meteorological Society

On Wednesday, 21 November 2018, the Royal Meteorological Society will discuss advances and challenges to predict key Arctic processes during the Year of Polar Prediction.

"Arctic Prediction in a Changing Climate: Understanding Key Processes and Challenges" is the title of the Royal Meteorological Society meeting that takes place this Wednesday, 21 November, in London. Speakers at the meeting are representing operational forecasting centers and academia involved in the international Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) effort. YOPP has been initiated by the World Meteorological Organization in response to the rapid environmental changes in polar regions and related transformation of human activities demanding improved forecasts of polar weather and sea-ice conditions. During two Special Observing Periods earlier this year, additional atmospheric and sea-ice measurement were obtained from many land stations and research cruises in the Arctic to increase the number of observations both in winter and summer time helping to improve numerical forecast models. New insights provided by several YOPP-related field campaigns and modelling experiments, and advances and challenges associated with the understanding and prediction of key Arctic processes will be discussed at the meeting.

The program and abstracts of the meeting can be found here. See also here for registration to attend the meeting at the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) in London. The meeting can be publicly followed from 14:00 - 18:00 (UTC) via a Facebook Live stream (see here).

 

15 November 2018: Antarctic Summer Special Observing Period Starts This Week

This week, the Special Observing Period in the Antarctic starts. For three months, weather services and international scientists will increase the number of atmospheric and sea-ice observations from different Antarctic land stations, during terrestrial field expeditions and aboard research vessels in the Southern Ocean. Goal of the international Year of Polar Prediction is to improve weather and sea-ice forecasts in the polar regions.

When days are getting longer and research stations become busy, the summer is about to start on the Antarctic continent. November is the month when the austral field season begins. This summer, extra atmospheric and sea-ice measurements in addition to the routine observations will be carried out as a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). YOPP has been initiated by the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). In response to the rapid climate changes in polar regions and related transformation of human activities, the project aims to improve environmental safety by improving forecasts in the Arctic and Antarctic. Earlier this year, two YOPP Special Observing Periods already took place in the Arctic.

More than 2,000 extra radiosondes expected

Expected are more than 2,000 extra radiosondes released from numerous meteorological stations from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019. In addition to atmospheric observations, YOPP-endorsed field campaigns and expeditions as well as autonomous instruments will feed their real-time or near-real time data into the Global Telecommunications System of WMO. The additional data generated during the Special Observing Period in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH SOP) will be used for numerical experimentation and internationally coordinated verification activities as well as for forecast evaluation and observational impact studies. Extra measurements help to identify ways to improve the prediction systems. Based on more accurate and reliable forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions, recommendations for the future Southern Hemisphere Polar Observing Systems can be provided.  

The Antarctic Special Observing Period marks another milestone for the Year of Polar Prediction. Preparations for the YOPP-SH SOP have been ongoing since the YOPP Summit in Geneva in 2015. Here, the YOPP-SH committee formed. Since then, the committee led by David Bromwich from the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at the Ohio State University has been meeting every year to report on national commitments and plans for the Antarctic Special Observing Period.

Antarctic YOPP Supersites

In particular, Antarctic YOPP Supersites such as the French site Dumont D’Urville, the German Neumayer III station, the Korean station King Sejong or the British Halley and Rothera stations will launch extra weather balloons (for exact locations of YOPP Supersites see the YOPP Observations Layer). The increased radiosonde activity from meteorological stations and cruise expeditions can be followed on the ECMWF observation monitoring webpages (see here; chose different observing systems and regions). Data obtained by surface buoys in the Southern Ocean is also sent to the GTS; additional buoy deployments will increase the network once the research icebreakers start heading into the Antarctic waters for the summer.


As during the first two SOPs in the Arctic earlier this year (see here for an overview), many field campaigns and expeditions endorsed by YOPP provide additional specific observations which will enable a better understanding and hence representation of environmental processes in the Antarctic weather, climate, and sea-ice models. Details on the YOPP-endorsed projects contributing to the Antarctic SOP can be found through the YOPP Explorer and by following on twitter and instagram @polarprediction and hashtags #polarprediction and #YOPPextraobs.





08 November 2018: Blizzards in the Canadian Arctic – New Article for Polar Prediction Matters

In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, two forecasters from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) report on automated prediction products to help forecasting blizzards in the Canadian Arctic.

In the Canadian Arctic, blizzards regularly occur from October to May. Blizzard conditions are determined from a number of different weather elements so forecasting of these severe snow storms with temperatures below 0°C, wind speed stronger than 40 km/h, and visibility less than 400 meters are still a major challenge for meteorologists. In the new contribution to the Polar Prediction Matters user feedback forum, William Burrows and Curtis Mooney from ECCC introduce different automated products that may help predict blizzard and near-blizzard conditions. These prediction products have been developed over a period of years and are meanwhile often used in operations.

Read the full article here.

06 November 2018: SIPN South Call for Contributions – Antarctic Summer 2018-2019 Sea Ice Prediction Experiment

The Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) invites contributions to the second coordinated sea ice prediction experiment in the Southern Ocean.

SIPN South is an international project endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). Its goal is to make an initial assessment of the ability of forecasting systems to predict circumpolar-average, regional-average, and local Antarctic sea ice conditions, with a focus on the summer season. SIPN South is inviting contributors to participate to the second coordinated sea ice prediction experiment in the Southern Ocean, targeting December 2018-February 2019 and aligned with the Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Special Observing Period in the Southern Ocean. Deadline for submission of the forecasts is 1st December 2018.

For more information about SIPN South see here http://acecrc.org.au/sipn-south/

Guidelines for submission are outlined in the call for contributions at www.climate.be/users/fmasson/SIPNSouth_2019_call.pdf

Questions or feedbacks may be directed to François Massonnet
(francois.massonnet@uclouvain.be).

22 October 2018: Second Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting in Berlin

This week, the second Arctic Science Ministerial meeting will take place in Berlin, Germany. As for the first Ministerial in 2016, the Year of Polar Prediction is again listed as one of the collaborative projects related to the Arctic.

Promoting the results of the deliverables agreed on at the first meeting, which took place on 28 September 2016 in the White House, is one of the goals of this 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial on Thursday and Friday this week. Other objectives include increasing capacity to respond to major societal challenges in the Arctic, and encouraging further scientific cooperation among a large number of countries and representatives of indigenous people. The Ministerial meeting is co-hosted by the European Commission, Finland and Germany.

The Year of Polar Prediction has been listed as one of the many deliverables during the first meeting in 2016, and will this year again be highlighted as one of the many ongoing international initiatives and collaborations. On 25 October, latest achievements with regard to the deliverables agreed at the first Arctic Science Ministerial will be showcased at the Arctic Science Conference. The discussion will focus on scientific advances and on the commitment needed in the future. The science conference will be open to a wide range of Arctic stakeholders, policymakers and media. Discussions from the first day will prepare the ground for 26 October when government ministers and delegates will discuss the main scientific issues. The key objectives of the meeting are to release a Joint Statement, issue a report on initiatives taken over the preceding two years and an updated list of deliverables expected to generate results over the next few years.

17 October 2018: Italy Supports Year of Polar Prediction with a Budget of 500,000 EUR

With a total budget of 500,000 EUR, the Italian National Antarctic Research Programme supports the Year of Polar Prediction by providing funds to five Italian projects to carry out research in the fields of atmospheric science, sea-ice and polar ocean dynamics.

The Italian National Antarctic Research Programme (Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide, in short: PNRA) is an entity of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research. In spring this year, PNRA published a call for projects which specifically encouraged the Italian science community to contribute to the international WMO effort to improve environmental forecasts in polar regions during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). In this call, PNRA emphasized the high relevance of YOPP as a joint effort of academia, operational centers and various stakeholder groups operating in the Arctic and Antarctic to improve the capability of weather and sea ice forecasts in polar regions.

Projects who aimed for PRNA funding were required to receive formal YOPP endorsement prior to their proposal submission. YOPP endorsement is available since the end of 2015 for projects, programmes or initiatives that aim to contribute to improving forecasting skills in polar regions (see more on YOPP endorsement here). To date, about eighty projects have been endorsed by YOPP, more than a third of them carrying out research in Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean. In total, seven projects have been submitted to the PNRA Antarctic call. Of these, five were reviewed successfully by a panel of external peer reviewers who have been nominated by the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group. 

The five successful Italian projects cover a wide range of disciplines and topics including new measurements in the Arctic and Antarctic atmosphere, and observational and modelling studies on sea-ice and polar ocean dynamics. The budget for the funded projects amounts to 500,000 Euro, in addition to costs for personnel and logistics. Start of the new Antarctic projects is envisaged for the austral 2018-2019 summer season.

This year's PNRA call has been the first specifically devoted to YOPP while in a call for project proposals in 2016, two YOPP-endorsed projects were already reviewed eligible for funding. Together with these, the five new Antarctic projects will strongly enrich the Italian contribution to the YOPP initiative with highly relevant new data sets and modeling activities to further help making YOPP a success.

10 October 2018: Call for Abstracts – Special Issue in Polar Geography

Abstracts are now invited to be submitted to a special issue in Polar Geography which will focus on 'Generating Societal Value from Improved Weather, Water and Ice Forecasts in the Polar Regions'.

Human activities in polar regions involve hunting and travel by Indigenous communities, industrial activities associated with resource extraction in the Arctic or transit of commercial vessels, tourism operations such as cruise ships, pleasure yachts or adventure tourism, but also search and rescue operations, government and research operations, and/or military enforcement.

For a special issue in Polar Geography, the YOPP Task Team on Societal and Economic Research and Applications (in short: PPP-SERA, see more here) invites abstract submissions for manuscripts that aim to explore how weather, water, ice and climate information is currently used by and produced for various polar activities and operations. Results and perspectives on the use and improvement of polar weather and environmental prediction services will be collected in Polar Geography in an effort to translate scientific and technological advances into societal value. 

Abstract submission is due on 1 November 2018, full manuscripts are requested by 1 February 2019. The Call for Papers can be downloaded from here.

Abstracts shall be sent by email before the deadline (1 November 2018) to one of the editors Machiel Lamers (machiel.lamers@wur.nl) and Daniela Liggett (daniela.liggett@canterbury.ac.nz)

25 September 2018: PolarPredictNews #08

New issue of PolarPredictNews is now available for download.

The #ArcticOcean2018 expedition and the YOPP-endorsed ACAS campaign came to a successful end few days ago when the Swedish research icebreaker Oden reached port of Longyearbyen after 50 days at sea. In the newest issue of PolarPredictNews, read more about the Oden expedition and what else has happened during the Arctic summer Special Observing Period, or SOP. While the SOP is just about to end, impact of  extra observations can be viewed from the ECMWF website. Also, learn more about three new modelling datasets provided to the polar prediction community, look into newest publications relevant to YOPP, and read about an exciting citizen-science project that took place this summer in the central Arctic Ocean.

Download PolarPredictNews #08

19 September 2018: YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere – A Special Observing Period during Austral Summer

The YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere Special Observing Period (YOPP-SH SOP) is scheduled from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019. Scientists and representatives of operational weather services, with research and operational/logistical interests in Antarctic meteorology and forecasting, met on 19 July 2018 to discuss related activities.

As in previous years, the third YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting was again held in conjunction with the Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC). This time, both meetings were kindly hosted by the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center (AMRC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Following the 13th WAMC from 16 to 18 July 2018, the YOPP-SH#3 meeting was held on Thursday, 19 July 2018.

As an international forum for current results and ideas in Antarctic meteorology, numerical weather prediction, and weather forecasting, annual activities and the status of the observing (e.g., Automatic Weather Stations) and modelling (e.g., Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System) efforts have been addressed during WAMC.

During the YOPP-SH #03 meeting, project investigators and representatives of national agencies operating in Antarctica provided updates on the current status of planning with regard to the Special Observing Period (SOP) in the Southern Hemisphere that is scheduled from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019.
Amongst others, operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) support provided by involved national weather centres was discussed. The YOPP Supersites in the Southern Hemisphere will be key locations for joint modelling and verification efforts. An in-depth data set from these key Antarctic stations will enable process-based verification of model-based forecasts against high-frequency observations. In addition to plans for the upcoming austral summer YOPP-SH SOP, the oceanographic community, in particular, suggested another (‘light version’) Special Observing Period is needed during austral winter, perhaps during 2019 or 2020; discussion during the coming months will determine the feasibility and timing of this new effort.

Presentations from the YOPP-SH meeting are available from the YOPP-SH webpage hosted by the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA. See also the WAMC meeting website for more information.

SIPN South on YouTube

A SIPN South presentation is now available via the YOPP YouTube channel. Because François Massonnet, the lead of the Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South), could not join the third YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere meeting (YOPP-SH#03) in person, he recorded his presentation prior to the meeting. The recording has now been uploaded on the YOPP YouTube channel for everyone to learn more about this initiative to coordinate seasonal predictions of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. Find the recording on SIPN South here.

17 September 2018: Message from the Oden

On 1 August, the Swedish research icebreaker Oden left Longyearbyen port in Svalbard to head towards the North Pole region looking out for a multi-year ice floe to drift with for several weeks. Aboard is the YOPP-endorsed project ‘Arctic Climate Across Scales’ (ACAS) led by the atmospheric scientist Michael Tjernström.

After a 24-hour station in the marginal ice zone, a brief stop at the North Pole on 12 August for taking the obligatory group photo, and two weeks in total of heading into the central Arctic Ocean, on 13 August the Oden team finally located a sea-ice floe that was large enough and sufficiently stable but also had some open water around to facilitate the different science projects. Ice conditions on the cruise track were unexpectedly severe this year so Oden made good use of the helicopter for ice reconnaissance to find the best routes. After intensive work to set up the ice camp, the work on the sea ice gradually started up; after a few days the ice camp consisted of several dedicated observation sites: a tethered sounding site with two tethered balloons, a meteorological flux site with a 20-meter mast with instruments to measure fluxes, and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) site with a red little tent from which the ROV is launched through a hole in the ice (see upper picture). On the other side of the ice floe an ‘open lead’ site was set up where measurements of the ocean-atmosphere interface have been taken.Many other observing systems, including those of ACAS, had been running on the ship continuously all the way from Svalbard. For example, in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), radiosondes are launched every six hours from from the helicopter deck of the Swedish research icebreaker within the ACAS project (see more here) led by the Swedish Stockholm University. These measurements serve as a backbone for much of the atmospheric science conducted on board but also provide input to improve the Arctic weather forecast models and atmospheric reanalysis, in support of the Year of Polar Prediction Arctic Summer Special Observing Period. Data from the weather balloons are sent to the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) operated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in real time in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s National Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) Atmospheric facility and the UK Met Office.

13 September 2018: Welcome to the PPP Steering Group

Three new members joined the Polar Prediction Project’s Steering Group (PPP SG) over summer. PPP SG and ICO look forward to further strengthening already existing close collaborations.

Irina Sandu leads the Physical Processes Team in the Research Department of ECWMF. Her research revolves around the representation of atmospheric processes in numerical models, with a particular focus on stable boundary layers, boundary layer cloudsand surface drag impacts on the large-scale circulation. Irina brings a strong modelling and NWP expertise and is involved in the YOPP modelling activities. Irina is also now coordinating polar prediction related activities at ECMWF, particularly in the context of the ongoing Year of Polar Prediction and the H2020 project APPLICATE.

Taneil Uttal is a supervisory meteorologist and leads the Polar Observations and Processes
group in the Physical Science Division of the NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory.
Her research is based on direct observations from the surface of all components of the Arctic
system including surface energy budgets, aerosols and clouds. She was the originator of the
International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA). This consortium of Arctic
Observatories around the Arctic Ocean comprise the YOPP Supersites, and the IASOA consortium is coordinating observing assets and expertise to support the verification goals of YOPP.

Machiel Lamers is Associate Professor in Environmental Policy at the Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He coordinates the Environmental Mobilities theme in his chair group and is interested in the role of environmental information in governing mobility systems and the relation between tourism and nature conservation. Machiel is one of the co-chairs of the PPP Task Team Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) and is PI of the YOPP-endorsed project SALIENSEAS.

For all members of the PPP Steering Group see here.

6 September 2018: The YOPP super-site Model Inter-comparison Project

An extended set of model output variables has now been defined for the YOPP super-sites modelling efforts. Operational centres are invited to participate in the project ‘The YOPP super-site Model Inter-comparison Project’ (YOPPsiteMIP).

The YOPP super-sites comprise a number of key locations in the Arctic and Antarctic including the super-sites of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA; www.iasoa.org), super-sites operated by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC; ecpass.ca), key locations in the Arctic Ocean, selected Antarctic research stations, and key locations covering the so-called “third pole” (Tibetan plateau). At these locations, suites of instruments such as micrometeorological towers, lidars, radars, ceilometers, and radiometers provide detailed measurements, continuously characterizing the vertical column of the atmosphere as well as the surface conditions and energy fluxes. The data from these sites extend far beyond the traditional synoptic surface and upper-air observations, and efforts are underway to create Merged Observatory Data Files with variables from different observing systems formatted to be consistent with model output during the YOPP Special Observing Periods.

For these key sites at the poles, operational centres have kindly offered to provide numerical weather prediction (NWP) model output during YOPP. This unique data set enables in-depth process-based verification of model-based forecasts against high-frequency observations. The target processes include representation of hydrometeors and cloud micro- and macro-physics, radiation, turbulence and energy budgets, and the representation of energy and momentum fluxes. The process-diagnostic aim is to identify strengths and weaknesses of current prediction systems, with the final goal of improving the reliability for weather and environmental predictions in polar regions (and beyond).

The YOPP Task Teams (TT) on Modelling and Verification have worked closely together to finalize a guidance document for the modelling efforts at YOPP super-sites. The YOPPsiteMIP document can be downloaded from the PPP Modelling TT website. This document lists the different YOPP super-site locations and site-specific variables to be produced by the different models. The standardization of the YOPPsiteMIP model output enable a direct comparison of the model output from the participating forecasting centres.

Modelling centers are invited to join this project called ‘The YOPP super-site Model Inter-comparison Project’ or in brief YOPPsiteMIP. For any questions, please contact Gunilla Svensson (Modelling) gunilla@misu.su.se and Barbara Casati (Verification) barbara.casati@canada.ca




21 August 2018: Extra radiosonde launches from Korean research icebreaker ARAON

Four radiosondes are launched daily over the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas from the Korean research icebreaker ARAON during the Arctic Summer Special Observing Period.

The Korean icebreaking research vessel ARAON left the Alaskan Port of Nome on 4 August in order to set sail to the Western Arctic Ocean during the Arctic Summer Special Observing Period. The Arctic research mission to the Chuckchi and Est Siberian Seas in two legs (with a 3-day break from 26 to 29 August at Barrow, Alaska) will last until 20 September. Every six hours, meteorological radiosondes are launched from aboard ARAON. In partnership with the Korea Meteorological Administration, radiosonde data are broadcasted into the World Meteorological Global Telecommunications System GTS. Four researchers on board ARAON are taking care of the weather balloon rises during the first expedition leg in the frame of the project ‘Korea Polar Prediction System for Climate Change and Weather Disaster’ (KPOPS) endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction (see more information here). The 4-year project funded by the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) aims to enhance the predictability of Arctic and mid-latitude climate change and weather disasters. Taking meteorological profiles over the data-sparse high-latitude Arctic Ocean will help to improve climate/weather forecast models. KPOPS is also the title of the two models that will be developed in the project, a global climate model (KPOPS-Climate) and a weather forecast model (KPOPS-Weather).


20 August 2018: Polar Prediction School 2018 – Meeting Report Available

The meeting report of the second Polar Prediction School which took place earlier this year in Northern Sweden has now been published in the Eos Earth and Space News.

Education is one of the key activities within the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Year of Polar Prediction initiative. In cooperation with the European Union Horizon 2020–funded project ‘Advanced Prediction in Polar Regions and Beyond’ (APPLICATE) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the second Polar Prediction School has been organized at the Abisko Research Station in Northern Sweden from 17 to 27 April 2018. In order to prepare the next generation of polar weather and climate researchers, theory lectures, practical exercises, and fieldwork were combined with a dedicated science communication program. To ensure present limitations in our ability to predict polar weather and climate changes on scales from days to decades are addressed in future science work, topics such as satellite and conventional observation techniques; numerical modelling of the polar atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, data assimilation and model evaluation were included in the 10-day course. The meeting report is now available in the Eos Earth and Space News.

The first Polar Prediction School took place in 2016. Read more here.

17 August 2018: Atmospheric Measurements from the Chinese icebreaker research vessel Xuelong

Aboard the Chinese icebreaking research vessel Xuelong, meteorological measurements of the Arctic atmosphere are currently carried out supporting the Arctic Summer YOPP Special Observing Period.

Xuelong (which literally means ‘snow dragon’) left Shanghai port on 20 July 2018 to head north for the western Arctic Ocean. After 10 days of transfer, the ninth Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition entered the open waters of Chukchi Sea where the first of a number of radiosondes has been launched on 31 July, as a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction. Since then, Dongqi Zhang and his team aboard the former Arctic cargo ship that was converted to a research vessel in the mid-1990s are releasing two radiosondes per day at 00 and 12 UTC as part of the YOPP-endorsed project ‘Intensive Atmospheric Soundings during the Chinese Arctic Cruise in 2018’ (IAS, for more information see here). In addition, extra radiosonde launches are planned three times daily at a sea-ice station set up during the expedition near the North Pole.

IAS aims to study the vertical atmospheric profile above the Arctic Ocean by looking at meteorological parameters such as air temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, or air pressure. The meteorological data obtained by the IAS radiosoundings are transferred to the Information Center of the China Meteorological Administration. Here, data will be converted into WMO BUFR format to send it to the WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and to the YOPP Data Portal. The measured data will therefore be available for the YOPP community to improve predictions of weather and environmental conditions in Arctic regions. Aboard Xuelong, seven expedition members are involved in the IAS project, representing the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences which is part of the China Meteorological Administration, and the National Marine Environment Forecasting Center which belongs to the Ministry of Natural Resources in China.

16 August 2018: New High-Resolution Coupled Arctic Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Forecasts by Environment and Climate Change Canada

As a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) now provides coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean forecasts at high resolution for the Arctic.

In support of Canada's contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), the ECCC Meteorological Service Canada (MSC) announces a new set of high-resolution coupled forecasts over the Arctic in real time where atmosphere, ice and ocean are now coupled into one system. This new system called the Canadian Arctic Prediction System (CAPS) has been implemented in experimental mode on 28 June 2018. The two separate components were originally implemented on January 24th, 2018. The atmospheric part provides forecasts covering a large Arctic domain at 3-km resolution, while the ice-ocean model domain covers the northern part of the North Atlantic from 26°N and the whole Arctic Ocean at a resolution of 3 to 8 km. Now, the two components are coupled allowing for improved forecasts of atmosphere, ice and ocean conditions.

As an exceptional data base for users interested in Arctic regions produced for the scientific research goals of YOPP, CAPS data are freely available on the MSC Datamart testing data repository at the address: http://dd.alpha.meteo.gc.ca/yopp

The data will be available online during the entire YOPP Core Phase, namely until mid-2019. As these forecasts are experimental, modifications may occur on relatively short notice, and product availability cannot be guaranteed at the same level as for an official operational system.


For any question, Greg Smith gregory.smith2[at]canada.ca or office@polarprediction.net can be contacted.

23 July 2018: Polar Forecasts Against Impacts of Declining Bering Sea Ice on Alaska Coastal Communities – Part 1

In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, authors from the U.S. National Weather Service Alaska describe how coastal communities are affected by changing sea-ice conditions in the Bering Seas.

The daily sea-ice extent in autumn and winter of 2017-2018 has been the lowest in the satellite era record in the Bering Sea. In their Part #1 contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, Eugene Petrescu, Rick Thoman and Becky Heim from the Alaska U.S. National Weather Service report on various impacts of changing sea ice conditions to the regional and community levels. Some of the most significant impacts have been experienced in the Bering Strait region and on St. Lawrence Island including diminished food stocks and increasing pressure on making decisions to remain in place and enhance defenses against the erosion, or to even move to a new location.

Read the full article here.

In Part #2 (to be published in autumn 2018), authors will report on how subsistence hunters use the sea-ice forecast information along with their traditional knowledge.

16 July 2018: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Contributions to the Year of Polar Prediction

 The U. S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is making various modelling and forecasting contributions to the Year of Polar Prediction.

1) Operational support during second YOPP Arctic Special Observing Period (experimental forecasts)


NRL is providing 27/9/3km nested-domain forecasts, zooming from pan-Arctic into the Fram Strait region. The forecasts are based on the Navy's Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS®) model for the YOPP Arctic Summer Special Observing Period (SOP2) through September 30, and the forecast range is 48 hours. In addition to numerous atmospheric and surface variables provided on the 27/9/3km grids, very-high-resolution sea-ice output based on a 1km-CICE is provided for the Fram Strait region (see figure upper right). Model forecasts are provided out to 48-hours at 00Z. COAMPS is run to 12 hours at 12Z.
 
COAMPS was developed by NRL. Its atmospheric components are used operationally by the U.S. Navy for short-term numerical weather prediction for various regions around the world. COAMPS represents an analysis, nowcast and short-term forecasts applicable to any given region of the Earth.

The most recent forecasts and those from the previous 5 days can be obtained here (graphics only): https://cavu.nrlmry.navy.mil/COAMPSOS/YOPP/

Forecasts dating back to 1st of July can be obtained here (graphics only):
https://cavu.nrlmry.navy.mil/COAMPSOS/YOPP_ARCHIVE/

Please contact Shouping Wang shouping.wang@nrlmry.navy.mil or Dave Hebert david.hebert@nrlssc.navy.mil, or Rick Allard Richard.allard@nrlssc.navy.mil for questions.

COAMPS® is a registered trademark of the Naval Research Laboratory.

2) Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Forecast Research Datasets

Sea-ice forecasts for both hemispheres from two NRL systems – the fully coupled Navy Earth System Model (NESM) and the Global Ocean Forecast System (GOFS) 3.1 – for the period 1 Feb 2018 through 15 Feb 2019 (spanning all YOPP SOPs during the YOPP Core Phase) are made available to the research community. Outputs from the CICE sea-ice model, which is part of both systems, are available for download and use through PANGAEA, the Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science maintained by the German Alfred Wegener Institute.

GOFS 3.1 is a sea ice-ocean prediction system consisting of the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model two-way coupled to the Community Ice CodE (CICE) and is forced with the NAVy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM). GOFS 3.1 has ~3.5 km resolution at the North Pole and employs the Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation (NCODA) for available in-situ ocean observations and satellite data, including sea-ice concentration from SSMIS and AMSR2 (see figure lower right). The system is run daily and produces 7-day forecasts; near-real-time graphical output from this system can be obtained here: https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/POLAR.html

NESM is a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model (NAVGEM/HYCOM/CICE). Operational NAVGEM 1.4 and pre-operational GOFS 3.1 provide the initial conditions. Each week, a time-lagged 4 member ensemble starting on Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue is run out 45 days. These ensemble forecasts are part of NOAA’s Subseasonal eXperiment (SubX: http://cola.gmu.edu/kpegion/subx/index.html).



Both datasets (gradually filled, not in real time) can be obtained here:
https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.890343 


Please contact Joe Metzger joe.metzger@nrlssc.navy.mil for questions. For any questions related to PANGAEA, please contact Amelie Driemel Amelie.Driemel@awi.de.

3) Contributions to the YOPP Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment

NRL is contributing (sub-)seasonal forecasts to the YOPP Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx) based on the Navy Earth System Model (NESM) in a setup that is used for NRL’s contributions to the Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) Sea Ice Outlook (SIO). In this setup, the fully coupled air/ocean/ice system is used to run time-lagged ensemble simulations from June/July/August out to September following the SIO protocol. Drift forecasts are currently being made for selected buoys of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP).

An additional contribution to SIDFEx consisting of near-real-time short-term forecasts based on GOFS 3.1, driven with NAVy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) forcing, is currently under consideration.
Details on SIDFEx can be found here:
http://www.polarprediction.net/yopp-activities/sidfex/

The NRL (sub)seasonal drift forecasts can be obtained here (GroupID nrl001):
https://swiftbrowser.dkrz.de/public/dkrz_0262ea1f00e34439850f3f1d71817205/SIDFEx_processed/ 



Please contact Joe Metzger joe.metzger@nrlssc.navy.mil for questions.

13 July 2018: Increase in High Waves and Winds in Ice-free Arctic Ocean Waters

A study published by Japanese scientists in Scientific Reports earlier this year finds an increase in winds of high ocean waves due to the ongoing retreat in Arctic sea ice.

The larger the ice-free area in the Arctic, the greater is the probability of larger waves causing turbulence and potential flooding and erosion in coastal areas of the Arctic, states Takuji Waseda, the lead author of a study published in scientific reports in March. Co-author and PPP Steering Group member Jun Inoue from the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research points to the implications of such findings as the gradual change in wave heights and frequency over the ice-free Arctic Ocean would not only impact safe navigation for instance by sea-spray icing on a ship but would also affect coastal communities. Skilful surface wind speed forecasts will therefore be needed to reliably predict wave heights and frequency to support shipping and coastal regions to prepare for potential impacts of waves under a new and unusual state of the Arctic Ocean.

An article on the study in EurekAlert! has been published at https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/rooi-rit060718.php

Reference:
Waseda, T., Webb, A., Sato, K., Inoue, J., Kohout, A., Penrose, B., Penrose, S., 2018: Correlated increase of high ocean waves and winds in the ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean. nature scientific Reports, 8, 4489. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22500-9

11 July 2018: The "YOPP Virtual Field Campaign” – ECMWF YOPP Analysis and Forecast Dataset

Provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) with co-funding from the EU Horizon 2020 project APPLICATE, the ECMWF YOPP Analysis and Forecast Data Set is available.

We invite scientists interested in YOPP to download and use the data to understand physical and dynamical processes, investigate predictability in polar regions and explore causes of forecast failures. The ECMWF YOPP Data Set builds on the success of the concept of a “virtual field campaign”, developed in the framework of the Year of Tropical Convection (YOTC). It provides analysis and coupled forecast data from the operational ECMWF forecasting system. Furthermore, process tendencies from various physical and dynamical processes are available for the first 48-hours of the forecasts. Given that global fields are provided, we expect that scientific studies in non-polar regions will as well benefit from this data set.

Two slides summarizing the ECMWF YOPP Analysis and Forecast Data Set (pdf)

Background information:
https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/science-blog/2018/improving-prediction-and-climate-monitoring-polar-regions
https://software.ecmwf.int/wiki/display/YOPP/Description
https://applicate.eu

Links to the data:
http://apps.ecmwf.int/datasets/data/yopp/levtype=sfc/type=cf/
https://yopp.met.no

09 July 2018: Start of the YOPP Arctic Summer Special Observing Period

On 1 July 2018, the Arctic Summer Special Observing Period (or SOP2) during the Year of Polar Prediction commenced.

For three months – from 1 July to 30 September – extensive extra observations will be carried out at numerous land stations in the Arctic, as part of YOPP-endorsed field campaigns and expeditions, and by autonomous instruments. Numerical experimentation and internationally coordinated verification activities will use the additional observations generated during SOP2 for forecast evaluation and observational impact studies. The measurements will enable us to identify ways to improve forecast systems towards more accurate and reliable forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions in the Arctic, and to provide recommendations for the future Arctic Observing Systems.  

Forecast centres will provide model data in unusual detail, in particular for Arctic YOPP Supersites such as the Canadian sites Whitehorse and Iqaluit (for exact locations of YOPP Supersites see the YOPP Observations Layer). The increased radiosonde activity at 6 and 18 UTC has already been noticed by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF; see picture to the upper right). An increase in buoy data that is sent to the WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS) was already perceived since the beginning of June (see picture to the lower right) as many of the buoys have been deployed in advance to the start of SOP2. 
Extra observational data which feed into the ECMWF system during SOP can be monitored here (chose different observing systems and regions).

As during the first SOP earlier this year (see here for an overview), many field campaigns and expeditions are carried out by YOPP-endorsed projects to provide specific observational data. These will enable better understanding and representation of environmental processes in the Arctic in weather, climate, and sea ice models. Three examples:

  • The YOPP-endorsed project Arctic Climate Across Scales (ACAS) will embark on the Swedish research icebreaker Oden on 1 August to build an ice camp north of Svalbard and drift on the multiyear ice floe for about five weeks. During the expedition, they will monitor the ice surface and atmospheric column (see more information about ACAS in the current PolarPredictNews #07 issue).

  • As part of the YOPP-endorsed project KPOPS, radiosondes will be launched 4 times daily from 5 August to 17 September over the Chukchi Sea and north of the East Siberian Sea from the Korean research icebreaker Araon. Data will be broadcasted to the GTS whenever the satellite data transmission allows.

  • Radiosondes will be launched twice daily (00UTC and 12 UTC), and data will be sent to GTS in real time, during late July to early September from Chinese icebreaker XUELONG during the IAS campaign.

  • Extra weather balloons will be launched for YOPP during three cruise legs through the YOPP-endorsed Nansen LEGACY project aboard the Norwegian research vessel RV Kronprins Haakon in the northern Barents Sea. 


Details on these and other YOPP-endorsed projects contributing to the current SOP can be found through the YOPP Explorer.

Follow on twitter and instagram @polarprediction and hashtags #polarprediction and #YOPPextraobs during the Arctic summer SOP.

06 July 2018: Where will the Ice be Tomorrow? – Polar Prediction Matters on Predictive Ice Images

In the new contribution to the Polar Prediction Matters dialogue platform, Lasse Rabenstein and Panagiotis Kountouris provide insight into a new sea-ice forecast product – Predictive Ice Images, or in short: PRIIMA.

Drift + Noise Polar Services GmbH (DNPS) is a start-up and spin-off company of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, the DNPS managing director Lasse Rabenstein and its Head of Remote Sensing Panagiotis Kountouris describe their newly developed sea-ice forecast product: Predictive Ice Images (PRIIMA) may eventually become instrumental for tactical decision-making in and near ice-covered waters. The ESA kick-start project aims at combining high-resolution satellite images with lower-resolution operational sea-ice models. PRIIMA will thus be able to deliver ice forecasts with the resolution of a satellite radar image, as if the satellite recording of tomorrow would be available already today.

Read the new PPM article here.

05 July 2018: PolarPredictNews #07 Now Online

The seventh issue of the YOPP newsletter PolarPredictNews is now available.

In this brand new summer issue, find out about the different channels of communication, not only where you can find further information about YOPP but even place your own announcement to the PPP community. Also, learn about the investments and personnel that are being been made by the many different projects endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction. PI of the YOPP-endorsed project Arctic Climate Across Scales (ACAS) Michael Tjernström shares his expectations about ACAS measurements that will take place during the upcoming summer's cruise on the Swedish research icebreaker Oden to the North of Svalbard. As well featured is the Sea Ice Prediction Network South initiative (SIPN South) that just released their post-season report on the ability of different models to predict Antarctic sea ice conditions as a test for the Southern Hemisphere Special Observing Period scheduled during the next austral summer season.


Many of you used this spring to meet colleagues at workshops and conferences where YOPP activities were further discussed; read about the YOPP APPLICATE Townhall meeting at EGU in Vienna, Austria, the Polar Prediction Workshop in Montréal, Canada, or the MOSAiC workshop in Potsdam, Germany. Another highlight during spring has been the second Polar Prediction School which took place in April in Northern Sweden.

This and much more to read in PolarPredictNews #07.

04 July 2018: PPP Steering Group Meeting Report Available

The report of the latest PPP Steering Group meeting is now available.

The PPP Steering Group convenes once a year to discuss current developments, activities and plans for the Year of Polar Prediction's successful implementation. From 13-15 March 2018, the group had been invited by the Icelandic Meteorological Office to hold their ninth meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland. Highlights of the current report involve the decision to hold another third Special Observing Period in the Arctic aligned with the MOSAiC drift experiment; agreement on priorities for the YOPP Consolidation Phase that will already start in about a year from now; YOPP data sharing; and coordination of activities at YOPP Supersites. Please find the full report here.

26 June 2018: Advances in Atmospheric Science – Special Issue on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate

A Call for Papers has been announced to invite contributions to a special issue on 'Antarctic Meteorology and Climate: Past, Present and Future' in Advances in Atmospheric Science.

The ongoing effort of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) in the Antarctic provides a stimulus for a focused research effort on Antarctic meteorology and climate, i.e., a Special Observing Period will take place from mid-November 2018 to mid-February 2019, which will have intensified research activities, including enhanced synoptic observations. More comprehensive and precise observations, increased computing power and improving understanding of Antarctic meteorology and climate, suggest that we expect that coupling of the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice in numerical weather prediction will be achieved with sufficient skill as to become operational in coming years.

A special issue in Advances in Atmospheric Science will showcase recent and ongoing research progress in

1) Antarctic meteorology and numerical weather prediction and

2) Climate variability and change in the Antarctic.

The compilation of research papers in this special issue is expected to contribute to a more thorough understanding of issues in Antarctic meteorology and climate in the past, present and future.

Important dates:

Manuscript submission open: March 1, 2019

Manuscript submission deadline: August 31, 2019

Estimated publication time: January 2020

Submission URL: https://mc03.manuscriptcentral.com/aasiap

Please select: “Special issue: Antarctic”

More information can be found in the announcement (pdf).

18 June 2018: YOPP Arctic Science Workshop – Call for Abstracts

Abstract submission is now open for the YOPP Arctic Science Workshop to be held from 14 to 16 January in Finland, Helsinki.

The workshop is jointly organized by the Polar Prediction Project and its International Coordination Office, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute who is hosting the meeting. It will bring together YOPP scientists to discuss first results from the Arctic Special Observing Periods, providing a vivid forum for exchange and networking. We invite studies on coupled atmospheric, ocean, sea ice, and land processes in the context of latest Arctic observations, modelling and prediction efforts including their benefits to society on time scales from hours to seasonal. 

Confirmed invited speakers are: Elizabeth C. Hunke, Jim Doyle, Machiel Lamers, John Marshall,
Pierre Rampal, Ian Renfrew, Greg C. Smith, Gunilla Svensson

Abstracts can be submitted until 3 September 2018 following this link.

More information on the workshop can be found at the workshop website. Please direct any questions to the YOPP International Coordination Office office@polarprediction.net.

14 June 2018: PPP-SERA Open Session – Meeting Report Available

The report on a PPP-SERA open session held on 18 April 2018 in The Hague, The Netherlands, is now available online.

During their annual meeting, the YOPP Task Team on Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) had organized an open session to engage with Europeans operating in Arctic waters. The European Polar Board (EPB) had invited PPP-SERA to hold their open session The Hague, The Netherlands, on 18 April 2018. The session entitled "Generating Societal Value from Improved Weather, Water & Ice Forecasts in the Polar Regions“ aimed at sharing insights and recent developments from the Polar Prediction Project and the social science agenda during the Year of Polar Prediction. Invited speakers representing different maritime sectors provided perspectives to the PPP-SERA group and guests on their understanding of the role and societal value of weather, water, ice and climate services in the Arctic. The final meeting report is now available for download.

11 June 2018: SIPN South Post-Season Report

The Sea Ice Prediction South (SIPN South has just released their post-season report analyzing the ability of 13 systems to forecast summer Antarctic sea ice conditions.

The Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) is an international project endorsed by the Year of Polar Prediction and a significant project of the YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) effort. SIPN South aims at delivering an initial assessment of seasonal sea ice forecasting capabilities around Antarctica. Their final target is the prediction of sea ice conditions during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Special Observing Period of austral summer 2018-2019.

As a first major milestone of the project, 160 sea ice forecasts for February 2018 were collected, analyzed and assessed against two observational references. This coordinated assessment is the first of its kind and should enable polar researchers to better understand the drivers of sea ice predictability in the Southern Ocean, but also the origin(s) of systematic forecast errors. With 160 individual forecasts contributed, the polar community has shown great interest in the topic.

The report, discussing February 2018 conditions and how they were predicted, is now available from the SIPN South website:

http://acecrc.org.au/sipn-south/

The forecast data are open to public in order to maximize their use within and outside the polar prediction community.

SIPN South currently prepares for their next milestone which will be the coordination of sea ice forecasts for January-February 2019, that is, during the YOPP Special Observing Period for the Southern Hemisphere, scheduled from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019.

08 June 2018: Polar Prediction Workshop 2018

(by Amélie Bouchat)

Held in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) from 7 to 9 May 2018, the 5th Polar Prediction Workshop (PPW) brought together 75 participants from the academic, governmental, non-profit, and industry sectors to discuss research and operational activities related to Arctic sea-ice prediction.
While oral and poster presentations highlighted recent advances in Arctic prediction systems and their evaluation, the workshop also hosted its first end-user panel, providing a tribune for forecast end-users to present valuable feedback to the scientific community about their needs in terms of sea-ice products. Specifically, the need for ice pressure and ice motion information (on a weekly to daily time scale), as well as forecasting of beginning/end of open-water season for specific navigation routes were identified as pressing needs by the end-users.

Another major outcome of the Polar Prediction Workshop 2018 was a consensus forecast statement for the September 2018 sea-ice conditions. Based on a review of observed conditions for winter 2018, breakout groups were tasked with specifying the ice cover conditions in the marginal Arctic seas and drawing the September minimum ice-edge. The resulting consensus forecast agreed fairly well with early model forecast contributions also submitted at the workshop, with medium/high confidence for higher sea-ice cover in the Beaufort Sea and lower sea-ice cover in the Chukchi Sea. Breakout groups also identified higher sea-ice cover along the Eurasian coastline due to lower coastal divergence and positive ice thickness anomalies this spring, but uncertainty in the model forecasts for this region were high.

Supported by the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network, the Canadian Ice Service, and the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project, results of the Polar Prediction Workshop 2018 activities were used as input for the Forecasting Regional Arctic sea ice from a Month to Season (FRAMS) meeting and the first Pan-Arctic Regional Climate Outlook Forum (PARCOF-1) meeting, both held shortly after PPW.

The workshop presentations, documents, and videos are now available for reference at ppw2018.com

06 June 2018: MOSAiC Workshop – Paving the Way for Exciting Research

(by Helge Goessling)

A 5-days workshop held last week in Potsdam, Germany, brought together close to 200 participants from various countries to advance the science around the MOSAiC Arctic ice drift campaign that is scheduled from September 2019 to September 2020.

The workshop made clear that the vastly challenging logistics and coordination have made major progress, paving the way for exciting research. Large parts of the workshop took place in breakout sessions organised by compartments (e.g., atmosphere, ice, snow, ocean), by cross-cutting science themes (e.g., ice formation, drift, deformation clouds, precipitation), or by other categories that will need enhanced coordination for a successful implementation of MOSAiC (including activities such as modelling, remote sensing, and aircaft campaigns). YOPP featured prominently as an important partner when it comes to

(i) strengthening a pan-Arctic observation component, in particular during the third Arctic YOPP Special Observing Period, scheduled for February/March 2020, through extra radiosonde launches and meteorological buoys;

(ii) providing valuable modelling datasets, such as extra model output of operational forecast systems at the MOSAiC location by copying the concept of „YOPP Supersites“, and the ECMWF YOPP Dataset (confirmation of extension to include MOSAiC pending); and

(iii) helping to provide operational support by real-time meteorological forecasts as well as forecasts of the MOSAiC drift trajectory as part of the YOPP Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx).

A detailed workshop report will be made available through the MOSAiC website.

29 May 2018: YOPP Coordination Office Welcomes New WMO Consultant Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson joins the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction as new WMO Consultant to support PPP and YOPP activities.

Prior to holding his position as Director of the WMO Education and Training Office for nearly nine years until 2016, Jeff Wilson worked as an educator, trainer and Principal of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre for more than 27 years. In addition to his extensive experience in education and training, he worked as a forecaster with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for five years including three summer seasons providing forecasting support for land, sea and air operations in Antarctica. Jeff Wilson started his career as a glaciologist with the Australian Antarctic Division analysing Antarctic ice cores for evidence of climate change and was awarded a Polar Medal for his work in Antarctica in 1977.

Jeff will provide his support to the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction in particularl in view of the upcoming YOPP Consolidation Phase from mid-2019 to 2022 when the legacy of YOPP data, science and publications will be prepared.

25 May 2018: Looking back at the Polar Prediction School 2018

The second Polar Prediction School 2018 on weather and climate prediction in the polar regions took place from 17 - 27 April 2018 at Abisko Scientific Research Station in SwedenIt has been organized by the EU Horizon 2020-funded APPLICATE project, in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organisation’s Polar Prediction Project (PPP)the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and other partners.

This school, for early career scientists, included a combination of polar weather and climate lectures with practical exercises on modelling and field meteorology as well as soft skill training. Each of these components forms a crucial pillar of the prediction problem as addressed during the Year of Polar Prediction; and the motivation for combining these was to provide participants with a complete overview of the components required to understand and predict polar weather. Amongst others, the young scientists launched radiosondes and hold mini intense observational period. Videos summarizing the work of the students will be made available on the APECS and APPLICATE websites.         

The Polar Prediction School 2018 has been attended by 29 early career researchers (focus on advanced graduate students, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers) from around the world. An international set of 13 instructors was teaching the sessions. As during the first Polar Prediction School in 2016, classes were held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, in Sweden, where the instructional facilities are conveniently located in an environment well suited to Arctic observations.

For more detailed information, please also see the APECS website or the APPLICATE website.

17 May 2018: ECMWF Science Blog Features Year of Polar Prediction

The new science blog of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) outlines challenges and priorities to improve forecasting capabilities during the Year of Polar Prediction.

In the new article entitled 'Improving prediction and climate monitoring of polar regions – challenges and priorities', ECMWF colleagues Irina Sandu and Peter Bauer discuss the challenges of forecasting in the polar regions. The authors who both play an active role in the PPP Steering Group highlight the contributions and priorities for ECMWF to help make YOPP a success. Read the ECMWF Science Blog here.

16 May 2018: YOPP Arctic Science Workshop

From January 14-16, 2019, the Arctic Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) Science Workshop will take place at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, Finland. It will be jointly organized by the Polar Prediction Project and its International Coordination Office (ICO), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

The workshop will bring together YOPP scientists to present and discuss the first results from the Arctic Special Observing Periods in winter and summer 2018, providing a vivid forum for exchange, networking, and interaction. Studies of coupled atmospheric, ocean, sea ice, and land processes will be addressed to share feedback on the latest Arctic observations, modelling and prediction efforts including their benefits to society on time scales from hours to seasonal.

See the meeting website inlcuding the first circular here (pdf).

More information on the workshop including session topics will be announced soon. Please direct any questions to the YOPP International Coordination Office office@polarprediction.net.

14 May 2018: Looking North – New Polar Prediction Matters Entry on 'Perspectives of European Arctic Users'

Europeans from different shipping sectors provided insights to their daily operations in the Arctic and beyond at the recently held Open Session organized by the societal task team of YOPP.

In the new article for the Polar Prediction Matters feedback platform, the authors Rick Thoman and Machiel Lamers report on the different perspectives presented by Europeans from different shipping sectors operating in Arctic waters. Stakeholders were invited by the authors and their colleagues from the Polar Prediction Project's (PPP) Societal and Economic Research and Applications Task Team to the Open Session that was held on 18 April at the premises of the European Polar Board in The Hague, The Netherlands. How does a family-owned sailing venture make use of the currently available weather and ice information in Greenland waters? What does a ship master with long-year experience in Baltic Sea ice operations share about the reality of ice navigation? And how does modern bridge communication need to be re-organized to ensure safe decision-making? Observations and forecasts are just one piece of the puzzle as personal experience and non-environmental factors are playing additional important roles in polar maritime operations.

See the new PPM contribution here.

09 May 2018: Expert on Environmental Economics joins PPP-SERA team

Environmental economist Riina Haavisto joins the PPP‘s Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) task team.

During the recent PPP-SERA annual meeting at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, another new face joined the PPP-SERA Task Team. Riina Haavisto has been working as an environmental economist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, in Helsinki, Finland, since 2013. Her research focuses on projects related to weather and climate risk management as well as to climate change adaptation. Riina will support the PPP-SERA team in particular with her background in user engagement and about the provider-user interface of WWIC (Weather, Water, Ice and Climate) information with regards to e.g., decision-making, risk management and adaptation to climate change from an economic point of view. In addition to this, she is looking into future needs of WWIC services and their value to different sectors in the northern hemisphere.

08 May 2018: Where the Poles Come Together – YOPP Side Event at POLAR2018

A YOPP side event will be held during the POLAR2018 conference in Davos, Switzerland.

The YOPP side event will take place on June 19th, from 12.30 to 2 pm in the Room A Dischma. Amongst others, the YOPP Data Portal, the societal aspects within YOPP, and the YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere will be showcased during the meeting. Attendees are invited to take part in the following panel discussion to share thoughts and ideas essential to the success of the Year of Polar Prediction. Everybody interested in improving forecast skills in the polar regions is very welcome to participate in the meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be downloaded from here.

Where the Poles come together: POLAR2018 is a conference jointly held by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee IASC. POLAR2018 takes place in Davos, Switzerland, from 15 - 26 June 2018. See more on the POLAR2018 conference website.

07 May 2018: YOPP Research Publications and Acknowledgement

To inform the wider community, authors of YOPP-related papers are invited to send their papers to the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO). Acknowledgement of YOPP is highly appreciated in order to help determining the success PPP and YOPP towards the end of the Consolidation Phase. 

In preparation of the YOPP Consolidation Phase, the PPP website has been slightly re-structured when it comes to publications. Research publications related to polar prediction topics, and in particular resulting from the various Year of Polar Prediction efforts, are now listed in chronological order under http://www.polarprediction.net/documents/research-publications/

In the next PolarPredictNews newsletter issue (issue #07 is considered to be published in June 2018), a new category on 'Featured Research Publications’  will be opened where five to ten new YOPP-related publications are going to be listed in each of the newsletters.

Therefore, the ICO welcomes any information on new papers that provide contributions to YOPP, optionally including a short summary on the paper, formulated for a general audience, to potentially feature selected publications on the website or in the newsletter to inform the wider community.  

In order to help determining the success of PPP and YOPP towards the end of the Consolidation Phase, the ICO would like to ask authors of papers to include the following statement in the acknowledgements part of future articles:

'This is a contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), a flagship activity of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP), initiated by the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) of the World Meteorological Organsation (WMO).'

Please send references of newly published papers (plus a short summary) to office@polarprediction.net

04 May 2018: Winter 2018 Sea Ice Conditions in the Bering Strait – New Summary Available

An overview of winter 2018 sea ice conditions in the Bering Strait has been published by the International Arctic Research Center (IARC).

The amount of sea ice in the Bering Sea this winter was the lowest since written records of the commercial whalers started in 1850. Communities throughout the region were significantly impacted. In collaboration with NOAA (United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration), the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, recently produced a new summary about these conditions. Bering Strait: an overview of winter 2018 sea ice conditions brings together community observations with scientific background to explain why so little sea ice formed during winter 2018.

The 4-page document is written for a general audience and is part of an effort to increase communications between IARC scientists and Bering Strait communities.

For more information about the summary, please contact Heather McFarland (hrmcfarland[at]alaska.edu).

03 May 2018: New Issue of WMO WWRP e-Newsletter now available

The new edition of the quarterly newsletter issued by the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) is now available online.

As a guest editor, Director of the Meteorological Research Division of Environmental and Climate Change Canada Gilbert Brunet identifies synergies and challenges of 'The Future of Weather-Climate Prediction'. Amongst others, the new April 2018 issue also spotlights the Year of Polar Prediction including a portrait of Thomas Jung, chair of the PPP Steering Group, as featured expert.

See here for the WWRP newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/ce841986c808/april-2018-final-version-newsletter

02 May 2018: YOPP Session at Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s Congress

A YOPP session will be held at this year's Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s 52nd Congress and Annual Meeting (CMOS) in Halifax, Canada.

The 52nd Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s Congress and Annual Meeting (CMOS) takes place from June 10 to 14, 2018 in Halifax, Canada. During the morning and afternoon sessions entitled  'Research and Operational Activities supporting the Year of Polar Prediction', contributions and activities during the Year of Polar Prediction will be displayed and discussed on Wednesday, June 13th. Further information can be found at http://congress.cmos.ca/site/congress_home

Early Bird registration is possible until May 7th under http://congress.cmos.ca/site/registration/information

24 April 2018: PolarPredictNews #06

The spring 2018 issue of the YOPP newsletter PolarPredictNews#06 is now available.
 
Thanks to the many station staff members from 16 Arctic met stations, more than 1,900 extra weather balloons could be launched during the Arctic Winter Special Observing Period. In the new issue of PolarPredictNews, read about the first eight weeks of enhanced routine operations in polar regions to improve weather and sea ice forecasts; find more information about how Arctic warming drives Arctic summer storms; and learn about new Arctic real-time high-resolution atmosphere, ice and ocean forecasts as a contribution by ECCC to YOPP.

Find this and much more in the PolarPredictNews#06.

Special thanks goes out to all authors who provided fabulous contributions to the new issue. Any questions, ideas for articles or announcements you would like to distribute via our newsletter can be sent to office@polarprediction.net.

20 April 2018: Arctic Warming to Increase Summer Storminess

(by Jonathan Day, ECWMF)

In a paper now published in Geophysical Research Letters, British climate scientists Jonny Day and Kevin Hodges find that Arctic warming will increase both the number and intensity of storms in Arctic summer. 

The dramatic reduction in Arctic summer sea ice has led to an increase in human activity and hence exposure to extreme events in the Arctic. Unlike the mid-latitude storm tracks, which are most active in winter, the Arctic storm track is most active in summer, exactly during the time when Arctic shipping and tourism are on the rise, leading to the obvious question of how climate change will affect the storms themselves. Unfortunately, climate models perform poorly in representing even the basic features, such as the summer maximum in Arctic cyclone frequency. As a result, climate model projections for how Arctic cyclones will change in the future cannot be considered reliable.

Analogue Approach

In a recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, APPLICATE scientist Jonny Day from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Kevin Hodges from the University of Reading develop an analogue approach to assess the impact of Arctic warming on Arctic storms, using the ECMWF reanalysis, ERA-Interim, which performs well in the Arctic. Reanalyses use a combination of computer model simulations and observations to produce a gridded data set constrained by historical observations.

Heating at Different Rates

Because near-surface air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean and Arctic land areas are heating up at different rates, with the land heating up about twice as fast as the ocean, the authors hypothesize that the increase in coastal temperature gradients will make the Arctic a much more favorable place for future cyclone development. Day and Hodges compare cyclone statistics for years with high temperature contrast between land and at sea against years with low contrast, as an analogue for the effects of climate change. Based on this method, they argue that storms over the Arctic Ocean are likely to become more frequent and more dynamically intense as the Arctic warms, increasing the risk to shipping and other human activities.
Contact: Jonathan Day jonathan.day@ecmwf.int

Day, J. J. & Hodges, K. I. (2018). Growing land-sea temperature contrast and the intensification of Arctic cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077587

13 April 2018: Statement on Gender Equality for YOPP

As a WMO initiative, PPP/YOPP align with the WMO principles concerning diversity and gender equality matters, i.e. selection of individuals involved with YOPP/PPP shall be without regard to origin, race, creed, political belief, or gender (regardless of gender identification).

During the recent PPP Steering Group meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland, a statement in support of gender balance within PPP/YOPP has been discussed and formulated based on the WMO Gender Action Plan. In addition to the statement, few actions were identified including setting times for teleconferences and meetings to predictable weekday working times, paying attention for gender equality in education activities, and increasing the number of female members in the PPP Steering Group and in YOPP-endorsed activities to a minimum of 30%.


The full PPP/YOPP statement in support of gender balance ist available here. For more information, please also see the WMO Gender Action Plan and the paragraph of the 17th WMO Commission of Atmospheric Sciences session (CAS-17) session regarding gender equality.

For any question, please contact the ICO at office@polarprediction.net

10 April 2018: Year of Polar Prediction Arctic Winter Special Observing Period Successfully Concluded

The first of the four Special Observing Periods during the Year of Polar Prediction has been successfully completed on March 31.

Station staff from 16 different meteorological stations in the Arctic launched more than 1,900 additional weather balloons from 1 February to 31 March 2018, amounting to up to four extra radiosonde launches per day. In preparation of the ascent, balloons were filled with hydrogen, and a sonde to measure atmospheric conditions was attached on a rope to the weather balloons. On its rise through the atmosphere, the radiosondes monitored temperature, humidity and winds from which properties such as clouds, turbulence, icing, or wind shear can be detected.

In addition to radiosonde deployments from Arctic stations, YOPP-endorsed field campaigns such as the Iceland-Greenland-Seas Project (see more at their blog website and via the IGP twitter account) and the OASIS-YOPP project at the Thule Air Base station in Greenland launched extra radiosondes to get additional observational data into the WMO Global Telecommunications Systems (GTS).  Forecasters at operational weather centres such as the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), or the Norwegian Meteorological Institute used the information from the GTS for carrying out enhanced operational predictions. These operational forecasting centers will also carry out so-called data denial experiments in order to provide gudiance for the development of the Arctic observing system and thus provide much improved predictions of weather and sea ice conditions for the Arctic and beyond.

Three further Special Observing Periods are planned during the Year of Polar Prediction: The next one will start this coming summer in the Arctic running from 1 July to 30 September 2018. The Antarctic Special Observing Period is scheduled for the coming austral field season from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019. Another Arctic Winter Special Observing Period will take place from 1 February to 31 March 2020; it will be aligned with the first year-round International central Arctic Drift Expedition MOSAiC.

A photo gallery of radiosonde launches during the Arctic Winter Special Observing Period can be found here.

05 April 2018: Polar Prediction Matters – Engaging Users of Sea Ice Forecasts

A new contribution on 'Engaging Users of Sea Ice Forecasts' has been uploaded to the forecast user dialogue platform Polar Prediction Matters hosted by the German Helmholtz Assoziation's blog website.

In this new article, Lawrence Hislop, Executive Director of the global Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC) of the WMO World Climate Research Programme, describes the outcomes of a workshop that was held during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway in January 2018. A cross-section of sea-ice forecasters from Europe and North America along with key forecast user representatives from the private sector had been invited to Tromsø to discuss issues and opportunities of current sea-ice forecasting systems and how to better meet stakeholders’ needs. See here for the new PPM article.

22 March 2018: PPP-SERA Open Session with European Polar Board

On Wednesday, April 18th, noon to 5 pm, the Polar Prediction Project's Societal and Economic Research and Applications subcommittee (PPP-SERA) in cooperation with the European Polar Board (EPB) will organize a PPP-SERA Open Session 'Generating Societal Value from Improved Weather, Water & Ice Forecasts in the Polar Regions' in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Polar Prediction Project's Societal and Economic Research and Applications subcommittee (PPP-SERA) addresses the social-science and economics aspects of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP). The aims of the PPP-SERA Open Session to be held on April 18th, 2018, noon to 5 pm, include sharing developments and insights from the Polar Prediction Project and the social science agenda during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), to provide perspectives on the role and value of Weather, Water, Ice and Climate (WWIC) services from a range of maritime sectors, and to exchange ideas on the societal value of enhanced WWIC services. The meeting will be hosted by the European Polar Board. Lunch and refreshments are sponsored by the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University.

Anyone is welcome to join. Please see agenda with more information on the PPP-SERA Open Session here.

To register, please send an email to Berill Blair (berill.blair@wur.nl).

Any further questions can also be directed to Machiel Lamers (machiel.lamers@wur.nl)

10 March 2018: Start of MACSSIMIZE aircraft campaign

(by Chawn Harlow, PI of MACSSIMIZE, The Met Office)

The YOPP-endorsed MACSSIMIZE campaign starts today. For 15 days, researchers from the UK and Canada will use the FAAM aircraft to better understand how to implement snow radiation into numerical weather prediction models over Canada.

For the YOPP-endorsed MACSSIMIZE campaign starting today, on 10 March 2018, British and Canadian researchers will be flying out of Fairbanks, Alaska, to study microwave emissivities of snow surfaces over Trail Valley Creek near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. MACSSIMIZE focuses on improving the use of satellite data assimilated into operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. Data from satellite sounding provide strong constraints on the temperature and humidity profiles within modern NWP models and are the most important measurements needed to determine the flow on the synoptic to global scales. Typically, channels on such sounding instruments are arranged along the wings of an absorption line with channels near the line centre providing information about the stratosphere, and channels further from line centre giving information about atmospheric levels closer to the surface. The channels that penetrate to near the Earth’s surface are sensitive to the surface temperature and emissivity, however, so information about the surface is mixed in with information about the lower atmosphere. The surface information needs thus to be separated from the atmospheric information in order for it to be used effectively. Therefore, during MACSSIMIZE different satellite demonstration instruments installed aboard the British aircraft 'Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements' (FAAM aircraft) will be used to measure emissivities and effective radiating temperatures of snow over Trail Valley Creek. In order to evaluate models that predict surface emissions over snow-covered surfaces, personnel on the ground will be measuring snow properties while FAAM flies overhead measuring the surface emissions. The resultant emissivity models can then be used within NWP to separate information about the lower atmosphere from that pertaining to the surface allowing improvements in the weather forecasts in the polar regions and beyond to the mid-latitudes through teleconnections.

In addition to snow studies, there are two other projects involved with the same above goal to improve NWP forecasts. In the first, Arctic stratus clouds will be investigated to better understand their formation and decay. FAAM will overfly the United States Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility near Barrow, Alaska, to characterise the boundary layer conditions effecting stratus cloud formation. The second additional project focuses on flow conditions upstream and downstream of mountain ranges and their impacts on the regional meteorological conditions. For this project, the aircraft will be flying over and on the north side of the Brooks Range which provides a nearly linear barrier to a southerly flow. Hydraulic jumps, roller vortices, preferential flow through gaps and lee-side drying and heating of air will all be studied.

MACSSIMIZE is a collaboration between the Met Office, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the British and Canadian Universities Wilfrid Laurier University, Université de Sherbrooke, Northumbria University and the Universities of Edinburgh, Leeds and East Anglia, and the United States Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility. Operational weather forecasting support is provided by the National Weather Service and Met Service Canada.

For any questions, please contact PI of MACSSIMIZE Chawn Harlow chawn.harlow@metoffice.gov.uk

09 March 2018: The Nansen Legacy Project Kicks Off

(by Marit Reigstad, PI of the Nansen Legacy project, University of Tromsø, Norway)

From 6-8 March, the YOPP-endorsed project the Nansen Legacy had its kick-off meeting in Tromsø, Norway.

160 participants gathered for the Nansen Legacy project's kick-off meeting in Tromsø. The aim of this new Norwegian interdisciplinary research project covering a time line from 2018 to 2023 is to gain a holistic understanding of the climate and ecosystem responses to the changing Arctic climate, with a focus on the northern Barents Sea where sea ice conditions have changed considerably over the past decade.

Physical and human impacts on the marine ecosystem will be crucial to the Nansen Legacy project to understand how the past and present are key to address predictive capabilities. Improved ice and weather forecasts for the region are thus one of the main project's goals. The Nansen Legacy will therefore utilize the new Norwegian ice-breaking research vessel Kronprins Haakon to carry out annual and seasonal investigations along a climatic gradient from the central Barents Sea into the Arctic Basin from 2018 to 2022. A seasonal study is scheduled for 2019/20, synoptic to the planned MOSAiC drift. Five cruises are envisaged already this year to collect data related to physical and biogeochemical conditions and processes, in addition to ecosystem studies starting in mid-June.

The Nansen Legacy is a collaboration between ten Norwegian universities, governmental and private institutes with complementary expertise in Arctic research. The financial frame is 740 mill NOK (ca. 77 mill EUR), where 50% is provided as in-kind from the participating partners. It is funded by the Research Council of Norway, and the Ministry of Science and Education. Data will be made accessible through SIOS. The project also links with several international initiatives, including the Year of Polar Prediction.  

07 March 2018: YOPP Open Session and Ninth PPP Steering Group Meeting at Icelandic Met Office

Next week, the PPP Steering Group will convene for their ninth meeting, this time in beautiful Reykjavík, Iceland. The meeting will follow an Open Session to inform members of the hosting Icelandic Meteorological Office about the current state and ongoing planning activities during the Year of Polar Prediction.

This year, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (or IMO) based in Reykjavik, Iceland, is hosting the PPP Steering Group (PPP-SG) meeting where representatives from research institutes and meteorological services around the world will get together from 13 to 15 March, 2018, in order to further plan and discuss efforts to improve polar predictive skill in the Arctic and Antarctic (see agenda).

Prior to the PPP-SG meeting, on Monday, 12 March, a YOPP Open Session will provide the opportunity to exchange with local colleagues from IMO about the current and planned activities during the Year of Polar Prediction (see agenda). The Icelandic Met Office currently supports the Year of Polar Prediction's ongoing Arctic Winter Special Observing Period (1 February to 31 March 2018) by launching daily extra radiosondes from their stations at Keflavík airport and Egilssta∂ir in the east of Iceland.

20 February 2018: Siri Jodha Khalsa Appointed as New Member of PPP Steering Group

Atmospheric scientist and expert on Earth observing data products Siri Jodha Khalsa from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has recently joined the Steering Group of the Polar Prediction Project.

Siri Jodha S. Khalsa has spent two decades performing science evaluation and algorithm support for data products from NASA’s Earth observing system. As a physicist, he has worked with optical and microwave satellite remote sensing for observing the cryosphere. He is also an expert in distributed data management and interoperability of geospatial information systems. Siri Jodha is part of the Research Faculty at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, United States, and is on the staff of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). As a member of the PPP Steering Group and the YOPP Task Team on Data Management, Siri Jodha brings in the expertise needed for establishing the YOPP Data Portal serving as a collecting point to access extra observations that are carried out during the Year of Polar Prediction.

07 February 2018: 13th WAMC and YOPP-SH#3 Meetings – Registration now open

Registration is now open for this year’s 13th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) and the Year of Polar Prediction in the Southern Hemisphere Meeting #3 (YOPP-SH#3) taking place in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

The Antarctic Meteorological Research Center (AMRC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison invites you to participate in the 13th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (WAMC) July 16-18, 2018, which will be held at the University of Wisconsin's Pyle Center on the shore of Lake Mendota in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin, USA. The third Year of Polar Prediction in the Southern Hemisphere meeting (YOPP-SH#3) will be held following WAMC on Thursday, July 19th, 2018.

The WAMC brings together those with research and operational/logistical interests in Antarctic meteorology and forecasting and related disciplines. As in the past, the annual activities and status of the observing (e.g. Automatic Weather Stations) and modeling (Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System) efforts will be addressed, and feedback and results from their user communities are solicited. More broadly, this workshop also is a forum for current results and ideas in Antarctic meteorology, numerical weather prediction, and weather forecasting, from contributors around the world. There will be discussions on the relationships among international efforts and Antarctic forecasting, logistical support, and science. We welcome papers and posters on these topics.

For the third YOPP-SH meeting, project investigators and representatives of national agencies active in Antarctica are invited to provide updates on the current status of planning with regards to the YOPP Special Observing Period (SOP) in the Southern Hemisphere that will be launched during the next austral summer season taking place from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019.

Please see the meeting website for more information, including registration and abstract submission:
http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/meetings/meeting2018/


There is a registration fee of $75 to attend both WAMC and YOPP-SH#3. Attending only YOPP-SH#3 on July 19th will be free of charge.

For accommodation** information please see:
http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/meetings/meeting2018/hotel.shtml

** For travelers who may be staying in Madison longer or staying for YOPP-SH#3, we would suggest staying at The Madison Concourse since our block of rooms is available Saturday-Friday. All other blocks of rooms are available Sunday-Thursday. **

Please direct any questions related to YOPP-SH#3 to Dave Bromwich bromwich@polarmet1.mps.ohio-state.edu and office@polarprediction.net. General questions on the meeting and organization can be sent to local organizers Carol Constanza carol.costanza@ssec.wisc.edu and Matthew Lazzara mattl@ssec.wisc.edu

02 February 2018: New ECCC High-Resolution Arctic Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Forecasts for YOPP

In support of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) contribution to the Year of Polar Prediction, a new set of real-time high-resolution atmosphere, ice and ocean forecasts over the Arctic are being made available. This includes a new system called the Canadian Arctic Prediction System (CAPS) that has been implemented in experimental mode on January 24th 2018, providing atmospheric forecasts covering a large Arctic domain. The data of this new system, produced over the entire Arctic domain at 3 km resolution for the scientific research goals of YOPP, are also available as of now to users on the MSC Datamart testing data repository at the address: http://dd.alpha.meteo.gc.ca/yopp/model_caps/
 
Additionally, forecasts from the Regional Ice and Ocean Prediction System (RIOPS), implemented in experimental mode in June 2016 are also being made available. The model domain covers the North Atlantic from 26N and the whole Arctic Ocean at a resolution of 3 to 8 km. The data are interpolated to a grid in north-polar stereographic projection with 5 km resolution. These data are now available on the MSC Datamart testing data repository at the address: http://dd.alpha.meteo.gc.ca/yopp/model_riops/
 
The data for both CAPS and RIOPS will be available on-line during the entire period of the YOPP core phase, namely until mid-2019, which offers an exceptional data base for users interested in Arctic polar regions. Following the first YOPP Arctic Winter Special Observing Period, these two systems will be coupled together.
 
Please note that these systems are experimental, such that modifications may occur on relatively short notices, and that product availability can not be guaranteed at the same level as for an official operational system.
For any question, you may contact Greg Smith gregory.smith2[at]canada.ca or office@polarprediction.net
 

01 February 2018: YOPP Arctic Winter Special Observing Period Commences Today

The Arctic Winter Special Observing Period (SOP1) of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) commences today, on February 1st, 2018.

We are excited to witness extensive extra observations to be conducted by the YOPP community at numerous Arctic stations, as a part of YOPP-endorsed field campaigns, and by autonomous instruments. These observations will help us shed light on the value of different kinds of measurements for environmental prediction in the Arctic and beyond. Numerical experimentation with these observations and internationally coordinated verification activities, in particular at YOPP Supersites where forecast centres will provide model data in unusual detail, will help us understand causes for forecast deficiency and provide guidance for the design of the future polar observing system.

Extra Radiosonde Launches
At various stations across the Arctic, extra radiosondes will be launched at increased frequency (up to six times per day). Numerous national weather services, EUMETNET, and academic research institutions are providing the material and human resources for overall more than 1,500 additional radiosonde launches. For an overview of extra radiosoundings during YOPP, including SOP1, please see our kml file for download at http://www.polarprediction.net/yopp-activities/yopp-observations-layer/.

Buoy Deployments

Arctic researchers and collaborators of the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) have been busy distributing autonomous measurement platforms in the Arctic during the past months. Despite substantial progress, a good coverage of the Arctic Ocean with buoys is a continuous challenge. Thanks to a collaboration between the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), EUMETNET, WMO, and IABP, the first few of overall about two dozens of buoys to be distributed close to the Eurasian Arctic coast will be deployed from Cape Baranova and by Russian vessels during the coming two months.

YOPP-endorsed Field Campaigns
A number of field campaigns carried out under challenging winter conditions as part of YOPP-endorsed projects will provide specific measurements that will shed light on key polar processes that need better understanding and representation in weather and climate models. For example, the campaigns MACSSIMIZE (pdf) and IGP (pdf), both with a major airborne component, will scrutinize processes governing the interaction between the ocean or land surface and the peculiar polar atmospheric boundary layer. Details on these and other valuable YOPP-endorsed projects contributing to the current SOP can be found through the YOPP Explorer.

Social Media
During the next two months, we will share SOP1 activities, in particular related to extra observations from stations and in the field, via social media, so you should not miss following us on Twitter @polarprediction. Moreover, you are heartily invited to post a tweet or picture yourself. Make sure to tag @polarprediction and to use #polarprediction and #YOPPextraobs so we can re-tweet you!

After almost six years of planning, we are delighted for the first SOP to finally launch. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via office@polarprediction.net.

29 January 2018: Polar Prediction Matters – Sailing Frozen Oceans

The fourth contribution to the dialogue platform Polar Prediction Matters hosted by the Helmholtz blog websites is now online.


What are the prediction requirements of Arctic shippers? In ’Sailing Frozen Oceans', Tero Vauraste, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Finnish Polar Maritime Services company Arctia Ltd., reports on the provision of icebreaking services and specialised multipurpose vessel services such as oil spill response and other polar maritime assistance with a fleet of eight icebreakers and three-hundred professionals.

In his article, Vauraste, who currently chairs the Arctic Economic Council (2017–2019), explains why reliable weather and ice reporting services are essential for Arctic shipping operations for long-term, mid-term, and daily planning. See here for the new PPM report. Any comments and discussions following up this and also the former three contributions to PPM are strongly appreciated.

05 January 2018: Subject-Matter Expert for PPP-SERA

PPP‘s Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) team is building up as the Chilean meteorologist Jorge Carrasco joins the group as a subject-matter expert.  

Jorge Carrasco received his PhD in meteorology/atmospheric sciences in 1994 from the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, USA and added an on-the-job master program on Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the Spanish Vértice Business School in 2017. He had been affiliated with the Chilean Weather Service for 31 years where he started as a forecaster in 1983 and became Deputy Director from 2007 to 2013. Since 2009, Jorge is teaching Antarctic meteorology and climatology at the Universidad de Magallanes in Punta Arenas where he works as an Associate Researcher in the affiliated Antarctic GAIA Research Center since 2014. Jorge has also contributed to the Working Group I (Chapter 4) of the Fourth and Fifth IPCC Reports. With his experience as a forecast provider but at the same time relying on good forecast products when he is out in Antarctica, he will be affiliated with PPP-SERA and consulted regularly to strengthen the PPP-SERA team in the Southern Hemisphere.

14 December 2017: Interview with Thomas Jung

In an interview, published this week on the website of the Alfred Wegener Institute, the chair of the Polar Prediction Project Thomas Jung talks about how the weather and climate at the Earth's poles are changing, how accurately weather and sea-ice conditions can be yet forecasted, and which commercial usage interests might arise in a changing polar environment.  

Thomas Jung is Professor for Physics of the Climate System at the University of Bremen and leads the Climate Dynamics Section at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany. As the chair of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group, Thomas Jung is resposible for planning and coordinating the various activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. The interview can be found here at the AWI website.

See the complete AWI website Focus topic 'Polar Predictions'.

07 December 2017: Impact of a Rapidly Changing Arctic on Eurasian Climate and Weather – Special Issue in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

A special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences presents new research efforts towards a predictive understanding of Arctic climate change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude climate and weather.

In recent decades, Arctic warming has amplified markedly and sea ice has shrunk drastically, leading to an emergent forcing that possibly drives anomalous atmospheric circulation and weather patterns beyond the Arctic. The special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, entitled “Impact of a Rapidly Changing Arctic on Eurasian Climate and Weather”, presents a selection of new research efforts towards a predictive understanding of Arctic climate change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude climate and weather.

“Our understanding of Arctic-midlatitude linkages is still at a pre-consensus stage,” says Thomas Jung, chair of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative and professor of climate dynamics at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. He co-authored the issue’s preface as a guest editor. “...it is important, therefore, to bring together the latest research results.”

The special issue focuses on understanding how changes in the Arctic influence the mid-latitude regions of the globe. These areas which include Europe, most of Asia, north Africa, and much of North America sandwich the central tropical region and are capped by the Earth’s poles. While the increased near-surface temperature of the Arctic and the significantly decreased sea ice are undisputed facts, the link between such changes and the extreme climate and weather events in the mid-latitudes is still debated.

Full reference: Zhang, X., T. Jung, M. Wang, Y. Luo, T. Semmler, and A. Orr, 2018: Preface to the special issue: Towards improving understanding and prediction of Arctic change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude weather and climate. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 35(1), 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-017-7004-7

04 December 2017: +++UPDATE+++ YOPP Online Conference #02 re-scheduled to 14 December 2017

+++Due to time constraints, the second YOPP Online Conference has been re-scheduled. It will now take place on Thursday, December 14, 2017, 4 pm CET. Registration is still possible under this link. Apologies for any inconveniences that may arise from this change of dates.+++

The first YOPP Online Conference has been held on October 17th. Since then, further progress has been made. During the second YOPP Online Conference, Thomas Jung, chair of the WMO Polar Prediction Project Steering Group, will provide an update on latest developments with regards to planning and ongoing activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. Participants are encouraged to bring up their issues and various questions to be discussed during the online session. The YOPP Online Conference is thus a great opportunity to get into touch with YOPP organizers and raise new ideas, thoughts and topics crucial to the success of the Year of Polar Prediction. Everybody interested in improving forecast skills in the polar regions is very welcome to register for the meeting at this link. For any questions, please contact the International Coordination Office at office@polarprediction.net.

23 November 2017: SAVE the DATE - 3rd YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere Meeting

Following the 13th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (16–18 July), the third YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting will be held on 19 July 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

During the third YOPP-SH meeting, project investigators and representatives of national agencies active in Antarctica will provide updates on preparations and the status of planning with regards to the Special Observing Period (SOP) in the Southern Hemisphere to be launched in late 2018. Enhanced extra routine observations on land but also ship- and airborne by e.g., radiosondes, buoys, automatic weather stations will significantly contribute to improve predictive skill in the Southern Hemisphere high latitudes. The Special Observing Period in the Antarctica takes place during the next austral summer season from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019.The meeting will be hosted by the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center and Automatic Weather Stations Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information on the AMC Workshop, please see here. Information on registration for the YOPP-SH workshop will follow soon. Any questions are welcome to be sent to Dave Bromwich bromwich@polarmet1.mps.ohio-state.edu and the YOPP International Coordination Office office@polarprediction.net.

16 November 2017: PANGAEA Data Portal serves as YOPP Data Hub

The World Data Center PANGAEA offers to serve as a data hub for the Year of Polar Prediction Data Portal.

The Data Publisher for Earth and Environmental Science PANGAEA hosted by the German Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research offers to serve as a data hub for the Year of Polar Prediction. YOPP-relevant data can now be submitted to the PANGAEA database where it will be flagged as a 'YOPP' data set. Data archived at PANGAEA will then be harvested from the YOPP Data Portal metadata base.

As the majority of data collected during observational campaigns as well as by modelling and verification efforts will be stored at national data centres and portals, the YOPP data portal provides metadata and links to respective data sets generated during the Year of Polar Prediction. As a legacy for YOPP, this data portal takes into account the various requirements of end-users working with the YOPP data collection. The YOPP Data Portal is hosted by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and can be accessed at http://yopp.met.no/.

Colleagues who would like to upload their YOPP-relevant data to PANGAEA, shall use the link https://pangaea.de/submit/ for data submission: The word ‘YOPP’ needs to be stated in the “label field“ of the data submission form in order to have the data flagged as ‘YOPP’ data set. Please note that PANGAEA does not have any templates for data submission. Since well-established in the weather and climate community, the data should preferably be formatted as NetCDF/CF (including ACDD elements) for reuse purposes by the modelling community allowing to reformat into BUFR if needed.

For any questions related to PANGAEA please contact Amelie Driemel Amelie.Driemel[at]awi.de. General questions and those regarding the YOPP Data Portal shall be directed to Øystein Godøy o.godoy[at]met.no and to the International Coordination Office at office[at]polarprediction.net.

14 November 2017: YOPP Modelling Plan published

The first edition of the 'WWRP Polar Prediction Project YOPP Modelling Plan’ is now published. The document summarizes plans for modelling work to be carried out as part of the Year of Polar Prediction.

Led by WMO consultant and former Met Office scientist Richard Swinbank, the YOPP Modelling Task Team recently finalized the first edition of a YOPP Modelling Plan, which is published as part of the WMO WWRP/PPP series. This plan was developed following discussions at the YOPP modelling planning workshop held in September 2016. It represents a milestone for the YOPP Task Team Modelling as it will help to coordinate different modelling efforts, particularly between YOPP-related research institutes and operational centres (e.g., ECMWF, ECCC and Met Norway). The document outlines plans for a set of reference modelling datasets that will support a range of YOPP scientific investigations, plus plans for modelling experiments that will be carried out during the YOPP Core Phase and Consolidation Phase. All YOPP model experimenters are encouraged to include a standard set of model output diagnostics in order to facilitate comparison between different models, and between model output and observations. The model output standards are set out in the document  ‘A Common Set of Model Output for YOPP', which is an online supplement to the YOPP Modelling Plan.

The new YOPP Modelling Plan can be downloaded from here.

Please send any questions to office[at]polarprediction.net.

10 November 2017: YOPP Online Conference #02 on 01 December 2017

SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER: The second YOPP Online Conference will take place on Friday, December 1, 2017, 5 pm CET.

The first YOPP Online Conference has been held on October 17th. Since then, further progress has been made. During the second YOPP Online Conference, Thomas Jung, chair of the WMO Polar Prediction Project Steering Group, will provide an update on latest developments with regards to planning and ongoing activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. Participants are encouraged to bring up their issues and various questions to be discussed during the online session. The YOPP Online Conference is thus a great opportunity to get into touch with YOPP organizers and raise new ideas, thoughts and topics crucial to the success of the Year of Polar Prediction. Everybody interested in improving forecast skills in the polar regions is very welcome to register for the meeting at this link. For any questions, please contact the International Coordination Office at office@polarprediction.net.

31 October 2017: Sea-Ice Information Services in the World – 2017 Update Released

A 2017 update of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) publication WMO-No.574 ‘Sea Ice Information Services in the World’ has now been released.


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) publication ‘Sea Ice Information Services in the World’ (WMO-No.574) is intended to provide to mariners and other users information on best practices in sea-ice services available world-wide and by this is formally extending the two WMO publications No.9, Volume D – Information for Shipping and No.558 – Manual on Marine Meteorological Services (WMO-No. 558).

The 2017 update of this comprehensive document has now been released by the Joint World Meteorological Organization/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (WMO-IOC JCOMM) Expert Team on Sea Ice (ETSI). The document reflects new types of sea ice and icebergs information, forms of collaboration and delivery of the products through August 2017. Areas that have seen substantial progress over the last seven years are the complementation of classical ice services by sea-ice forecasts based on numerical models and Southern Ocean sea ice and icebergs analysis, which are reflected by corresponding additions to the document by numerous ice services. The document greatly facilitates getting an overview on current sea-ice services - just in time for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) research community which is currently ramping up concerted efforts to improve our capabilities to forecast weather, climate, and sea ice in the polar regions.

The document and future updates can be obtained from 'WMO-IOC JCOMM Sea-Ice Regulatory Documents', subsection 'Sea-Ice Information Services in the World' - http://www.jcomm.info/index.php?option=com_oe&task=viewDocumentRecord&docID=9607. Additional requests on JCOMM sea-ice regulatory material may be also forwarded to ETSI chair Dr Vasily Smolyanitsky (vms(at)aari.aq).

30 October 2017: Operational Support during the Year of Polar Prediction

A number of operational services, in particular related to weather and sea-ice information, offer support for Arctic field campaigns during the Year of Polar Prediction.

A way to assist colleagues while working in the field is to provide and promote opportunities for operational support as delivered by different weather and ice services. The YOPP Coordination Office is keen to facilitate operational support in particular for field campaigns that are going to take place during the Year of Polar Prediction, including those that have been endorsed by YOPP (for more information on YOPP-endorsed activities see the YOPP Explorer).


A number of operational services, in particular related to weather and sea-ice information, offer operational support for YOPP-related campaigns in the Arctic. Possible services include the dissemination of existing services, open data, operational and site-specific forecasts, or aviation briefings. More details can be found here.


Operational services that would like to offer similar products or services are invited to contact the YOPP office at office@polarprediction.net. A list of weather and ice services that offer operational support during YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere will be following.

25 October 2017: YOPP Online Conference #01 online available

The first YOPP Online Conference is now available on YouTube.

The first of a series of YOPP Online Conferences took place on October 17th, 2017. Thomas Jung, chair of the PPP Steering Group presented an update of the current status of the Year of Polar Prediction. He flagged ongoing and planned activities and also identified certain gaps that need to be addressed in particular. A subsequent Q & A session allowed participants to express issues and further engage in the planning process.  

The recording is available at the YOPP YouTube channel here.

16 October 2017: Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information

A high-level document discussing research needs in relation to the use and provision of environmental forecasts for the Arctic and Antarctic regions during the Year of Polar Prediction has just been published.

“Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information for Safe Polar Mobilities” is the fifth document published as part of the WMO WWRP/PPP series. The authors of the document – the PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) Subcommittee – argue that environmental forecasting systems are only of societal benefit if they are being used widely.  This entails that they can be accessed by stakeholders in the polar regions, are designed in such a way that users without a scientific or technical background can interact with them and, first and foremost, that they provide the kind of information that the users need to make their field operations safer, more efficient or more productive.

PPP-related research initiatives should „explore how weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information is currently being used and produced in the Polar Regions, by whom, and for what reasons“ in order to help better understand decision-making processes when operating in the Arctic and Antarctica. The document is available for download.



12 October 2017: Polar Prediction Matters – Medivac from the East Greenland Coast

In the second article of the new Helmholtz dialogue platform Polar Prediction Matters, two Icelandic Coast Guards explain their various responsibilities within and beyond waters of the Icelandic search and rescue region; they describe what it needs to transport an injured person from the East Greenland coast into hospital, and why polar prediction is so important for joint international search and rescue operations.

The newly established dialogue platform Polar Prediction Matters is hosted by the Helmholtz Association and maintained by the YOPP Coordination Office, the PPP-SERA subcommittee, and the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research consortia APPLICATE and Blue-Action. In our second contribution, two staff members from the Icelandic Coast Guard report from their everyday duties. With the unpredictable weather around Iceland, with the changing sea-ice conditions leading to increasing maritime traffic in the North Atlantic, and with various responsibilities for maritime and aeronautical safety, search and rescue, and environmental protection, the tasks of the Icelandic Coast Guard are unusually complex. Snorre Greil and Soley Kaldal provide detailed insights of their daily work where maintaining situational awareness in the areas of responsibility proves most important. A real-life inspired medivac scenario demonstrates their motivation to support the Year of Polar Prediction's activities to improve polar environmental forecasting products on which operation such as those by the Icelandic Coast Guards depends. See here for the new PPM article.

09 October 2017: YOPP Observations Overview

A layer file to be opened with Google Earth provides an overview on observations taking place during the Year of Polar Prediction.

In order to provide a better overview on observational activities that will take place during the Year of Polar Prediction, the International Coordination Office has developed a layer (kmz file) to be opened e.g., with Google Earth. This file displays information about extra observations such as buoys, automatic weather stations and radiosonde launches during the Special Observing Periods of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP SOPs). One of the main sources for this file has been information received from national weather centres replying to a letter WMO officially sent out early this year to inform Permanent Representatives of WMO Member States about YOPP-SOPs. Observations taking place during field campaigns of YOPP-endorsed projects are also included. This file is available for download here and will continuously be updated in response to any new information. For any comments and updates on observational activities, please contact the ICO at office@polarprediction.net.

02 October 2017: YOPP Online Conference #01 on 17 October 2017

During the first YOPP Online Conference, Thomas Jung, chair of the Steering Group of the WMO Polar Prediction Project, will give an update on the Year of Polar Prediction. 


The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) has been initiated by the World Meteorological Organization as a response to rapid polar climate change and related transformation of societal and economic activities in the Arctic and Antarctic. From mid 2017 to mid 2019, an international and interdisciplinary network will improve environmental prediction capabilities in order to ensure future safety in polar regions and beyond.

On October 17th, 3 pm GMT, the chair of the Polar Prediction Project Steering Group, Thomas Jung (for more information see here), will provide an update on the planning of the Year of Polar Prediction. He will flag activities that contribute to the planning of the upcoming YOPP Special Observing Periods which will take place in winter (February–March) and summer (July–September) 2018 in the Arctic and during summer 2018/19 (mid November 2018–mid February 2019) in the Antarctic. The presentation will be followed by a discussion session, which will allow participants to engage in the planning.  

In order to register for the meeting, please use the following link https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3816362364745971714. For any questions, please contact the International Coordination Office at office@polarprediction.net

18 September 2017: YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere meeting report now available

The second meeting of the YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) planning committee was held in conjunction with the 12th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate and the Southern Ocean Regional Panel (SORP) meeting. The meeting report is now available for download.

The YOPP-SH2 meeting took place on June 28–29, 2017 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, United States. Modeling efforts such as the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System AMPS, observations both at Antarctic stations and during various field campaigns, as well as involvement of Southern Ocean community were discussed. A joint session together with the Southern Ocean Regional Panel (SORP) took place on Thursday, June 29th. The full report on the meeting can be downloaded here.

15 September 2017: Understanding and Modelling Atmospheric Processes – Call for Abstracts

Abstract submission is now open for the 2nd Pan-GASS meeting "Understanding and Modelling Atmospheric Processes" held from 26 February to 2 March 2018 in Lorne, Victoria, Australia.

The 2nd Pan-GASS meeting sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science is focused on ‘Understanding and Modelling Atmospheric Processes’ (UMAP) and aims to bring together NWP and climate scientists, observationalists and modellers to discuss the key issues of atmospheric science and to coordinate efforts to improve weather and climate models. The program will include all aspects and methods of model development from deterministic numerics to stochastic forcing; process modelling to parametrization; observational constraints to diagnostic techniques; idealized modelling to operational forecasting and climate predictions.

The meeting will mainly cover the following themes, but can include other topics related to understanding and modelling the atmosphere:
● Surface drag and momentum transport: orographic drag, convective momentum transport
● Processes relevant for polar prediction: stable boundary layers, mixed-phase clouds
● Shallow and deep convection: stochasticity, scale-awareness, organization, grey zone issues
● Clouds and circulation feedbacks: boundary-layer clouds, CFMIP, cirrus
● Microphysics and aerosol-cloud interactions: microphysical observations, parameterization, process studies on aerosol-cloud interactions
● Radiation: circulation coupling; interaction between radiation and clouds
● Land-atmosphere interactions: Role of land processes (snow, soil moisture, soil temperature, and vegetation) in sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) prediction
● Physics-dynamics coupling: numerical methods, scale-separation and grey-zone, thermodynamic consistency
● Next generation model development: the challenge of exascale, dynamical core developments, regional refinement, super-parametrization
● High Impact and Extreme Weather: role of convective scale models; ensembles; relevant challenges for model development

Abstracts
On the above topics, we invite you to submit abstracts broadly addressing one of the key ingredients for modelling atmospheric processes:
● Process understanding
● Recent model developments and their impact on weather and climate prediction
● Observational and high resolution constraints for improving models
● Emerging and innovative observing and modelling approaches

Abstract submission is open from 1 September and will close on 31 October 2017. Abstract submission is free.

Registration
Click here to register for the conference. Registration costs 165 AUD and will close on 15 November 2017. The fee includes all sessions, coffee breaks and lunches for all conference days, a conference ice-breaker, and the conference dinner.


More information can be found on the website at http://singh.sci.monash.edu/Pan-GASS/index.shtml

14 September 2017: User Engagement Session at Arctic Frontiers 2018

Together with APPLICATE, MOSAiCNansen LegacyN-ICE2015GreenEdge and BAYSYS projects, YOPP will host a joint topic titled “The New Arctic in a Global Context” (see 2nd Call for Papers) with 8 sessions over 3 days at the Arctic Frontiers Conference 2018. One of the sessions particularly dedicated to the “User Engagement” is chaired by PPP-SERA members Machiel Lamers (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) and Maaike Knol (University of Tromsø, Norway).

In this session, we explore the user-provider interface of weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information in the Polar Regions: how is it currently being used and (co)produced, by whom and for what reasons. First, we are interested in exploring WWIC use in various human activities, including hunting and travel by Indigenous communities, industrial activities associated with resource extraction or transit of commercial vessels, tourism operations, search and rescue operations, government and research operations. There is a wide range of WWIC information available to support diverse aspects of polar operations, but how these are accessed or are influencing various decision-making and operational practices is largely unknown. Second, we are interested in exploring ways in which WWIC services can become more salient, or tailored towards decision practices of different users, in terms of content, format and interface. In an effort to better understand these issues, we seek submissions for this session from researchers, decision-makers, community members, operators, and others who regularly access and use WWIC to make decisions polar operations.

Deadline for abstract submission is September 19th. See here for registration. For any questions, Machiel Lamers (machiel.lamers@wur.nl) and Maaike (maaike.knol@uit.no) can be contacted.

02 September 2017: POLAR2018 Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts for the POLAR2018 joint SCAR/IASC conference is now open. Together with colleagues, the Year of Polar Prediction will host a session on "High-Latitude Boundary Layers and Model Evaluation".

POLAR2018 will be held from 15 to 26 June 2018 in Davos, Switzerland. The Scientific Committee invites the submission of abstracts to be considered for oral or poster presentations. The session program provides guidance on the thematic areas covered at POLAR2018. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 1 November 2017. Authors wishing to submit an abstract are required to pay a submission fee of CHF 30 for each abstract. You can submit as many abstracts as you like, but only two with a preference for oral presentation. Early career and other authors who wish to apply for a submission fee waiver grant can follow this link.

The session AC-3 "High-Latitude Boundary Layers and Model Evaluation” (see announcement with details) is co-convened by PPP Steering Group member Ian Renfrew and Timo Vihma who is PI of YOPP-endorsed projects. It addresses key physical and chemical processes in oceanic and atmospheric boundary layers as well as their representation in models, as relevant for the Year of Polar Prediction.

For more information on POLAR2018 program see here.

01 September 2017: Polar Prediction Matters launched today

What kind of information is needed by the captain of a vessel navigating polar waters? Our knowledge of what really matters at the end of the forecast chain is rather limited. In order to strengthen the dialogue between polar forecast providers and users, the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) together with partners APPLICATE and Blue-Action are launching the Polar Prediction Matters dialogue platform.

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.
 
Polar Prediction Matters is hosted by the Helmholtz Association Blogs and is maintained by the YOPP Coordination Office, the PPP-SERA subcommittee, and the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research consortia APPLICATE and Blue-Action. For any questions related to YOPP and Polar Prediction Matters, please contact office@polarprediction.net.

30 August 2017: Two ArcticChange sessions with PPP-SERA involvement

Colleagues from the YOPP sub-committee PPP-SERA will chair two sessions on Arctic navigation safety and shipping impacts at this year's ArcticChange conference. The ArcticChange conference 2017 will be held in Quebec City from December 11-15, 2017. The Call for Abstracts is currently ongoing with a deadline for submissions on September 22, 2017.

Abstract submissions are invited for two topical sessions within the theme of Arctic Navigation, Geopolitics, and Security. Chaired by PPP-SERA co-chair Jackie Dawson (University of Ottawa, Canada) and her colleague Gita Ljubicic (Carleton University, Canada), participants of the session "Access and Use of Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information (WWIC) for Safe Arctic Navigation" (NAV01) will discuss ways to improve the understanding of WWIC use in various human activities in polar regions. In a second session co-chaired by Jackie Dawson, shipping-related issues will be focused on. Further information on this session entitled "Understanding the Impacts of Arctic Shipping and Maritime Traffic: from Plankton to People" (NAV03) and other topical sessions of the ArcticChange conference can be found here http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/pages/topical-sessions.php


Abstracts can be submitted until September 22, 2017, directly through the ArcticChange website: http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/pages/abstracts.php


For further information you may either contact Gita (Gita.Ljubicic@carleton.ca) or Jackie (Jackie.Dawson@uottawa.ca or check the conference webpage at http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/ac2017/index.php

18 August 2017: Ice Watch Ship Observation Protocol

In collaboration with the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (CliC-ASIWG), the IceWatch program developed a ship observation protocol with high relevance for the Year of Polar Prediction.

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/). Recently, they developed an associated observation protocol in collaboration with the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (CliC-ASIWG).



This initiative is also of high relevance to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). While the value of those observations is high in general, operational services such as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) are interested in using these observations for the subjective evaluation of models, in particular observations taken during the upcoming Special Observing Periods (SOPs; in the Arctic: 1Feb-31Mar2018 and 1Jul-30Sep2018). Additional Ice Watch observations will thus have very good chances of high visibility and usage.

The template for observations is available for download here.

More information on the IceWatch program can be found here.

The program is coordinated by the Climate and Cryosphere working group (CliC) which is under the World Climate Research Program.

03 August 2017: MOSAiC Implementation Workshop

A MOSAiC Implementation Workshop will be held in November in St. Petersburg, Russia, to push forward the planning of the MOSAiC expedition.

The MOSAiC team invites for participation in the MOSAiC Implementation Workshop to be held from November 13th to 16th at the at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. The workshop is an important step forward towards the planning of the MOSAiC expedition aiming to coordinate the scientific work on board of RV Polarstern and the distributed network. Additionally, the development of a modeling strategy will be discussed.

Find more information on the MOSAiC Implementation Workshop (including agenda and visa information) here http://www.mosaic-expedition.org/news.html

Further questions can be directed to Anja Sommerfeld (anja.sommerfeld [at] awi.de), Markus Rex (markus.rex [at] awi.de), or Klaus Dethloff (klaus.dethloff [at] awi.de).

01 August 2017: PPP Steering Group Welcomes & Departures

The PPP Steering Group welcomes three new members: Vasily Smolyanitsky, Bob Grumbine and Jørn Kristiansen recently joined the PPP SG in replacement for Alexander Makshtas, Christopher Fairall, and Trond Iversen. PPP SG and ICO are grateful for their three outgoing members‘ great support of PPP and YOPP and wish to continue the good cooperation with them also beyond their official PPP SG membership.

New to PPP SG are:
Vasily Smolyanitsky is the head of the laboratory of sea ice climate manuals, at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), St. Petersburg, Russia. His expertise includes sea-ice and iceberg climatology, sea-ice information systems, and operational services. Vasily Smolyanitsky chairs the WMO/IOC JCOMM Expert Group on Sea Ice (ETSI) and is the national coordinator of the WMO GCW CryoNet and APRCC-network RA-II node currently under implementation.

Robert Grumbine is a polar oceanographer working for NOAA/National Weather Service, Environmental Modeling Center, College Park, Maryland, USA. He works on both observing and modeling of the oceans and sea ice, for both the Arctic and Antarctic, including inland waters such as the Great Lakes. Bob also acts as the US lead for the WMO Data Quality Monitoring System Task Team.

Jørn Kristiansen is Director of the Development Centre for Weather Forecasting at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway). He is involved in the development and operational running of the high-resolution forecast model Arome-Arctic. This includes the optimization of observational data usage in polar areas, improvements in the representation of physics, as well as novel post-processing of the model output. His future work involves the investigation of dynamical and physical processes within a coupled model system. Being in charge of the web portal yr.no, Jørn has an end-to-end responsibility for the operational MET Norway weather forecasts.

We are looking forward to a fruitful and joyful cooperation with the three new members. See here for all members of the PPP Steering Group.

24 July 2017: Institutional YOPP Endorsement Launched

YOPP endorsement is now also available for institutes, organisations or other groups and networks whose activities contribute to the goals of the Year of Polar Prediction. 

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, and networks to link with the Year of Polar Prediction.

To submit a request for institutional YOPP endorsement, please go to http://apps3.awi.de/YPP/. Please register at http://apps3.awi.de/YPP/register and log-in to the site. You will be able to choose between institutional or project endorsement to fill out the respective request form. Entering your information requested includes a short summary (max. 250 words) and a detailed description (max. 1000 words) of your institution or project focusing on details on how your institutional or project activity links to YOPP.

After having received the submission, the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO) forwards your request to two members of the Polar Prediction Project's Steering Group who review the request with regards to the relevance for YOPP and provide their recommendation to officially endorse the institution or project.

For any question, please contact the ICO at office@polarprediction.net. More information can also be found at http://www.polarprediction.net/yopp/yopp-endorsement/.

20 July 2017: Arctic Frontiers 2018 – Joint session

The Call for Papers is now open for the Arctic Frontiers Science 2018 conference. The conference will take place from Tuesday, January 23rd, to Thursday, January 25th 2018 in Tromsø, Norway.

This time, YOPP will organize a joint topic together with the APPLICATEMOSAiCNansen LegacyN-ICE2015GreenEdge and BAYSYS projects. The topic on “The New Arctic in the Global Context” will include sessions highlighting the following research aspects:

  • Observations – sea-ice changes and decline, snow changes, ocean warming and circulation, atmospheric circulation and weather,  ecosystem changes, observing system design
  • Modelling – assessment and development of weather and climate models, interdisciplinary model approaches.
  • Prediction – from weather forecast to seasonal and subseasonal prediction and climate projections.
  • User engagement – bringing together the forecast community, end users of polar prediction products, and communities in the Arctic that might be influenced by weather and environmental changes.
  • Linkages to mid-latitudes – how Arctic climate change influences weather and
climate across the Northern Hemisphere.




Deadline for abstract submission is September 19th, 2017. For more information, download the Call for Papers and visit the Arctic Frontiers 2018 website.

For questions particularly related to the joint session, please contact any member of the Science Committee

    •    Marcus Rex (lead), Markus.Rex@awi.de
    •    Thomas Jung, Thomas.Jung@awi.de
    •    Sebastian Gerland, Sebastian.Gerland@npolar.no
    •    Jackie Dawson, Jackie.Dawson@uottawa.ca
    •    CJ Mundy, cj.mundy@umanitoba.ca

or related project officers:

    •    Luisa Cristini, luisa.cristini@awi.de


    •    Anja Sommerfeld, anja.sommerfeld@awi.de


    •    Kirstin Werner, kirstin.werner@awi.de

12 July 2017: Iceberg broke off the Larsen C ice shelf area at the Antarctic Pensinsula

A massive iceberg has been created today by breaking off the Larsen C ice shelf area. The size of the iceberg is comparable to the area of the state of Delaware, US; or to seven times the area of Berlin - 175 km long and and up to 50 km wide. The breaking-off has been anticipated for some months, when the crack has been expanding continuously.


The Year of Polar Prediction aims at improving the forecasting capabilities in the Antarctic to enhance the safety of travelers and larger-scale weather processes. This includes a better understanding of the nature, movements and changes of icebergs like Larsen C. We will follow the iceberg on his way northwards away from the Antarctic Peninsula. More information on this topic can be found at the AWI website (German only).

11 July 2017: Communicating the Polar Prediction Project

The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) enables Antarctic and Arctic researchers to enhance forecasts in these regions, improving safety and planning for locals, travellers and explorers. The Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany, joins to make the project known and involve interested people and institutions.


The German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, hosts the International Coordination Office (ICO) for the Polar Prediction Project. The ICO coordinates research foci, Task Teams, meetings and other aspects of the project. On the other hand, the ICO communicates research agendas and results, together with general information on the purpose of the Year of Polar Prediction, to researchers in Germany and around the World, who are interested or already involved in the project. In addition, the public who takes interest in the topic around the developments in the Arctic and Antarctica also finds a hub of information, for example in the project website or on the YouTube channel (in different languages).


The AWI media team has joined the initiative to explain and broadcast the topic of the Year of Polar Prediction to the German (and international) public, by featuring it on the AWI website and in an explanatory video on YouTube, both in German and English language. A press kit was prepared for the international launch of the Year of Polar Prediction in May 2017, including a press release, illustrations, infographics, texts, and much more, suitable for readers and various communicators such as journalists and bloggers.


Besides the AWI, also other partnering research institutes contributed to the outreach of the launch of the Year of Polar Prediction. For questions or ideas, contact Sina Loeschke from the Communications and Media Relations department of the Alfred Wegener Institute or the International Coordination Office.

20 June 2017: YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere meeting at NCAR

In conjunction with the 12th Workshop on Antarctic Meteorology and Climate (AMC workshop) and the 12th Session of the CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP), the second YOPP in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) meeting will be held in the week from 26 – 30 Jun 2017 at NCAR, Boulder, Colorado.

Objectives of the 2nd YOPP-SH planning meeting that will take place from Wednesday noon, June 28th, to Thursday noon, June 29th, are to elaborate national contributions to the YOPP Special Observing Period (SOP) in the austral summer period scheduled from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019. Confirmed and planned observations both at Antarctic stations and during various field campaigns, as well as modeling efforts such as the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System will be discussed during the meeting.

As a second key goal of YOPP-SH, Southern Ocean oceanographic observations during the Antarctic YOPP-SOP, as well as the Southern Ocean data that are to contribute to the YOPP data portal will be defined in a joint session with SORP representatives.

See the agenda for YOPP-SH here. For more information, please visit the AMC workshop website with agendas of all three meetings.

19 June 2017: YOPP Launch Event in Italy

The international Launch Event for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) took place on 15 Mai 2017. To connect national initiatives with YOPP, the Italian scientific community convened on 19 June at the CNR Headquarter in Rome, just before the YOPP planning meeting on the Southern Hemisphere (SH) took place in Boulder, USA.

The meeting titled "IL CONTRIBUTO ITALIANO ALL' YEAR OF POLAR PREDICTION Project (YOPP): una giornata di presentazione e discussione" aimed at a better coordination within Italy and with regard to the Polar Prediction Project and the International Coordination Office (ICO), i.e. by establishing a more focused, single entry-point communication with the ICO.

The participants of the meeting, more than 40 Italian scientists, agreed on further stimulating Italian contributions. As can be seen in the list of endorsed projects, many Italian partners are already engaged with YOPP and motivated to consider specific activities devoted to YOPP during the special observing periods (SOPs), and discuss how to better secure data and results of these activities, including the use of the GTS infrastructure. The Foreign Ministry and the National Meteo Service are supporting these goals.

14 June 2017: Report on 3rd PPP-SERA Meeting available Online

The 3rd meeting of the PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications subcommittee (PPP-SERA) was held in Fairbanks Alaska from April 5–9, 2017. The report is now available online.

 

PPP-SERA members convened for the third time to discuss various issues regarding YOPP planning aspects from a social point of view. During their Alaska meeting, focus was laid on jointly finalizing the document entitled "Navigating Weather, Water, Ice and Climate Information for Safe Polar Mobilities" which sets base for the scope of PPP-SERA work during the Year of Polar Prediction, bringing in a social science perspective with regards to user requirements of polar forecast products. This scoping document is currently in the publication process and will be announced officially via the polarprediction.net website. Further discussion at the annually PPP-SERA meeting included next steps of the subcommittee and research needs regarding the next steps within YOPP. 

 

Download the meeting report here.

13 June 2017: Polar Prediction School 2018 – First Call for Applications

The EU Horizon 2020-funded APPLICATE project, in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organisation’s Polar Prediction Project (PPP) in occasion of the Year of Polar Prediction, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and other partners are organising the second Polar Prediction School 2018 on weather and climate prediction in the polar regions from 17 - 27 April 2018 at Abisko Scientific Research Station in Sweden.

 

This school, for early career scientists, will include a combination of polar weather and climate theory lectures with exercises on modelling and field meteorology techniques as well as soft skill training. Each of these components forms a crucial pillar of the prediction problem, and the motivation for combining these is to provide participants with a complete overview of the components required to understand and predict polar weather.

 

The Polar Prediction School 2018 will be open to 30 early career researchers (focus on advanced graduate students, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers) from around the world. An international set of instructors will be teaching the sessions. As during the first Polar Prediction School in 2016, classes will be held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, in Sweden, where the instructional facilities are conveniently located in an environment well suited to Arctic observations.

 

More information and how to apply can be found on the Polar Prediction School 2018 website. Application deadline is 15 September 2017.

25 May 2017: Report from YOPP Open Session and 8th PPP Steering Group Meeting now online

The report of the YOPP Open Session and the 8th meeting of the PPP Steering Group is now available for download here. The meetings were kindly hosted by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP/NOAA) in College Park, Maryland, USA from February 27th to March 1st, 2017.

During the YOPP Open Session, which was held in the morning of February 27th 2017 (YOPP Open Session agenda) members of the PPP Steering Group and experts on polar prediction provided an overview about the current level of YOPP planning and encouraged discussion with the US community interested in YOPP. Following the Open Session, the WMO WWRP PPP Steering Group hold its 8th meeting until March 1st (see here for agenda). Presentations of the meeting are available for download.

24 May 2017: Start of two Arctic Amplification (AC)3 campaigns

Two campaigns of the German "Arctic Amplification" – or "(AC)3" –  research centre are starting this week. During the airborne ACLOUD campaign (ACLOUD stands for Arctic CLoud Observations Using airborne measurements during polar Day), physical processes in, above, and below Arctic clouds will be investigated in order to estimate the role of Arctic clouds for the amplified climate change in polar regions. Onboard RV Polarstern, scientist will investigate the Physical feedback of Arctic Polar Boundary Layer, Sea ice, Cloud And AerosoL during the ship-based PASCAL campaign.   

Coordinated by the University of Leipzig, the German Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (AC)3 also involves scientists from the Universities of Bremen and Cologne, from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, and from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig. Eighty research flight hours for each of the two research aircraft, Polar 5 and 6, operated by AWI, will be performed from May 22 to June 28 during the ACLOUD campaign. Airborne observations to measure properties of cloud and aerosol particles, trace gas concentration, the energy fluxes in the atmospheric column including radiative fluxes as well as fluxes of sensible and turbulent latent heat will be closely coordinated with surface-based observations at AWIPEV station (Ny Ålesund, Svalbard) and with surface based observations onboard RV Polarstern (PASCAL campaign) and from an ice camp around RV Polarstern that will be drifting in the sea ice north of Svalbard during the period of the aircraft campaign.

To follow the campaigns online, see here.

The artist Kerstin Heymach is accompanying the Longyearbyen campaign and will view the Arctic scientific work from a different perspective by producing drawings, pictures and documentation of the field work of scientists. See her blog and facebook page
A book with Kerstin Heymach's artwork will be produced following the campaign. For more information, please contact Annette Rinke (annette.rinke(at)awi.de)

15 May 2017: Launch of the Year of Polar Prediction

On May 15th 2017, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially launches the Year of Polar Prediction in Geneva, Switzerland. From mid-2017 to mid-2019, scientists and operational forecasting centers from various different countries will work together to observe, model, and improve forecasts of the Arctic and Antarctic weather and climate systems.

This two-year international effort, which aims to close gaps in polar forecasting capacity, will lead to better forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions to improve future environmental safety at both poles. Improved forecasts in polar regions are also expected to result in better weather prediction at lower latitudes where most people live. The Year of Polar Prediction has been initiated by WMO as a response to rapid polar climate change and related transformation of societal and economic activities at the poles.

View Polar Prediction Videos on our YOPP YouTube channel.

Find the complete media kit with detailed information on the Year of Polar Prediction here.

15 May 2017: Report on "Verification of Environmental Prediction in Polar Regions: Recommendations for the Year of Polar Prediction"

The report on "Verification of Environmental Prediction in Polar Regions: Recommendations for the Year of Polar Prediction", prepared by B. Casati, T. Haiden, B. Brown, P. Nurmi and J.-F. Lemieux, has been published by the World Meteorological Organization.

The mandate of the WWRP Joint Working Group in Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR) is to promote good verification practices and the development of new verification methods, to address the emerging needs of a variety of diverse user communities. As contribution to the PPP, the JWGFVR has prepared a document which outlines specific verification recommendation for YOPP.

The document describes both diagnostic methods for model developers, summary statistics for monitoring and comparing, and user-tailored meaningful verification (e.g. sea-ice edge distance for navigation safety). Challenges (e.g. the large observation uncertainties and sparseness) characterizing polar regions, and new avenues of research are also identified.

To find the report and more information, please visit the website of the YOPP Verification Task Team.

5 May 2017: Workshop on Prospective Airborne Activities in the Arctic

To bring together the Arctic airborne community during the Year of Polar Prediction and beyond, a workshop on "Airborne Activities in the Arctic: Science and Prospects" will be held on 5-6 October 2017 in Leipzig, Germany.

Currently, Arctic climate research is receiving more and more attention. There are numerous exciting and still open questions to be answered in order to understand the causes and consequences of the ongoing drastic changes of the Arctic climate system. As a consequence, a number of large Arctic field projects are being planned in the coming years (e.g., MOSAiC).

Airborne observations are an important part of these intended field measurements in the Arctic. There is thus the right time to bring together the airborne community to discuss coordinated airborne activities in the Arctic planned for the coming years during a workshop on "Airborne Activities in the Arctic: Science and Prospects", which will take place in Leipzig, Germany, on 5-6 October 2017.

The general objectives of the meeting are:
- To summarize the scientific aims and plans for Arctic airborne observations for the years to come, and
- To discuss possibilities to combine and coordinate the projects.

If you are interested to join this meeting, please send a note and comments by the end of May 2017 to Manfred Wendisch (m.wendisch@uni-leipzig.de) and Andreas Herber (Andreas.Herber@awi.de). The specific workshop agenda and information on the meeting place and available hotels will be distributed in early summer.

25 April 2017: 8th International Workshop on Sea Ice Modelling, Data Assimilation and Verification

A joint workshop on sea ice modelling, data assimilation and verification will be held from 1–3 November 2017 at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) in Bergen, Norway.

The workshop jointly organized by the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Polar Prediction Project (PPP), WWRP Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR) and GODAE Oceanview (GOV) builds on a series of previously successful workshops by the IICWG Data Assimilation Working Group to advance international capabilities for automated sea ice analyses and prediction on timescales from hours to season. For more information see full announcement.

Organizing Committee:
Leif Toudal Pedersen (eolab.dk, IICWG-DAWG, DTU, Laurent Bertino (NERSC), Gilles Garric (MERCATOR OCEAN, ICE-ARC), Frank Kauker (OASys, AWI, ICE-ARC) and Greg Smith (ECCC, PPP, GOV).

Webpage and registration:
events.nersc.no/8th-international-workshop-sea-ice-modelling-data-assimilation-and-verification