Edited by the International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction, the PolarPredictNews keep you updated with recent, ongoing and upcoming activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. With this newsletter, we are aiming to build a common platform to exchange information, updates, and developments in polar prediction. Therefore, we are looking forward to your active contributions sharing your topics relevant to the community. Please send any information including announcements you would like to distribute via our newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2021: PolarPredictNews #18
In the 18th issue of PolarPredictNews, Amy MacFarlane presents her second collection of water colour drawings from MOSAiC leg 4, which ended about a year ago (p. 4). PolarPredictNews’ top story is about the various ways Zack Labe visualizes Arctic climate data to ensure environmental changes are easy to grasp (p. 5).
In PolarPredictNews #18, Marvin Kähnert introduces a number of tools that the YOPP-endorsed Alertness project uses to enhance Arctic numerical weather prediction. Our former intern, Nikoleta Petridi, delves into current trends in Alaska’s weather and climate in an interview with Rick Thoman, a weather expert who for many years has been seeking dialogue with Alaskan communities. Lorenzo Zampieri asks whether the increasing complexity of sea-ice models is useful and suggests a number of strategies for dealing with it. The UN Ocean Decade was launched earlier this year. Daniel Butkaitis, from the YOPP ICO, looks how the polar oceans fit into that program. Not long after RV Polarstern returned from the MOSAiC drift last fall, it sailed south in order to resupply Germany’s Neumayer III station and carried out some research on the way. Stefanie Arndt was on board, and she shares her personal impressions with us in the form of a diary. Also, we took the opportunity to meet with and interview APPLICATE PI Thomas Jung and project manager Luisa Cristini to learn about the successes and outcomes of the recently ended, YOPP-endorsed, eight-million-Euro project.
Read about these and more topics in PolarPredictNews#18 (for print/for screen).
February/March 2021: PolarPredictNews #17
The first 2021 issue of PolarPredictNews, the official newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now available with lots of news and updates from and for the polar prediction community. For the Art+Science part of the newsletter, we worked with climate scientist Thomas Rackow to present his the melting sea-ice stripes, inspired by Ed Hawkins’ concept of warming stripes.
Amongst others, find in the new issue of PolarPredictNews more about following topics:
Interview with Matthew Shupe, News about YOPPSiteMIP and the Merged Observing Data Files
We talked with MOSAiC Co-Leader Matt Shupe about the origins of the expedition, its challenging aspects, the mysteries whose answers may lie in the data and how to measure clouds during the polar night (p.9). Find out about the YOPPSiteMIP project (p.14), and for those who can’t wait to work with the unique datasets gathered during MOSAiC, there is also good news: The first merged-observatory data files (MODFs) are now available for use, and can be downloaded at the YOPP Data Portal (p.20).
Extreme Weather and the Polar Vortex
The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortex, two distinct features of the atmospheric circulation, are an important driver of large-scale weather patterns in mid-latitudes. Recent extreme severe winter weather events, like storm Filomena in Spain (see cover picture) can be favored by certain conditions of these polar vortices. Commented by PPP Steering Group member Thomas Jung and Doug Smith from the UK Met Office, current knowledge about the different coupling mechanisms between the polar vortices and mid-latitudes is collected in this overview article (p.5).
Artificial Intelligence in Polar Prediction
Machine learning and AI in particular are some of the hot topics, as many industries and public institutions can benefit from their usage already in the near future. This does also apply for weather and sea-ice forecasting in the polar regions. In this article, recent developments and improvements in polar prediction and weather forecasting in the Arctic by means of AI applications are highlighted (p.16).
Autumn 2020: PolarPredictNews #16
A new issue of PolarPredictNews, the official newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now available with news for and from the polar prediction community. As our Art+Science project resumes, PolarPredictNews #16 features beautiful 'Pieceful Pictures of the Day' during MOSAiC Leg 2, drawn by PPP Steering Group member Taneil Uttal.
MOSAiC Field Campaign Successfully Finished
In the autumn issue of PolarPredictNews, find out more about the MOSAiC flight campaigns (AC)3 and IceBird over the Arctic (p. 5). Also, the YOPP Coordination Office attended the return of RV Polarstern to Bremerhaven right on the spot (p. 8). And, there is still a lot more to talk about the MOSAiC expedition: In the sixth episode of The IcePod podcast, NOAA meteorologist and PPP Steering Group member Taneil Uttal shares her impressions from Leg 2 of the MOSAiC expedition. Plus: the first live episode of The IcePod went online, with Australian weather observer and Ph.D. candidate Vicki Heinrich (p. 22).
The Arctic Sea Ice in 2020
This year’s Arctic sea-ice minimum extent was at its second lowest since the beginning of the satellite recordings. The recent discoveries and investigations made in the Arctic regarding the current state of Arctic sea-ice predictions and consequences for society are revisited and commented by sea-ice expert Helge Goessling from the Alfred Wegener Institute (p. 9).
with the PPP Community
In the new contribution to Polar Prediction Matters, the dialogue platform for users and providers of polar forecasts, Antarctic forecaster Graham Oakley provides insights into his experience in weather forecasting (p. 23). For the YOPP-endorsed! interview, we spoke with project PI Gijs de Boer about the YOPP-endorsed project POPEYE that took place during the Arctic summer YOPP Special Observing Period to study the atmosphere over Alaska p. 34).
News from the YOPP International Coordination Office
The first in a series of video tutorials on how to use the YOPP Data Portal is now available on YouTube (p. 21). Acknowledgement of YOPP is continued to be highly appreciated in order to help determining the success of PPP and YOPP. To inform the wider community, authors of YOPP-related papers are invited to send their papers to the YOPP Coordination Office. Chief of the WWRP Paolo Puti was recently appointed as Chief Scientist with EUMETSAT. The PPP Steering Group and the YOPP Coordination Office are grateful for Paolo's continuous support of the PPP/YOPP effort and wish him the very best for his future.
July 2020: PolarPredictNews #15
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!
April 2020: PolarPredictNews #14
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).
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 our 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: download for screen or for print
September 2019: PolarPredictNews #12
The September issue 2019 of PolarPredictNews, the newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now ready for download.
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: download for screen and print.
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 seminars 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.
March 2019: PolarPredictNews #10
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)
December 2018: PolarPredictNews #09
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.
September 2018: PolarPredictNews #08
The #ArcticOcean2018 expedition and thus 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 new 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 these additional 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.
July 2018: PolarPredictNews #07
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.
April 2018: PolarPredictNews #06
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.
Enjoy reading on a scenic perspective about the Arctic Frontiers Science Conference in Tromsø where YOPP together with other projects had organized a topic “The New Arctic in a Global Context” earlier this year. Also, we are happy to announce progress when it comes to gender balance within YOPP: read about a statement on Gender Equality for YOPP that had just been released on the website.
Special thanks goes out to all authors who provided fabulous contributions to this new PolarPredictNews issue.
January 2018: PolarPredictNews #05
How good is environmental prediction in the polar regions? Are there specific weather phenomena which are not yet well represented by numerical models? In this issue, our PPP Steering Group members Barbara Casati and Gunilla Svensson present on their plans to coordinate process-based evaluations using high-frequency multi-variate observations at polar so-called YOPP Supersites to answer these and other questions.
Further in this issue, read about an updated version of the ‘Sea Ice Information Services in the World’ which provides information on best practices of currently available sea-ice services, and about the World Data Center PANGAEA serving as a YOPP Data Hub.
We like to invite you to learn about two community efforts contributing to YOPP which you can join: the Sea Ice Prediction Network South (SIPN South) has been initiated to assess the ability to forecast sea ice around Antarctica in summer; and the Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx) collects and analyzes Arctic sea ice drift forecasts at lead times from days to a year.
November 2017: PolarPredictNews #04
In the fourth issue of the PolarPredictNews, read about the first YOPP Online Conference which has been well attended and allowed colleagues to get in touch with planned and ongoing activities during YOPP. Zoom into the new YOPP Observations Layer – a great overview of what actually happens during YOPP – to explore extra routine observations starting already in less than three months with the launch of the first YOPP Special Observing Period on February 1st, 2018. Thanks to the many contributing guest authors, read about a medical evacuation from South Orkney Islands and enjoy the story on the Arctic Circle meeting that recently took place in Reykjavik. Find out how the devastating hurricane Irma even may affect the weather north of Alaska, and learn about the upcoming campaign of the YOPP-endorsed project CAALC to better understand atmospheric characteristics over Antarctica.
August 2017: PolarPredictNews #03
Read in the third issue of the PolarPredictNews about the YOPP Launch that took place in May at WMO headquarters. By the way: Did you know there has been an Italian launch of the Year of Polar Prediction?
Get an update on activities that will take place during the YOPP Special Observing Periods (SOPs), find out how you can apply for the second Polar Prediction School scheduled for April 2018, and don't forget to check out the new YOPP Data Portal. And wait... have you already watched the Polar Prediction video animation?
December 2016: PolarPredictNews #02
Read in the second issue of the PolarPredictNews about the YOPP Task Teams that have been recently formed in order to advance preparations for the Year of Polar Prediction. Find out how you can get involved with the Year of Polar Prediction and make sure to save the dates of the Special Observing Periods (SOPs) that have just been finalized. The SOPs will be carried out to enhance routine observations for several weeks during the Year of Polar Prediction in the attempt to close the gaps in polar observing systems.
Amongst others, learn more about a recently completed international airborne experimental campaign which involved four research aircraft and 584 additional radiosondes to examine the jet stream and its role over Europe and the North Atlantic, and meet with the leader of the YOPP Task Team on Airborne Platforms, Manfred Wendisch, who coordinates a German Transregional Collaborative Research Centre to quantify the contribution of different atmospheric processes causing Arctic Amplification.
October 2016: PolarPredictNews #01
In this first issue of the PolarPredictNews, learn more about a flying laboratory and new colleagues joining the Polar Prediction Steering Group. Read about the preparation of the Year of Polar Prediction in Columbus, Ohio and Reading, UK, and meet with Dave Bromwich chatting about his YOPP-endorsed project in West Antarctica.