PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (SERA)

The PPP Societal and Economic Research and Applications (SERA) subcommittee addresses the social-science and economics aspects of the Polar Prediction Project. Their research related to the needs for and the use of environmental information also includes decision-making processes by a diverse range of actors in polar regions and providers of environmental information. Furthermore, PPP-SERA team members and contributors intend to assess the communication between providers and users of polar weather and ice information. Hereby, the PPP-SERA subcommittee complements the aforementioned observation and modelling efforts of YOPP and aims at improving our understanding of user and provider needs, perspectives, values and behaviour.

PPP-SERA Activities

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.

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)

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 part of the Working Group I (Charter 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.

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.

14 September 2017: User Engagement sessions 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 Knol (maaike.knol@uit.no) can be contacted.

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.

For further news please check on the News section.

PPP-SERA Mailing List

To facilitate communication within the PPP-SEAR community, a mailing list has been set up. News that are relevant to the PPP-SERA community will be spread via ppp-sera-community@lists.swrepo1.awi.de. To subscribe/unsubscribe, please send an e-mail to