Session 6. Advanced prediction capabilities for the Arctic and beyond

Session description:

Rapid climate and environmental changes, and an increasing human presence in the Arctic due to socio-economic opportunities, have all triggered an immediate need for both basic and applied research advances to improve prediction capabilities in the Arctic and beyond. Triggered by increased accessibility due to recent sea-ice retreat, activities related to exploration, tourism, transportation and scientific research are attracting economic investments. A research driven co-production of weather, climate and sea-ice information services, from daily to sub-seasonal to decadal time scales, is crucial for economic, societal and environmental sustainable growth.

Arctic weather and environmental conditions can be a risk to Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the Arctic, as well as high-latitude activities and infrastructure such as shipping, fishery, natural resources, tourism, land transport and aviation. However, the Arctic has unique prediction challenges: more and better use of observation systems of the atmosphere, sea ice and ocean (e.g. improve the use of satellite data over sea ice and snow and in cloudy conditions); model uncertainty due to physics parameterisations and limitations in resolution; the complex interplay in the sea-ice characteristics; the turbulent upper ocean; specific high-impact weather situations like polar lows; and so on. There is also evidence that weather and climate of the mid-latitudes are affected by what happens in the Arctic. Advanced weather and climate models are needed to understand and predict the linkages between the Arctic and the global climate system.

The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), established by the World Meteorological Organisation, coordinates activities for initiating and promoting collaboration among international institutes, operational forecasting centers, and stakeholders in an effort to advance predictive skill in Polar Regions and beyond. During the YOPP Core Phase period (mid-2017 to mid-2019), but also during the final YOPP Consolidation Phase intensive observing, modelling, prediction, verification, user-engagement and education activities are being coordinated, and a large number of projects, programs and initiatives are contributing to reach the aims of YOPP.

This session – Advanced Prediction Capabilities for the Arctic Region and Beyond – capitalizes on and consolidates recent scientific accomplishments for advanced climate, weather and sea-ice Arctic forecast information, tailored to key social, environmental and economic needs. We welcome 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.

We invite submissions addressing the above-mentioned issues, and in particular topics such as:

  • use of existing and new observation systems, such as in (coupled) data assimilation and observation network design;
  • exploitation of satellite data such as in observational data usage for process studies, as a forecast verification data source and long-term environmental monitoring;
  • verification of Arctic weather and environmental predictions from hours to seasons;
  • the predictability of the atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean system;
  • advancements in understanding key Arctic processes and phenomena, such as the linkages between the Arctic and lower latitudes, sea-ice atmosphere interactions, or boundary layer processes;
  • improved model representation of key processes: development, improvement and implementation of high-resolution Arctic numerical weather prediction models and their coupling to other compartments of the Earth system;
  • transfer improved Arctic forecasting skill into weather, climate and sea-ice information services; and
  • future major international (multi-disciplinary) science programs.


Science committee:

  • Jørn Kristiansen, MET Norway (co-lead)
  • Thomas Jung, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany (co-lead)
  • Jon Børre Ørbæk, Research Council of Norway
  • Paolo Ruti, EUMETSAT
  • Steffen Olsen, Danish Meteorological Institute
  • Gabrielle Gascon, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Canada
  • Kirstin Werner, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany (secretary)
Alexey Pavlov Photo: Lars Olav Sparboe

Alexey Pavlov

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