Arctic Council Observer

Arctic Council Observer

The Arctic is part of the focus of several of WMO activities and undertakings, thus WMO gained Observer status to the Arctic Council in 2017. Many of the WMO Arctic Science initiatives are relevant to the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial

 

Group horizontal tab

Year of the Polar Prediction (YOPP)

The Polar Prediction Project (PPP) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) aims to advance the science in numerical models, data acquisition and assimilation, ensemble forecast methods, verification, and the production of prediction products – all with a polar emphasis. Observations are a key element in this endeavor and the PPP is launching a modelling and field campaign (mid‐2017 to mid‐2019) assist planning an Arctic observational network for improving predictive capabilities. The WMO World Weather Research Programme focuses on high-impact weather research and related operational contributions regarding predictability on weekly, monthly and longer time-scales; seamless prediction from minutes to months; optimal use of local and global observing capabilities and the effective utilization of massively-parallel supercomputers. Read more...

Polar Challenge

The cryosphere is a major indicator of global climate change and plays a fundamental role in the climate system. Despite advances in numerical modelling, the reliability of long-term climate change predictions in the Arctic and Antarctic are severely limited by the lack of systematic in situ observations of and beneath the sea ice. For this reason, the WCRP and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation are sponsoring a Polar Challenge that will reward the first team to complete a 2 000 km mission with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle under the Arctic or Antarctic sea ice. Bonus awards will go to the team that has taken regular measurements of sea ice thickness and to those who successfully transmit their under-ice position and environmental data to operational networks. Read more...

Global Cryosphere Watch

Global Cryosphere WatchThe Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) is an international mechanism for supporting all key cryospheric in-situ and remote sensing observations. To meet the needs of WMO Members and partners in delivering services to users, the media, public, decision and policy makers, GCW provides authoritative, clear, and useable data, information, and analyses on the past, current and future state of the cryosphere. GCW includes observation, monitoring, assessment, product development, prediction, and research. It provides the framework for reliable, comprehensive, sustained observing of the cryosphere through a coordinated and integrated approach on national to global scales to deliver quality-assured global and regional products and services. GCW organizes analyses and assessments of the cryosphere to support science, decision-making and environmental policy. Read more...

Maritime safety

Maritime SafetyClimate change and accelerating sea‐ice melt in polar regions are opening up new polar shipping routes and increasing summer availability to traditionally ice‐locked areas. Due to challenges of weather, communications and positioning (e.g. poor satellite coverage), the Arctic may become one of the highest risk areas in the world for safety of life and property at sea. Reliable marine weather forecasts and knowledge of state of the sea and sea‐ice are crucial for safe navigation and planning voyages in Arctic waters, and specialist skills in ice navigation are needed to support safe passage of ships in polar waters. In cooperation with the International Maritime Organization, WMO supports the UN International Convention for Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) through the provision of maritime safety information, including in the Arctic. In order to improve such services WMO is promoting the collection under the Polar Code of cryosphere and weather observations from ships sailing in polar regions. Read more...