The Antarctic Sea ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) working group held a meeting together with the Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (ASIWG) in Hobart, Australia at the end of the IGS conference in March 2014. The meeting’s aim was two-fold one, to bring together the two groups focused on sea ice processes to coordinate ideas and activities, and two, to discuss ASPeCt only plans. The morning session was devoted to discussion of issues of concern to both groups. First, there was extended discussion of standardizing observations such as ice cores with the aim of forming unified approaches for sea ice observations. Sea ice parameters that are currently rarely observed (e.g. ice strength) were identified. The status of the Arctic IceWatch standardization which used ASPeCt protocols as a template initially was discussed, and the need for proper documentation of as well as uses for the resulting archive were noted, including how to incorporate the observed data into climate models. Other topics discussed were the development of an on demand data service for high spatial resolution data (sea ice cyberinfrastructure), integration of forecast models and data, and synchronization with the International Ice Chart Working Group (IICWG). The morning session ended with an extended discussion on ways in which Arctic and Antarctic linkages could be strengthened.
The afternoon session focused on ASPeCt only issues and began with an update on recent and upcoming field plans. This was followed by a review of SOOS efforts and a discussion of ASPeCt input to SOOS initiatives via sustained observations. Regional initiatives associated with SOOS in Prydz Bay and Amundsen and Weddell seas were discussed. Software improvements to ASPeCt observations and the use of digital photos and other automated observations from vessels to supplement visual observations were proposed. Sea ice questions for the SCAR Horizon Plan were reviewed and a broad consensus on the important questions was achieved at a later online discussion. The ASPeCt Science Plan was outlined, and this, as well as the sea ice review paper, are expected to be completed in the coming months. A more detailed report will be available from the ASPeCt and CliC websites by the end of June 2014.
For more information please contact Marilyn Raphael.
Raphael at geog dot ucla dot edu