The WWRP Polar Prediction Project (PPP) will see core observations take place in high latitudes between mid 2017 and mid 2019 (October to March 2017/2018 and 2018/2019). As the idea of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is to better predict environmental changes taking place in the rapidly changing polar regions, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean play a crucial role. On 6 June 2016 a meeting was held at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA, to plan YOPP activities in the southern hemisphere (YOPP-SH1). Many of the projects endorsed by YOPP are located in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is vital to ensure effective communication continues between all players in the lead up to and throughout the project.
The goal of this meeting was to push forward the Southern Hemisphere portion of the YOPP initiative. David Bromwich, from the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center, opened the meeting. He also explained details about the development of the PPP subcommittee (available at http://polarmet.osu.edu/YOPP-SH/), and presented the US contributions to YOPP-SH.
Representatives from a range of National Antarctic Programmes and associated institutes also provided summaries of their preparations for the year of Polar Prediction:
Kirstin Werner, Thomas Jung, Helge Gössling, Stefanie Klebe, and Winfried Hoke, from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research presented an Overview of Ongoing and Planned Coordination Activities for the Year of Polar Prediction - An Update from the ICO. They introduced YOPP to the meeting participants as an intense major international research activity within the decade long WMO Polar Prediction Project (PPP). The main idea of the project is to create a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities.
Greg McFarquhar from the University of Illinois, USA presented an update on Planned Observational Campaigns over the Southern Oceans for Determining the Role of Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation in the Climate System: SOCRATES, MARCUS and MICRE. As the Southern Ocean is a cloudy place and Earth’s climate system is particularly sensitive there, impacts on energy budget, cloud feedbacks, teleconnections, and the stability of both the ice shelves and the ice sheet are major topics to be studied during YOPP.
Naohiko Hirasawa from the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research provided an overview on the Japanese plan for YOPP-SH which includes a long-term field experiment for detection and study of climate change in East Antarctica.
Sang-Jong Park from the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) presented the YOPP-SH Implementation Plan of KOPRI. He introduced KOPRI as a Korean research center with a strong focus on modeling sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica that also carries out work in the mid-latitudes. Cruises, additional radiosondes, and new modeling was discussed.
Steve Colwell from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) gave an overview on The meteorological capabilities of the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica and YOPP contributions, and presented operations at the British Halley and Rothera research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. Additional radiososonde launches from these two sites are planned.
Gert König-Langlo from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany then provided details on German Contributions to YOPP-SH. Observations from the research icebreaker RV Polarstern typically involve tracks around Antarctica/Weddell Sea with envisaged radiosonde launches four times per day during the YOPP Special Observing Periods, while additional observations at the Neumayer station are restricted to the austral summer season.
Scott Carpentier from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology gave a presentation on the Australian Considerations for the Year of Polar Prediction 2017-2018. He presented operations at the Antarctic stations Mawson, Davis, Casey, and Macquarie Island that are run for year-round surface and upper air observations; additional radiosondes from all stations are planned.
Vito Vitale from the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate/National Research Council of Italy (ISAC-CNR)presentedItalian contributions to YOPP-SH. He summarized a large number of proposed Italian research projects for the YOPP time period.
Flavio Justino from the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil concluded the morning session with The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) - the Southern Hemisphere “Brazilian Perspective“. Annual navy cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula and an automated observational site in West Antarctica were highlighted.
The meeting concluded with discussion of observations, data, and YOPP endorsements. YOPP is interested in short- and long-term projects, and there is no deadline for requests on YOPP endorsement. Anyone interested in finding out more about the project is encouraged to visit the website http://www.polarprediction.net/yopp.html and to contact the organisers with any further questions. A further meeting is planned for June 2017.