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Towards structured coordination of sustained observations of Arctic change: An update from the Arctic Observing Summit 2018
  • +12
  • Hajo Eicken,
  • Sandra Starkweather,
  • Hank Loescher,
  • Roberta Pirazzini,
  • Tetsuo Sueyoshi,
  • Alice Bradley,
  • Tomoko Koyama,
  • Claire Eaton,
  • Yuji Kodama,
  • Jacob Sobin,
  • Sebastien de Halleux,
  • Carsten Frank,
  • Kang Shichang,
  • Sung-Ho Kang,
  • Melissa Chierici
Hajo Eicken
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Sandra Starkweather
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
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Hank Loescher
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Roberta Pirazzini
Finnish Meteorological Institute
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Tetsuo Sueyoshi
NIPR National Institute of Polar Research
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Alice Bradley
Univ of Colorado
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Tomoko Koyama
National Snow and Ice Data Center
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Claire Eaton
University of New Hampshire Main Campus
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Yuji Kodama
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Jacob Sobin
Kongsberg Underwater Technology Inc.
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Sebastien de Halleux
Saildrone Inc
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Carsten Frank
Kongsberg Maritime AS
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Kang Shichang
Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Cryospheric Sciences
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Sung-Ho Kang
KOPRI Korea Polar Research Institute
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Melissa Chierici
Institute of Marine Research
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Understanding, predicting, and responding to a rapidly changing Arctic requires sustained observations that capture variability and transformative change of the Arctic systems with all its major components. A key challenge for researchers, Arctic communities, and others tasked with effective responses to such change is to achieve structured coordination of numerous individual observing activities and networks. These have different regional and thematic foci. Many are driven from the bottom-up by research interests, while others are mission-oriented operational networks. The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is an effort that seeks to help coordinate such disparate activities and support efforts such as the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative. We report on progress as part of an AOS 2018 working group focused on implementation and optimization of sustained observations. Drawing on the Framework on Ocean Observations, our group identified effective approaches and barriers to integration of different observation requirements and activities/platforms into a coherent observing framework. Case studies for benthic communities, sea ice prediction, and permafrost highlighted the importance of allowing for independently driven activities to coalesce into a uniform framework. This in turn requires clearly defined requirements that ideally serve multiple societal benefits. Such clear definitions also aid private-public partnerships and the development of new observing system business models. Prerequisite to better coordination is a comprehensive, international assessment that describes the current set of systems, community-based networks, sensors, networks, and surveys that are used to observe the Arctic today. Pieces of such an endeavor are starting to emerge, and SAON may serve as a home for integrating and building upon these pieces. Essential to this goal is the development of a knowledge map that collates and connects observing resources to societal benefits, helps identify and prioritize essential variables, data management needs, and critical products and services. The AOS 2018 calls for the launch of an optimization and implementation team of experts that would conduct such an effort under the auspices of SAON. We explore different elements of such a team’s portfolio of tasks.