The ACSNet, established in June 2011, aims through the coordination and networking of existing or emerging fieldwork to implement an intensive cross-disciplinary study of the role of the polar seas in climate. In particular special reference is made to the Western Arctic as a site of demonstrable global importance and to the research questions identified as of key importance by the 2011 iAOOS plan of the IASC Marine Working Group.
The essential aim of ACSNet is to devise a common space-time framework for individual research projects arguing for the combining of disparate efforts to form an intensive, international and multidisciplinary research effort initially with its focus on the Greater Canada Basin and its marginal ice zone, later on a pan-Arctic scale. If this is effective, the combined effect could approach the intensity of the IPY itself in these sea areas. It will be of mutual benefit by adding a worthwhile depth and context to the original programs while generating the intensity and variety of coverage needed to understand the complex workings of the ocean-cryosphere-atmosphere system and its role in climate.