MOSAiC Final Implementation Workshop

When: Early year 2019 | Where: Postdam (Germany)
Contact: Annette Rinke


Polar Prediction School 2018

When: 17 - 27 April 2018 | Where: Abisko (Sweden)
Contact: Fiona Tummon

The Polar Prediction School was held from 17-27 April 2018 at the beautiful Abisko Scientific Research Station in northern Sweden. It brought together 29 students from nine different countries and at various career stages, from early PhD students through to post-docs. The programme for the school was designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the main aspects related to polar weather and climate prediction. It included theoretical lectures, practical exercises, meteorological fieldwork, and a dedicated science communication programme.

For more information please see the Polar Prediction School website


Polar Lows and Mesoscale Weather Extremes

When: 5 - 6 April 2018 | Where: Trier (Germany) | Contact: Prof. Dr. Günther Heinemann

The workshop attracted 30 scientists from China, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, UK, and USA to present most recent findings on polar low research. The workshop summarized our present understanding of polar lows and mesocyclones as well as mesoscale weather extremes in the Arctic and Antarctic. This includes e.g. mesoscale weather phenomena such as katabatic winds, tip jets, boundary layer fronts, and cold air outbreaks in polar regions. The workshop had the following main themes: Polar low studies using satellite data and in-situ data; climatological aspects of polar lows; polar lows in reanalyses and model simulations; environments for polar low genesis and operational aspects; polar mesoscale weather phenomena and air-sea-ocean interactions. The workshop was concluded by a round table discussion resulting in recommendations for future research and actions.

MOSAiC Implementation Workshop

When: 13-16 November 2017 | Where: St. Petersburg (Russia) | Contact: Thomas Spengler, Anja Sommerfeld

The 4-day MOSAiC workshop at Arctic and Antarctica Research Institute in St. Petersburg was the follow-up to the workshop in spring 2017 in Prague. Around 120 people participated in the workshop and made it a successful event with great progress of implementing MOSAiC.

During the first one and a half days, the workshop focused on overview presentations of the MOSAiC teams, cross-cutting teams and task groups, including several talks about the modelling hierarchy and modelling strategy. The coordinators of the teams presented the status of the implementation and organization of the measurements during the expedition, the scientific gaps, and the funding situation. The remaining time was spend on breakout sessions for each of the MOSAiC teams, the cross-cutting teams and the task groups. The results of the sessions were a clear understanding of the planned scientific work and how to implement and schedule the work. Additionally, the input for the modelling activity was discussed in each team to fulfill the requirements of the modelling community to achieve the overarching goal of improving sea ice forecasting, regional weather forecasting, and climate predictions.

For more information please see the MOSAiC website

Arctic/Midlatitude Weather and Climate Linkages

When: 12-13 September 2017 | Where: Helsinki (Finland) | Contact: James E. Overland

The workshop compared case studies of recent linkage events, focusing on large- and synoptic-scale circulation patterns. The two recent winters (2015-6 and 2016-7) had extreme warm Arctic temperatures, yet how they evolved on a month to month basis were different in both East Asia and eastern North America. An eastern shift in the longitudinal phasing of the long wave pattern was evident between years earlier in this decade. Activities include cases that represent strong and weak meridional flow (Eurasia), high amplitude flows (western N. America), the initiation and maintenance of high-latitude blocking episodes in key regions (Greenland, Siberia) and their teleconnections, planetary wave trains, and coupling with the stratosphere.

A key path forward is to improve mechanistic/dynamical understanding. Analyses are needed connecting extreme weather events with longer-term climate forcings. Multiple factors are involved that make it difficult to develop a whole picture; there are no single pathways.

The Second PACES Science Workshop

When: 27-29 June 2017 | Where: Victoria (Canada) | Contacts: Julia Schmale, Sandy Starkweather

At the 2nd PACES Open Science Workshop, leading investigators in the Earth-Arctic system gathered to discuss the latest issues regarding sources, processing, and impacts of trace gas and aerosol pollution in the Arctic. The workshop was focused on improving predictive capabilities of Arctic air pollution processes and the interaction between Arctic air pollution and Arctic societies through discussions and presentations. PACES aims to review existing knowledge and foster new research on the sources and fate of Arctic air pollution, its impacts on climate, health, and ecosystems, on the feedbacks between pollution and natural sources, on climate responses, and on societal perspectives, including sustainability, adaptation and economic feedbacks.

Key recommendations for improved understanding of pollution processes and impacts emerged from discussions at the workshop, including motivation for new modelling and field observations.. These include efforts to develop international collaborative experiments aimed at improving knowledge of processes controlling export of pollution from mid-latitudes to the Arctic, as well as experiments targeted at sampling sources and processing of pollution in an Arctic urban environment.

For more information please see the PACES website

Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda for Arctic Air Pollution (PACES)

When: 2 April 2017 | Where: Prague (Czech Republic) | Contacts: Julia Schmale, Sandy Starkweather

The Arctic is increasingly considered an Anthropocene climate frontier, as the consequences of global warming look set to first and foremost impact the circumpolar hemisphere. The region is expected to become increasingly important as climatic changes look set to spark industrial-scale resource extraction and increased transport and commodity shipping, in turn, spelling severe impacts for the regions ecological and cultural landscapes due to industrialisation and consequent increases in pollution emissions from local sources related to mining and shipping. In studying the developments that are happening right now, research exchange and collaboration is timely not only between academic disciplines, but also increasingly, with relevant local partners and society at large.

This workshop provided a forum for focused discussions on how to combine research methodologies from humanities, social and natural sciences to understand current and future air pollution in the Arctic with the aim of proposing mitigation options. The conversations built on ideas from two previous PACES meetings held in 2015 and the “Air pollution and Arctic Societies” workshop in Fairbanks during ASSW 2016. Participants designed a multi-scale framework in which research methodologies of drivers, impacts and related decision making of air pollution were identified at the local, regional and global level.

For more information please see the PACES website

MOSAiC (2-day workshop during ASSW 2017)

When: 4-5 April 2017 | Where: Prague (Czech Republic)

The MOSAiC project is an international Arctic research initiative that aims to improve understanding of the climate system in the Arctic through a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and sustained process. Primary goals of the initiative include enhanced process-level understanding of the coupled central Arctic climate system to improve numerical models for sea-ice forecasting, extended-range weather forecasting, climate projections, and climate change assessment. The fundamental design of MOSAiC is the year-round operation of an observatory onboard the RV Polarstern, drifting with the sea ice across the central Arctic. The MOSAiC workshop in April was the first strategic session concerning the expedition´s implementation.

As an IASC devised project, the MOSAiC workshop brought together 90 participants to explore the multidisciplinary research of the project through talks and breakout sessions. Strategically, the four breakout sessions focused on small scale processes, regional scale processes, green sea ice, and operational aspects of MOSAiC. The workshop highlighted the major scientific and logistic undertaking of MOSAiC and brought about productive discussions on the next steps for MOSAiC, including as the establishment of additional MOSAiC teams, capacity building, acquiring funding, how to involve stakeholders, and the next MOSAiC meetings.

For more information please see the following page.


Abisko Polar Prediction School 2016

When: 5-15 April 2016 | Where: Abisko (Sweden) | Contact: Jonathan Day

The polar regions are experiencing a rapid change that opens new opportunities for the business sector and at the same time increases the risks of environmental disasters and impacts the life conditions of local communities including indigenous peoples. Prediction of weather and climate will be the cornerstone of efficient environmental services systems that are urgently needed in the polar regions. Such regional prediction systems will be imbedded in the corresponding global systems. However, the complexity of the polar climate system is high and the observing systems there are difficult to set up and maintain. The challenge of developing an effective seamless polar-prediction across timescales from days to decades should therefore involve training and development of a new generation of polar prediction researchers.

This WWRP/WCRP/Bolin Centre School on Polar Prediction will provide training for 30 post graduate and early career post-doctoral polar scientists, focusing on topics such as: polar mesoscale atmospheric processes; sea ice prediction, near term ensemble prediction, and seasonal-to-decadal climate variability and prediction in the polar regions. The program will combine lectures on key areas relevant for polar prediction and a number of field observation and modelling exercises to foster an interactive learning environment.

The school is sponsored by PPP (WMO-WWRP), PCPI (WMO-WCRP), the Bolin Centre, IASC, and APECS.

Arctic Air Pollution Workshop

When: 14 March 2016 | Where: ASSW, Fairbanks, Alaska | Contact: Kathy Law

At ASSW 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska, the IASC and IGAC co-sponsored initiative “Air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies” brought together researchers active in the physical/chemical science of air pollution with those active in relevant social science topics (development, sustainability, risk, adaptation, policy, health and more) in order to explore common interests and begin to outline research objectives under PACES.
Presentations covering various perspectives and research methodologies from all represented sciences revealed that air pollution is a concern high on the priority lists of local communities. While the climate science community has been traditionally more concerned with long-term transport and background levels of pollutants, the intersection of these scales and perspectives has great potential.  For example, initial ideas on how to use community-based air pollution monitoring approaches together with systems analyses to improve the characterization of in-Arctic emission sources were discussed. At the same time it became evident that the evolution of local air pollution is intrinsically linked to socio-economic development, infrastructure investments, and has an effect on human well-being. To comprehensively understand the linkages and future development in a changing Arctic, social sciences approaches are needed to facilitate knowledge production together with the local communities. A follow-up workshop is planned for more in-depth discussions. The objective is to define cross-cutting research questions as well as priority study areas.

Workshop Report


MOSAiC – Building a Process-level Understanding of the New Arctic

When: 2014/2015 | Where: Various locations

For more information please see the following page.


Travel Support for the 2nd International Conference on "Polar Climate and Environmental Change in the Last Millennium"

When: 24-26 August 2015 I Where: Torun (Poland)

With the success of the 1st International Conference ‘Polar climate and environmental change in the last millennium’ was organized in Torun, Poland, from Feb 1-3, 2010, it was decided that this kind of conference should take place periodically, every 5 years. Thus, from Aug 24-26, 2015 the 2nd international ‘Polar climate’ conference was held in Torun, Poland.

Like the previous Conference, the main objective of the 2nd Conference was to summarize the state of the art of climate and environmental changes in the Polar Regions. Key-note speakers included 8 well-known specialists in fields of sea ice, glaciology, permafrost, climatology and  paleoclimatology, terrestrial and ocean ecosystems, climate modelling, and crowdsourcing methods (e.g. to present state of Old Weather project). All in all, the conference served to present scientific achievements and to identify gaps in the field of historical climatology of the Polar Regions based on early meteorological observations, history, dendroclimatology, paleolimnology, geophysics, geomorphology and other sources.

Rajmund Przybylak

Tomasz Strzyżewski


Lunar Photometry Workshop

When: 30 June - 2 July 2015 | Where: Valladolid (Spain)

Nighttime measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD) are needed to fill gaps in climatology and to improve understanding of processes that impact the Arctic surface radiation budget through direct and indirect aerosol effects. Currently, with the availability of high-precision exo-atmospheric lunar irradiance (EAI), lunar photometry is an emerging technology that can fill in gaps regarding Arctic AOD climatology. A lunar photometer network is being established. A program has been established in Barrow, Alaska (US) and more recently in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (Norway), with others planned for winter 2014/15 in Eureka, Nunavut (Canada) and at the Alomar Observatory (Norway).
The Lunar Photometry workshop was hosted by the GOA group of Valladolid University, Spain and brought together members of the lunar photometric community to further establish the network, develop calibration and data processing protocols and optimize the use of limited resources. The workshop deepened the scientific relevance of aerosol measurements in the Arctic throughout the annual cycle, identifying gaps in knowledge and observations in the Arctic, and needed improvements to lunar photometer prototypes and the analysis of data collected using these systems. 

Workshop Report

Arctic Climate Change and Mid-Latitude Weather Phenomena

When: 16-17 April 2015 | Where: Vienna (Austria)

In recent years, the issue of possible linkages between mid-latitude winter weather and Arctic sea ice reduction has gained prominence. Following a very successful workshop on this issue, and to continue the focused scientific debate, the AWG organizes and sponsors a session on this issue at the 2015 European Geosciences Union General Assembly. The session will be split into a poster and discussion session (April 16th) and an oral session (April 17th). The session welcomes contributions on Northern Hemispheric extreme weather events, Atmospheric circulation and Arctic climate change. Especially welcome are contributions that address the question of linkages between these.

Halldór Björnsson

Workshop on Dynamics of Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Interactions in High Latitudes

When: 23-27 March 2015 | Where: Rosendal (Norway)

Building on results from The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX), which is a World Weather Research Program (WWRP), and in an effort to contribute to the WWRP Polar Prediction Project, a workshop on the Dynamics of Atmosphere – Ice – Ocean Interactions in High Latitudes will be held in March 2015. The main objective of the workshop, which is organized by the University of Bergen, is to bring together international scientists to explore the connections between their areas of expertise, encompassing operational forecasting, observational and theoretical research, climate dynamics, predictability and the impact of severe weather events in the Polar Regions. A specific focus of the workshop will be on the processes occurring in the coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice system and state of the art modeling and understanding.

John Cassano


Arctic Air Pollution Workshop

When: 3-5 February 2015 | Where: Boulder, Colorado

Arctic warming is leading to new local sources of Arctic pollution with poorly quantified local emissions. The Arctic Air Pollutions workshop,reviewed the many results on this topic, building on past and ongoing activities to study the combined impacts of local and remote Arctic air pollutions and to improve chemical-aerosol models and impacts. The workshop was co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) core project on International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC).

Kathy Law

Workshop Summary