OCEANOGRAPHY / SEA-ICE
Chair: Alice Bradley
Brandon Ray, University of Washington, United States
Abstract: With the decline in summer Arctic sea ice extent, there has been increased activity in the maritime Arctic, ranging from tourism and shipping to resource extraction. Much of the planning for these activities is predicated on potential ice conditions months from when decisions need to be made and executed. Thus, there is a growing societal need for improved seasonal sea ice forecasting.
Furthermore, sea ice conditions may impact weather outside of the Arctic; thus, enhanced predictability can improve weather and climate forecasting. However, previous studies have shown limited success at producing skillful forecasts beyond two to three months. Another recent study has claimed success in using spring melt pond fraction as an effective predictor of September minimum extent. Here, we use the Community Earth System Model’s Large Ensemble to examine seasonal sea ice predictability. Using the large ensemble allows us to robustly assess forecast skill in light of internal variability of the climate system. Most of the variables individually perform poorer than a persistence forecast until the latter half of the 21st century, when snow and ice thickness become more effective predictors. We also test the hypothesis that spring melt pond area is a robust predictor of September sea ice minimum extent in the Arctic. While melt ponds are not the most effective predictors of September sea ice extent (independently of the model’s mean state), they do provide improved skill of regional sea ice forecasts. Maximum covariance analysis provides an effective tool for regional statistical forecasting, and can be used with publically available datasets, allowing anyone to develop and analyze their own forecast – even those without access to global climate models.
ATMOSPHERIC / CLIMATOLOGY
20:15 - 20:30 GMT: Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice
Kristina Pistone, Ian Eisenman, V. Ramanathan, NASA Ames Research Center (previously: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, coauthors at SIO), United States
Abstract: The decline of Arctic sea ice has been documented in over 30 y of satellite passive microwave observations. The resulting darkening of the Arctic and its amplification of global warming was hypothesized almost 50 y ago but has yet to be verified with direct observations. This study uses satellite radiation budget measurements along with satellite microwave sea ice data to document the Arctic-wide decrease in planetary albedo and its amplifying effect on the warming. The analysis reveals a striking relationship between planetary albedo and sea ice cover, quantities inferred from two independent satellite instruments. We find that the Arctic planetary albedo has decreased from 0.52 to 0.48 between 1979 and 2011, corresponding to an additional 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of solar energy input into the Arctic Ocean region since 1979. Averaged over the globe, this albedo decrease corresponds to a forcing that is 25% as large as that due to the change in CO2 during this period, considerably larger than expectations from models and other less direct recent estimates. Changes in cloudiness appear to play a negligible role in observed Arctic darkening, thus reducing the possibility of Arctic cloud albedo feedbacks mitigating future Arctic warming.
CULTURAL / HISTORICAL / POLICY / EDUCATION
Anne Garland (ARIES), Katya Konar (UA Natural Hazards Network), Hina Kilioni (NSB Disaster Coordinator) and Liane Benoit (CA disaster research and policy with Northern Territories)
Abstract: The Arctic Risk Management Network (ARMNet) was conceived as a trans-disciplinary hub to encourage and facilitate greater cooperation, communication and exchange among American and Canadian academics and practitioners actively engaged in the research, management and mitigation of risks, emergencies and disasters in the Arctic regions. Its aim is to assist regional decision-makers through the sharing of applied research and best practices and to support greater inter-operability and bilateral collaboration through improved networking, joint exercises, workshops, teleconferences, radio programs, and virtual communications (eg. webinars). Most importantly, ARMNet is a clearinghouse for all information related to the management of the frequent hazards of Arctic climate and geography in North America, including new and emerging challenges arising from climate change, increased maritime polar traffic and expanding economic development in the region.
ARMNet is an outcome of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) for Long Term Observations, Governance, and Management Discussions, www.arcus.org/search-program. The AON goals continue with CRIOS (www.ariesnonprofit.com/ARIESprojects.php) and coastal erosion research (www.ariesnonprofit.com/webinarCoastalErosion.php) led by the North Slope Borough Risk Management Office with assistance from ARIES (Applied Research in Environmental Sciences Nonprofit, Inc.).
The constituency for ARMNet will include all northern academics and researchers, Arctic-based corporations, First Responders (FRs), Emergency Management Offices (EMOs) and Risk Management Offices (RMOs), military, Coast Guard, northern police forces, Search and Rescue (SAR) associations, boroughs, territories and communities throughout the Arctic. This presentation will be of interest to all those engaged in Arctic affairs, describe the genesis of ARMNet and present the results of stakeholder meetings and webinars designed to guide the next stages of the Project. While proposals and partnerships are developed, the team is seeking cost share and leveraged funding to provide preferred deliverables of the EMO/SAR to improve capabilities asap.
20:45 - 21:00 GMT: 3D Technology in Heritage Preservation: Connecting Arctic Collections and Origin Communities
Medeia Csoba DeHass and Alexandra Taitt, University of Alaska Anchorage, United States
Abstract: In this talk we are focusing on the role 3D modeling by SFM (structure from motion) plays in connecting institutional collections with origin communities in a virtual space. We are looking at virtual repatriation as a complementary process to physical repatriation that can shape long-term outcomes in terms of collaboration with communities while also being shaped by ongoing projects. We will highlight challenges that are specific to working with Arctic communities, but can be successfully resolved with the use of 3D modeling. Finally, we will discuss the potential this process holds for assisting local community members in fulfilling their own visions of heritage preservation and creating their own online representation through sustainable projects.
21:00 - 21:15 GMT: Epistemological Intersections: Building (research) relationships with Indigenous people
Julie Bull, University of Toronto, Canada
Abstract: Indigenous people are mobilizing to take greater control and governance over the research being conduced with their people and on their lands. Within this context, it is critically important for researchers to understand how to engage Indigenous people in the research process and how to meaningful build research relationships in a co-learning model with shared benefits. In Canada, there are national policies and many regional and local guidance documents that tell researchers what they have to do. We are only now learning how to actually do it in practice. As an Indigenous scholar, I have been actively involved in the movement in Canada for more than 12 years in both academic and grassroots initiatives that aim to understand the intersection of different epistemologies and ontologies and the movement to decolonize research by Indigenizing methods and ethics. Canada is an international leader in research ethics for research involving Indigenous people and other countries are looking here for guidance on how to meaningfully (and sustainably) engage Indigenous people in mutually beneficial ways.
In this presentation, I will draw on western scientific and Indigenous scientific knowledge (coined ‘Two-Eyed Seeing), as well as research partnerships with more than a dozen Indigenous communities in Canada (focusing specifically on those in Arctic regions), to give early career scientists some practical suggestions of how to build research relationships with Indigenous people.
Chair: Alice Bradley