Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research

CIFAR Coordinates Workshop on NOAA Arctic Research Priorities

A Workshop on Arctic Priorities, convened by Chet Koblinsky and John Calder of NOAA on 2-3 February 2005 in Silver Spring, was coordinated by CIFAR. The workshop served to focus input to NOAA's planning process for FY2008-2012, particularly for the International Polar Year and the upcoming SEARCH (Study of Environmental Arctic Change). Additional objectives were to identify priorities for NOAA's response to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and for NOAA's provision climate services in Alaska and the Arctic. Approximately 30 scientists, primarily from NOAA and the Joint Institutes, participated in the workshop. The workshop report was provided to NOAA in March.

The workshop's recommendations were intended to foster the environmental and economic mission of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research by identifying priorities for Arctic research, product development, and the provision of scientific understanding and leadership in the Arctic. Among the recommendations are the establishment of several intensive atmospheric observatories around the periphery of the Arctic; a network of ice-based and moored observing sites to monitor and permit attribution of changes in the Arctic Ocean and its ice cover; extension of the operational and retrospective analyses of snow cover to Alaska and the Arctic; an Arctic System Reanalysis in coordination with the next global reanalysis; regional decision support for Alaska; and an assessment of the State of the Arctic on a regular basis. An additional priority, measurements of Arctic aerosols and their roles in cloud and radiative processes, emerged from the presentation of the workshop report to the NOAA Climate Working Group in March.

Copies of the Workshop Report can be obtained from CIFAR or from the NOAA Climate Program.