making accurate forecasts for ice, weather, and sea conditions accessible to all Arctic residents and organizations.
Several organizations have focused their efforts on marine operations in the Arctic. An Arctic Roadmap report (US Navy, 2009) from the US Navy Task Force Climate Change outlined a 5-year plan for Navy operations and research in the Arctic. The report recommended the identification of a high-confidence timeline for increased access to the Arctic. It also recommended that the potential for developing high-resolution coupled, air-ocean-ice, prediction capability for the Arctic region be evaluated.
The Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report (Arctic Council, 2009) focused on current and future marine activity in the Arctic Ocean. The report called for research to improve regional models for increased understanding and enhanced forecasting of regional Arctic sea ice variability. Also noted is the need for comprehensive analyses of current and future global climate model simulations of Arctic sea ice extent to quantitatively assess the range of plausibility of ice-free and partially ice-covered conditions. The report also noted the importance of continued research on Arctic sea ice thickness atmosphere ocean ice forecasting. The Assessment also noted the importance of enhanced ice forecasting and prediction to improving Arctic marine safety and environmental protection (Arctic Council, 2009).
Several reports discuss the need for improved communications and increased stakeholder-involvement. A 2010 workshop by the SEARCH “Understanding Arctic Change Task Force” (ARCUS, 2010) concluded that there must be a clear understanding in the scientific community of what planners and decision makers require for predictions to be useful, and the scientific community must communicate the current predictive capabilities in clear and useful ways to stakeholders, while also quantifying and explaining uncertainties related to them.
Many of the recommendations from a 2010 report from the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC, 2010) focused on stakeholder needs for sea ice forecasts. The report notes that there is a need for communication between scientists, operational forecasting centers, and stakeholders. The decision-making community needs to clearly articulate the space and time domains over which it needs actionable scientific information and the science community needs to assess its readiness to provide this knowledge. These various communities should also hold forums on the issue of uncertainty and how to interpret and use these estimates in a proactive and positive manner.
Some efforts at increasing communication between different scientific communities have already been made. Observational and modeling communities met to discuss future needs for sea ice research at the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) workshop in November 2011. These discussions sparked the creation of two white papers, outlining the observational needs for advancing sea ice modeling (Massonnet and Jahn, 2012) and polar climate modeling (Kay et al., 2012) as well as