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Summaries of Workshop Panels and Breakout Discussions

STAKEHOLDERS

The workshop began with a panel discussion on stakeholder needs and key information gaps that could be addressed to help inform the decision-making process. Understanding stakeholder needs is an important step in defining the problem (asking the right questions) and developing solutions. Gary Hufford from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) gave an overview of some of the recent gaps and needs of the Alaska Region NWS program. These include ice coverage and extent needed for crab fishing in the Bering Sea, ice recession time and extent needed for commercial activities, and ice conditions for the safety of subsistence hunters. He noted that there are specific types of information needed to better understand sea ice conditions including seasonal and longer freeze-up and recession times, ice extent, definitive ice type, ice thickness, ice shape, optimized observations, and improved coupled models. Vera Metcalf of the Eskimo Walrus Commission also emphasized that understanding sea ice conditions is critically important for subsistence hunters. They must take a variety of factors into consideration during hunting (which includes towing the mammals onto the ice) and also for their safety. These factors include wind direction and weather, ocean currents, the existence of icebergs, and the thickness of ice.

The US Coast Guard places a great deal of importance on safety in this region, as noted by LCDR Ken Boda. In addition to safety, he emphasized the importance of security (national and economic), stewardship (to protect natural resources and promote science), and operational planning for the future. In terms of seasonal capabilities, the Coast Guard needs to know the timing of sea ice advance and retreat, capabilities for ships, and the footprint of the ice. Understanding what to expect from sea ice on a decadal scale is also important to plan for icebreaking capability and infrastructure in the future. Capt. Michael Terminel from Edison Chouest Offshore pointed out that increasing interest in natural resources is awakening the Arctic region for a number of industry stakeholders. He demonstrated the importance of forecasting weather conditions, and indicated that satellite and radar imagery is a key factor in tracking ice ridges and multiyear ice (this has



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C Summaries of Workshop Panels and Breakout Discussions STAKEHOLDERS consideration during hunting (which includes towing the mammals onto the ice) The workshop began with a panel and also for their safety. These factors discussion on stakeholder needs and key include wind direction and weather, ocean information gaps that could be addressed to currents, the existence of icebergs, and the help inform the decision-making process. thickness of ice. Understanding stakeholder needs is an The US Coast Guard places a great deal important step in defining the problem of importance on safety in this region, as (asking the right questions) and developing noted by LCDR Ken Boda. In addition to solutions. Gary Hufford from the National safety, he emphasized the importance of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ security (national and economic), National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) stewardship (to protect natural resources gave an overview of some of the recent gaps and promote science), and operational and needs of the Alaska Region NWS planning for the future. In terms of seasonal program. These include ice coverage and capabilities, the Coast Guard needs to know extent needed for crab fishing in the Bering the timing of sea ice advance and retreat, Sea, ice recession time and extent needed for capabilities for ships, and the footprint of commercial activities, and ice conditions for the ice. Understanding what to expect from the safety of subsistence hunters. He noted sea ice on a decadal scale is also important to that there are specific types of information plan for icebreaking capability and needed to better understand sea ice infrastructure in the future. Capt. Michael conditions including seasonal and longer Terminel from Edison Chouest Offshore freeze-up and recession times, ice extent, pointed out that increasing interest in definitive ice type, ice thickness, ice shape, natural resources is awakening the Arctic optimized observations, and improved region for a number of industry coupled models. Vera Metcalf of the Eskimo stakeholders. He demonstrated the Walrus Commission also emphasized that importance of forecasting weather understanding sea ice conditions is critically conditions, and indicated that satellite and important for subsistence hunters. They radar imagery is a key factor in tracking ice must take a variety of factors into ridges and multiyear ice (this has 71

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72 Appendix C implications for ship navigation). Like information on ice deformation, in situ and Metcalf, he also noted the critical airborne measurements, integrated importance of wind and ocean currents in products, and data access. He also driving ice conditions. mentioned the importance of continuity and contingency plans in satellite missions (to avoid large gaps in data availability). Ron OBSERVATIONS Lindsay of the University of Washington discussed the importance of in-depth During a discussion on key gaps and conversations between stakeholders and challenges in observations for future sea ice researchers. This is essential, not only to be prediction, Hajo Eicken of the University of sure that we are getting the observations that Alaska Fairbanks noted a number of gaps in we actually need, but also to determine our current understanding of sea ice. These where some possible improvements in skill observational challenges include predicting would most help the stakeholders. He noted the seasonal decay of ice and heat fluxes over that, using this information, we can begin to decaying ice. He indicated that when focus on those problems that we can more interacting with the modeling community, readily solve and would also be most helpful the decadal timescale is very important, and (instead of using this time on questions that snow on sea ice is a particularly relevant have a limited likelihood of being solved, or factor on this scale. He also mentioned that on issues that are of limited importance to it is important to accurately define the stakeholders). questions that stakeholders would like Following the panel discussion, answered (while also acknowledging that members of the breakout groups convened different stakeholders have different needs). to address additional challenges and He indicated that a path forward may be to strategies associated with sea ice define the sea ice services that stakeholders observations. Breakout group rapporteurs require, translate those needs into specific mentioned that there is a wide range of prognostic variables, and determine the needs on many spatial and temporal scales, predictive success that is acceptable to the and that key parameters should be clearly stakeholders. defined depending on stakeholder needs. Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice One group suggested that there are linkages Data Center also emphasized the between the need for specific ice parameters importance of filling gaps in observations, and broader scale questions such as: Is there although he pointed out a number of ice? What is it like? Where is it going? This products that are already available for ice helps to drive observational needs for extent and concentration, ice thickness, and defining ice extent, ice character, and ice ice motion. Some current limitations include motion. Other issues that were discussed in quantitative error estimates, the the breakout groups include quantifying harmonization of spatial and temporal uncertainty, assimilating observations into scales, melt state and albedo, snow depth, models, improving bathymetry data, the

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Appendix C 73 need for long-term and sustained on the oceans role in sea ice changes observations, contingency plans for satellite (including three components of influence: systems, and better coordination within the atmospheric circulation changes, heat modeling, observational, and stakeholder release and ice melt, and sea ice dynamics). communities. He noted that the modeling challenges include reanalysis and reconstruction of sea ice and ocean conditions, implementation of MODELING high-resolution models, climate and process studies based on modeling, and systematic The modeling panel discussion focused model calibration and validation. Possible on the challenges in modeling and ways to advances in modeling could address these improve interaction with the observational issues. Examples include increased model community. Cecilia Bitz of the University of resolution, development of a landfast ice Washington suggested that trying to model, inclusion of tidal and atmospheric initialize a model based entirely on pressure forcing, and improvements of data observations is a current gap in our assimilation methods. Like many of the understanding. Fully coupled numerical and other panelists, he also mentioned the statistical models will need to be used for importance of collaboration with the prediction, and observations are needed for observational community and stakeholders. initial conditions and validation of During the breakout group sessions, predictions. She indicated that an important participants noted that there is a strong path forward is to communicate the limits of stakeholder need for both seasonal predictability to stakeholders and others, predictions (used in planning for fishing, and to use models to determine the most research cruises, industry activities, etc.) and needed measurements. A focus on the decadal predictions (used in infrastructure coupling between ice, atmosphere, and the planning, national security planning, ocean was discussed by Elizabeth Hunke environmental assessments, endangered from Los Alamos National Laboratory. She species status, etc.). The groups indicated indicated that better observations are needed that making predictions on the interannual (particularly snow on ice) to continue to time frame is particularly difficult. Suggested make model improvements. She also noted next steps include work on the question of that sea ice predictability is critically atmospheric forcing (this can help bridge dependent on the predictability of the the gap between the seasonal and decadal applied forcing and the ice equilibrium state timescales), and on the treatment of the associated with the applied forcing. The ocean in models (models cannot currently strength of feedbacks (including atmosphere resolve vertical stratification and heat and ocean fluxes) needs to be better fluxes). Other topics that the groups understood. discussed include the transition from first- Andrey Proshutinsky from the Woods year ice to multiyear ice, the type of model Hole Oceanographic Institution commented (statistical, physical) and initializations that

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74 Appendix C should be used for seasonal predictions, understand the depth and scope of coordination opportunities with stakeholder needs related to sea ice stakeholders and observationalists, and prediction. sensitivity and process studies (including Pablo Clemente-Coln of the National oceanic and atmospheric components) that Ice Center commented on the rapidly will improve particular types of forecasts. changing seasonality of Arctic sea ice conditions and the impact that it will have on the type and frequency of measurements CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES being taken. He noted that changes in the amount and location of multiyear ice will The workshop concluded with a directly affect the placement of buoys, for discussion on the challenges and example. To help solve this problem, he opportunities in sea ice prediction in the suggested that new strategies for in situ coming decades. Cross-cutting issues and observing capabilities will need to be coordination opportunities were discussed developed, in addition to improvements of by the panelists and participants. Jim currently existing observing systems that Overland from NOAA/ Pacific Marine could include the integration of new Environmental Laboratory suggested that unmanned airborne system and researchers should focus on the specific autonomous underwater vehicle science question of why the ice extent is so technologies. Jean-Claude Gascard of the low (related to the existence of thin, mobile Universite Pierre et Marie Curie agreed that sea ice). He also noted that models have the main parameters characterizing Arctic improved in the past five years in certain sea ice have changed drastically during the aspects, but that significant work remains, past 30 years, and that powerful feedback particularly in reducing the range of model mechanisms link sea ice with the projections. He points out that, in the "real atmosphere and ocean. He reiterated the world" Arctic region, there are important significance of the reduction of multiyear ice dynamic changes occurring on scales that we and noted that a thinner sea ice regime can cannot yet measure (e.g., large temperature exhibit less predictability than a thicker anomalies across small areas). Brendan Kelly regime. He also pointed out the need for of Interagency Arctic Research Policy process-oriented studies in the atmospheric, Committee brought the discussion back to sea ice, and oceanic domains, but the importance of sustained dialog and in- acknowledged that there are still questions depth conversations with stakeholders. He related to what we can predict and how well noted the significance of making sure that it can be done. Opportunities for we are asking the right questions and that we collaboration between observationalists and are defining the problem appropriately to modelers exist in addressing the issue of address stakeholder needs. He challenged trends in variability, with specificity by the participants to act as ambassadors to region. He noted that the data collected over their communities in an effort to help others the past 30 years provides unique

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Appendix C 75 opportunities for synergies between the importance of changing ice conditions in the observational community and modelers Arctic (e.g., the transition from multiyear ice (reanalysis of the past 30 years is important to first-year ice), the need to improve to improve model prediction in the future). observational capabilities to meet modeling During the final breakout group needs, the issue of data continuity, and the discussion session, participants noted the opportunity to take advantage of new need for an ongoing and sustained technologies and collaborations to increase conversation with stakeholders on what data our current understanding. Participants they want, what they need, and what they acknowledged that the Arctic is a complex, can use coupled with a conversation of what integrated system including ocean, ice, and forecasters might currently provide, what atmospheric components and should be they might provide soon, and the associated treated as an integrated whole. challenges. The groups also noted the

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