Jcomm expert Team on Sea Ice input for ec-pors

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EC-PORS-5, INF. 41

JCOMM Expert Team on Sea Ice input for EC-PORS

Vasily Smolyanitsky, ETSI chair
1. There are several themes and teams through which the JCOMM is contributing to the WMO activities in the regions with cold climate. Expert Team on Sea Ice (ETSI) is the leading JCOMM team for coordinating the Commission’s input to the WMO “Global Cryosphere Watch” (GCW) program in the part of sea ice monitoring and services while networks of in-situ observations are coordinated through the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP), historical data and metadata management - by the Expert Team on Marine Climatology, numerical forecasting and data assimilation - by the Expert Team on Operational Ocean Forecasting Systems (ETOOFS) though input for the latter team for the cold regions is definitely under development.
2. Following aspects in the part of sea ice monitoring and services may be identified and reviewed:

  • concept of integrated sea ice monitoring and services;

  • existing sea ice standards - terminology, best practices, requirements, formats;

  • data sources - observation sites, monitoring systems;

  • data dissemination - systems, portals for routine access to data, products and services;

  • managing and coordinating bodies for the standards and practices;

  • gaps and working plans.

Practically all of the above themes are tracked by the special WMO publication “Sea-Ice information Services Sea ice Information Services in the World, WMO-No.574, part I in a quite an extensive manner. Below is somewhat most recent update of the best practices, in particular related to development of GCW.
3. The sea ice is a part of the floating ice, which in accordance with the WMO standard – “WMO Sea-ice Nomenclature” (WMO/OMM/ВМО - No.259) is “any form of ice found floating in water. The principal kinds of floating ice are lake ice, river ice, and sea ice which form by the freezing of water at the surface, and glacier ice (ice of land origin) formed on land or in an ice shelf. The concept includes ice that is stranded or grounded.”

The prevalent component of floating ice, the sea ice is formed from the freezing of sea water. Offshore, drift ice is dynamic, being moved by winds and currents. Near the shore, ‘fast ice’ forms early in the season and remains stationary. Oscillations with a time scale couple of years to multi-decadal and ‘linear trends’, which in turn can be a part of a longer term oscillations, are inherent to variability of sea ice cover state with Arctic sea ice cover undergoing extreme minimum conditions in the last decade and Antarctic sea ice cover of lesser scale but maximum conditions. In the late winter (March in the Arctic, September in the Antarctic), sea ice extent is 15 – 17 million square kilometres in the Arctic (14.7 – 2011, 16.8 – 19791) and 18 to 20 million square kilometres in the Antarctic (18.0 – 1986, 19.5 – 2012). In the late summer (September in the Arctic, February in the Antarctic) sea ice extent drops to 3 – 8 million square kilometres in the Arctic (3.3 – 2012, 7.6 - 1980) and 2 – 4 million square kilometres in the Antarctic (2.3 – 1997, 3.8 – 2008).

Lake and river ice is formed from the freezing of fresh water (if we count Caspian Sea as a sea area) and in general behaves similar to sea ice though undergoes much lesser variations in area – from close to 0 extent in summer up to somewhat 0.2 million square kilometres in the late winter for the Northern hemisphere with ‘fast ice’ predominant and negligible area in the Southern hemisphere mostly concentrated in the Antarctica in a form of lakes with perennial ice.

. Icebergs are formed from the ‘calving’ of pieces of glacier into the sea. In the Northern hemisphere the most well-known icebergs originating in Greenland transit far into the North Atlantic up to shipping lanes. Icebergs can be also found throughout the whole Arctic Ocean including the Barents and Greenland Seas. Icebergs in the Antarctic originate from Antarctic ice shelves. They are far more abundant and much larger than Arctic icebergs – 93% of the world’s mass of icebergs is found surrounding Antarctica.

Concept of integrated services
4. For many applications in the Polar Regions it is presently common within the NMS to follow the concept of “integrated ice services” which means that monitoring of the ice conditions, preparation of the diagnostic and forecasting products of ice conditions and provision of services for a variety of customers are in a single flow under the same standards and requirements and are operated by the same or within the same institution, typically an ice service or a centre. Concept of linkages of integrated ice services with different customers including the GFCS – CryoNet – GCW, is proposed on the attached figure.


Figure 1: Concept of linkages of integrated ice services - national practices – scientific community – CryoNet – GCW
5. The WMO sea ice technical documentation is regulating the descriptive (nomenclature and glossaries), coding, exchange and presentation procedures for sea ice products as well as existing sea ice best practices for observations and services on world-wide scale with national standards complementing regional practices. Main regulations presently include (Annex 1):
Terminology and codiing

  • WMO Sea ice Nomenclature, WMO-No.259 (Vol I – “Terminoloy” and Vol III - “International system of sea-ice symbols”)

Best practices and Guides

  • WMO Sea ice Nomenclature, WMO-No.259 ( vol. II - “Illustrated Glossary”)

  • Sea ice Information Services in the World, WMO-No.574

  • Understanding and Identifying Old Ice in Summer (WMO TBD)

  • Nat’l manuals for ice observations (ASPeCT, Canada, Russia, USA)


  • IICWG “Ice Information Services: Socio-Economic Benefits and Earth Observation Requirements”

  • GCW and WMO RRR requirements

Formats for provision of data (coding and presentation)

  • SIGRID-3 rev 3, WMO/TD-No. 1214 (SIGRID-3: a vector format for Sea Ice GeoReferenced Information and Data)

  • “Ice Chart colour code standard”, WMO/TD-No. 1215)

  • “Ice Objects Catalogue“ for Electronic Chart Systems

  • SIGRID, SIGRID-2, WMO, 1989, 1994) - Climatology

  • WMO Manual on Codes , WMO-No.306

  • Guide and Manual on Marine Meteorological Services, WMO-No.471, 558) – MSI/ice in GMDSS

Data sources - observation sites, monitoring systems
6. Basement of the ice information and services is the continuous monitoring of the sea, lake and river ice and icebergs executed by the national ice or met services, the International Ice Patrol (IIP) as well as the research community on hemispheric, circumpolar or regional scales.

Areas of the sea ice and icebergs monitoring in the World Ocean
7. The key parameters/features describing the floating ice are: ice extent/edge location, ice concentration, stage of ice development (also ice type, ice age), ice thickness (also draft/elevation/mass-balance), forms of floating ice, leads/polynyas, state of decay, ice topography, ice dynamics, ice motion (also drift vector), ice phenomena (break-up, freeze-up etc),snow on ice, icebergs position, concentration, form and dimensions – all of the above covered by the “WMO Sea-Ice Nomenclature” and formats for provision of data and coding (e.g. SIGRID-3). Less abundant but rapidly advancing additional parameters may include surface temperature, temperature profile, salinity, etc.
8. Data sources for the ice information may be divided into monitoring systems (or spatially distributed analysis and definition of ice parameters) and observation sites (or observations in a point or at sections), including following categories and parameters measured:

Monitoring systems

(a) Spaceborne products

  • ice edge, concentration, ice type, other geophysical parameters

(b) Ice charting

  • ice edge, concentration, stage of development, forms, surface parameters, phenomena

Observation sites

(c1) Coastal stations/posts

  • concentration, stage of development, fast ice mass-balance, snow, phenomena

(c2) Drifting and moored buoys: meteo, IMB, floats, ULS

  • ice motion/drift, mass-balance, temperature profile, ice draft

(c3) Shipborne observations (routine and scientific)

  • ice concentration, stage of development, forms, thickness, icebergs, snow, topography, dynamics, icebergs, etc

(c4) Aircraft reconnaissance (instrumental, manual)

  • ice concentration, stage of development, forms, thickness profiles, icebergs, snow, topography, dynamics, icebergs, etc

9. It is evident that the satellite means (a) are the prime source of data ice monitoring though not all of the mentioned key parameters can be presently observed with sufficient accuracy on a basis of the spaceborne measurements (decay, topography, thickness etc). In situ, coastal, shipborne and airborne measurements remain and will remain a vital complementary or sometimes prime source of ice information.

As most of the ice parameters are 2D, ice charting (b) remains the common form to summarize the observed or diagnosed ice parameters for more than a centennial period. The ‘ice chart’ is a multi-layer presentation of the ice (sea or lake and river ice and icebergs) cover state for a certain period of time (typically 1-3 days) with coding of parameters in accordance with the WMO No.259 and WMO/TD-No.1214 (SIGRID-3 format). The ice chart is based on the ‘ice charting, performed by the ice analysts following standard procedures by means of analysis of multi-spectral and multi-source information using GIS and thus differs from the second common form of the ice information – 2D or 1D satellite products based on the automated processing of the satellite data and coded in one of the accepted formats for NWP (e.g. netCDF).

The third one type (c) is the ice observations at a point or sections (coastal, shipborne) usually summarized in a form of reports disseminated via the WMO GTS or WIS or, for research and applied observations of the ice geophysical properties - coded in a user-defined form and formats.

Data dissemination
10. Ice data dissemination systems may be divided into the following categories with specific regulations and content:

WMO systems

  • GTS – station reports, MSI information, products for NWP

  • WIS – replication (but not full) of the WMO GTS, extensive search capabilities

  • Cryonet – under development


  • International observation programs (JCOMM Ice logistics portal, IIP, IABP, IPAB, SAON, ASPeCT etc)

  • Geo-portal (i.e WMS, WCS, WFS, geoRSS etc services)

  • National ice services portals (www.natice.noaa.gov, portal.aari.ru, met.no, www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/‎

  • Integrated portals (e.g. polarview.aq)

Data centers

  • NSIDC (observations, ice charting, space products)

Managing bodies
11. Practices show that impetus for changes in formal regulations may arise from the user community or customers at sea or national meteorological services or the WMO formal bodies and furthered to the International Ice Charting Working Group or ETSI. Further technical work is commonly done the by the IICWG as the technical forum of the national ice services or ETSI. Formalization of most of the changes is commonly done by ETSI or by ETSI and then furthered to ETMSS or ETMC or other appropriate WMO bodies (e.g. CBS).
Gaps and working plans
12. Several gaps that have to be addressed by ETSI include:

  • insufficient regulations for ice observations at a point, coding of ice in scientific and spaceborne products;

  • international standard for distributing buoys information on the GTS (drift, mass-balance, ULS) and extension of ice buoys networks (IABP, IPAB, etc);

  • specifications for ice information (observations and products) for WIS;

  • closer linkages with the NWP community

  • data policy (on-line / delayed mode / access to scientific data / data from applied research)

Way forward
13. Most of the gaps and themes will be addressed by the ETSI 5th session planned for 25th -28th March 2014 (Canada, Ottawa, CIS). Draft agenda for the session is included in annex 2 and include review of the WMO sea ice guidance material, sea ice information systems and product delivery, sea ice climatology, requirements for sea ice information as well as Polar Initiative activities (EC-PORS, GCW, Cryonet, SAON). Draft ETSI WP for 2013-2017 is included as annex 3. Sea ice training and harmonization issues including the ice charting and ice marine safety information for the Southern Ocean will be addressed during the 4th “Ice Analyst Workshop” in June 2014 (Finland, Helsinki, FMI). The 15th Meeting of International Ice Charting Working Group planned for 20-24 October 2014 (Chile, Punta-Arenas) will address both general sea ice themes and undertake review of standards as well as continue to address the sea ice issues in the Antarctic.

Annex 1

List of existing cryospheric sea ice guidelines (from the “Guide to the Global Cryosphere Watch Surface-Based Observational Network – CryoNet”)


Guideline (authors and title)

Year published

Cryospheric component


WMO Sea ice Nomenclature, WMO-No.259. Volume I – Terminology, Volume II – Illustrated Glossary, Volume III – International system of sea ice symbols. Electronic version is available at http://www.aari.ru/gdsidb/XML/wmo_259.php


Sea Ice


Sea ice Information Services in the World, WMO-No.574. “Sea Ice Information Services in the World

2014 edition

Sea Ice


Electronic Chart Systems Ice Objects Catalogue

2014 edition


(sea, lake)


SIGRID-3: A vector archive format for sea ice charts, JCOMM-TR-23, WMO/TD-NO.1214

2014 edition

Ice (sea, lake and river)


Ice Chart Colour Code Standard, JCOMM-TR-23, WMO/TD-NO.1214


Ice (sea, lake and river)

National Research Council Canada

Johnston, M.E, Timco, G. W. Understanding and Identifying Old Ice in Summer. National Research Council Canada, Canadian Hydraulics Centre, 2008


Sea Ice

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute


Manual for ice experts – ice observers


Sea ice

Meteorological Service of Canada

Manual of standard procedures for observing and reporting ice conditions


Sea ice

International Ice Charting Working group

Ice Information Services: Socio-Economic Benefits and Earth Observation Requirements. Electronic version is available at: nsidc.org/noaa/iicwg/docs/IICWG_2007/IICWG_SE_2007_Update_Final_.pdf


Ice (sea, lake and river)

Annex 2









25 TO 28 MARCH 2014

ETSI-V GDSIDB-XIII/Doc. 1.2(1), REV. 1 (13.I.2014)


ITEM 1.2

Original: ENGLISH

1. Opening of the meeting

1.1 Opening

1.2 Adoption of the agenda

1.3 Working arrangements

2. Reports

2.1 Guidance and Requirements from JCOMM and WMO-IOC

2.2 Report by the Chairperson of the ETSI

2.3 Reports on national and regional practices by the

2.3.1 Reports by the Members of the ETSI

2.3.2 BSIM, EIS, NAIS, IICWG reports

3. Marine Safety Information (MSI) related to sea ice

3.1 Report by the ETMSS chairperson including the Arctic METAREAs: coordinators reports and exchange issues

3.2 IHO Report on the use of S100/S101 within the sea ice information / e-Navigation

3.3 Sea Ice MSI in the sub- and non-Arctic METAREAs and Antarctic

3.4 Role of ice services in Search and Rescue (SAR)

3.5 Report on Polar Code development

3.6 Guidelines for sea ice MSI in WMO manuals and guides

3.6.1 Review and update of requirements for sea ice MSI

3.6.2 Review of WMO-No. 471 and WMO-No. 558.
4. Sea ice climatology (13th session of the Steering Group for the GDSIDB project)

4.1 Reports

4.1.1 Sea-Ice Climatology in the context of CMOC

4.1.2 Reports of the GDSIDB centers(AARI and NSIDC) and the ice services

4.2 Review of the WMO sea ice guidance material related to sea ice climatology

4.3 Practices of sea ice historical data processing

4.4 Review of sea ice and icebergs products based on GDSIDB data

4.5 Proposals for new contributions to the GDSIDB from Member States

5. WMO sea ice guidance material

5.1 Review of SIGRID-3 version 3 (WMO/TD-No.1214)

5.2 Review of sea ice in Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) standards

5.2.1 “Ice Objects Catalogue” version 5.2

5.2.2 “Ice in ECDIS” (S-107) specification

5.2.3 “Ice chart color standard” (WMO/TD-No.1215)

5.3 Review of “Sea ice nomenclature”, vol. I, II, III (WMO-No. 259)

5.4 Update to “Sea ice services in the World” (WMO-No. 574)

5.5 Review of coding tables related to sea ice in WMO Manual on Codes (WMO–No.306)

5.6 New publications ( “Old ice in summer”, “Manual for sea-ice observers”, etc)

5.7 Harmonization and management issues
6. Sea ice information systems and product delivery

6.1 Status and perspectives of the Ice integrating portals (Ice Logistics Portal, Polarview, etc)

6.2 Sea ice in WIS

6.3 Assimilation of ice products in NWP

6.4 Vision and strategy for inter-operability and integration
7. Sea ice training and CB

7.1 Ice analyst workshop activity

7.1.1 Themes and agenda of the IAW-4 in June 2014

7.2 Training material (COMET, etc)

8. Requirements for sea ice information

8.1 Updates for sea ice in the WMO Rolling Requirements Review

8.2 JCOMM Questionnaire and user feedback
9. Collaboration and Partnership
9.1 Relations to IICWG and JCOMM bodies

9.2 Polar Initiative activities (EC-PORS, GCW, Cryonet, SAON)

9.3 Relations to other WMO/IOC and International programmes
10. ETSI future activities and working plan for the current intersessional period
11. Date and place of the next session
12. Other issues
13. Closure of the session


Annex 3
Project #26 Support and enhance the Polar components of GMDSS
Project Leaders: Darlene Langlois, Nick Hughes, Vasily Smolyanitsky
Project Description:

Polar components of the GMDSS as well as provision of MSI for areas with occurrence of floating ice differ in many aspects from mid-latitude or ice free areas of the World Ocean. Navigation near but outside of the ice and ice navigation needs proper support both for safety and efficiency in terms of regular provision of complex sea ice information, preferably in graphic form. If restricted to current Inmarsat transmissions, the Preparation Services still have limitations in coverage and ability to provide binary information in high latitudes.

Starting with June 2011 the new 5 Arctic METAREAs are put into a Full Operational Capacity with new procedures to support ice edge information in SafetyNET and NAVTEX bulletins and a special “ice” GMDSS server http://gmdss.aari.ru to support exchange of information between the Preparation Services.

The objective of the project will be for ETSI to continue with IICWG, ETMSS, IMO and IHO to support and enhance the polar components of GMDSS including the Southern Ocean and under the agreed scheme for IMO e-Navigation including the Polar Code.

Key outcomes:

  • sustained and extended bi-polar components of GMDSS and capabilities

  • enhanced capabilities for graphic products

  • input to IMO on ice and weather safety related input for Polar Code

Key activities:

  • support for operational exchange of information for polar GMDSS

  • training and harmonization of practices across the Preparation Services, exchange and transition of experience to Southern hemisphere METAREAs, regular “Ice Analysts Workshops”, possibly jointly with GMDSS meteorologists

  • development, testing and implementation of updates to ice in SafetyNET and NAVTEX standards supporting graphic presentation of information

  • support for developing international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) by providing input on weather and ice safety related to Polar Code development to IMO.

Timeline / Milestones:

  • 4th “Ice Analysts Workshop” (Jun/Jul 2013 or later) including session on Southern hemisphere

  • Reports to IICWG-14 (Oct’2013, Iceland), ETSI-V (Nov’2013, Canada) and IICWG (Chile, 2014)

ETs, Other Organizations and participants:

  • ETSI, ETMSS, IICWG, Preparation Services for METAREAS with floating ice

Implementation of JCOMM-4 decisions (noted by paragraph number of JCOMM-4 report

    • 8.3.4 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

    • 8.3.10 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

Project #27: Support and enhance ENC/Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) for ice navigation

Project Leaders: Juergen Holfort (ETSI TG ENCIO and BSH), Vasily Smolyanitsky
Project Description:
Sea ice information is mandatory for presentation on Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) though the scope of sea ice parameters and presentation mechanisms differ across the IHO standards (MIO, AML and S-10x) and implementations of sea ice presentation in various Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS).

In 2006 the ETSI entered into partnership with the IHO Transfer Standard Maintenance and Applications Development Working Group (TSMAD) and in 2007 adopted the first version 4.0 of the “Ice Objects Catalogue” which was based on the harmonized existing national practices and intended to extend the IHO S-57 standard for sea ice both for ‘ice’ and ‘ice-free’ navigation.

During 2007-2011 the Catalogue was tested and implemented in Canadian and Russian manufactured ECDIS along with corresponding presentation library. Results of the activity were regularly reported to TSMAD and presented during JCOMM-IV. Arising requirements from the end-users dictate further amendments to the Catalogue along with its implementation across all corresponding ice services. In 2010 the IHO adopted a new S-100 standard which may be considered to certain extent as a format more flexible for production at the level of ice services and for met-ocean information.

Objective of the project will be to support and enhance ENC/ECDIS capabilities for ice information in S-57 and S-10x formats following extending requirements from the end-users for complex ice navigation services and taking into account the current and perspective work of IMO and IHO in developing the concept of e-Navigation in cooperation with the IICWG and national ice services.

Key outcomes:

  • IHO S-10x standard for sea ice

  • Capability at National Ice Services to produce ice in S-10x and S-57

Key activities:

  • Formal management of Ice Objects Catalogue

  • Develop ice standards as IHO S-10x

  • Interact with ENCS manufacturers and OGC to develop software to accept ice data

  • Support National ice services to develop capability and to begin production of S-57/S-1xx data files

  • Support implementation of MetOcean Catalogue as S-1xx

Timeline / Milestones:

  • Draft S-107 (or other number 10x) and presentation to IICWG (Oct’2012)

  • Preparation of a portrayal registry for parameters of the ice objects catalog (2013)

  • Formalization of documentation and reports to ETSI-V (Nov, 2013), IICWG (Oct 2013 and 2014) and TSMAD (Jun 2013 and further)

ETs, Other Organizations and participants:


Implementation of JCOMM-4 decisions (noted by paragraph number of JCOMM-4 report

    • 8.3.4 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

    • 8.3.10 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

Project #28: Maintain and update sea ice technical documentation
Project Leader: Vasily Smolyanitsky, Darlene Langlois, IICWG
Project Description:

The WMO sea ice technical documentation is regulating the descriptive (nomenclature and glossaries), coding, exchange and presentation procedures for sea ice cover as well as existing sea ice best practices for observations and services on regional and world-wide scale.

In a broader sense, it would be favorable for observational, operational and research community if the same documentation will be is developed for all kinds of floating ice – sea, lake and river ice with all kinds of topology (point, linear, area, grid).

Following requirements from the end-users, in the framework of implementation of CryoNet as well as in connection with anticipated requested from the International Polar Initiative (IPI), ETSI will maintain, update and extend as appropriate the WMO sea ice standards in interaction and cooperation with the .International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG).

Expected outcomes:

  • Harmonization and updates to WMO ice documentation following progress in ice in ECDIS standards

  • Updates to WMO ice standards in parts of river/lake ice/point/linear/gridded objects

  • Documentation on ice observations and best practices

Key activities:

  • Updates to “Sea Ice Nomenclature” (WMO-No.259) catching harmonization (Vol I – “Terminoloy” and Vol III - “International system of sea-ice symbols”) and training issues ( vol. II - “Illustrated Glossary”);

  • Updates to sea ice exchange and presentation formats (“SIGRID-3: a vector archive format for sea ice charts”, WMO/TD-No. 1214 and “Ice Chart colour code standard” WMO/TD-No. 1215);

  • Developing “Understanding and Identifying Old Ice in Summer”, “Manual for Ice Experts – Ice Observers” and others docs (e.g. Canadian MANICE) as the new WMO sea publications for sea ice observations and analysis;

  • Provide harmonization across the sea ice standards arising from adopted additions

Timeline / Milestones:

  • Finalize additions arising from the “Ice Objects Catalogue” version 5.1” (ETSI-V, Nov 2013)

  • Finalize additions on ice objects arising from end-users, Cryonet and ice observations requirements (ETSI-V, Nov 2013, IICWG, 2014)

ETs, Other Organizations and participants:

    • ETSI, IICWG, CryoNet team

Implementation of JCOMM-4 decisions (noted by paragraph number of JCOMM-4 report

    • 8.3.4 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

    • 8.5 (Future priorities for the services and forecasting system programme)

Project #29 Support for sea ice climatology and ice in information systems
Project Leader: Vasily Smolyanitsky, Caren Panowicz, IICWG
Project Description:

Based on a variety of sources, including the ice air reconnaissance introduced for the Arctic as early as in 1920s, ice charting material provides a unique opportunity to significantly extend our knowledge on variability of ice conditions in space prior to commencement of global ice cover monitoring based on passive microwave imagery in 1978.

The ice charts are still capable to deliver information on such sea ice parameters which are absent or poorly assessed with the help of automatically processed satellite data. That includes but is not limited to fast ice extent, stages of development, etc. Modern and most of the reprocessed historical ice charting material is based on a single WMO sea ice standard – “WMO Sea-Ice Nomenclature” (WMO, 1970).

In 1989 the WMO CMM initiated the “Global Digital Sea Ice Data Bank” (GDSIDB) project to support development of the sea ice climatology based on the ice charting with 2 archival centers – AARI, Russia and NSIDC, USA. Since 2001 the JCOMM Expert Team on Sea Ice in cooperation with the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) is supervising the project and cooperates with JCOMM ETMC.

Since 1990s most of the ice services including BSIS, Canada, Japan, Russia, USA, are contributing to the project. Presently most of the ice charting data prior to 2000s is stored in a 0.25°x0.25° raster SIGRID, SIGRID-2 (WMO, 1989 and 1994) or Ease-grid formats, while after 2000s the data is stored in a more flexible vector SIGRID-3 format (WMO, 2004) and are available either via the AARI (http://wdc.aari.ru/datasets) or NSIDC (http://nsidc.org).

The project will concentrate on a) reprocessing and update of the sea ice ‘blended’ climatology and assessment of uncertainties and b) availability of the sea ice charting metadata and material in information systems and formats required by end-users community (CryoNet, WIS, NetCDF).

Expected Outcomes:

    • Updated semicentennial and longer sea ice ‘blended’ climatology and uncertainties

    • Availability of sea ice operational and historical metadata and material in WIS, Cryonet and other information systems and as geoservices

Key Activities:

    • Regular (weekly – monthly - annual) input to GDSIDB ice charting archive in standard WMO formats from contributing ice services / centers

    • Annual reprocessing of data, update of climatology, assessment of uncertainties and comparison with passive microwave

    • Coordination of development of protocols and procedures for sea ice charting metadata/material availability in WIS, Cryonet, static NetCDF, geoservices, etc and supporting documentation


    • Report to IICWG ( October 2013, 2014)

    • Report to Cryonet (2013)

    • Report to ETSI and decision on information systems and access (ETSI-V, Nov 2013)

ETs, Other Organizations and participants:

    • ETSI, ETMC, IICWG, CryoNet team

Implementation of JCOMM-4 decisions (noted by paragraph number of JCOMM-4 report

    • 5.4.3 (Polar Met-Ocean and sea ice information services)

    • 8.3.4 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

Project #30 Enhance the integrated ice services and forecasting
Project Leaders: Vasily Smolyanitsky, Nick Hughes
Project Description:

Provision of services for efficiency and safety of navigation and other operations in the ice-covered waters require integrated approach in terms the ice and sea state parameters and products to be regularly, timely and in the binary formats delivered to end-users (navigators, off-shore platforms, search and rescue, emergency support). Typical scope of parameters should include concentration, stages of development or thickness, form, dynamic processes (ice drift, pressure) and ice surface state (ridges, melt processes, snow on ice) as well as several metocean parameters, while the products should include both ice analysis or charting, high and medium resolution satellite imagery and short–term numerical ice forecasting. SAR and emergency support may require additional products like medium-term ice and metocean forecasting and numerical forecasting of the oil spill dissemination. Possible changes to concept of ice support towards greater demands to products beyond the ice charting are progressing.

The objective of the project will be for ETSI in tight collaboration with the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) to coordinate enhancement of integrated ice services by tracking and summarizing best practices and requirements to products and information, facilitating exchange of experience and resources in ice analysis, operational forecasting and numerical modeling of ice and related to ice parameters and harmonization of the services. This project should provide advice and input to corresponding projects led by JCOMM ETOOFS and TT on MPERSS.

Key outcomes:

  • enhanced ice services following user-requirements

  • enhanced ice diagnostic and forecast products beyond the ice charting

  • input to MPERSS implementation in Polar Regions

Key activities:

  • tracking and summarizing requirements to input data (current and perspective spaceborne information and ground observations) and products;

  • updates (every ~1-2 years) of national best practices in “Sea-Ice Information Services in the World” (WMO-No.574), preferably compatible with the WMO-No. 9, Volume D;

  • exchange and transition of experience in ice analysis, forecasting and harmonization of practices across the Services, training for developing Ice Services, including support for regular “Ice Analysts Workshops” and “Ice Assimilation Workshops”.

  • Input to ETOOFS guide ?

Timeline / Milestones:

  • 4th “Ice Analysts Workshop” (Jun/Jul 2013 or later)

  • 2013 and further updates to WMO-No.574 (mid 2013, 2015)

  • Update to WMO RRR;

  • Reports to IICWG-14 (Oct’2013, Iceland), ETSI-V (Nov’2013, Canada) and IICWG (Chile, 2014)

ETs, Other Organizations and participants:

  • ETSI, IICWG, met.no and AARI for oil spills (?)

Implementation of JCOMM-4 decisions (noted by paragraph number of JCOMM-4 report

    • 8.3.4 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

    • 8.3.10 (Safety-related Marine Meteorological Services)

1 Extremes based on the SSMR-SSM/I-SSMIS NASATEAM algorithm series of ice extent estimates for 1978 - 2013

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