King Eider migration along the ice edge in Barrow (left), Polar Bear tracks in the snow (middle), Rainbow over the pack ice (right) all courtesy of Lisa Baraff.
Related ACCAP Research Projects
|Robert, Paniq Kaleak, Lewis Nuvuk Brower, Matthew Druckenmiller, Archie Ygayaq Ahkiviana, Harry Kupaaq Brower, Jr.
Sea Ice Manual
A Review of Sea-Ice & Related Climate Information Resources for Alaska's Arctic Coastal Communities: A Manual for Accessing & Using Online Information
This manual's purpose is to improve the availability of current information about sea ice from operational and academic observation programs to key user groups. It provides Arctic Alaska coastal community leaders and local user groups with an up-to-date, comprehensive, and practical guide to the current sea-ice and climate information resources that are relevant to their planning, subsistence activities, and way of life. The resources and tutorials in this manual are organized within five main types of sea ice information:
Sea ice concentration, extent, and type
Location and extent of multi-year sea ice
Sea ice leads, open water, and shorefast ice extent
Local sea ice observatories at Barrow and Wales, Alaska
Sea ice summaries
View the Sea Ice Manual Website to download sections or the whole manual
ACCAP Sea Ice Project
Alaska has approximately 44,000 miles of coastline, more than that in the rest of the U.S. Alaska is also the only state in which large portions of the coastline are affected by sea ice. Sea ice is present along or close to the northern coast for 8-10 months of the year, and it affects much of the western coastline for at least several months of most years. The presence of sea ice is a major factor in the lives of many western and northern Alaskan coastal communities, for whom a stable ice cover is essential as a buffer against coastal storms, as a platform for offshore activity, and as a marine environmental feature essential for the survival of animals such as walrus, polar bears and seals. Coastal flooding and erosion, exacerbated in recent years by the retreat of sea ice, has been highlighted in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. In addition, information on present and forecasted sea ice conditions is vital for several of Alaska's major industries: fishing, marine transportation and offshore resource extraction. These needs point to the importance of a synthesis of information on Alaskan sea ice conditions to serve the climate services and operational forecasting sectors, and, ultimately, stakeholders affected by sea ice.
Snow, Ice and Permafrost Hazards in Alaska: Research needs and opportunities
On June 13, 2011, ACCAP partnered with scientists at UAF's Geophysical Institute and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) to co-sponsor a workshop entitled "Snow, Ice and Permafrost Hazards in Alaska: Research needs and opportunities." The workshop was designed to provide a forum for scientists and managers to identify information and research needs of state agencies and other organizations working directly with the State of Alaska on issues that are potentially impacted by hazards associated with snow, ice and permafrost. Participants were asked to fill out a pre-workshop survey (results in "Resources" section). The information provided was used for planning and development of the workshop and may assist in identifying potential future collaborations. The outcome of the workshop will guide research planning and implementation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on snow, ice and permafrost with the goal of meeting the state's research, training and information needs.
Related ACCAP Webinars
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH IN THE BERING SEA
Mike Sigler, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Juneau
Fish harvests in the Arctic Ocean are small, yet the largest U.S. commercial fisheries lie immediately south in the Bering Sea. Bering Sea pollock quotas recently fell due to poor recruitment during a run of warm years (2001-2005) only to be followed by a run of cold years (2006-2010) and increased pollock abundance. A large ecosystem study aims to understand and forecast these changes. The Bering Sea project is funded by the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation (http://bsierp.nprb.org/). Join us to learn more about climate impacts on Alaska fisheries.
View the webinar video (50 MB MP4)
Listen to the webinar podcast
Presentation/Slides: Integrated ecosystem research in the Bering Sea
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT WALRUS AND SEA ICE: THE SEA ICE FOR WALRUS OUTLOOK (SIWO) PROJECT
Gary Hufford, National Weather Service, Alaska Region
A weather forecast and sea ice information for northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait subsistence communities called Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) is updated weekly with information on sea ice conditions and weather relevant to the walrus. SIWO includes: an assessment of current ice conditions using up-to-date satellite imagery; a 10-day outlook of wind conditions; written observations of ice conditions from Alaska Native hunters; and comments from sea ice experts and other contributors. SIWO is available through Web and Facebook sites. Join this webinar to hear about what we have learned about walrus distribution and habitat from a blend of western science and traditional knowledge, how this information provides the foundation for creating SIWO, and how you can contribute to the outlook.
View the webinar video (46 MB MP4)
Listen to the webinar podcast
Presentation/Slides: What We know About Walrus and Sea Ice: The Sea Ice For Walrus Outlook (SIWO) Project
Read the Alaska Newspapers Inc. Article: Ice-forecasting project uses Facebook to improve safety for walrus hunters and whalers
Read the Turnstyle News Article: If Arctic Sea Ice Disappears… What Happens To The Walrus?
To view the latest Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook, click here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
WEATHER FORECASTS AND SEA ICE INFORMATION FOR BERING STRAITS COMMUNITIES: THE SEA ICE FOR WALRUS OUTLOOK PROJECT
Hajo Eicken, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Gary Hufford, National Weather Service, Alaska Region; Vera Metcalf, Eskimo Walrus Commission, Kawerak, Inc.
The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO), an activity of the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook, is a new resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO is updated weekly with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska. SIWO reports include: an assessment of current ice conditions relevant to distribution and access of walrus; a 10-day outlook of wind conditions; up-to-date satellite imagery for the Bering Strait and St. Lawrence Island; written observations of ice development from Alaska Native hunters, sea-ice experts, or NOAA and university researchers; and additional comments provided by local experts and other contributors. Please join us to learn how the SIWO is created, how to contribute to the outlook, and for discussion about how it can serve your sea ice information needs and be most useful to you.
Listen to the webinar Podcast
To access the outlook, link to the SIWO website here.
Presentation/Slides: Sea Ice Outlook for Walrus Project
April 20, 2010
THE SKY IS NOT FALLING, BUT THE OCEAN IS RISING; A skeptic’s view of sea ice loss and marine mammals
Brendan P. Kelly, Research Scientist National Marine Mammal Laboratory, NOAA and Professor, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Over the past 12 million years, a diversity of mammals evolved specializations for exploiting Arctic sea ice. Other marine mammals—lacking adaptations to ice—have been isolated from one another by sea ice and have evolved along separate paths in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. For the past 10,000 years, Arctic people have developed cultures around the seasonal availability of Arctic marine mammals. Today, 11 ice-associated marine mammal species face unprecedented rapid loss of a continent-sized habitat as Arctic sea ice diminishes. A skeptical analysis (a first principal of science) of ecological and evolutionary data indicate that rapid changes in food resources, predation, competition, and interbreeding threaten many species as well as traditional ways of life among Arctic people. Responding to these changes will require sound analyses, mitigation, and adaptation.
Listen to the webinar Podcast
Presentation/Slides: The sky is not falling, but the ocean is rising; A skeptic's view of sea ice loss and marine mammals
Read the Anchorage Daily News story: Melting Arctic ice could foster species interbreeding
Read the Calgary Herald story: Arctic species may survive ice melt by interbreeding
Read the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story: Some scientists think receding sea ice could lead to species mingling
Read the Nunatsiaq News story: Biologist sees mammal hybrids as Arctic warms
Read the Siku News story: Climate change may bring new Arctic species
Read the Vancouver Sun story: Warming Arctic will give rise to mammal hybrids
Read the Windsor Star story: Melting ice cover feeds warming trend: Report
June 24, 2009
OUTCOMES OF THE ARCTIC COUNCIL'S ARCTIC MARINE SHIPPING ASSESSMENT
Lawson Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy, UAF and Chair, Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment of the Arctic Council
In response to unprecedented changes occurring in the circumpolar Arctic, in 2004 the Arctic Council called for the Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Arctic marine shipping. The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) 2009 Final Report represents the results of this four year study. Findings and recommendations were negotiated and approved by the Ministers of the Arctic States on April 29, 2009 and take into consideration Arctic marine geography, changes in sea ice and climate, history of marine transport, governance of Arctic marine shipping, current marine use in the Arctic, Arctic marine infrastructure, human and environmental considerations and impacts, and Arctic marine shipping futures scenarios to 2020. This presentation is an overview of the AMSA findings, presented by Dr. Lawson Brigham.
Listen to the webinar Podcast
Presentation/Slides: Outcomes of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment
Read the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner's story
Read The New York Times Green Inc. Blog story
Read the Nome Nugget story
Read the UAF School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences story
The 2009 final report of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) is now available.
Click here to download a copy of the report (26M PDF)
Click on a chapter title to download individual chapters (PDF): Front and Back Covers; Table of Contents; Executive Summary and Recommendations; Introduction; Arctic Marine Geography, Climate, and Sea Ice; History of Marine Arctic Transport; Governance of Arctic Shipping; Current Marine Use and the AMSA Shipping Database; Scenarios, Futures, and Regional Futures to 2020; Human Dimensions; Environmental Considerations and Impacts; Arctic Marine Infrastructure.
January 15, 2008
SEA ICE CHANGE AROUND ALASKA AND IMPACTS ON HUMAN ACTIVITIES
Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska
The Arctic sea-ice cover is rapidly transforming, with sustained northward retreat of the summer ice edge and thinning of the pack ice. The seas around Alaska have experienced some of the largest changes anywhere in the Arctic. The talk will discussed some of the causes of such change and what this may mean for coastal communities, marine ecosystems and industrial activities.
Listen to the webinar Podcast
Presentation/Slides: Sea Ice Change and Impacts on Human Activities
December 18, 2007
Listen to the webinar Podcast
LAST ICE: THE FATE OF BERING SEA MAMMALS IN RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Gary Hufford, National Weather Service
Sea ice in the Bering Sea is beginning to recede apparently in response to climate change. Walrus and Ribbon Seals seek ice floes as habitat where they breed, give birth and haulout to rest. This makes the walrus and ribbon seal vulnerable to and an indicator of climate change. There is also evidence that the walrus may play a role in the productivity of the Bering Sea by releasing nutrients trapped in pore waters of the bottom sediment when they feed. Learn more about the potential implications of loss of these species.
Presentation/Slides: Last Ice: The Fate of Bering Sea Mammals in Response to Climate Change
Links and Resources
Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) AOOS is building a network of observation platforms and forecast models. The goal of this network is to provide information products and tools to improve our understanding of Alaska’s ocean ecosystem and allow us to make better decisions about our use of the marine environment.
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment An international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences.
The Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Final Report (AMSA) is now available. To download by individual chapters in .PDF format, see the OUTCOMES OF THE ARCTIC COUNCIL'S ARCTIC MARINE SHIPPING ASSESSMENT webinar in the "Related ACCAP Webinars" section above.
Arctic ROOS: Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System The Arctic ROOS web site presents daily updated maps and plots of the arctic sea ice from
satellite observations and ice forecasts from ice-ocean modeling.
Arctic Sea-Ice Monitor by AMSR-E Sattelite images of sea ice extent, available by date. You can also view the annual curves of ice extent and download sea ice extent from June 2002 to the present at this site.
Barrow Sea Ice Observatory Includes links to data archives, the Sea Ice Webcam, and radar images that are updated every 10 minutes.
Hajo Eicken and the Floating Ice Group at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
List of Online Resources (pdf) from ACCAP's 2008 Sea‐Ice Workshop for Accessing and Using Online Information
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) NSIDC manages and distributes scientific data, creates tools for data access, supports data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.
SEARCH August 2009 Sea Ice Outlook Report
Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook A resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO is updated weekly with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska.
Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONET) This interdisciplinary project observes seasonal ice in the context of environmental, (geo)political and socio-economic change in the North.
Snow, Ice and Permafrost Hazards in Alaska
Proceedings from a research needs & opportunities workshop. Materials include videos of presentations.
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