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Polar bear (Credit: Kathy Crane, NOAA Arctic Research Office)
Polar bear (Credit: Kathy Crane, NOAA Arctic Research Office)
PSD Contacts:
   Randy Dole and Chris Fairall

Researchers Contributing to Improvements in Polar Predictions

October 21, 2013

Researchers from the ESRL's Physical Sciences Division (PSD) are providing major contributions to the development of a new World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Polar Prediction Project (PPP). The PPP is a ten-year international collaboration that began in 2012 and is devoted to improving operational environmental predictions in polar regions including ice cover, storm effects, local impacts on humans, and interactions with mid-latitude weather. Chris Fairall is serving as a member of the PPP science steering committee, and Randy Dole is member of the WWRP Joint Scientific Committee that provides scientific guidance to the project. Dole was also an organizer of the 4th International PPP Steering Committee Meeting, which was recently held in Boulder, and is co-organizing an Arctic Prediction workshop in 2014 that will bring together researchers from across NOAA to develop a strategy for involvement in PPP and to promote the transition of PPP research into NOAA operations. PSD's Polar Observations and Processes Team, led by Taneil Uttal, is also contributing to the PPP effort. This team is working to understand the mechanisms that control the changing Arctic climate through detailed observations of such factors as cloud properties, atmospheric and surface radiation, aerosols, gases and weather patterns at Intensive Arctic Atmospheric Observatories. Two other members of the PSD team (Matt Shupe and Ola Persson) are leading plans to deploy an intensive observatory on the sea ice in 2017-18 as part of PPP's Year of Polar Predictions.

What happens in the Arctic and Antarctic impacts climate, ecosystems, and society around the world. Noticeable changes in these regions have made more accurate and comprehensive observations and research a major priority so that forecast models can be improved. Involvement in PPP is an important opportunity to share information and learn from what others are doing in this field of research.