Improved understanding of climate processes in the Arctic is essential for planning and decision-making in a number of economic and societal sectors.
The work to be carried out has a number of aspects. It aims to assess the impact of observational sea-ice and hydrological data on climate prediction by analyzing model experiments with limited access to observations by evaluating skill improvements due to novel INTAROS observational data sets of ocean and land. Additionally adapting to climate change impacts will be supported with better information on greenhouse gasses
The specific activities in relation to climate predictions include the following:
Existing climate prediction models (e.g. NorCPM and EC-Earth) that assimilate sparse observations in a physically consistent manner will be used in order to provide predictions and improve understanding of climate variability, especially at specific geographical locations and in relation to temperature gradients (e.g. land-sea coast, sea-ice edge). Moreover the level of dependence on data availability will be determined.
INTAROS is working closely with the H2020 projects APPLICATE and BLUE ACTION by providing new data observations that can help to assess the full effect of enhanced initialization on climate prediction skill.
Improving the prediction of river discharge as well as monitoring of the hydrological regime is being demonstrated by means of a hydrological model (Arctic-HYPE) fed with new data from INTAROS.
In terms of improving the understanding of greenhouse gas processes there are two key aspects to the work:
Improving knowledge of how atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and circulation in the Arctic change in both space and time is vital in order to improve characterization of such gases both regionally and globally. Some of the new observations gathered on ice cover, ocean waters, land and atmosphere in INTAROS, as well as existing data harmonized for easier input to models, are used to improve the modelling, outputs from which can be checked against observed atmospheric conditions. Reduced uncertainties in the resulting future climate simulations will in turn help local communities as well as decision makers in economics and management to improve adaptation measures towards climate change impacts in the region.
Another focus of this work is to characterize ocean acidification patterns in surface and bottom waters by assessing the movement of greenhouse gasses between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. This is achieved by integrating observations from a range of platforms being deployed around the Svalbard archipelago. Such an improved assessment of spatio-temporal patterns in ocean acidity in the region, including better prediction of pelagic/benthic ecosystem response to changes in carbonate chemistry, contributes towards assessing the sustainability of fisheries in Arctic waters.