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The International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP): A Cornerstone of the Arctic Observing Network
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE POLAR SCIENCE CENTER
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The Arctic has undergone dramatic changes in weather, climate and environment. It should be noted that many of these changes were first observed and studied using data from the IABP httpiabp.apl.washington.edu. For example, IABP data were fundamental to Walsh et al. 1996 showing that atmospheric pressure has decreased, Rigor et al. 2000 showing that air temperatures have increased, and to Proshutinsky and Johnson 1997 Steele and Boyd, 1998 Kwok, 2000 and Rigor et al. 2002 showing that the clockwise circulation of sea ice and the ocean has weakened. All these results relied heavily on IABP data. In addition to supporting these studies of climate change, the IABP observations are also used to validate satellite retrievals of environmental variables, to force, validate and initialize numerical models, and to forecast weather and ice conditions. Over 600 papers have been written using data from the IABP. The observations and datasets of the IABP are one of the cornerstones for environmental forecasting and research in the Arctic. Simply maintaining the network may be the biggest challenge for the IABP given the changes in climate. The winds tends to blow the buoys away from the Eurasian coast more quickly, and the decline of sea ice requires the development of more robust equipment that may survive the annual freezethaw cycles. This talk summarizes the operations, some recent research, and the challenges facing IABP up through the International Polar Year.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE