Coordination, Data Management and Enhancement of the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP), A US Interagency Arctic Buoy Programme (USIABP) Contribution to the IABP
NAVAL ICE CENTER WASHINGTON DC
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Our ability to predict weather and sea ice conditions requires in situ observations of surface meteorology and ice motion. These observations are assimilated into Numerical Weather Prediction NWP models that are used to forecast weather on synoptic time scales, and into the many long-term atmospheric reanalyses e.g. NCEPNCAR Reanalysis that are used for innumerable climate studies. The impact of these in situ observations can be seen in Fig. 1 where Inoue et al. 2009 shows that the standard deviation in gridded sea level pressure SLP reanalyses fields over the Arctic Ocean was over 2.6 hPa in areas where there were no buoy observations to constrain the reanalyses, and this uncertainty in the SLP fields spreads to cover the entire Arctic when the observations from buoys are removed from the reanalyses. The buoy observations also help constrain of estimates of wind and heat. In situ observations of sea ice motion are also important for estimating the drift of various areas and types of sea ice, and for understanding the dynamics of ridging and rafting of this ice, which changes the thickness distribution of sea ice. Over the Arctic Ocean, this fundamental observing network is maintained by the IABP, and is a critical component of the Arctic Observing Network AON.
- Information Science
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost