Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONET)

This interdisciplinary project implements an integrated program for observing seasonal ice in the context of sweeping environmental, (geo)political and socio-economic change in the North. In addition to sampling of sea-ice state variables, the observation-system design is guided by the concept of sea-ice system services (SISS). By assessing the nature and extent of SISS, an integrated observation network can be built that will lead to prediction of key trends in a changing Arctic in a way that provides maximum benefit for the broadest range of affected interests. The project’s overarching scientific goal is to track intertwined changes and selected important impacts in a rapidly evolving Seasonal Ice Zone (SIZ) in order to improve our understanding and predictions of the Arctic sea-ice cover over the course of the century.

The project will establish a network of researchers, Arctic residents, different institutions with needs for sea-ice information, and other stakeholders. It will deliver infrastructure and an integrated sea-ice data set, leaving a legacy that allows for continued, long-term observations beyond the IPY “test bed.”


    Specific objectives:

  • Identify a set of sea-ice variables that helps answer the key scientific questions and is of greatest value to the stakeholder communities while being operationally tractable.
  • Provide a framework for assessing sea-ice observations during IPY in the context of large-scale spatial and temporal variability.  
  • An observation protocol will be developed to guide ice observations during the IPY and beyond.  
  • Complete a series of networked, integrated pan-Arctic SIZ observations, and disseminate the data to relevant user and stakeholder groups through appropriate archival and distribution centers. This effort will involve partners from six nations and draw on existing resources and programs already in place.  
  • Analyze observations in a dialog with potential users, aimed at refining the observation strategy to create a legacy network for the post-IPY phase.



Project lead: Hajo Eicken
Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA

The material on this website is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under award number 0856867. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Supplemental support is also provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, through a subcontract with the Jet Propulsion Lab (Contract No. 1322658).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
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