Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

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Additional questions about the news release to Dr. Inoue

Regarding the news release “Optimized Arctic observations for improving weather forecast in the Northern Sea Route” in November 2015, we asked to the author of the paper, Dr. Jun Inoue, for some more explanation. Hope you enjoy this blog post as an additional information.

Key points of the news release

  • To improve the accuracy of the climate and weather forecast over the Arctic Ocean, conducting atmospheric observations four times a day is the most optimized observing frequency.
  • Additional atmospheric observations would effectively predict not only severe weather phenomena over the Arctic Ocean but also sea-ice distribution influenced by atmospheric forcing.
  • A cost-benefit optimized Arctic observing network is required for improving polar predictions.

Questions and Answers

1. How much is the cost for the special observations four times a day?

-Approximately US$120 (radiosondes, balloons, and helium gas). So the total cost for a day would be  approximately US$480. Additional costs are personal expenses and logistical supports.


2. How do you find the hardest thing of the Arctic atmospheric observations?

-Man power, transport capacity, and harsh environment are very serious problems. Existing land stations would play an important role to maintain the Arctic observing network because research cruises are usually very expensive.


3. How was the domestic and international response to the news release?

-The ice pilot joined in our research cruise commented on it at the web site.


4. Can you think of any specific communities that you want to have them become interested in your research?

-The target is not only shipping companies but also weather centers.


5. What is your plan for the future research?

-Polar Prediction Project (PPP) initiated by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is our backbone as a cooperative international research. Predictability studies associated with climatic linkages between the Arctic and lower latitudes are also important topics for us.


Dr. Inoue and his team will continue to work on optimizing Arctic observation network for weather and sea ice forecasts in the Predictability study on weather and sea-ice forecasts linked with user engagement program.

Dr. Jun Inoue (NIPR) and Secretariat