Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Workshop on the Dynamics and Mass Budget of Arctic Glaciers, organized by Network on Arctic Glaciology (NAG), International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)

The workshop on the “Dynamics and Mass Budget of Arctic Glaciers" was held from 23-25 January, 2017 in Bethel, Maine, USA. This workshop was organized by Network on Arctic Glaciology Annual Meeting (NAG), one of the research networks under International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The purpose of the workshop was:

  1. to present and discuss new results on observations and modeling of the dynamics and mass budget of Arctic glaciers, including the Greenland ice sheet,
  2. to plan and coordinate field work on Arctic glaciers with the aim of using the available infrastructure and logistics in the most efficient way,
  3. to develop ideas for future projects and collaboration.

Since 1992 when IASC established a Working Group on Arctic Glaciology, the workshop has been held 13 times. This year, 25 researchers participated from overseas in this workshop, including us from Hokkaido University, Japan.

    Two special sessions: 1) glacier-atmosphere interactions and 2) glacier–ocean interactions took place in the workshop. These subjects were selected for its emerging importance and increasing number of activities in the Arctic glaciology. In the special session 1), several talks were given on fog in the Arctic coastal regions. The presentations emphasized the importance to observe the temporal and spatial patters of fog and the significance of its influence on glacier mass balance. In the special session 2), speakers presented recent effort on the assessment of submarine melt rate at the front of calving glaciers, as well as the impact of meltwater discharge on primary production in the ocean. These studies employed cutting edge techniques of numerical modeling, satellite observation, and in-situ hydrographic observations. We reported our recent progress in the ArCS Greenland Project. Our approach to the ice-ocean interaction from chemical and biological observations in the fjord drew attention of the audience. The participants reconfirmed the importance of the atmospheric and oceanic influences on glaciers in the Arctic, as well as the impact of glacier changes on the atmosphere and ocean environments. We also shared experiences and exchanged ideas for our research activities in the future.

The workshop was beneficial for us to understand the most important issues for the Arctic glaciological community, and to share the visions for the future activity of the NAG. In accordance with Japanese glaciologists contributed to the establishment of NAG in 1990's, we contribute to the further understanding of the Arctic changes with close collaboration with the NAG and IASC.

Details of NAG and the workshop are available here ( The photographs are provided by Thorben Dunse.

Naoya Kanna (Hokkaido University, A member of Theme 2)

Presentation on the ArCS Greenland Project

Group photograph of the workshop

Group photograph of NAG in 1994 (from NAG website). Dr. Okitsugu Watanabe, former Director-General of NIPR, is in front row right.