The aim of this project is to develop a next generation sea ice information service by integrating and building on a wide range of European and national funded activities which incorporate many of the required components. In the Arctic the retreat of the sea ice during the last two decades is facilitating an astonishing increase in natural resource development accompanied by increased shipping activity.
The Antarctic is also seeing increased ship traffic driven by fisheries, cruise ships and scientific research. The past and current funding of European capability has reflected the critical importance of sea ice information in both marine transportation and the impact of regional climate change. However previously funded projects address distinct elements of the complete service chain and it is now timely to bring these together to address some obvious gaps in order to prove a complete and fully operational service is possible.
This project will demonstrate a complete end-to-end operational sea ice information service, by building on existing capabilities and filling gaps in required information and technology. Polar Ice will include development of new information services including sea ice pressure and thickness products. The project will also investigate transfer of current sea ice forecasting methods from the Baltic to wider application in the Arctic and Antarctic. Polar Ice will then demonstrate integration of existing national and European funded capability to prove a complete operational real-time sea ice service. This will encompass primary data delivered by the GMES space segment and marine core services, value added information from GMES downstream activities and industry, delivery based on inter-operable data standards defined by the INSPIRE directive and integration into user systems based on industry requirements and best practice.