Polar Clouds, Precipitation, and Aerosols

Clouds regulate radiative and precipitation fluxes in polar regions, and thus control fundamental aspects of the climate system such as energy budgets, air-sea exchange, and sea level. Cloud-aerosol interactions influence polar cloud radiative impacts and precipitation efficiencies.  Polar clouds, precipitation, and aerosol processes are changing in a warming world and new observations and model simulations are supporting and challenging existing paradigms.  Sample topics for this session include: How do polar clouds influence radiative fluxes over sea ice and ice sheets?  How much precipitation falls in polar regions? What processes control polar cloud-aerosol-precipitation interactions? What are the sources of aerosols, especially cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei, at high latitudes? Is the Southern Ocean a good analogue for pre-industrial cloud-aerosol interactions and do the ubiquitous clouds there influence carbon and heat uptake? What is the importance of super-cooled liquid cloud water for the climate system? In sum, presentations on all aspects of clouds, precipitation, and aerosols at high latitudes are solicited for this session. 

Atmospheric Physics

This session focuses on recent and ongoing studies of topics in atmospheric physics, including but not limited to:  cloud microphysics, radiation, boundary layers and aerosols.  These investigations may be based on theory, observations, analysis, or the results of numerical models.  The spatial scales considered in this session will extend from the global (e.g. albedo feedbacks) to those of the individual particle (e.g. droplet growth and breakup).

The Changing Arctic Atmosphere

The Arctic Atmosphere is changing rapidly due to a large number of influences: changing composition, changing sea-ice, changing input from lower latitudes and changing input from the land, snow, ice and oceans. The region is known to be fragile and small changes in these inputs can have large effects and can be amplified strongly through feedback mechanisms. At the same time the annual polar light/dark cycle instead of the daily cycle means that the atmosphere reacts differently to changes than does the atmosphere at lower latitudes. And making measurements is difficult because of the harsh environment and sparse measurement locations.

However understanding the changing Arctic atmosphere during both the summer and winter is an essential part of understanding the global atmosphere system.


Atmospheric Interfaces in the Arctic

Much of the action in the Arctic atmosphere occurs at the interfaces with the sea ice, snow, ocean, land as well as with the global atmospheric systems. These interactions are complex and varied, but are also important to understanding the entire Arctic system. This session invites papers on the atmospheric interfaces wherever they occur and on measurements, models and understanding of the fluxes across these interfaces.


This session focuses on recent and ongoing studies related to the collection, treatment and analysis of atmospheric and atmosphere-relevant surface data.  Studies considering data from in-situ or remote sensing sources are welcome, including but not limited to:  standard near-surface observations, snow measurements, radar data, satellite data, turbulence observations, soil property measurements.

Numerical Weather Prediction

All aspects of numerical prediction of the atmosphere will be considered in this session.  This includes the description of modelling and analysis systems at spatial scales from global to local, the development of novel techniques and algorithms applied to such systems, and the evaluation of the quality of existing systems.  Investigations of numerical prediction of weather and air quality prediction should be submitted to this session. Researchers whose work focuses uniquely on physical parameterizations in numerical models may prefer to submit to the Atmospheric Physics session.


Data Assimilation and Impact of Observations

We are inviting contributions on data assimilation and the impact of observations in analyses of geophysical fields and in forecasts.  Theoretical studies and applications to meteorology and air quality are welcome.


Operational Forecasting

This session focuses on all aspects of weather forecasting from an operational perspective.  This includes descriptions of nowcasting and forecasting techniques, case studies, and evaluations of forecast skill.  Presenters who wish to focus more tightly on the production and evaluation of numerical guidance may want to consider submitting to the Numerical Weather Prediction session.


Synoptic and Mesoscale Dynamics

This session focuses on recent and ongoing studies of atmospheric dynamics from planetary to meso-scales.  These investigations may include, but are not limited to: case studies, climatologies and observational analyses.  This is the atmospheric component of the interdisciplinary Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics session.


General Atmospheric Science


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Evaluation of Acidification in Canadian Waters

Across Canada's three oceans and in its coastal waters, various ocean processes lead to different controls on local carbon cycling. Advances in understanding the seasonal and climatic changes in pH require measurements, modelling and process evaluation. We welcome papers on any aspect of this question.


General Ocean Ecosystem Science 

Papers on all aspects of ocean ecosystems are welcome.


General Biogeochemistry

Papers on all aspects of biogeochemical science are welcome.


Polar Marine and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry : Synthesizing observations and model results

Near-future climate change is predicted to have its strongest impact in polar regions due to enhanced warming, changes in sea ice cover and subsequent feedback processes. Our understanding of these processes and the accuracy of dedicated models is still in its infancy even though these regions are key areas for global biogeochemical sources and sinks, with complex linkages to the cryosphere and sensitivity to rapid climate change. Carbon dioxide, methane, and other biogeochemical gases are produced, consumed, and exported to the atmosphere and ocean by biological systems under the influence of freeze-thaw processes as well as other physical and chemical drivers. Feedbacks to the global climate system via carbon are profound.  Earth System Models (ESMs) are characterized by important uncertainties in the polar regions.  End-of-the-century scenarios do not agree on whether primary production will increase or decrease in the Arctic Ocean and the impact of sea ice reduction on CO2 fluxes shows indications for both increased and decreased uptake. These examples illustrate the difficulty of understanding and modelling the feedbacks involved in this rapid change. Local, regional and national governments need to know the details of marine and terrestrial ecosystem changes to evaluate potential societal and economic impacts and take appropriate action. We welcome contributions of observations and model developments synthesizing our knowledge base and advancing our understanding of biogeochemical processes in polar regions in both the marine and terrestrial domains.


Land-atmosphere exchange of trace gases

Research on greenhouse gas (GHG) and trace gas exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is important to understand the feedback mechanisms in regional and global biogeochemical cycles, to assess impacts due to changing climates and land-use conversions, and to quantify emission reduction efforts. This session will provide a platform to discuss the latest observational and modelling results on GHG and trace-gas exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. We welcome research on the quantification and controls of long-lived greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) and the transfer of short-lived species and trace elements (e.g. volatile organic compounds). We aim to cover work on pristine, disturbed, managed and human dominated ecosystems, ranging from basic process-based analyses to studies that guide the sustainable management of resources and land. Studies of ecosystem-climate feedbacks including the impact of land disturbances (e.g. insect attacks, fire, permafrost disturbances, urbanization) on carbon sequestration rates are key to properly projecting future emission scenarios and sequestration potentials. We finally welcome contributions on technological developments to enhance our capabilities to monitor, quantify, and model trace-gas exchange and/or attribute trace-gas concentrations in the atmosphere to various sources and sinks.

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THEME: Climate

Climate Change and Extreme Events

It has become widely recognized that under a changing climate, the frequency and intensity of meteorological/hydrological extreme events and associated damage costs would more likely increase in the 21st century. To expand adaptive capacity to minimize future hazardous risks, solid scientific information on future projections and historical trend analysis of the extreme events is essential for decision makers to develop adaptation strategies and policies. This information includes quantitative assessments or projections on changes in frequency and intensity of the meteorological and hydrological extreme events under a changing climate. This session invites submissions of papers concerning historical trends analysis of and climate change impacts on meteorological and hydrological extreme events using GCM and RCM outputs and/or statistically downscaled scenarios. Meteorological/hydrological extreme events include (but not limited to) heat, cold, heavy rainfall, flooding, drought, freezing rain, blizzards, snow depth, wind gust, hurricane, tornado, etc. The purpose of this session is to provide a platform for researchers to share information, exchange latest developments and applications of climate change impact analyses on the meteorological and hydrological extreme events.


Climate Variability and Predictability

This session invites contributions that deal with climate variability and predictions on subseasonal, seasonal, interannual and decadal-interdecadal time scales. Contributions are solicited on topics including studies of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and tropical waves, El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), atmospheric circulation patterns, tropical-extratropical interaction and teleconnections, and impacts of these processes on predictability and predictions. Equally welcome are contributions on extended- and long-range weather forecasts, and predictions of climate variability on various time scales, including ensemble and initialization techniques, model development, forecast skill assessment, downscaling and calibration, and end-user value and applications. Results from diagnostic, modelling, model inter-comparison, and theoretical approaches are all welcome.


Polar Hazards and Extremes

Extreme events in and near the Antarctic and the high north can have profound and lasting impacts.  Large glacial calving events or ice sheet collapses can dramatically impact terrestrial and marine ecosystems, flux exchange at the air-ice-sea interface, and cause a pulse of freshwater input to the ocean.  Prolonged periods of intense solar radiation or intense polar lows can dramatically impact sea ice, which can have downstream and often lasting consequences preserved in the comparatively long memory of sea ice.  This session invites presentations on a wide range of modelling and observation-based research associated with polar hazards and extremes, including, but not limited to: extremes in the glacial and sea ice conditions (extent, concentration, thickness, melting, calving, expansion, etc.), intense polar storms, extremes in temperature and wind in the polar regions, rapid shifts in polar climate, and extreme events in the Arctic or Southern Oceans (transport, upwelling, fresh water fluxes, etc.).  Presentations that analyze changes in the extremes in mid-latitudes as a result of changes in the polar environments are welcome, as are papers dealing with the hazards created by such extreme events.


Polar Coupled Climate Modelling and Weather Prediction

One of the defining aspects of polar regions is the large and variable fluxes of energy, salt and freshwater across the air-sea ice-ocean interface, and of energy and freshwater across land-atmosphere and land-ocean boundaries. At the same time, these fluxes are inherently coupled with large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and changes in one component of the climate can result in changes and feedbacks in other components. The sensitivity of polar regions to anthropogenic climate change together with observed recent changes have spurred a growing interest in understanding and ultimately predicting the evolution of polar regions. To explore this, climate and weather models offer us some of our best tools. This session invites submissions on model development in the polar regions, especially fully-coupled regional as well as global models.  We also invite submissions focused on weather models used to generate weeklong to seasonal forecasts of the Arctic and Antarctic. Submissions on modelling processes relevant to long (climate) and short (weather) time-scales are encouraged.


Polar/Lower-Latitude Connections

Surface temperatures have warmed more in northern high latitudes than in most other parts of the globe during recent decades. Meanwhile, southern high latitudes have undergone rapid regional warming and cooling in various locations. These climate changes in both polar regions may be connected in subtle ways to variability in the mid-latitudes and tropics. Ideas related to this have been gaining attention in recent years, such as proposed linkages between Arctic sea ice retreat and mid-latitude weather patterns, teleconnections between the Antarctic and the tropics, and impacts of sea ice changes on the large-scale ocean circulation. This session welcomes submissions related to all aspects of atmosphere and ocean connections between polar regions and lower latitudes, including work drawing on observational and reanalysis datasets, climate models, and theoretical approaches.


Detection and Attribution of High Latitude Climate Change

The Arctic is the most rapidly warming region of the globe, and this warming has been accompanied by marked changes in sea ice, precipitation, snow cover, hydrology, extremes and other variables, with profound impacts on human and natural systems. Attribution of these changes to factors such as greenhouse gas and aerosol changes can improve our understanding of past changes and our confidence in projections of future change. However, sparse observations available over a limited period of time, model uncertainties and high internal variability make attribution of high latitude change particularly challenging. We invite abstracts on all aspects of attribution of high latitude climate change, including studies focused on methodological advances addressing these challenges.


Characterizing Surface Wind Behaviour through Observations and Modelling

The characterization of typical and extreme surface winds and their evolution with climate is important for a host of applications, ranging from dust production and coastal upwelling systems to renewable energy production, infrastructure development and vulnerability to damage. Yet our understanding of historical, modern and future trends in surface wind behaviour is incomplete, and requires further analysis.  This session invites researchers using both observational and modelling approaches to share their findings on surface wind speed behaviour and its impacts in both terrestrial and ocean environments.


Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrometeorology of Mountainous Terrain in western North America

Mountains are often referred to as "water towers" as they receive a disproportionate amount of precipitation owing to orographic effects. They also store freshwater in the seasonal snowpack and in glaciers, with these reservoirs providing meltwater that becomes the source of many streams and rivers of western Canada. With growing demands for freshwater resources in a rapidly changing climate, there is an urgent need to better understand the role of these water towers in the water cycle of western North America. This session seeks presentations on the impacts of climate change on the hydrometeorology of mountainous terrain in western North America. Topics may cover the elevation-dependence of air temperature, precipitation, snow and streamflow trends, water budget studies, and projections of the future climate in mountainous terrain. Studies based on observational records, numerical models and/or remote sensing are welcomed.


From Carbon Emissions to Climate Change

Recent work has shown that climate warming is approximately proportional to cumulative carbon dioxide emissions. The ratio of warming to emissions is determined by the strength and sign of physical and biogeochemical feedbacks and is subject to considerable uncertainty. Biogeochemical feedbacks, such as the response of the terrestrial and marine carbon sinks to changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate or the permafrost-carbon feedback, are key determinants of the future level of atmospheric CO2 and hence radiative forcing. Physical feedbacks in the climate system, on the other hand, determine the climate response to a given level of radiative forcing. Uncertainties in both types of feedbacks contribute about equally to the uncertainty in climate change projections for the 21st century. We invite submissions that address all aspects of the causal chain from CO2 emissions to climate change, including the quantification and roles of physical and biogeochemical feedbacks, and the quantification, physical causes and implications of the proportionality between warming and cumulative carbon emissions.


General Climate Science


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State of the Cryosphere

Regions seasonally covered by snow, ice, or permafrost are more rapidly responding to global climate change than the rest of the earth.  Furthermore, these regions are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation because of the potential in the cryosphere for the water at the surface to transition from a frozen to a liquid.  Observing and reporting on the state of the cryosphere provides an ongoing time series to understand the effect global climate change is having on the earth, changes that have far reaching impacts on the surrounding environment and the people living in the regions.  This session invites presentations on a wide range of modelling and observation-based research which provides information on the status of snow, ice and permafrost covered regions.  Potential topics include, but are not limited to:  current state or recent trends in mountain glacier or ice sheet mass balance, ice shelf retreat or melt rates, variability or trends in ocean heat transport, recent changes in sea ice extent or thickness, trends or changes in the amplitude or spatial patterns of modes of climate variability in the polar regions, poleward shifts in storm tracks or changes in precipitation, and changes or trends in polar cloud cover. Presentations that aim to improve our understanding of the observed variability, changes or trends are encouraged.


Mechanisms of Polar Change and Variability

Both polar regions are undergoing change, and depending on the region and season, the change may manifest as strong positive or negative trends or as an increase or decrease in variability, depending on the climate variable or coupled system being analyzed. These changes may be due to: changes in forcing, feedback processes, and changes in the mean state. This session will focus on studies investigating mechanisms of polar change and variability, for example: analyses of components of the cryosphere; atmosphere; ocean; coupled processes; or of the climate system as a whole.


High-resolution sea ice-ocean modelling

There are many polar physical oceanographic processes that cannot be adequately simulated without using high-resolution sea ice and ocean models (<1/10o). These physical processes include oceanic eddies, tides, buoyancy-driven coastal and boundary currents, explicit coupling with ice sheets, glaciers and river deltas, and rheological anisotropy in sea ice. Coupled ice-ocean processes that benefit from high spatial and temporal resolution include resolving ice-ocean inertia, snow deposition and its evolution on the surface of sea ice, melt pond generation and drainage, and stability and roughness dependent momentum transfer between sea ice and the ocean and atmosphere.   This session seeks papers that address these and other physical processes being implemented and evaluated in high-resolution sea ice-ocean models.  In addition, we seek papers that assimilate ice-ocean models for the purpose of sea ice forecasting, and skill assessments of predictions.  Research that targets specific processes associated with coupling of high resolution ice-ocean processes with the atmosphere are also welcome. This session complements the “Ocean-atmosphere interactions and sea ice” session which focuses on observational aspects.


High latitude glacier and ice sheet interaction with the atmosphere and ocean

This session focuses on high latitude glaciers and ice sheets and their interaction with other components of the climate system. Glaciers and ice sheets are sensitive components of the global climate system from the tropics to the poles.  They serve as valuable records of past and present climatic conditions.  Environmental changes affect both the mass and energy balances of glaciers and ice sheets through atmospheric and oceanic coupling, which in turn affect sea-level rise.  Recent research has shown that important processes couple glaciers and ice sheets to oceans, particularly in the coastal regions around Greenland and Antarctica. This session invites contributions focusing on the role of glaciers and ice sheets in the climate system, including observational assessments of processes affecting their coupling to the atmosphere and ocean.  Papers tackling the impact of atmospheric and oceanic model resolution and represented processes in ice sheet coupling are encouraged.  We welcome work that seeks to understand interconnections between the tropics and ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.


Ocean-atmosphere interactions and sea ice

Sea ice extent has been decreasing for decades in the Arctic, while in the Antarctic, total extent has been increasing slowly. Sea ice is a critical component of the climate system, affecting atmosphere, oceans, and biological systems. Predicting the future state of sea ice fields in both hemispheres, and understanding these apparently conflicting trends, is important for our understanding of global climate change. In this session, we will explore the latest developments in our understanding of atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions, process studies to improve understanding of these interactions, and improved modelling of sea ice in scales ranging from regional-basin scales to the global earth-system models. The session will include topics such as, but not limited to, sea ice albedo, surface energy exchange in the sea ice zone, the role of snow on sea ice, sea ice kinematics and dynamics, the role of ocean waves, wave-ice interactions, interactions between sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics, and the impact of sea ice formation and melt on ocean structure. It will also cover remote sensing of sea ice and sea ice modelling and prediction, both at local scales, the marginal ice zone, regional and global scales.  This session complements the “High-Resolution sea ice-ocean modelling” session which focuses on modelling aspects of the topics summarized herein.


Beaufort Sea Ocean-Ice-Atmosphere Dynamics

This interdisciplinary session will present scientific papers addressing the complex dynamical interactions of ocean-ice-atmospheric processes with emphasis on the exchanges between the continental slope and shelf as related to atmospheric forcing and modulated by the seasonal sea ice cover.  Papers will include emerging scientific research results arising from major ocean research measurement programs including a collaborative research program between ArcticNet and Industry from 2009-2011 involving the deployment of 8 heavily instrumented oceanographic moorings in offshore oil and gas exploration license areas, including extensive time series measurements of ocean currents, detailed sea ice draft and velocity, sediment concentration and fluxes and other ocean-ice properties. This initiative was extended through 2011-14 with support from the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) program with the continuation of a subset of the moorings. For these years, complementary year-round oceanography-ice mooring data sets were collected by federal government research laboratories and in support of other oil and gas industry studies in the Beaufort Sea in both Canada and the United States. Scientific papers are invited from academia, government research laboratories, industries and other sectors. Papers are expected to include the following research topics: (1) atmospheric-ice-ocean dynamics and coupling; (2) ocean slope-shelf dynamics under variable wind forcing and seasonal ice cover as expressed in the ocean currents and physical-chemical water masses; and (3) sediment exchanges and dynamics.  Related interdisciplinary research involving physical-biogeochemical processes in the Beaufort Sea and adjoining regions are also appropriate.


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Integrated Arctic Monitoring System: the Role of Satellite Observations

Climate change in high latitudes is occurring at a faster pace than anywhere else on Earth. Sustained monitoring and targeted field campaigns are required to acquire knowledge and understanding of climate processes and to monitor changes against baselines. There is also an increased demand by stakeholders for improved meteorological and marine forecasts and warnings in the Canadian Arctic in particular due to increased exploitation of natural resources in this region. This session will focus on showing the importance of space-based Earth observations in complementing the Arctic ground-based observation infrastructure.


Atmosphere,  Ocean, and Climate Dynamics

This session combines submissions on processes and mechanisms in atmosphere, ocean and climate dynamics.  The scope of the session is deliberately broad in order to include research on any aspect of the earth system from a dynamical perspective. Analyses and theoretical studies of forecast, climate, and process models and of reanalysis and other observational datasets serve to increase our understanding of dynamical processes that drive circulations across time and spatial scales.  Other sessions exist for addressing operational issues, numerical modelling, and the acquisition and use of observations.  However, dynamical studies of the atmosphere, ocean, and climate systems are often difficult to slot into particular sessions.  Combining such studies into a single session could be of great benefit to the CMOS community in general.


Hydro-climatic Extremes at Regional Scales: Effects of Climate Variability and Change, and Land Surface Processes

Hydro-climatic extremes such as droughts, floods, increased precipitation intensities, and decreased low-flows can pose serious threats to society and ecosystems. At regional scales, these extremes are influenced by climate variability and change, and land surface processes. This session seeks presentations on the latest advances that can improve understanding and predictive capability of hydro-climatic extremes from sub-seasonal to multi-decadal timescales at the local level. Studies can include model and observation based analysis, statistical techniques (e.g. extreme value theory, probabilistic extreme analysis, and regional frequency analysis), dynamical and statistical methods for downscaling extremes, and process based studies. Examples of process based studies include soil-moisture and precipitation interactions, rain-on-snow events, and effects of El-Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability. Inter-comparison of techniques and evaluation of uncertainties are also encouraged.


Innovation through Integration: Collaborative Science, Policy, and Environmental Management at High Latitudes

The next 20 years are predicted to bring us more change than the last 100 years.  It is the pace of change that creates the sense of urgency to the task of identifying useful actions for strategic environmental management.  Developing an integrated, science-based evidence, systems-thinking framework is essential for creating innovative and adaptive policies.  Progress in this area can only be achieved through improved interdisciplinary collaboration, working within communities and across scales to gain understanding and identify useful actions for strategic socio-economic changes that will promote resilience.  This session is intended as a platform for multiple voices, and invites papers describing such emerging initiatives and collaborations in high latitudes.


Meteorology, Hydrology and Renewable Energy

There are many interactions between energy and the atmosphere or water bodies. Air quality and CO2 emissions are one side of things but many sources of renewable energy involve air or water as the energy source or as a factor in limiting the energy available, as with clouds and solar energy. Hydroelectric power depends critically on precipitation, wind and solar energy production varies in response to weather conditions and wave and tidal power provide other potential sources of clean energy. Hydroelectric and wind energy are currently the largest sources of renewable energy in Canada with obvious links to meteorology and forecasting, both short term and in terms of climate change.  Topics covered will include wind and solar energy resource assessment, and day to day forecasting, climate change and inter-annual variability, issues such as noise and sound propagation, related to wind farms and other impacts on people and agriculture.


Two Ways of Knowing: Scientists and Inuit Knowledge Holders

The proposed Focus Session will feature an invited panel that will give short presentations, followed by discussions on the missing communication between the “two ways of knowing” and how scientists and Inuit knowledge holders can work better together.  The Focus Session would be comprised of perhaps three Inuit, together with two or three scientists from universities and/or government.  The Session would allow each panelist to make about ten minutes of comments and then be opened for discussion and interaction amongst the panelists, and with audience members.  Presentations might examine what changes Arctic Indigenous peoples are experiencing on their lands/waters; and what science is needed to better understand and respond to these changes; and, a discussion on how scientists and Inuit knowledge holders (Traditional Knowledge) can work more closely together to address challenges and opportunities.  Panel could conclude on some recommendations on how to work more closely together in the future.


Workshop on Communicating Uncertainty to Users of Weather Forecasts

There can be a significant gap between what forecasters know and what users of weather forecasts ultimately receive. Most (government-issued) forecasts are comprised of deterministic textual information with few outlets for forecasters to express the inherent uncertainty that is associated with predicting the weather.  In the last decade, there have been numerous studies related to communicating forecast uncertainty to different types of end-users. The findings support the notion that uncertainty information is wanted and can be used effectively by decision makers. Indeed, some weather services have made efforts to incorporate uncertainty information beyond basic probability of precipitation forecasts.  For example, some offer expressions of forecasters’ confidence while others provide output from Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) to indicate the probability of occurrence of events. Still, a deeper understanding is lacking about what type of forecast uncertainty information is most useful and how best to communicate it.


This workshop will include invited speakers along with facilitated discussions or breakout sessions.  Invited speakers, panelists and participants will be asked to address topics related to uncertainty, including (but not limited to):

•Sources of forecast uncertainty 

•Scales of uncertainty

•Using forecast uncertainty to aid in decision making

•The use of Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) to communicate uncertainty 

•Effective Communication: Words – numbers – graphics


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Coastal Oceanography and Inland Waters in a Changing Climate

Coastal and inland waters feature complex physics and host diverse ecosystems.  Monitoring, understanding, and predicting physical, chemical and biological variability and trend in coastal and inland waters have long been one of the research priorities in oceanography. The demand for knowledge of the physical environment in coastal and inland waters is even more compelling under a changing climate as a result of both natural and anthropogenic forcing. This session will focus on all aspects of physical processes and modelling of coastal oceans, estuaries and inland waters. Topics could include but are not limited to sea level rise, tides and tidal currents, storm surges, wind-driven currents, baroclinic dynamics, sea ice, waves, fronts and upwelling, mixing and dispersion, and sediment movement, as well as their impacts on chemical and biological processes.


Physical Oceanography

Advances in Physical Oceanography benefit from observational data, detailed modelling studies, and theory describing fundamental processes occurring over a large range of spatial and temporal scales.  The range of length scales is vast and includes: micro- and fine-structure, sub-mesoscale, mesoscale, and basin-scale flows.  In the subpolar regions the dynamics are intimately coupled to the dynamics of sea ice.   We welcome contributions on these and other related topics and will work with the organizers of the Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics session to ensure that there are no scheduling overlaps.


The Labrador Sea as a Vital element of the climate system

The Labrador Sea, off the east coast of Canada, is one of the few oceanic regions where the deep ocean exchanges gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) directly with the atmosphere. This gas exchange, driven by wintertime deep convection is the ocean's "deep breathing" and the Labrador Sea can be viewed as a lung in the Earth System. Localized deep convection releases large amounts of heat to the atmosphere and the resulting Labrador Sea Water contributes to the global ocean thermohaline circulation that redistributes heat from low latitudes to the poles. Deep water formation in the Labrador Sea is one of several tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. Convection also drives a large flux of oxygen and anthropogenic CO2 into the North Atlantic, oxygenating subsurface layers and slowing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, but exacerbating ocean acidification along Canada's sensitive eastern continental margin. The combined action of convection and horizontal circulation redistributes nutrients and contaminants (e.g. from future deepwater oil production along the deep Labrador slope) potentially affecting ocean productivity and marine ecosystem health. This session is open to inter-disciplinary papers looking at all aspects of the Labrador Sea, from both observations as well as numerical models.


Mixing in the Open and Coastal Oceans

A variety of mechanisms contribute to mixing in stratified fluids, some of which include breaking internal waves, wind forcing, tidal flows, and other convective processes. These mixing processes have important implications for sediment transport, nutrient distribution, and energy dissipation in a variety of systems. Mixing has been a focus of physical oceanography research for the last half century and much progress has been made by the continuous feedback between observations and numerical models. However, both measurements and models present challenges. Measurements of mixing and dissipation rates are challenged by the natural temporal and spatial variability. Modelling of turbulence and mixing is challenged by incompleteness of turbulence theories and limited computational resources requiring the parametrization of sub grid-scale processes. Even the direct connection between observations and numerical results is often unclear. This session invites speakers from both the modelling and observational communities to present research focusing on mixing processes in the open and coastal oceans. Suggested topics include but are not limited to: measurements of mixing, the relation between these observations and numerical studies, and how observations can guide and influence theoretical research and the modelling community.


Collaboration in development, application and analysis of ocean forecasting models

This session invites ocean modelling researchers from government, universities and industry who are interested in potential coordination and collaboration in the development, application and analysis of ocean models for operational ocean forecasting and for research. Specific topics include: 1) optimal design of model domain and grid; 2) sources of model input data; 3) set up and tests of model parameters; ; 4) improvement in model numerics; 5) interface with sea-ice, atmosphere and hydrology modules; 6) particle tracking and tracer modules; 7) visualization tools; 8) model validation and datasets; 9) coordinated experiments and inter-comparison; 10) model analysis and scientific issues; 11) strategy for code version control, sharing and transfer to operations; etc.  This session primarily addresses technical issues, but also welcomes inspiring ideas of ocean modelling studies. While the focus will be on the NEMO and FVCOM models used for the Canadian CONCEPTS, MEOPAR, VITALS and World Class Oil Tanker Safety projects, we also welcome experience sharing and insight developed from other state-of-the-art ocean models.  


Oceanographic High Frequency Radar: Acquisition to Assimilation

High-frequency radar (HFR) is a technology which relies on the scattering from the ocean surface of radio-frequency radiation in the high-frequency range (3 to 30 MHz).  The scattering is used to measure surface currents, sea state, wind, and even to track marine traffic and icebergs. While the technology was partly pioneered in the 1980s by Canadian researchers, the adoption of commercial systems for oceanographic purposes has only recently taken hold in Canada with installations in the Strait of Georgia by Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), in Placentia Bay by Memorial University of Newfoundland researchers, and in the St Lawrence estuary by UQAR researchers. Our reliance on HFR will only grow from here.  For example, ONC plans to expand the Strait of Georgia network, and to install additional instruments further north on the British Columbia coast.  The intent of this session is to bring together those who have an interest in HFR data.  We encourage presentations demonstrating the use of HFR for all purposes including (but not limited to!) oceanographic studies (including validation), tsunami detection, surface trajectory prediction, instrument and algorithm development, search and response, sea state estimation, assimilation into ocean circulation models, and ship and icebergs tracking.


Coordination of Ocean Science in Canada: An Update and Way Forward

In 2012 and 2013, the Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities (CCORU) asked the Council of Canadian Academies to undertake two assessments on oceans science in Canada.  The first Assessment developed a listing of priority research questions, which were published in a report entitled:  40 Priority Research Questions for Ocean Science in Canada.  The second Assessment entitled: Oceans Science in Canada: Meeting the Challenge, Seizing the Opportunity examined Canada’s needs and capacities with regard to the (previously identified) major research questions in oceans science.  The conclusion of the second Assessment, Ocean Science in Canada identified gaps which are currently not being addressed.  These were described as a Vision gap; a Coordination gap; and an Information gap. The assessments noted that “none of the current or emerging alignments, consortia, or networks can address these gaps singlehandedly, and that a national effort is required involving the entire community of ocean scientists in Canada, as well as the users of ocean science in government, the private sector and civil society”.  As part of their ongoing efforts, in October 2014, CCORU hosted an Ocean Science Roundtable which brought scientists, science managers and science users together to identify initiatives that would address the identified gaps in ocean science in Canada.   This session will report on the actions identified at the October 2014 meeting and the progress that is occurring to particularly address the coordination gap across ocean science in Canada.  There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion on how others may become engaged in this ongoing work.


New Approaches to Ocean Observing

This session will explore the new technologies and new systems that are being deployed for ocean observation, and the research they support. The technological component of the session will consider platforms - buoys, AUVs, cables, etc. - but also the instruments and the sensors deployed on them. The technology at times does drive the data collection and science.  The session will explore new types of data, new and extended time series, and new approaches to integrating data into models and analysis. The session will address the design of observing systems (e.g. fixed or mobile), how to ensure the right data are being collected, how to form partnerships to best support, enhance and sustain them, as well as new approaches to sharing and communicating data to users, including the use of social media.  And how best can we determine that the data that we are collecting meets the needs of the ‘users’ whether those users are scientists, industry, government, or the public.


Acoustics in Oceanography and marine sciences: from tropics to poles

Acoustic techniques are the only means of long distance communication and remote sensing underwater.  Consequently, acoustics is key to revealing the underwater world. The focus of this session is to highlight the contributions of underwater active and passive acoustics to all aspects of oceanography and marine sciences. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: sonar and passive acoustics, bio-acoustics, passive acoustic monitoring, fisheries acoustics, geophysical applications, acoustic communication, defence applications, ambient and ocean noise, anthropogenic noise, long-range propagation, tomography, high-frequency scattering, imaging and quantitative inversion.

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