Improved sea-ice mapping and forecasting


The tasks in the WP4 address all the following objectives:

1) Evaluate current operational European capabilities for sea-ice mapping and forecasting.
Status to date. Pending. Detailed documentation on current operational capabilities for sea-ice mapping for marine purposes have been made available in the form of a report. An evaluation of current practices for producing sea-ice ECV is ongoing. The assessment of current sea-ice forecasting capabilities is complete and available to view below.

2) Identify potential for better collaboration across institutes and countries.
Status to date. Complete. This task involved repeated and extensive consultation between operational and research institutions both within and from outside the project consortium has already led to the shared acknowledgement of current gaps and future potential, which is the first step towards better collaboration, more efficient research and development, and the eventual implementation of new services that provide real value to the user. The task has documented current practices and recommended improvements for producing climate records for sea ice, preparing and distributing a questionnaire for producers of sea-ice climate records. WP4 has also engaged with a consultation about ECV requirements initiated by WMO GCOS, which has fed into the final reports available below.

3) Make recommendations for key developments that can result in better, more useful products for stakeholders.

Status to date. Pending. This tasks activities were mostly concerned with building up an understanding of the gaps between the requirements of marine users of sea-ice forecasts, and the current capacities and priorities of operational forecast centres. It included a detailed compilation of forecast-specific user requirements, drawing on results from WP1, and in-house knowledge of the ice services as well as outcomes of other research projects in the EU Polar Cluster. This has been contrasted with current practices and capabilities of operational forecasting centres. A gap analysis laid the foundation for the recommendations that research and development activities would need to make useful sea-ice forecast products available to marine users. A number of recommendations have already been identified, discussed and shared within the consortium through presentations at several in-person and remote meetings, and in the reports available to view below.


T4.1 Sea-ice mapping for maritime purposes.Antti Kangas
T4.2 Monitoring sea-ice as an essential climate variable (ECV).Thomas Lavergne
T4.3 Assess the scope for sea-ice forecast products.Steffen Tietsche


WP4 documented the current European practices and capabilities of mapping and forecasting sea ice, comparing them against user requirements, and producing recommendations on how sea-ice mapping and forecasting services could be improved. The assessment of the current state and the comparison with user requirements have been completed. This comparison has revealed a number of important gaps. Some of these can be closed in the short term, with better coordination and collaboration between different actors, others require long-term research and development. The final set of recommendations are available to view below. The final report, D4.2 is pending completion.


ReportPublication DateStatus
D4.1 Harmonisation and improvement
of sea ice mapping products
D4.2 Recommendations for improved
sea ice ECV records
D4.3 Recommendations for more
user-relevant sea-ice forecasts


• IICWG-XX (Copenhagen, Denmark 2019): METNO
• KEPLER KO (Jan 2019) and Mid Term Review (November 2019, Barcelona)

WP4 Posts

WP4 Leader

Steffen Tietsche


Jaakko Seppänen, FMI

Patrick Eriksson, FMI

Isabella Grönfeldt, SMHI

Penny Wagner, MET Norway 

Nick Hughes, MET Norway 

Ole Jakob Hegelund, MET Norway 

Malte Mueller, MET Norway 

Thomas Lavergne, MET Norway 

Leif Toudal Pedersen, EOLab

Keld Qvistgaard, DMI

Steffen Tietsche, ECMWF

Helge Goessling, AWI

Laurent Bertino, NERSC

Gilles Garric, Mercator Ocean Intl.

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