1st Workshop

SPICES project organized 1st user workshop on 1 March 2017 at FMI. 

Workshop flyer and introduction - H2020_SPICES_UserWorkshop_1March2017.pdf

Workskop presentations:

Jari Haapala / Head of Marine Research Unit / FMI;  introduction.

Use of new satellite data for sea ice retrievals. Sea ice extremes and anomalies;  detection leads and ice ridges.

Panel 1: Users experiences and recommendations

Tommy Berg / Arctia - icebreaker captain; Arctia operations in the Baltic; ice management in Greenland and Chuckhi Seas.

Chukchi Sea 2012-2015: primary ice management; capping stack for blowout; ROV support; buoys management. Ice Nav monitoring system - MODIS and RS-2; ice radar Selesmat Selux ST; extensive onshore organization predicting ice movement; two Canadian ice advisors onboard. NRT ice data would have been needed in NWP transmit. Five different alert levels for operations.


Sami Saarinen / Aker Arctic - Industrial needs of ice data.

Over 60 years of ice engineering; tailored solutions for cold climate marine operations. Work starts with background studies of ice condition studies; next project development, basic design of ships, testing. Ice conditions study - various sources for data; focus in monthly average ice conditions - long time ice database -> statistics. Stationary structures, year around operations; focus in hard/severe ice conditions; getting ice data is not easy; what kind extreme values used? for unmanned 1/100, manned 1/1000 years.
Current and future active regions: Beaufort Sea, East Siberian Sea, NSR, Kara Sea, Ob Bay (Sabeta), Pechora Sea. Transport simulations - monthly variation of ice conditions along the route; mild / average / hard ice conditions statistics. Navigational risk at fairway, like dredged canal in the Ob Bay; is ice drifting perpendicularly to canal? Novy Port loading tower in the Ob Bay; CAPEX and OPEX - costs for ice management vessels; how many vessels/icebreakers are needed; seasonal evolution of ice conditions. Ice data needed for theoretical ice load calculations. Future R&D ideas: satellite data storage; ice model for NSR; increase accuracy of maximum ice condition estimations/assumptions; ice radar for local scale ice detection; data collection and merging.


Rob Hindle / Lloyds: Risk management in ice covered seas

Risk management; Polar Code; Polar Code Operational Limitations; POLARIS
Risk management - identify risks; understand consequences -> design selection (level 1), seasonal voyage planning (L2), routing (L3), tactical navigation (L4). Information of ice conditions is vital. L3 and L4 were not previously regulated. Polar Code  - safety and environment protection. Operational limitations are included on the Polar Ship Certificate: ice conditions - limited by ice class; temperature  - limited by PST; latitude - communication capability. Ice class rules do not give a detailed description of limiting ice conditions. POLARIS - Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System: input (ice regime (WMO typing), ship ice class) -> assessment of risk (RIO calculation) -> decision to operate. Risk index values for each ice type. Validation work on going in the Antarctic; how POLARIS apply there?Polar Code in force since Jan 2017. Good and NRT ice information is vital for effective use of POLARIS.


Penny Wagner / METNO : Polar Tour Operators Sea Ice Information

Hurtigruten Voyages in Arctic and Antarctic;

Ice Conditions Antarctic;

Ice Conditions Arctic;

Satellite Data Needs;

Navigational Planning;

Future Needs and Plans.

Panel discussion

Not enough sea ice data for some operations; then have to rely on personal experience. When doing voyage planning you need to check available data. Sami: lack of enough data leads to over-design; there are a lot things we dont know about sea ice conditions; especially the case for off-shore structures.

Hazards in ice management: prediction of ice conditions around a platform, like where a MYI floe (>1 km in size) is going. You need a "design base" describing typical ice conditions for operations and ship/structure design.

An accident in polar waters: not much infrastructure for rescue and clean-up operations. Some cruise ships have been somewhat reckless in their operations to please the customers; e.g. safe distances from icebergs.

Polar Code: ice data requirements for operations; tool for captains to explain operation restriction for charters.

In route planning still coarse resolution global satellite and model data used (like in form of ice charts), but in tactical planning fine resolution regional data needed -> regional ice models.

ICEYE has plans to send SAR satellites to track global sea ice cover in NRT.

Arctia ice management in the Beaufort Sea was during mainly open water time.

Data management and availability: oil and gas industry has non-public sea ice data, possible scientists to get access? In future mandate ship operators to gather public data. Scientist should offer to do something with the data that benefits the industry.

Panel 2: Responses from scientists

Rasmus Tonboe / DMI: Arctic now

DMI field campaign in Greenland on landfast ice. Warm conditions this winter in Qaanaaq field site. Milder ice conditions in the Arctic than on average. Open water days - increasing trend in the Arctic.


Eero Rinne / FMI: Detection of sea ice hazards from satellites

What is extreme sea ice conditions? Satellites excel at mapping the average, not the extreme. Difficult to sometimes to distinguish in satellite data what is noise and what is extreme. SPICES ice products: processing historical and new satellite data.Time series of sea ice products, and statistical monthly averages; assimilating products to sea ice prediction models. RIO product from CryoSat-2 data. Forthcoming data/product platforms: ESA Polar TEP; ESA Baltic TEP; Finnish Sentinel data hub.

  • Eero Rinne / FMI: Detection of sea ice hazards from satellites


Steffen Tietsche / ECMWF: From nowcasting to seasonal forecasting

Forecasting from days ahead to seasonal times. ECMWF Earth system ensemble predictions; forecasts with 50 ensemble members with 18/36 km resolution. Remote sensing data used to initialize global sea ice models. Examples: nowcasting, combining information from observations and models - SIC and its uncertainty; medium-range forecasts (15 days ahead) - initial conditions->ensemble forecast->ensemble mean, spread; you can see areas with most uncertainty in sea ice conditions two weeks ahead; sea ice outlook weeks and months ahead, over whole Arctic, like three months periods, anomaly correlation skill. Sea ice forecasts require "Earth system" approach. Increasing lead time increases uncertainties->skillful forecasts are only possible for larger areas, longer times and wider events. Feedback from forecast users are needed.

Panel discussion

What is ice extent on Sep 2017? Very difficult to predict...4.5 Mkm2 by Steffen, 4.0 by Rasmus, 4.7 by Eero. What tools and data you are going to use to measure later the 'real' ice extent? How do you define the ice extent? How long is the area where SIC gradually increases at the ice edge? NSR data; there are satellite data for over decades, best resolution at 100 m, smaller details cannot be discriminated.

Polar TEP will serve a centralized data hub for the Arctic.

Large scale SIC, any correlation with small scale SIC? Not known...

What kind of forecasting services after around 10 years? ECMWF maybe have like a 10 km grid size validated sea ice product. Models going into smaller scales. More regional models. Models give RIO index.

Now typically in models SIT and SIC, no ice typying, but ice age in models is related to ice type.

What are really the needs of sea ice information in the Arctic, e.g. only few tens of ships through NESR, but could increase in future? There are also more local transport, e,g, in the Ob Bay.