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Integrated Arctic observation system

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INTAROS (Integrated Arctic observation system)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30

It is well documented that climate change in the Arctic is in progress with wide implications for the Arctic environment, its ecosystems, and its communities. Climate change already has significant societal consequences not only in the Arctic region, but globally, through melting of ice on land and sea, reduction of snow cover and permafrost as well as changes in weather patterns with increased risks for natural hazards. To meet the challenges posed by climate change, we need improved and precise observing systems to enable better-informed decisions and better-documented processes within key sectors (e.g. local communities, shipping, tourism, fishing). INTAROS contributes to developing an integrated Arctic Observation System covering atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial data according to requirements from a wide range of users. The amount of data collected in the Arctic is growing due to new initiatives to collect data in different disciplines. INTAROS has therefore focus on integration, standardisation and stewardship of in situ data in agreement with IPR and the FAIR principles.
WP1: Requirements and Strategy for Pan-Arctic Observing System. INTAROS develops collaboration with other projects, organisations and stakeholder groups involved in Arctic observing systems for climate and environmental monitoring. This includes collaboration with European projects and national projects in USA, Canada, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea which are contributors to Arctic observing systems The stakeholder groups include research, public services, commercial operators, environmental organizations, policy makers, local communities, and educational institutes. Such collaboration is required in order to build an integrated Arctic Observing System covering the pan-Arctic region. INTAROS is working closely with SAON by contributed to the development of the SAON Roadmap for Arctic Observing and Data Systems (ROADS).
WP2: Exploitation of existing observing systems. A survey of the existing Arctic observing capacity was conducted, providing an assessment of systems for atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial observations. The conclusions and recommendations are important for the development of a sustainable and integrated Arctic observing system. As a follow-up of the survey, a dynamic data base and web-based questionnaire has been developed which will be open for continuous updating of the status of the observing systems. A large amount of data provided by the INTAROS partners are available through the INTAROS data catalogue (
WP3: Enhancement of multidisciplinary in situ observing systems. The focus is on developing and implementing innovative solutions, using new and robust technologies that can operate year-round in Arctic conditions and contribute to fill selected gaps in the existing observing systems. In the reporting period main activities were devoted on the preparation, deployments and recoveries of platforms, instruments and sensors during several field seasons. A number of new in situ data are provided and will be available through the INTAROS data catalogue..
WP4. Enhance community-based observing programs for participatory research and capacity-building. A total of 30 existing community-based observing programs across the eight Arctic countries have been surveyed and analysed. Furthermore, efforts have focused on initiating new and strengthen existing, community-based observing networks in Greenland and Svalbard, and to explore links between community-based observing and international databases. The PISUNA network in Greenland was awarded the Nordic Council Environment Prize, generating very wide media coverage.
WP5: Data integration and management. The integrated observing systems consists of data discovery & access, data analysis algorithms & toolkits, cloud-based data processing platform and user portal. The cloud platform services has been demonstrated on applications related to sea ice statistics and integrated passive acoustic processing and analysis.
WP6: Applications of iAOS towards Stakeholders. The development of applications are in progress over a broad range of topics involving partners and stakeholders. This work includes data preparation, integration of in-situ and satellite data, modelling and data analysis for ocean, land, atmosphere and cryosphere.
WP7: Dissemination and outreach. Dissemination activities include publications, presentations at conferences and workshops, informing Arctic and international bodies including European agencies, providing capacity building for early-career scientists, engaging high-school and general public and local communities. The project has produced more than 60 publications in the period.
In WP1 Pan-Arctic collaboration has been established with major programmes, projects and institutions in Europe, North America, Asia working with Arctic observing systems for atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial sciences. The project has started collaboration with SAON and contributed to the SAON Roadmap document published in October 2019. In WP2 an extensive web-based survey has been conducted to assess existing in situ observing systems, in situ data sets, and satellite products for the Arctic. The assessment includes data collection, data products, spatial and temporal coverage, technological readiness, accessibility, metadata, documentation, delivery chains and operational status. The database will enable existing and new data providers to ingest and update information about the observing systems as they evolve. In WP3 new observations have been collected in several Arctic locations which will be available from the INTAROS data catalogue ( In WP4 existing community-based monitoring (CBM) programs have been analysed to identify capabilities, best practices and challenges across the Pan-Arctic region. In WP5 the integrated Arctic observing system (iAOS) consists of data discovery & access, data analysis algorithms & toolkits, cloud-based data processing platform and user portal is under development. In WP7 a number of dissemination and outreach activities have been conducted, including stakeholder meetings.

Expected results until the end of the project. INTAROS will improve the pan-Arctic collaboration in development of Arctic observing systems in collaboration with Sustainble Arctic Observing Network (SAON). In the thematic areas of INTAROS (atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial, as well as natural hazards and community-based monitoring) the observing technology and capacity will be improved and data collection will be enhanced. Observing platforms such as land stations, ships, aircraft and autonomous platforms will improve their capacity to measure more variables and cover larger areas. Collaboration between community-based observing systems and scientific observing systems will be developed to be mutually beneficial for both sides. Furthermore, INTAROS will develop good data management practices including data governance framework in collaboration with the Arctic Data Committee under SAON and IASC.

Impact of the project in the period. The project is expected to improve collaboration across the Pan-Arctic region, improved interoperability between Arctic data systems, strengthen engagement of stakeholder groups including governmental agencies, and contributor to sustainability of Arctic observing systems.
Location of field experiments
Workpackage structure of the INTAROS project
Photos from field platforms
Data flow from collection to repositories and users
Map of location of atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial observing sites in the WP2 survey