International Ice Chart Working Group Warns of Continued Navigation Hazards in Polar Seas
Witness the Arctic provides information on current arctic research efforts and findings, significant research initiatives, national policy affecting arctic research, international activities, and profiles of institutions with major arctic research efforts. Witness serves an audience of arctic scientists, educators, agency personnel, and policy makers. Witness was published biannually in hardcopy from 1995-2008 (archives are available below) and is currently published online 3-4 times annually, depending on newsworthy events.
With the Spring 2009 issue, ARCUS changed the format of Witness the Arctic. To provide more frequent updates and reduce printing and mailing costs and associated environmental impacts, the newsletter is now distributed online in three or four shorter issues per year, depending on newsworthy events.
The International Ice Chart Working Group (IICWG) held its 11th annual meeting 18-22 October 2010 in Washington, D.C. Established in 1999, IICWG promotes cooperation between the international ice services charged with monitoring sea ice and icebergs for maritime safety and brings together the operational ice services of Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the United States, and the International Ice Patrol. Seventy-one representatives of ice service organizations from nine arctic nations attended the October meeting, which was hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center and the North American Ice Service. Topics discussed at the meeting included Antarctic ice charting and ice modeling and forecasting.
Following the meeting, IICWG issued a news release warning that sea ice and icebergs continue to present significant hazards to navigation and other maritime activities in the polar seas. Given the increasing maritime traffic in polar regions, IICWG expressed strong support for the continued development of the International Maritime Organization's Polar Code for improved safety of ship operations and for reliable information on current and forecast ice conditions. The full news release, "National Ice Services Warn of Continuing Hazards to Navigation in the Polar Seas," is available at: http://nsidc.org/noaa/iicwg/docs/FIICWG_2010/IICWG-XI_News_Release_Final....
For more information, see the International Ice Chart Working Group website: http://nsidc.org/noaa/iicwg/index.html or contact Pablo Clemente-Colón, Chief Scientist, U.S. National Ice Center (Pablo [dot] Clemente-Colon [at] noaa [dot] gov).