Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) News

SEARCH Implementation Planning


After gathering additional input from meetings and a Town Hall at the 2012 AGU Fall meeting, the SEARCH Science Steering Committee and the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) submitted a proposal to NSF and other SEARCH Interagency Program Management Committee agencies in support of a new organizational structure and framework to translate the SEARCH vision into concrete tasks. Activities will focus on several themes, including the five-year science goals:

  1. Improve Understanding, Advance Prediction, and Explore Consequences of Changing Arctic Sea Ice
  2. Document and Understand How Degradation of Near-Surface Permafrost Will Affect Arctic and Global Systems
  3. Improve Predictions of Future Land-ice Loss and Impacts on Sea Level
  4. Analyze Societal and Policy Implications of Arctic Environmental Change

In addition to the above science goals, activities will address cross-cutting themes of the Arctic Observing Network and "Arctic Futures 2050"—scenarios that describe plausible future states of the arctic system or its components based on recent trajectories and projected changes.

A document summarizing key elements of the new SEARCH activities and organizational structure is available online through the SEARCH website (see “Summary of New SEARCH Framework & Plan”).

Sea Ice Outlook and Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook Launched

The 2013 Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) was launched in April. The SIWO delivers online weekly reports with scientific information and local observations on weather and sea ice conditions in Alaska walrus hunting regions. The SIWO is a collaborative SEARCH project with the National Weather Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Eskimo Walrus Commission, NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, and ARCUS. The SIWO reports are available via the website as well as Facebook and Twitter (follow @ArcticResearch).

The organizers of the Sea Ice Outlook announced the call for contributions for pan-arctic and regional Outlooks for the first report of the 2013 season—the June report (based on May data). The full announcement can be found here. Submission deadline is Friday, 7 June.

Arctic Observing Network Activities

The final report from the U.S. Arctic Observing Coordination workshop, held 20-22 March 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska, was announced and is available here. Hardcopies may be requested by emailing Reija Shnoro (reija [at] arcus [dot] org). The workshop brought together over 100 researchers, agency representatives, and stakeholders to develop strategies for coordinating U.S. observing activities in the Arctic. The report includes descriptions of 11 "showcase projects" that would demonstrate effective approaches towards interagency collaboration. The report also summarizes recommendations on data management, challenges for building a coordinated network, and future directions and opportunities. The SEARCH SSC and Observing Change Panel will be working with relevant programs, organizations, and agencies to explore areas of mutual interest in the recommendations.

SEARCH was well represented at the Arctic Observing Summit 2013 meeting, including the contribution of a white paper on “Dual-purpose Arctic Observing Networks: Lessons from SEARCH on Frameworks for Prioritization and Coordination”). More information on the Arctic Observing Summit can be found here.

For more information about SEARCH, please visit the website ( or contact Helen Wiggins, ARCUS (SEARCH Project Office) at helen [at] arcus [dot] org, or Hajo Eicken, UAF (SEARCH SSC Chair) at: hajo [dot] eicken [at] gi [dot] alaska [dot] edu.