Coordinating Observations of Arctic Change: A Model for the Greater Arctic Region

Molly McCammon and Carol Janzen, Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage, AK, United States
The Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) provides a model approach for the greater Arctic region for serving stakeholders at a regional level with integrated ocean and coastal observations and network facilitation, as well as data access and management and information products. For 15 years, AOOS has actively worked as part of the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) to fill large informational gaps in the Alaska coastal Arctic. Given the Arctic is a challenging environment for obtaining real-time observations due to lack of power, easy road access and robust communication systems, AOOS has partnered with Federal, state, industry, tribal and non-profit partners to demonstrate observing technologies and applications that address these challenges in order to meet observing needs. Innovative platform solutions are delivering real-time surface current, sea ice, water level and weather data in areas which were off limits 10 years ago. These observing platform solutions not only respond to Alaska needs, but have applications across the greater Arctic region and in other remote regions including Antarctica and the Pacific Islands. AOOS has been dedicated to making historical and new observations and numerical data available both digitally and graphically through its signature and through its one-stop Ocean Data Explorer. The Arctic Portal was developed as a subset of the Ocean Data Explorer, dedicated solely to Arctic data resources. The portal allows users access to a multitude of data resources and to display data as combined GIS layers and real-time sensor data streams. Priority data for inclusion are real-time data, biological information, forecast, satellite data, physical data, and human use areas. In this presentation, we will introduce the AOOS Arctic Data portal as a model for the greater Arctic, review the technologies being trialed, some for operational applications, and describe challenges and lessons learned.