National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) scientists will present new research at the 2012 International Polar Year (IPY) Conference in Montreal, Canada, from April 23 to 27. IPY ran from 2007 to 2008, but researchers are still working on data collected during the effort. Below, find highlights of potential interest to journalists. For more information, contact NSIDC Press Liaison Natasha Vizcarra at email@example.com.
The mission of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is to improve our understanding of the Earth's frozen realms. This includes our planet's floating sea ice cover, lake ice, glaciers, ice sheets, snow cover and frozen ground, collectively known as the cryosphere. The National Snow and Ice Data Center is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, at the University of Colorado Boulder.
10:00 a.m., Tuesday 24 April, Room 524C
The International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) was a good case study in data management. Researchers produced huge amounts of very diverse data covering complex interdisciplinary science. Now that the research is completed, what will happen to these data? How will they be archived and made available for future generations? NSIDC data expert Mark Parsons discusses strategies for long-term data management solutions to the challenges of diverse data.
11:45 a.m., Tuesday 24 April, Room 520BC
NSIDC researchers are working with indigenous Arctic people to document and understand environmental changes that are occurring there. People who live in the Arctic are noticing and documenting changes to weather, climate, and sea ice conditions. Pulsifer will discuss the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) project, a unique effort to share and preserve information about local environmental knowledge. For more information on the ELOKA project, attend Pulsifer's second talk at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, ELOKA: Technical Approaches for Indigenous Knowledge Documentation (room 520A).
10:15 a.m., Thursday 26 April, Room 520BC
Scientists from NSIDC and NOAA are collaborating to produce a consistent, long-term data record for sea ice, known as a climate data record (CDR), to better document long-term changes in sea ice and climate. Data on sea ice extent are one of the most important indicators of climate change. In the Arctic Ocean, sea ice has declined by more than 30 percent since 1979. But scientists use a variety of algorithms and data sources to study sea ice and the methods are not always completely documented. Meier will talk about the development of the new sea ice CDR, which aims to provide clear data so that researchers can better understand how climate is changing.
11:45 a.m. Friday 27 April, Room 516D
Researchers are working on new climate models that better capture observed changes in the climate system, such as the rapid retreat in the Arctic sea ice cover during the last 50 years. Climate models in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) grossly underestimated the amount of observed sea ice loss. Sea ice plays an important role in the climate system, and may contribute to feedbacks that would further warm the Arctic. Stroeve will discuss the latest efforts to improve sea ice projections for the next IPCC report, AR5, scheduled for publication in 2014.
Poster Presentation: Tuesday 5:00 p.m.
New data show that the Scar Inlet Ice Shelf is likely to disintegrate in the near future, potentially allowing the glaciers that flow into it to speed up. Scar Inlet is the last remaining portion of the Larsen C, the large Antarctic ice shelf that collapsed dramatically in 2002. Since then, researchers have been carefully monitoring the remaining area of the ice shelf, which buttresses two large glaciers, the Flask and Leppard. Data from GPS and weather monitoring stations at Scar Inlet show that temperatures have remained above average and snow accumulation has been low, two conditions that might be tied to ice shelf collapse. Satellite data suggest that if the Scar Inlet portion of the ice shelf collapses, the glaciers behind it will likely speed up, moving more ice from the Antarctic Ice Sheet into the ocean.
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For more information about IPY2012, visit the meeting Web site at http://www.ipy2012montreal.ca.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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