- The IICWG - An Historical Perspective After 13 Years (PDF 1.1 MB, Oct. 2013)
- IICWG Efforts in Antarctic Waters
- Satellite Observations for Ice Monitoring
- IICWG Website Retention and Disposal Policy (PDF 74 KB, Jan. 2011)
- CIS-IIP Iceberg Model Inter-Comparison (PDF 997 KB, Dec. 2010)
- Ice Logistics Portal
- Ice Service Requirements Questionnaire Summary Report (PDF 201 KB, Sep. 2009)
- WMO JCOMM Endorses Color Standard and Shapefile SIGRID-3 Format (Jun. 2004)
- Ice in Electronic Navigation Charts (2012)
- NIC Ice Training (2011)
- Ice Forecasting Models
- Table of Ice Center Chart Production Methods and Attributes (last updated 2005)
- Ice Service Climatological Products
IICWG Letter to JCOMM Expert Team on Marine Safety Services (PDF 57 KB, posted Oct. 2013)
The IICWG works actively with the satellite community to ensure a continuing supply of observations for ice monitoring. Interaction with the community is a regular feature of the IICWG meetings and continues throughout the year. The IICWG has commissioned one report outlining requirements for ice monitoring, contributed to several others and made regular representations to the space agencies and satellite operators.
- Co-Chairs Letter to NASA re: NISAR (PDF 138 KB, Aug. 2016)
- Co-Chairs Letter to ESA re: Sentinel-1 (PDF 90 KB, Jul. 2016)
- ESA Reply (PDF 135 KB, Jul. 2016)
- Letter to ESA re: Polar Mission Concept and Statement of Requirements (PDF 157 KB, posted Oct. 2016)
- Letter to the European Space Agency concerning continued operation of Envisat beyond 2013 (PDF 86 KB, posted Apr. 2012)
- NOAA's Reply to Letter Regarding Ku-Band Scatterometer Data (PDF 926 KB, posted Sep. 2011)
- Report on the Nordic Workshop on Radar Remote Sensing of Sea Ice (PDF 6.6 MB, posted Aug. 2011)
- NASA's Reply to Letter Regarding Ku-Band Scatterometer Data (PDF 925 KB, posted Aug. 2011)
- Letter to NASA and NOAA Regarding Continued Access to Ku-Band Scatterometer Data for Ice Monitoring (PDF 81 KB, posted Aug. 2011)
- Letter to ESA Regarding Ice Monitoring Requirements for Sentinel-1 and Reply from ESA (PDF 426 KB, posted Apr. 2011)
- Ice Information Services: Socio-economic Benefits and Earth Observation Requirements (PDF 3.1 MB, posted Nov. 2007)
- Letter to Group on Earth Observations (PDF 40 KB, posted 6/04)
- CEOS Ice Hazards Report (PDF 474 KB, posted 2002)
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Polar and High Mountain Observations, Research, and Services activities promote and coordinate relevant programmes that are carried out in the Antarctic and Arctic regions by nations and by groups of nations. It interfaces with all WMO programmes, including the World Weather Watch and other related programmes throughout the world, meeting global needs and requirements for meteorological observations, research, and services in the polar regions. The activities are carried out under the auspices of the Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar and High Mountain Observations, Research, and Services (EC-PHORS).
EC-PORS Update July 2011 (PDF 789 KB, posted 8/11)
Update on Key Outcomes and Initiatives of the WMO Polar Activities (PDF 2.9 MB, posted 4/11)
To foster cooperation with EC-PORS, the IICWG has submitted reports on its activities to each of the EC-PORS meetings:
- IICWG Reports to EC-PHORS-6 (PDF 30 KB, posted 10/2015)
- IICWG Report to EC-PORS-5 (PDF 66 KB, posted 1/2014)
- EC-PORS-5 Co-Chairs Reply re: Science Collaboration (PDF 546 KB, posted 3/2014)
- IICWG XIV Letter to EC-PORS-5 Co-Chairs re: Science Collaboration (PDF 64 KB, posted 1/2014)
- IICWG Report to EC-PORS-4 (PDF 20 KB, posted 10/2013)
- IICWG XII Letter to EC-PORS-3 Co-Chairs (PDF 70 KB, posted 9/2012)
- IICWG Report to EC-PORS-3 (PDF 49 KB, posted 9/2012)
- IICWG Report to EC-PORS-2 (PDF 46 KB, posted 10/2010)
- IICWG Report to EC-PORS-1 (PDF 104 KB, posted 9/2009)
The Ice Logistics Portal was initiated as an IPY Project to provide a single website where users could get ice charts from all of the ice charting services in a convenient manner. The portal is located at http://www.bsis-ice.de/IcePortal/.
Several documents have been considered by the IICWG concerning the future of the portal:
- The Ice Logistics Portal and the WMO Information System - IICWG Discussion Paper (PDF 76 KB, posted Sep. 2010)
- Future of the IPY Ice Logistics Portal (PDF 197 KB, posted October 2008)
IICWG Multi-Lateral MOUs
Several IICWG members have signed Memoranda of Agreement to formalize their cooperative working relationships:
- Baltic Sea Ice Services MOU (PDF 37 KB, posted Dec. 2010)
- European Ice Services MOU (PDF 42 KB, posted Dec. 2010)
- North American Ice Service Collaborative Arrangement (PDF 315 KB, posted Dec. 2010)
The Color Standard and SIGRID-3 formats are now official World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards, and may be referenced as:
SIGRID-3: A Vector Archive Format for Sea Ice Charts. JCOMM Technical Report Series No. 23, 2004, WMO/TD-No. 1214.
Ice Chart Colour Code Standard. JCOMM Technical Report Series No. 24, 2004, WMO/TD-No. 1215.
These documents are available from the World Meteorological Organization - JCOMM Technical Report Series Web site, or contact John Falkingham for the Ice Chart Colour Code Standard and Florence Fetterer for the SIGRID-3 Standard.
Following work by the IICWG, the JCOMM Expert Team on Sea Ice (ETSI) approved a new revision to the Ice Objects Catalogue Version 5.0 at its meeting in March 2010. This revision implements a number of recommendations to harmonize the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature, the SIGRID-3 code, and the ENC Ice Objects. Also, a number of new objects were added to support the work of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Transas. In February 2012, an updated draft of the Ice Objects Catalogue, Version 5.1, was released which harmonizes some terms with the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature and the existing national practices draft. It is anticipated that version 5.1 will be formally approved later in 2012.
IICWG, together with ETSI, has been collaborating with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to migrate the Ice Objects from S-57 to the new S-100 family of Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) standards. Features, attributes, and enumerations from the Ice Objects Catalogue Version 5.0 have been encoded in the prototype IHO S-100 database as "Supplemental Geographic Information". Work remains to be done on the portrayal of ice features.
For a historical overview of ice information in electronic navigation charts see the presentation "Ice Information for Electronic Navigation Systems".
The U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) has kindly contributed its Ice Analyst Workbook for reference by IICWG participants. While some sections of the Workbook are specific to NIC, many sections are generic and will be useful for ice analyst training anywhere.
National Ice Center: Ice Analyst Workbook (posted Nov. 2011):
- Cover Page and Table of Contents
- Section 1: NIC Products Organizational Procedures
- Section 2: Production Tasks
- Section 2a: Producing Weekly Charts
- Section 3: Ice Physics
- Section 4: Visual Recognition of Ice
- Section 5: Egg Code/SIGRID/Ice Codes
- Section 6: Remote Sensing
- Section 7: Image Interpretation
- Section 8: Analysis Procedures
- Section 9: Analysis Tools
- Section 10: Polar Meteorology
- Section11: Climatology
An Inventory and Description of Ice Forecasting Models at Ice Centers (PDF 1 MB)
This document contains information on models at several national ice centers. (Updated October 2011)
This table was updated in August, 2005, by F. Fetterer, using information gathered at the IICWG V meeting, Hamburg, Germany, and in October 2005.
|Ice Service||Analysis chart frequency||Analysis or GIS system used||Operational product format|
|Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russia||Weekly, bi-weekly, and daily regional Arctic charts. Antarctic charts are available at various frequencies while supporting the AARI R/V.||Analysis: ERDAS, ESRI ARCInfo. Chart production: ArcInfo, ARCView||Shapefile, SIGRID, GIF, national vector CONTOUR-2|
|Argentine Navy Hydrographic Service|
|Canadian Ice Service||CIS produces three types of charts:
||All charts are produced with a custom ISIS system based on ArcInfo for charts and Imagine for imagery.||All charts are produced in .E00, pdf and GIF format; and are available freely on the CIS Web site|
|China, State Oceanic Administration|
|Danish Meteorological Institute||Weekly chart covers all Greenland waters. Navigational charts are produced depending on season and users requirements.||Analysis: ERDAS Imagine
Chart production: ESRI ArcView (Polygons with SIGRID attributes)
|ESRI coverage format files|
|Finnish Ice Service||Daily during the Baltic Sea ice season (October-May). SST twice a week. On Mondays simplified ice and SST chart at http://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/ice-conditions.||Analysis: Icemap||Charts are saved in *.postscript format
Charts send to icebreakers, ships, and other platforms are in *.ice, *.pdf, or *.tif format
|Germany, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Ice Service||Baltic: 2 times a week
Western Baltic - North Sea: 3 times a week
|SQL data base. Point obs since1940. Grid of Western Baltic since 1963.||Adobe PDF files|
|Icelandic Meteorological Office||Variable (charts from Icelandic Coast Guard)|
|Japan Meteorological Agency||Daily bulletin
Charts every 5 days?
|Norwegian Meteorological Institute||Every weekday: covering eastern Greenland to east Barents Sea. ~1 a week: High resolution chart covering Svalbard. Every weekday: SST analysis.||PCI,IDL
|Encapsulated PostScript (eps) format chart
TIFF format chart, and PDF
|Sweden (SMHI)||Daily ice charts for the period (approx) 25 Nov - 25 May, otherwise SST charts twice a week.||Icemap software (developed by VTT, Finland)
Joint system BSH-FIMR-SMHI
|TIFF, Postscript, Icemap GRID|
|Poland (IMGW)||Polish coast and Baltic Sea 2-3 times a week|
|U.S. National Ice Center: Analysis Products (updated Oct 2005 per P. Seymour)|
||JPEG Graphic Format and .e00 ESRI Format|
|Each week (beginning Summer 2001) a Northern Hemisphere Analysis or a Southern Hemispheric Analysis in Shapefile (SIGRID 3 Archive) format will be placed on the WWW site by the end of the week||SHAPE Format|
|Daily ice edges of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are produced in ASCII format.||ASCII Text Messages|
|Weekly Iceberg List. This is comprised of the iceberg name, date of last sighting, latitude and longitude of last sighting, current size and the imagery source type used for the last sighting. This list encompasses the icebergs currently being tracked.||Microsoft Word Format|
|Spreadsheet of all icebergs tracked by the National Ice Center. The spreadsheets are divided by the quadrant of the Southern hemisphere where the iceberg originated and then by individual iceberg.||Microsoft Excel Format|
|U.S. National Ice Center: Forecast Products|
||Microsoft Word Format|
The table below gives a quick overview of products that may be useful in evaluating climatological trends in sea ice cover. Contact the ice services directly for more information.
|Ice Service||Climatological products produced by the ice service||Contributions to the Global Digital Sea Ice Data Bank? (Note - may not include holdings at AARI)|
|Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute||Numerous, though not always available as digital databases. For example, probability of ice formation for Black, Caspian, and Azov Seas.
Mean (and many other statistics) total concentration by decade, 1950-1990, on AARI GDSIDB Web page.
|1950-1993 in SIGRID (at AARI)
1953-1990 in EASE-Grid (at NSIDC or AARI)
Chart every 10 days
|Argentine Navy Hydrographic Service||Data base of point observations back to the1970s or earlier||1998-2000, point observations in NIC-code in .db format (like the attribute table for a shape file?)
Ongoing contributions planned.
|Austrialia (ASPeCt Project)||Not now, but data for 1980-1997 planned. In ASPeCt data base format.|
|Canadian Ice Service||Climatic Ice Atlases showing 30-year median of ice concentration (1968-1998) for Hudson Bay, East Arctic, West Arctic and Canadian east coast in GIF format. Other statistical products have been produced for some regions and are not available on our Web site yet; they include:
Climate charts products
|1968-1998 in SIGRID.
Some earlier data in SIGRID. 1968-1998 in ESRI .e00 format files as well, with SIGRID attributes (15' resolution).
Ongoing contributions planned.
|China, State Oceanic Administration||Maximum annual extent for the Bohai Sea, 1952-present.||(To be submitted before 2001 mtg) Total and partial concentrations, stages of development on 0.1 degree grid, 1968 to present.|
|Danish Meteorological Institute||Sample chart from 1990 in original (?) gridded format, available from AARI.
Ongoing contributions (starting with 1999) planned.
|Finland Institute of Marine Research, Finnish Ice Service||Many climatologies, atlases, and statistics on Baltic sea ice dating back to 1719 are available from the Baltic Sea Now site. One example: image showing classification of maximum extent of ice in Baltic Sea 1720-1995, characterized as extremely mild to extremely severe. See Note 1.
Digital ice charts from 1994 on.
On-line narrative summary characterizing winter conditions, with graphic of maximum ice extent (Hard copies back to 1915)
|Baltic sea ice meeting country - charts contributed as a group.
SIGRID format (twice a week) 1960-1986.
Postcript format charts 1994 on.
EASE-Grid available from AARI.
Ongoing contributions planned.
|Germany, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Ice Service||On-line narrative summary of ice winter on German coast and in Baltic Sea area (from 98/99) with images of maximum extent charts.
Ice observations at the German coast between Ems and Oder since 1955.
|Baltic sea ice meeting country - charts contributed as a group. (See Finland entry for more information).|
|Icelandic Meteorological Office||Not now, but would like to per T. Jakobsson, 10/99|
|Japan Meteorological Agency||SIGRID format charts 1971-1993.
SIGRID-2 format charts 1994-1999 (Every 5 days).
EASE-Grid available from AARI.
|Norwegian Meteorological Institute||Monthly charts of the ice edge. The charts are based on weekly ice edge data and indicate max, mean, and min ice extent for a month.||Plan to contribute SIGRID-3 format charts.|
|Sweden (SMHI)||Ice statistics for fairway sections from 1870.
Ice atlas for entire Baltic covering period 1960-1979 (joint SMHI-FIMR),
Also available in digital format (BASIS and SIGRID).
Icemap GRID for entire Baltic (twice a week) available from Feb 1998.
|Baltic sea ice meeting country - charts contributed as a group.
|Poland (IMGW)||Summary of ice winter on Polish coast (from 1984/85) with maximum extent charts.
Data Bank of daily ice and meteorological observations along the Polish coast since 1955, seasonal data on winter ice conditions from 1896/97Baltic Sea Ice Meeting
|Baltic Sea Ice Meeting|
|U.S. National Ice Center||Average coverage and extent in sq. kilometers, by week of the year, for 1972-1994, 1998, and 1999, for regions of Arctic, and Antarctic.
Archive of all chart products and climatology in ArcInfo, SIGRID, and EASE-Grid formats on the Environmental Working Group Joint U.S.-Russian Arctic Sea Ice Atlas at http://nsidc.org/data/g01962
|1972-1994 in SIGRID, EASE-Grid on EWG CD-ROM Atlas
Ongoing contributions planned, format TBD. Current data are available as ESRI e00 and gif files.
April 1, 2010 commemorates the 50 year anniversary of the first television image of Earth from space taken with the TIROS-1 weather satellite on April 1, 1960. Read the article and see the image: 50th Anniversary of First Image from TIROS-1 (PDF, 188 KB).