Newsletter No.6 March-1999

Mr. Roger Colony

I began arctic studies in 1972 after joining the Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment (AIDJEX) at the University of Washington, Seattle. My early work focused on numerical models of perennial pack ice; including plastic deformation, thermodynamics of the freeze / melt cycle, and the distribution of ice thickness. Using many of the field observations from AIDJEX, and from the Arctic Buoy Program, I became interested in empirical and stochastic models of ice-atmosphere interactions. These data also supported an analysis of the mean and space / time statistics of pack ice motion. Throughout my career, I have participated in a number of field programs; ice camps, ship-based expeditions, and even a submarine cruise. I believe that all researchers should be exposed to fieldwork.

During 1995−1998,I was director of the International Project Office for ACSYS, a program of the World Climate Research Program.

This was a grand opportunity to participate in a large-scale cooperative study bringing together oceanography, meteorology, hydrology, sea ice studies, and mathematical modeling.

Currently I am leader of the Atmosphere / Ocean / Ice Physics group at IARC. My ongoing research interests include the analysis of upper ocean circulation based on long-term observations of hydrography, ice motion, and atmospheric circulation.

Dr. Jia Wang
I joined the FRSGC-IARC in January 1998 and has been exposed to different research programs in the polar research community.

I am interested in 1) Arctic climate change and predictability based on statistical analyses of historical data, and 2) coupled ice-oce an modeling and nowcast/forecast system in the Arctic.

Recently the Arctic Oscillation (AO) has attracted much attention from polar scientists. This may renew our previous knowledge that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) dominates in the Arctic.Working together with the Frontier colleagues, I found that in response to AO the Arctic Sea-Ice Oscillation (ASIO) is the leading mode based on data of 1991-95 and that AO differs from NAO in the following manne rs: i) both correlates, ii) AO operates seasonwide while NAO works only in winter seasons, and iii) AO has more significant correlation with sea-ice cover in summer. I need to find out the possible signature of the Arctic Ocean Oscillation (AOO) by analyzing the existin g historical oceanographic data. This research will improve our understanding of the Arctic air-ice-ocean system toward possible predic tability of the interannual and decadal variability to some extent.

Because the ultimate goal of our research s to predict the climate changes, the numerical modeling is a very important tool to realize this task. I am implementing a coupled ice-ocean model to the Arctic Ocean. First I need to know how the sea ice and ocean respond to A O; in other words, we may find some important information from the coupled model. The existing coupled ice-ocean models focus on only i ce and ocean surface features. I will focus the entire ocean response to AO. Second I need to know the dynamical processes of dense wat er formation along the coast of the Arctic Ocean. The third step is to set up a nowcast/forecast system of the Arctic ice-ocean system for the short-term prediction in conjunction with data assimilation. The last (third) objective is difficult and may take some time to realize.

We all are facing new challenge as we approach the new century. However, I am optimistic to accomplish the scientific topics mentioned above.

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