AOS 2013 and Themes


The Arctic Observing Summit 2013 was the first in a planned series of high-level, biennial international summits.The AOS is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) as part of the implementation of the observing change component of the ISAC Science Plan. It is a task of the Arctic Council’s Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and the World Meteorological Association (WMO).

AOS 2013

Partners and supporters for the development of AOS 2013 included: the US interagency program Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellent Canada (ArcticNet), the EU programs Arctic Climate Change Economy and Society (ACCESS) and the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT), the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS), and the International Arctic Research Centre, University of Alaska Fairbanks (IARC). Together these groups engaged a wide range of national, institutional and research communities to help organize the AOS 2013 which was held 30 April- 2 May 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. The AOS 2013 enabled a wide variety of side-events that helped to advance planning, coordination and integration of activities. 

Thematic focus of AOS 2013:

(1) the status of the current observing system including goals, objectives, capabilities, challenges, and sustainability

(2) observing system design and coordination (including inter-operability, integration and implementation)

(3) stakeholder perspectives on observing system design and integration

(4) mechanisms for coordination of support, implementation and operation of a sustained and relevant Arctic observing system.

AOS 2013 - Community white papers and input

Community input was invited on Arcti Observing, and in particular topics related to the AOS 2013 themes. Perspectives, input and information could be written as white papers and short statements. A call for Community White Papers (see pdf of call) was announced in advance of AOS 2013 and all contributions received were reviewed by thematic working groups. During AOS 2013, these working groups prepared a synthesis by theme based on these contributions and developed recommendations, highlighted gaps and new opportunities, and summarised priorities and challenges for sustained Arctic observing. The AOS 2013 contributions have served as a foundation for other Summits, tand o guide discussions and solutions for the design, development, implementation and sustainability of an international, collaborative and long-term system of Arctic observing systesms. The AOS 2013 white papers and short statement contributions can be accessed from the links below. A subset of these contributions are being published as a special issue of the journal Arctic.

AOS 2013 materials and products available:

"The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term (decades) operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems. The AOS provides a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of Arctic observing across all components of the Arctic system, including the human component. It fosters international communication and the widespread coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale Arctic change."