AOS 2020 Working Groups

AOS 2020 Sub-Themes and Working Group Descriptions 

The following working groups have been developed based on the themes of AOS 2020. The AOS Executive Organizing Committee is working with experts from diverse sectors to develop these themes so that important advancements, gaps, and opportunities can be discussed at the Summit.


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Sub-Theme 1: Design, Optimization and Implementation of the Observing System

LeadsAlice Bradley, Hajo Eicken and Roberta Pirazzini 

Description: The working group will review, discuss and develop recommendations on the following topics:

a) Review of relevant initiatives and tools aimed at cataloging and assessing various existing observing system components (in situ, satellite, and associated model and prediction systems). Relevant observatories include big national/international programs, single-institution long-term monitoring projects, community-based monitoring as well as individual/small team observing campaigns.

b) Drawing on findings from a) to identify the value and role of the various observing activities in the context of an overarching observing system, and to chart paths towards integration of such system components. 

c) Identifying criteria for observing system optimization.

d) Contributing to the SAON Roadmap for Arctic Observing, a document to help the muster resources and channel activities in support of an integrated Arctic observing system

Participants: The working group seeks input from researchers, community members, operational observing organizations, and engineers involved with observing systems at all scales, and the private sector.







Sub-Theme 2: Observing in Support of Adaptation and Mitigation. 

Lead: Maribeth Murray 

Description: This working group will focus on environmental issues and the role of observing in developing economically viable options for the Arctic that lead to policy development and the implementation of actions in support of adaptation and mitigation. Group members will review, discuss and develop recommendations on the following topics:  

a) Key aspects related to the successful use of observing technologies to improve or facilitate decision support, risk management, adaptation initiatives and mitigation strategies.

b) Observing needs to be filled quickly or expanded to support scaling up of strategies for adaptation and mitigation during the next decade. 

c) Leveraging global initiatives to support adaptation and mitigation in the Arctic.

Participants: This working group encourages input from community groups, researchers, operational agencies and entities charged with the development and implementation of adaptation, management and mitigation strategies, the private sector, policy makers and Arctic Council working groups among others. 







Sub-Theme 3: Observing in Support of Indigenous Food Security and Related Needs 


Leads: Raychelle Daniel and Gunn-Britt Retter

Description: Address approaches and priorities to increase the efficiency, reach and impact of observations in support of Indigenous food security and related needs. 

Participants: The working group seeks input from experts who will work towards the formulation of actionable recommendations and chart a path for observing activities that facilitate the implementation of proposals related to an increased understanding of Indigenous food security. 





Sub-Theme 4: Data Interoperability and Federated Search 

Lead: Peter Pulsifer

DescriptionDraw on synergies with SAON Arctic Data Committee and Polar Data Forum to ensure that overarching observing framework emphasizes data integrity spanning collection and management over time to different data users, including science, community management activities, policy development, and decision-making at all scales.  






Sub-Theme 5: Arctic Observations in the context of Global Observing Initiatives 



Leads: Thorsteinn Gunnarsson, Jan Rene Larsen and Peter Schlosser

Description: The Working Group will discuss and create an overview of the relevance of Arctic observing for global actions. 

  1. The group will discuss and formulate recommendation on the basis of these questions: 
  2. Which existing and upcoming Arctic observing initiatives have global relevance and importance?
  3. How to bring Arctic observing to the global action level?
  4. Who is the target of this:  Arctic Council (and their member countries), European Commission, UN? 
  5. How to connect arctic observing with for instance the Paris agreement. Are there any model countries?
  6. How to involve non-Arctic countries. What are their motivations for engagement?
  7. What are the obstacles? And what could or should be done to remove or resolve these?

Participants: Representatives from global and regional organisations, including Arctic Council Working Groups, European Commission, GEO, Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS) and WMO. Representatives from MOSAIC and T-MOSAIC.





"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."