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ASPeCt Expert Group Report 2022

Antarctic Sea-ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) 2020-22 Report

Expert Group of the Physical Sciences Group

Report Author: Marilyn Raphael (Chair, USA)

Summary of activities from 2020-22

The key challenge that ASPeCt faced over the past two years was (and remains) the COVID-19 pandemic which limited our activities and led to revision of planned activities.

2020 - ASPeCt held a Workshop online on July 31st, 2020. This workshop was previously scheduled to be held in Hobart at the SCAR 2020 OSC. We were updated on the progress of our national programs, we updated the community on ASPeCt-led initiatives, identified critical Antarctic sea-ice areas for targeted observations in next 5 – 8 years and identified key ASPeCt objectives for the next 5 – 10 years. SOOS and SORP joined our meeting to discuss common goals. Parallel sessions convened by ASPeCt scientists, were held online during the SCAR 2020 OSC.

2020-2022 - ASPeCt Immediate Past Chair, Steve Ackley, led a weekly online seminar series on Antarctic Sea Ice and Southern Ocean including numerous ASPeCt scientists. This series was instrumental in keeping ASPeCt scientists engaged despite the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

2021 - We revised our use of requested funds using them instead to hire someone to update our database. This update included quality control and entering new data, making the database accessible to the larger public and formatting the data to make it easier for incorporating into climate models, and finally, analysing the data and writing up the results. An outcome of this is our newly updated sea ice cards for training of sea-ice observers on our icebreakers.

2022 - ASPeCt scientists participated in publication of BAMS article, A New Structure for the Sea Ice Essential Climate Variables of the Global Climate Observing System, Lavergne and Kern et al. (2022). DOI:

2022 - Just initiated: An information gathering exercise aimed at developing a community-owned pipeline from observational methods → protocols → meta data (→ data). This includes standardization of observation protocols and development of best practices. The outcomes of these are scheduled to be discussed at a proposed ASPeCt workshop at the IGS sea ice meeting in Bremerhaven, in June 2023.