• Sunset over an Arctic ice-covered fjord


Arctic Impact on Weather and Climate

Faced with a changing climate, businesses, policymakers, and local communities need to access reliable weather and climate information to safeguard human health, wellbeing, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. However, important changes in climate variability and extreme weather events are difficult to pinpoint and account for in existing modelling and forecasting tools. Moreover, many changes in the global climate are linked to the Arctic, where climate change is occurring rapidly, making weather and climate prediction a considerable challenge.

Blue-Action will evaluate the impact of Arctic warming on the northern hemisphere and develop new techniques to improve forecast accuracy at sub-seasonal to decadal scales.

Blue-Action will specifically work to understand and simulate the linkages between the Arctic and the global climate system, and the Arctic’s role in generating weather patterns associated with hazardous conditions and climatic extremes.

In doing so, Blue-Action aims to improve the safety and wellbeing of people in Arctic and across the Northern Hemisphere, to reduce the risks associated with Arctic operations and resource exploitation, and to support evidence- based decision-making by policymakers worldwide.


SAMS role in Blue-Action

Dr Hannah Grist - supported by the SRSL and SAMS communication teams - is the work package leader for WP8 'Communication, Dissemination, Engagement and Exploitation'. 

SAMS is also involved in Blue-Action Work package 2: Lower latitude drivers of Arctic changes. Warming in the Arctic is affected by warm ocean waters travelling from lower latitudes, but the mechanisms are not well understood. This work package uses data from international ocean observing systems, from underwater gliders to Argo profiling floats, that measure the salinity and flow of the water. These data are used to improve simulations of how heat and freshwater transfer occurs from subpolar gyres to the Arctic regions.

In particular, SAMS physical oceanographers are partners in Blue-Action work investigating the propagation of warm ocean waters from the subpolar gyre over the Greenland Scotland Ridge and towards the Arctic. The subpolar gyre circulation will be assessed in order to quantify the atmospheric and oceanic mechanisms that influence its seasonal to decadal-scale variability. The link between the warm and saline eastern waters and colder and less saline western waters as well as the mechanisms controlling the heat and freshwater transfer from the eastern subpolar gyre to the Greenland Scotland Ridge will be established through an integrated model-observation analysis, relying on the OSNAP array, the EEL, the OVIDE line and other data sets.

Results & expected impacts 

  • >Improved capacity to predict the weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere, and to forecast extreme weather phenomena
  • >Improved capacity to respond and adapt to the impact of climatic change on the environment and human activities in the Arctic, both in the short and longer term
  • >Improved capacity of climate models to represent Arctic warming and its impact on regional and global atmospheric and oceanic circulation
  • >Improved uptake of measurements from satellites by making use of new Earth observation assets
  • >Optimisation of observation systems for various modelling applications
  • >As part of the H2020 Arctic cluster, contribute to a robust and reliable forecasting framework that can help meteorological and climate services to deliver better predictions, including at sub‐seasonal and seasonal time scales
  • >Improved servicing of climate information to economic sectors that rely on improved forecasting capacity (e.g. shipping, mining)
  • >Active contributions to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and IPCC scientific assessments, and to the Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) services
  • >Improved professional skills and competences for those working and being trained to work within this subject area
  • >New climate‐related innovation meeting the needs of European and global markets which enhance the competitiveness and growth of businesses
  • >Improved innovation capacity and integration of new knowledge across the academic, policy, business, and third sector

Blue-Action aims to work with...

Researchers and projects focussing on Arctic and northern hemisphere observing, climate modelling, forecasting, and climate services 

Governments and policymakers in need of weather and climate information for evidence-based decision-making

NGOs, public sector bodies, and community organisations interested in extreme weather events, climate services, forecasting, and climate change

Businesses or industries who rely on seasonal to decadal climate predictions, risk estimates of extreme weather, and understanding climate events, or who would like to work with Blue-Action to co-develop climate services and tools