SALIENSEAS: A Netherlands-led contribution during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)

Published on
April 18, 2017
The SALIENSEAS project (Enhancing the saliency of climate services for marine mobility sectors in European Arctic seas), led by ENP researcher Machiel Lamers, has been accepted for funding from the joint-planning initiative ERA4CS. The SALIENSEAS project will co-develop, in a team of social and natural scientists, met-ocean service personnel, and end-users, climate Arctic forecast products tailored to key social, environmental and economic needs. Based on a thorough understanding of the current mobility patterns and challenges, as well as the uptake and need for climate services in several mobile Arctic ocean end-user groups, a range of demonstration services will be co-defined and co-produced with these stakeholders.

SALIENSEAS will conduct in-depth social science research in relevant end-user practices, disseminate forecast products to end-users of climate information, and develop a more participatory, flexible and tailored approach to developing forecast products. Moreover, Arctic sub-seasonal and seasonal prediction capabilities and climate projections in the Arctic will be systematically exploited, in order to establish baseline expectations for predictive power and to guide advances in predictive capability. The SALIENSEAS project brings together a strong consortium of international research institutes, whereby high-level experts on Arctic socio-economic sectors and governance processes, weather and climate prediction, and data dissemination will work in line with stakeholder representatives. The developed tailored forecast products will be merged into Norway’s and Denmark’s met-ocean and sea-ice forecasting infrastructures and maintained and developed beyond the lifetime of this project.

SALIENSEAS represents a Netherlands-led contribution during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and a flag-ship project for the Polar Prediction Projects Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) working group. The Polar Prediction Project (PPP) was conceived and initiated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2012 through its World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) in response to some trends observed in the Antarctic and Arctic regions and related concerns about human or environmental safety. The primary goal of the PPP is to advance scientific knowledge such that society, both within and outside of Polar Regions, may benefit through applications of better weather information and improved services. Although realising this goal depends upon achieving an improved understanding, characterisation and modelling of atmospheric, oceanic, and land surface processes in Polar Regions, the PPP acknowledges in the first of its eight objectives the parallel need and challenge to translate scientific success into societal value.

Meeting the challenge to ensure societal value from scientific efforts demands the application of social and interdisciplinary science to better understand weather, ice and climate-related decision-making and communication processes that underpin actions. It also requires improved methods to evaluate impact and to measure social and economic value across a wide spectrum of potential users across a range of cultural, social, political, economic and geographic contexts. Towards these ends, the PPP established a special committee of social and interdisciplinary researchers and service practitioners in 2015. This initiative led to the official establishment of the Polar Prediction Projects Societal and Economic Research and Applications (PPP-SERA) working group, in which Machiel Lamers acts as a co-chair.