Expert Team on Sea Ice Watch (GCW)

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Terms of Reference

Under the guidance of the GCW Advisory Group and in coordination with the Standing Committee on Marine Meteorology and Oceanography (SC-MMO) of the Services Commission, the relevant substructures of INFCOM and relevant partners the Sea Ice Watch Expert Team (SIW-ET) is tasked to provide scientific and technical guidance on all aspects related to sea ice observations (in-situ and remotely sensed), data reporting and utilization for scientific and operational applications, e.g. modelling links, and/or reflecting their regional specifics. The partners to be engaged include the International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), Antarctic Sea ice processes and Climate (AsPeCt ) and International program for Antarctic Buoys (IPAB), the WCRP International Arctic Buoy Program (IAPB),Climate and Cryosphere (CliC), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), working groups on Volunteer Observing Ships (VOS), Ship Observing Teams (SOT), the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP), the Physics and Climate Panel for GOOS, which is the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) - GOOS – World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) (known as GCOS-GOOS-WCRP) Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC), and the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON).
The team will:
1. Prepare recommendations for WIGOS and WIS metadata and data representation, on the harmonization and standardization of protocols for the observation and reporting of sea-ice parameters (observed variables and related derived data products), in situ and remotely-sensed, across scientific and operational applications, and address their descriptors, terminology, and metadata and data representation, etc., including harmonization with the WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature (WMO. No 259).
2. Develop recommendations for the inclusion of sea-ice observations in the WIGOS Data Quality Monitoring System (WDQMS), e.g. monitoring availability/receipt at global/regional modelling centres, identifying issues, and providing feedback, etc., and on options for delivering these functions, including through the joint WMO-IOC in situ Observations Programme Support Centre (OceanOPS);
3. Develop harmonized Best Practices guidance for the observation and measurement of sea ice variables for publication in the WMO Guide for Instruments and Methods of Observation (WMO No.-8), Volume II, Measurement of Cryosphere Variables, as Chapter 5, based on the methods and practices in use, and under the guidance of the GCW Best Practices Coordinator;
4. Facilitate intercomparison exercises of instruments and the characterization of satellite sea ice derived products and publish reports on their quality and suitability for specific applications, including on their maturity, homogeneity and uncertainty of data products, and on capabilities of observations systems;
5. Undertake the responsibility of co-custodian of the Sea Ice Essential Ocean Variable (EOV) and Essential Climate Variable (ECV), together with OOPC, and contribute to the tasks identified in the GCOS Implementation Plan; provide linkages to the SAON Sea Ice Shared Arctic Variable (SAV);
6. Contribute to the work of the GCW - Cryosphere Observing Requirements Task Team (CRYORA) on requirements for the observation of sea ice and support the development of technical aspects for the implementation of the WMO Unified Data Policy.
7. Facilitate the development user-driven, value-added products based on in-situ, space-based, and airborne observations, as well as models, when and as requested, and contribute to publications e.g. WMO State of the Global Climate, regional Climate reports, a periodic Cryosphere Bulletin, GCW webpages, etc; e.g. anomalies, annual assessments, multi-dataset trackers, extreme events, etc.;
8. Facilitate the engagement and registration of sea-ice observations in the WMO OSCAR/Surface system and associate them with the GCW Surface Observing Network (CryoNet);
9. Make recommendations regarding sea ice observations e.g. input to the development of the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON), on data formats to the Cryosphere and Polar Data Interoperability, on observing strategies to the Polar Space Task Group (PSTG) and its successor, etc.
10. Sea-ice modeling and prediction: liaise with the Standing Committee on Data Processing for Applied Earth System Modelling and Predictions (SC-ESMP), and the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP), and contribute to the integration of relevant products and methods in the Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS);
11. Capacity development: in collaboration with relevant WMO substructures and IICWG, develop and disseminate technical advice and guidance material, specialized training and other appropriate capacity-building activities on all activities related to software exchange, on sea ice observations, data exchange and analysis, and provide assistance to WMO Members and partners, as required;
12. Make recommendations to GCW-AG for establishing task teams and ad-hoc teams for delivering time limited tasks under these terms of reference, with appropriate membership.

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