We are pleased to announce that the Third Polar Data Forum (PDF III) will be hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at thair Dynamicum campus in Helsinki from November 18th to 22nd, 2019. PDF III will be a two day conference style meeting in support of information exchange, with the remainder of the week using a “hackathon” approach that will build on the development work done in previous meetings. More information is available on the conference website: https://polar-data-forum.org/

Posters and presentations will be accepted on a wide variety of data, information and knowledge related issues. Abstracts will be reviewed primarily for their relevance or connection to the polar regions and polar activities. While talks or posters on general topics will be considered, priority will be given to abstracts focused on experiences, research, operations, projects, programs or topics that take place in or are about the polar regions. Of particular interest are talks that report on how broader, regional, disciplinary or global standards, protocols and methodologies are, or could be applied, to the polar domain (e.g. how does your polar work link to broader efforts to make data FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). In keeping with past community events, we see the polar data system as part of the broader global system.

Themes of interest include:

  • Polar community and network building
  • Data discovery and federated search
  • All aspects of data interoperability (syntactical, structural, semantic, social)
  • Standards and protocols to improve data access
  • Analysis of user needs
  • Enabling data reuse for multiple audiences
  • Ethical utilization of data derived from Indigenous knowledge and community based monitoring
  • Data management for polar social science and humanities
  • Cloud computing and other advanced analytical methods and platforms (i.e. machine learning, AI)
  • Sensor webs and observing systems
  • Critical studies on polar data management (e.g. Science and Technology Studies)
  • Recognition and attribution in data systems
  • Data management for major projects (e.g. Southern Ocean Observing System, MOSAiC, Arctic Supersites etc.)
  • Data policy
  • Other themes related to polar data broadly defined (i.e. including information and knowledge)

The abstract submission deadline is August 16, 2019 and the forum registration deadline October 18, 2019. Full information and a link to the abstract submission system are available on the PDF III website: https://polar-data-forum.org/

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR THE 3rd Polar Data Forum has been extended from 16 August, 2019 to 6 September, 2019.  Abstracts can be submitted through the Forum website at  https://polar-data-forum.org/

NOTE:  More detailed information about hackathons and working meetings will be posted on the Forum website on or before 23 August, 2019.

PDF III will be co-organized with regional partners including the INTAROS project in conjunction with the EU Arctic Cluster, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and other European organizations. The Forum will be co-convened by the IASC-SAON Arctic Data Committee, Southern Ocean Observing System, Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management, the World Data System and other organizations engaged in polar data management.

Kind regards,

Peter Pulsifer, on behalf of the Steering and Organizing Committees of the Third Polar Data Forum

SAON was present at the 7th China-Nordic Arctic Research Symposium and at the Arctic Circle China Forum through the SAON chair Þorsteinn Gunnarsson from The Icelandic Centre for Research.

Þorsteinn Gunnarsson gave a key note presentation at the 7th China-Nordic Arctic Research Symposium and chaired a well attended Breakout Session, “Arctic Sustainable Observing System: The Role of Asia” at the the Arctic Circle China Forum.

There was a great support to SAON at both these events. 



 Read more: SAON at the 7th China-Nordic Arctic Research Symposium and  the Arctic Circle China Forum


Read more: SAON at the 7th China-Nordic Arctic Research Symposium and  the Arctic Circle China Forum



At the 4th AOS in 2018, delegates from 26 countries focused on the "Business Case for a Pan-Arctic Observing System". Demonstrating the value of Arctic observations, linked to relevant Societal Benefit Areas showed how long-term observing systems support decision-making from local to global scales. The 2018 Summit Report is available here

Read more about the Arctic Observing Summit here.

This report describes the first instance to employ the international assessment framework for arctic observations developed by SAON and IDA STPI in 2017. Earth Observation (EO) inputs like SYNOP station measurements of physical atmosphere and in other stations ocean variables were linked to key products/outcomes/services like numerical weather prediction and through groups like in this case weather service connected to key objectives of the assessment framework. Representative yearly unit costs of EO inputs and modelling components were estimated by station experts or estimated based on European Union projects or Copernicus program tenders. The WMO OSCAR database for satellite and surface observation systems north of 60°N was used for numbers of the different station and mission categories in the Arctic. The total yearly value of this observation system including EO inputs and modeling is over 204 million €. Compared to the observing system estimated costs in the area 30°N to 60°N this is only about a fifth.
The value tree can now follow and combine the value invested in these components as it flows towards services. The key objectives have been connected by SAON/AMAP project members in a workshop to the services to build the first full value tree for a certain kind of observations. These observations are mainly produced by national meteorological and marine institutes in an operational mode. The yearly value invested in the observation can now be distributed between the 12 Societal Benefit Areas and their sub areas identified in the assessment framework. The value tree is presented at a web page by FMI and Spatineo (2019) with a browser that can highlight single components to analyze which inputs and which SBA targets its being used for. This can help to more holistically support the whole observation system for optimal impact on societal benefit.
The value tree tool will be available for further work to address the many more EO domains like atmospheric composition or biodiversity. All in all this report can hopefully start a continuous action to update and improve the value tree. EO inputs are not static, the network changes, the costs are fluctuating and as the Arctic is becoming more accessible, it would be important to extend the observation system accordingly.
The report is available here.


The organisers of the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial are organising a series of follow-up telephone conferences that address the topics of the Arctic Science Forum. Hajo Eicken and Peter Pulsifer addressed the teleconference 12th February under Theme 1: Strengthening, Integrating and Sustaining Arctic Observations, etc.

Presentations are available here:

Hajo Eicken (UAF-IARC), Member, Executive Organizing Committee AOS 2018
Sandy Starkweather (NOAA), U.S. AON Executive Director
Maribeth Murray, Executive Director, International Study of Arctic Change
Peter Schlosser, Chair – Executive Organizing Committee AOS 2018 & Science Steering Group, International Study of Arctic Change
Arctic Observing Summit (AOS); Linkages & follow-up

Peter L. Pulsifer (NSIDC U Colorado), Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado Boulder, Chair, IASC-SAON Arctic Data Committee (ADC)
Co-Lead, IARPC Arctic Data Sub-Team, Co-Lead GEO Cold Regions Initiative
Marten Tacoma, Stein Tronstad (ADC Co-Chairs)
Pip Bricher, SOOS
Anton Van de Putte, SCADM
Report from the Arctic Data Committee and Partners

The topic for the next teleconference will be “Understanding Regional and Global Dynamics of Arctic Change”, and it will be held on 15th May 16-17 CET (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM UTC).





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