Observations of ice conditions of the Arctic Ocean and Arctic seas

Updated 2016-05-01

Monitoring of ice conditions: providing of collection, analysis, archiving and presentation of information obtained from different information sources The continuous monitoring system is based on information from two main groups. The first one is immediate direct observation of the state of ice cover. The information sources are Roshydromet’s permanent polar stations, automatic weather stations and buoys, satellite images in different wave ranges through international hydrometeorological information exchange channels under the auspices of WMO (ETSI) and Ice Services of different countries. Occasional observations by marine expeditions and “North Pole” drifting stations also belong of this group of observation. These are so-called initial or raw data to be further processed, accumulated and archived. As a rule, this information is interesting only to specialists and is not presented without special processing. The second one is processed and summarized information, i.e. diagnostic, analytical and prognostic information. Diagnostic information is a result of processing of initial or raw information. These are adapted and geographically bound satellite images, ice maps, diagnosis of the current state in the form of descriptions and different bulletins. Analytical information is a consolidation of heterogeneous initial and diagnostic information on the ice cover state in the form of overviews and bulletins for different periods of time and different components of ice conditions. Prognostic information is a forecast of different lead times for different phenomena and characteristics of ice conditions. Actually ESIMO AARI web-portal presents a series of group 2 information products having the best informativity and ready for the direct use by customers.

Time frame

Project time span
1920 -
Data collection
1920 -
Data processing
1920 -
Data reporting
1920 -

Contact information

Contact person
Vasily Smolyanitsky -

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), 38 Bering str, St.Petersburg, Russia, 199397


Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Climate change effects
Other metals/elements
Media sampled/studied/modelled


Regions studied
Other metals/elements

Data availability

Data availability and access

http://wdc.aari.ru/datasets/d0004/ (ice charts since 1997), http://wdc.aari.ru/datasets/d0001/ (ice charts for 1933-1992)


Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Monitoring includes observation and recording of the following phenomena and processes: – main phases of ice phenomena in autumn – ice formation, occurrence of stationary ice (fast ice), specific ice age scales (young ice, light first-year ice, medium first-year ice, etc.); – growth, drift and expansion of ice cover in winter; – development and variability of stationary ice (fast ice), state of coastal flaw leads in winter; – main phases of ice phenomena in spring – beginning of ice melting, destruction of fast ice, clearance of sea ice; – melting, destruction and evolution of ice cover in summer; – state of the ice cover surface (snow and ice thickness, forms and size of ice features, ridging, state of the surface and a whole series of other characteristics)

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Data are collected and databases are created by AARI Networks: JCOMM (JCOMM), World Meteorological Organisation Expert Team on Sea Ice (WMO ETSI)

Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project

data are used in Russian and international programs

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