Ice Analysts Workshop


Rostock, Germany

12-17 June 2008


The provision of marine meteorological and oceanographic services, including sea ice, to meet the requirements of marine users continued to be the highest priority for the Joint WMO/IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), since they contribute substantially to national economies, as well as being essential for the safety of life at sea, recognized by SOLAS Convention.  Recognizing the increased use of the Polar Regions by all elements of the marine community (including commercial, military and scientific), gaps and problems with availability, harmonization and standardization of appropriate Maritime Safety Information (MSI) broadcasts, including sea ice, for SOLAS and non-SOLAS ships were expected to build up.

In order to enhance the capability of Members concerned to provide harmonized sea ice services and to understand sea ice historical variations, the JCOMM Services Programme Area Coordination Group, at its third session (Exeter, United Kingdom, November 2006), proposed to convene an Ice Analysts Workshop to assess the differences in current practices of ice analysis and charting at the national ice services, and estimate accuracies of ice charts for both operational and climate needs.  This Workshop was further endorsed by the JCOMM Expert Team on Sea Ice, at its third session (Geneva, Switzerland, March 2007), and by the JCOMM Management Committee, at its sixth session (Paris, France, December 2007). The International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG), at its eighth session (Frascati, Italy, October 2007), provided a place for most of the Ice Services of the Northern Hemisphere (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and the USA) to agree on further actions towards planning and organization of this workshop.  In this regard, the Ice Analysts Workshop took place at the Bundesamt für Seechifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH) Ice Service, in Rostock, Germany, from 12 to 17 June 2008.

Objectives of the Workshop

The primary objective of the Ice Analysts Workshop was the assessment of differences between current practices of ice analysis and charting at the national ice services and estimate accuracies of ice charts to meet both operational and climate needs. To help achieve this goal, the workshop encompasses:

1.    case studies, presentation/discussion from different Ice Services on the techniques used in analyzing imagery and preparing ice charts in order to exchange views and techniques, learning diverse practices from different Ice Services; and

2.    breakout expert groups by region (Arctic, Antarctic and Baltic Sea) to analyze imagery and prepare ice charts during the workshop in order to develop a methodology to harmonize the analysis process.



List of Participants JCOMM Technical Report Series