AOS Special Issue of Arctic

White papers and reports from the AOS 2013 are being published as a special issue of the journal Arctic, with guest editors Hajo Eicken and Martin Jakobsson. Arcticles are currently being published online at Arctic Volume 68, Supplement 1 (open access) and a print issue will be available later in 2015.

The Arctic Observing Summit 2013
Introduction to the Special Issue of Arctic Online-First Publications
Martin Jakobsson, Stockholm University, Hajo Eicken, Unversity of Alaska Fairbanks, Craig Lee, University of Washington

The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is an international, biennial forum of scientists, managers, stakeholders, agencies, Arctic community members, and the private sector. The purpose of the AOS is to engage all sectors from local to international levels and coordinate the design, development, and implementation of a sustained, comprehensive, and iterative circumarctic observing system. The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) leads the planning and development of the AOS, which is a project of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON).

The inaugural AOS was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from 30 April to 2 May 2013. The task of AOS participants was to provide input and perspectives on specific themes related to the design, implementation, and utility of an adaptive Arctic observing system. To capture and integrate input from a broad range of participants, the AOS included the advance preparation of community-based white papers and statements, with contributions and discussions continuing as part of AOS 2014 (Helsinki, Finland, April 5–11). Building on this input, though not restricted to white papers originating from the AOS 2013, a thematic cluster of these papers was selected for publication as either peer-reviewed scientific articles or reports in this special issue of Arctic. These articles are thus rooted in the outcome of the AOS 2013 process and address some of the defined themes from 2013:

  • Status of the current observing system (goals, objectives, capabilities, challenges, and sustainability.
  • Observing system design and coordination (including integration of components and implementation). 
  • Stakeholder perspectives on observing system design, needs, and integration.
  • Mechanisms for coordination of support, implementation, and operation of a sustained Arctic observing system.

These themes were broadly defined to encompass diverse perspectives and topical areas. Authors of the articles and reports have been encouraged to articulate and explore underlying questions such as:

  • What can be done to improve the design, implementation, coordination, and sustained long-term operation of Arctic observing systems in the focus area of a given white paper?
  • Are Arctic observations shared optimally today among communities (e.g., among scientists, governments, and stakeholders)?
  • Are there specific hindrances to the collection or sharing of Arctic observations in the focus area of a given paper (e.g., restrictions due to military strategic reasons, protection of natural resources, issues with interoperability or access to data)?  
The original white papers from AOS 2013 served as a foundation for dialogue and for exploring the emerging opportunities and challenges of building a robust, collaborative, and long-term Arctic observing system. While some articles explore novel ideas, technological advances, or focus on areas that require attention for successful design and implementation, these papers also provide invaluable insight into the possibilities and current challenges to be considered as the Arctic observing system and the future Summits evolve. The next Arctic Observing Summit will take place in 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska) as part of the Arctic Science Summit Week. For further information, please visit AOS 2016

Arctic Special Issue Papers Now Available Online (68, Supplement 1)
Articles will continue to be added online as these become available following copy-editing.