POLAR PREDICTION PROJECT (PPP)

  • A long-term initiative by the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) together with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

  • With the participation of research centres, universities, institutions and initiatives from all over the world.

  • Set up to understand and evaluate predictability and enhance prediction information and services in polar regions.

The polar regions have been attracting more and more interest in recent years. The main reason is concerns about amplification of anthropogenic climate change. Furthermore, increased economic and transportation activities in polar regions are leading to more demands for sustained and improved availability of integrated observational and predictive weather, climate and water information to support decision-making. However, partly as a result of a strong emphasis of previous international efforts on lower and middle latitudes, many gaps in weather, sub-seasonal and seasonal forecasting in polar regions hamper reliable decision making.

In order to achieve its goals the Polar Prediction Project shall strive to enhance international and interdisciplinary collaboration through the development of strong linkages with related initiatives; strengthen linkages between academia, research institutions and operational forecasting centres; promote interactions and communication between research and stakeholders; and foster education and outreach.

Question on PPP to Gunilla Svensson, Sweden

"Why is it so challenging to improve numerical weather prediction models in polar regions?"

Small-scale processes such as turbulence and clouds are difficult to get right in models. Most of the descriptions are based on process knowledge from studies using observations at lower latitudes and are sometimes not well suited for polar conditions. Special conditions found over sea-ice covered ocean are long periods with weak atmospheric activity in a shallow layer in strong interaction with the surface. Models tend to have problems in these conditions and PPP assists in coordinating co-located process observations from in the ocean, through the sea-ice and atmosphere that would help model development and evaluation

Prof. Dr Gunilla Svensson, Department of Meteorology and  Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, PPP Steering Group Member