Monitoring Observing Modeling and Prediction Collaboration Team

Integrating and improving monitoring, observing, modeling, and prediction efforts to advance Arctic research

Scope of Activities

Monitoring is a subset of observing and generally refers to observing specific variables over time to detect change. Similarly, prediction is a subset of modeling and refers to using numerical models to estimate how the Arctic or a subsystem of it may change in the future. MOMP is critical for increasing understanding of the natural and human components of the Arctic system as well as the degree and direction of past and future changes. MOMP is also essential for providing actionable data, forecasts, and new research directions.

Sustained observations and widespread monitoring support research activities by providing information on the variability of the Arctic system. This information provides a necessary baseline for future studies and data for evaluating models and making both short-term predictions and longer-scale projections. Focused short-term observational efforts are important for improving fundamental understanding of Arctic processes, regions, and extreme events. A foundational Arctic observational capability requires a sustained, coordinated, and integrated network of satellites, other remote sensing, and in situ observing systems suitable for Arctic conditions; collection of physical and biological samples; resources to train instrument operators, support data quality, and analyze observations; and continued development of new technologies, such as low-cost and autonomous sensors, to fill observational gaps.

Many critical Arctic observational and monitoring efforts are conducted by non-federal partners. IARPC will improve coordination and integration of observations conducted or supported by federal agencies with those conducted or enabled by non-federal partners including the state of Alaska, Indigenous and Tribal organizations, Arctic communities, research institutions, and private sector.

Future development of Arctic observing capabilities should consider sustainability in field research, good practices to limit potential environmental impacts, coordination with other observational efforts, and meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples, including incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge through Indigenous leadership, participatory research, and co-production in the design and implementation of local, regional, and circumpolar observing systems.

Computational models combine findings from theory, observations, and process studies, providing a framework for understanding interactions among components of the Arctic and between the Arctic and the global system across a range of scales and complexity. Short-term predictions and longer-term projections of the Arctic system are essential for providing information to users and decision-makers to inform the design of climate adaptation and resilience plans and to support hazard mitigation actions. A foundational modeling capability for the Arctic requires a set of models of different complexities, integration of observing and modeling capabilities, and strong interactions with partners to understand their needs, communicate uncertainties, and provide information for decision-making.

The need to advance understanding of Arctic processes and system interactions drives the effort to improve synthesis of monitoring, observing, and modeling. Numerical models require observations for initialization, evaluation, and assimilation. Integrating observational and modeling output enables creation of value-added products and can help fill spatial and temporal gaps in analysis. Models can provide critical information to inform the design and optimization of observing networks. Advances in related fields such as AI and machine learning should be explored to improve analysis and integration of large volumes of observational and model data. Such integration will accelerate the advancement of knowledge of the dynamic Arctic system and lead to improved predictive capabilities. Working with the Monitoring and Observing communities of practice, this team seeks to identify current gaps in observational or modeling capabilities that hamper predictive skill of the Arctic system, barriers that hold back progress in filling these gaps, and key activities most critical to improving predictability, including the need to maintain critical existing MOMP capabilities.

In coordination with the Education, Training, and Capacity Building Foundational Activity, training the next generation in MOMP activities will be incorporated. IARPC will also promote international coordination and cooperation in Arctic system MOMP efforts. For example, through the U.S. Arctic Observing Network (US AON) Board, IARPC will support federal agencies’ efforts to improve the performance of Arctic-wide observing and data management activities. Lastly, IARPC will increase coordination and engagement with other federal efforts (including public-private partnerships) focused on improved observations, modeling, and predictability of the Earth system. This will include working with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the Interagency Council on Advancing Meteorological Services (ICAMS), and identifying and prioritizing actions to implement the Earth System Predictability Research and Development Strategic Framework and Roadmap.

Team Leaders

Sally McFarlane
DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement User Facility (Website)

David Allen
NOAA, GOMO/ Arctic Research Program (Website)

Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

1.1 Support the health of Arctic residents through research on public health needs, disparities, and delivery.

  • 1.1.3 Continue research on air quality and human health. This will include an evaluation of outdoor air quality and health outcomes in Alaskan communities and a Federally-funded, local-partner-conducted evaluation of interventions to improve indoor air quality and decrease respiratory symptoms in children. Research will be shared and summarized in webinars, publications, and reports.

1.2 Address emerging threats to food safety and access, as well as food and nutrition security in the Arctic, through research that addresses how climate and environmental change is affecting the abundance, accessibility, and use of traditional foods and traditional ways of life.

  • 1.2.2 Provide funding opportunities and conduct studies on the impact of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on availability and safety of traditional and commercial foods.
  • 1.2.3 Conduct research and produce a report on seabird mortality events in the Bering Sea, including severity, causes, and ecological implications.
  • 1.2.4 Conduct investigations and report on marine mammal unusual mortality events in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas to evaluate the severity, causes, ecological implications, and potential health risks to traditional users.
  • 1.2.6 Assess and model changes in abundance, distribution, and harvest of select marine mammals and fishes that are food sources in rural Alaska.
  • 1.2.7 Fund and conduct research, and produce a report, on changes in abundance and distribution of migratory caribou in Arctic Alaska.
  • 1.2.8 Provide funding opportunities and conduct research, and produce a report, on the impacts of rapid expansion of beaver habitat in the U.S. Arctic, including effects on fisheries and ecosystem services, access to traditional foods, and overall community health.

2.1 Advance understanding of Arctic amplification and the associated connections with lower latitudes.

  • 2.1.1 Provide funding opportunities for investigator-driven modeling and observational studies that focus on the following aspects of Arctic Amplification: (1) ice-albedo feedback; (2) impacts of atmospheric and oceanic circulation on Arctic Amplification; and (3) transport of heat, moisture, and pollutants between Arctic and lower latitudes. Share knowledge and synthesize results arising from these studies.
  • 2.1.2 Hold workshops and webinars and produce publications to encourage interagency research coordination on Arctic Amplification.
  • 2.1.3 Provide opportunities to support and coordinate research to enhance the understanding of connections between Arctic and global ocean circulation with a particular focus on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
  • 2.1.4 Advance understanding of the role of atmospheric rivers in Arctic Amplification with a specific task of hosting a conference session in 2023 or 2024.
  • 2.1.5 Hold cross-collaboration-team meetings and workshops, and produce publications, to explore the results of high-resolution and regional Arctic modeling. Meetings will focus on the importance of model resolution to capture Arctic Amplification and its relationship with the lower latitudes.

2.2 Observe, understand, predict, and project Arctic ecosystem change and its impacts on humans and the entire Earth system.

  • 2.2.2 Carry out and synthesize research and monitoring needed to improve understanding of important Arctic ecosystem processes and feedbacks. This will include responses to environmental changes, such as the associated impacts on wildlife and human communities and infrastructure. This work will include conference sessions and scientific publications.
  • 2.2.3 Develop and update meaningful products for delivering findings and information concerning key climate features, including the annual release of the peer-reviewed Arctic Report Card on the current state of the Arctic relative to the historical record.
  • 2.2.4 Continue coordinated interdisciplinary Arctic marine climate and ecosystem observations, and share data and promote synthesis of field observations.
  • 2.2.5 Convene community-wide workshop highlighting how remote sensing data products can be used to inform multi-scale land models from plot to pan-Arctic and inform use of remote sensing data in land surface models.
  • 2.2.6 Continue support for research programs that document Arctic marine species distribution, abundance, biodiversity, health and condition, foraging ecology, demography, habitat use in the Arctic, and basic life history information as well as age and growth rates of key links in the food web.
  • 2.2.7 Produce and support publications and data products enhancing understanding of the linkages among marine species, oceanographic and sea ice conditions, and climate change. Specifically improve understanding of mechanisms that affect trends in trophic interactions, abundance, distribution, vital rates, and behavior.

2.3 Understand interactions between social, ecological, and physical Arctic systems, particularly in the context of coastal, climate, and cryospheric change.

  • 2.3.3 Develop and assess ice sheet models for better prediction of sea level rise.
  • 2.3.4 Integrate information from field, laboratory, and remote sensing studies to examine and quantify relationships among surface topography, vegetation composition, hydrology, disturbance effects (including fire, thermokarst, land use change, and wildlife), geophysical processes in permafrost soils, and humans. Share results in reports, presentations, and scientific publications.
  • 2.3.7 Improve high-resolution models’ ability to capture coastal processes at the interface of ocean, land, and atmosphere by supporting targeted collaborations among model developers, users, and decision-makers. Products will include an interagency scientific peer-reviewed publication and conference sessions that address these models.

3.3 Improve multi-species and ecosystem approaches to predict climate change impacts on species distributions and on economically viable access to commercial and subsistence species in the next 50 years.

  • 3.3.1 Develop short-term comparative model predictions of the distribution and populations of fishery species (e.g. pollock, cod, salmon, halibut, crab) in response to evolving climatic conditions in the Northern Bering Sea and Southern Chukchi Sea.

4.1 Summarize currently available data and information requirements associated with hazard and risk mitigation, adaptation, and response efforts. Synthesize community-led activities and information to identify potential needs for future efforts.

  • 4.1.1 Conduct a study identifying where information used in decision-making and planning can be improved through access to new or additional data sources. This study should consider a wide range of activities associated with ongoing responses to common and emerging hazards, including risk reduction efforts and emergency preparedness and response.
  • 4.1.2 Share findings of deliverable 4.1.1 as a means (1) to spur additional research and science communication aimed at addressing unmet needs for planning, prevention, response, and recovery and (2) to inform time-sensitive decision-making and planning processes.

4.2 Update and improve the “Statewide Threat Assessment: Identification of Threats from Erosion, Flooding, and Thawing Permafrost in Remote Alaska Communities.”

  • 4.2.1 Undertake a study to identify the top 10 threats/hazards to communities and critical remote state and Federal government infrastructure in the state of Alaska that should be included in the Statewide Threat Assessment. This might include coastal and river erosion, flooding, thawing permafrost, and changes in the seasonal snowpack.
  • 4.2.2 Upon completion of 4.2.1, establish a data collection and collation plan to include mechanisms to collect threat/hazard data that may not be readily available.
  • 4.2.3 Collect and integrate disparate threat/hazard information and perform modeling and analysis to understand where natural and human-made threats and hazards pose a risk to Arctic communities.

DATA 1 Encourage and implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and CARE (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics) data management principles in the Arctic.

  • DATA 1.1 Identify verified points of contact (e.g., agency champions, data practitioners, Arctic residents, Indigenous organizations) and their areas of expertise and interests for working with the data team on exploring and implementing FAIR and CARE in Arctic data management. As part of developing the points of contact, identify and track representation across many axes of diversity (demographics, disciplines/sectors, IARPC experience, career stage, and others) to ensure a diverse and representative group of contributors. The data team will check in with these groups regularly to ensure the points of contact are up to date.

PILR 1 Fulfill Federal requirement to consult with Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

  • PILR 1.1 Create a best practices document on meaningful consultation and engagement on Arctic research with Alaska Indigenous communities that is applicable to all Federal agencies.
  • PILR 1.2 Evaluate the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic 2018, and update as needed based on the evaluation.
  • PILR 1.3 Develop and deliver training for agencies to implement the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic.

PILR 2 Engage Arctic communities and individuals in research in a way that is meaningful to them.

  • PILR 2.1 Create a training toolkit for scientists that can be self-guided and used as needed. Topics may include cross-cultural communication, consultation, participatory research, Indigenous Knowledge, overview of Indigenous culture groups, formal agreements, and how to contract and consult with Indigenous companies and individuals.
  • PILR 2.2 Create a report of examples where IARPC member agencies have engaged Indigenous Knowledge holders in research.
  • PILR 2.3 Request that each Priority Area Collaboration Team host regular meetings that meaningfully engage with Indigenous leaders, groups, and/or communities. This includes developing a list of contacts to support requests for engagement or tracking engagement with Indigenous participation.
  • PILR 2.4 Analyze and develop a report on broader impacts of science/research teams on Indigenous health and resilience.
  • PILR 2.5 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify mechanisms for Federal agencies to effectively communicate science plans and findings among themselves and with communities.

PILR 3 Develop guidance for agencies to consistently apply participatory research and Indigenous leadership in research.

  • PILR 3.1 Co-define “Indigenous leadership in research” with Tribes, Indigenous organizations, and Federal agencies; and integrate into the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic and its training toolkit and best practices documents.
  • PILR 3.2 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify methods to streamline contracting/agreements and compensation processes to make co-stewardship and co-production in research more equitable and achievable.
  • PILR 3.3 Convene discussions to identify mechanisms to foster equitable pathways for Indigenous leadership in research.
  • PILR 3.4 Identify best practices for Federal agencies to support capacity for Tribes and Indigenous Knowledge holders in research. Distribute guidance on best practices to IARPC agencies.
  • PILR 3.5 Ensure consistent terminology for Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Local Knowledge for IARPC. Suggest primary language for IARPC be Indigenous Knowledge.


To be added in 2023.