The Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Scientific Steering Group of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) met for its 13th session on February 17-18, 2017. The meeting was hosted at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and took place in conjunction with the International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a hanging Climate held from February 13-17, 2017. More than twenty presentations were in the agenda, and twenty-seven participants from thirteen different countries attended the meeting (both at the location and participating remotely). The meeting was led by CliC Co-Chairs Gerhard Krinner and James Renwick.
Lawrence Hislop, CliC Director, welcomed the participants and highlighted the different topics of the meeting: among them were evaluation of current projects benchmarking), identification of potential duplication of CliC activities, an update of the current Science Plan and new initiatives, linkages to other organizations and research groups, etc.
A number of oral sessions covered the wide range of CliC and WCRP activities from contributing to the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to CliC supported Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects.
A focus was also on the multidisciplinary WCRP Grand Challenges: melting ice and global consequences, climate sensitivity, carbon feedbacks in the climate system, weather and climate prediction, water availability, sea-level change and its coastal impacts. The participants critically-reviewed the 2016-2020 CliC Science Plan, which describes their overarching research needs and themes: terrestrial cryosphere; marine cryosphere; ice sheets, glaciers and sea level; global and regional prediction and projection of the cryosphere.
Suggestions on the Science Plan were welcomed and led to an exciting discussion between the delegates about our future in an ongoing climate change. The core questions span the entire diversity of the Earth’s cryosphere: How much carbon is available in permafrost ? Why are Arctic and Antarctic sea ice behaving differently ? What is the contribution of glaciers and ice sheets to changes in global sea level on decadal-to-centennial timescales ? How does the cryosphere interact with the climate ? The answers are at the heart of an ongoing research effort across the science community. The group concluded that the current and proposed activities still reflect CliC priorities and that further work needs to be done to answer these questions.
As the APECS representative Christian Wild, I updated the participants on the actions of the Association of Polar Early Carrer Scientists (APECS). He pointd out that young scientists are passionate to contribute knowledge within the cryospheric community, be it through collecting invalueable observations, international research collaborations or education and outreach products related to the polar regions. CliC should clarify how to include Early Career Scientists generally in their activities through leadership, membership, planning and funding possibilities. Additionally, he gathered information about upcoming conferences/workshops and other opportunities for early career scientists to become actively involved. His participation at the meeting was a great experience and as his PhD topic targets the interaction between ice shelves and the ocean, he particularly enjoyed the discussion about the stability of the Antarctic ice shelves given the increase in both oceanic and atmospheric temperatures.
From a personal perspective, he had the chance to liaise with world-eminent experts of climate research and had the opportunity for more informal discussions during the breaks. Christian was also responsible for taking minutes and contributed to the meeting report. The final report of the 13th meeting of the WCRP’s CliC project Scientific Steering Group is now available at the CliC webpage and can be found here: http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/news/clic-news/1558-clicssg13reportavailable.