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Arctic Product Validation and Evolution Workshops

International discussion identifies EO successes and opportunities for improvement

In response to strategic information needs common to all high‐latitude and Arctic nations, LOOKNorth is working with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to conduct a series of workshops to assess, develop and improve the monitoring capabilities offered by satellite-based Earth observation (EO) technology.

In spite of the tremendous technological advances of the last century, high-latitude and Arctic areas remain some of the least understood and most challenging to monitor environments on our planet. In recent decades the higher latitudes have also been undergoing considerable changes, ranging from increasing exploration and development, to an extended growing season and increasingly ice-free seas.  Understanding the state of this remote and sparsely inhabited environment is important to governments, the private sector and the scientific community, and requires a cost-effective, efficient and accurate monitoring system to address the evolving information needs of local, regional, national and international stakeholders.

The first Arctic Products Validation and Evolution (APVE) Workshop, held in Ottawa on 12-13 November 2014, brought together 75 scientists and end users from around the globe to share their knowledge and experience of the use of existing EO datasets.  Discussion revolved around what was working and where improvements could be made, both technically and logistically. Prominent issues included calibration, geo-location and data accessibility.

Approximately 75 international participants attended the workshop, which featured 34 presentations.  The first session focused on user perspectives. Subsequent sessions featured technical presentations on research and applications for land, lake, ocean, cryospheric and atmospheric topics.  LOOKNorth gave two presentations based on relevant research of its own.

The workshop proceedings and report are available here.

The success of the workshop led LOOKNorth, ESA and CSA to organize a follow-on workshop 27-28 October 2015 (APVE II), in conjunction with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, focusing on the evolution of enhanced or new monitoring and information products derived from satellite-based EO data.  Information on the program and participants is available here.