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The first 2021 issue of PolarPredictNews, the official newsletter for the Year of Polar Prediction, is now available with lots of news and updates from and for the polar prediction community. For the Art+Science part of the newsletter, we worked with climate scientist Thomas Rackow to present his the melting sea-ice stripes, inspired by Ed Hawkins’ concept of warming stripes.

Highlights:

  • Interview with Matthew Shupe, News about YOPPSiteMIP and the Merged Observing Data Files - We talked with MOSAiC Co-Leader Matt Shupe about the origins of the expedition, its challenging aspects, the mysteries whose answers may lie in the data and how to measure clouds during the polar night (p.9). Find out about the YOPPSiteMIP project (p.14), and for those who can’t wait to work with the unique datasets gathered during MOSAiC, there is also good news: The first merged-observatory data files (MODFs) are now available for use, and can be downloaded at the YOPP Data Portal (p.20).
  • Extreme Weather and the Polar Vortex - The stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortex, two distinct features of the atmospheric circulation, are an important driver of large-scale weather patterns in mid-latitudes. Recent extreme severe winter weather events, like storm Filomena in Spain (see cover picture) can be favored by certain conditions of these polar vortices. Commented by PPP Steering Group member Thomas Jung and Doug Smith from the UK Met Office, current knowledge about the different coupling mechanisms between the polar vortices and mid-latitudes is collected in this overview article (p.5).
  • East Greenland Is the Opposite of New York - In 1983, the south Tyrolean mountaineer Robert Peroni traversed the Greenland ice sheet at its widest point and never wanted to leave Greenland again. He bought a house and turned it into The Red House, a hotel where he welcomes anyone willing to stay at least a week. We interviewed Robert Peroni about weather forecasts and decision-making to ensure sustainable tourism in Greenland (p.12).
  • Artificial Intelligence in Polar Prediction - Machine learning and AI in particular are some of the hot topics, as many industries and public institutions can benefit from their usage already in the near future. This does also apply for weather and sea-ice forecasting in the polar regions. In this article, recent developments and improvements in polar prediction and weather forecasting in the Arctic by means of AI applications are highlighted (p.16).