The Ice Watch ship observations initiative is an international collaborative program to coordinate Arctic-wide visual sea ice observations collected from ships operating in ice-covered seas of the northern hemisphere ( The associated observation protocol was developed in collaboration with the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (CliC-ASIWG).

This initiative is also of high relevance to the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). This is not only because of the value such observations have per se, but also because operational services such as Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) are interested in using them for the subjective evaluation of models, in particular observations taken during the upcoming Special Observing Periods (SOPs; in the Arctic: 1Feb-31Mar2018 + 1Jul-30Sep2018). Additional Ice Watch observations would thus have very good chances of high visibility and usage.

For questions on the program or the template, please contact the IceWatch team

Observation protocol