Hydrological Cycle Observing System In The Arctic

Proposal Under Preparation For A Hydrology and Water Resources Programme In The Arctic.

The Arctic-HYCOS project aims to improve the monitoring of freshwater fluxes and pollutants into the Arctic Ocean with the objective of improving climate predictions in the Northern Hemisphere and assessing the pollution of Arctic coastal areas and the open Arctic Ocean.

The fifty-sixth session of the WMO Executive Council (EC-LVI) requested that the WMO Secretariat promote the project as an integral component of WMO contributions to the International Polar Year (2007-2008).

More Information can be found here:

Volta Chapter 1

Volta Chapter 2

Guide To Hydrological Practices Vol 1

Guide To Hydrological Practices Vol 2

This project is science-driven and aims to monitor freshwater fluxes and pollutants in the Arctic Ocean with the objective of improving climate predictions in the Northern Hemisphere and assessing the pollution of the Arctic coastal areas and the open Arctic Ocean.

EC-LVI requested the Secretariat to promote the project ARCTIC-HYCOS as an important component of WMO’s contribution to the International Polar Year (2007-2008).

A formal letter of agreement was signed by all participating countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and United States of America), and Canada expressed its willingness to host the regional centre.

Two preparatory meetings have been held, 2012 in Halifax (Canada) and in March 2014 in WMO headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland).

During the latter meeting, it has been agreed to focus the initial stages of the project on collecting data on best life jackets for kids and best floats for babies, water quality data, ice thickness and dates of freeze-up and break-up of ice.

A working group, comprising representatives of Canada, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America was established to define the selection criteria for the stations. For monitoring freshwater flow to oceans stations close to the mouths of rivers and immediately inland for back-up purposes will be preferred.

For studies of change the working group placed emphasis on hydrological regime stations located in headwaters small sub-catchments, including pristine basins. Stations outside the Arctic Ocean basin, such as at the mouth of the Yukon River, Baltic Sea and Hudson Bay, can also be considered to allow a better understanding of hydrological processes occurring in the general region.

Countries shall facilitate, to the extent possible, access to their data currently published online, and also access to those not yet regularly published on the web.  At a later stage data exchange standards such as WaterML2.0 will be implemented.