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Community-based Sea Ice/Weather Forecasting [NEI]


Project Overview (2007/2008)

Building on previous Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI)-funded research in the Nunavut communities of Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and Pangnirtung (G. Laidler) and extensive collaborative research experience on similar issues (C. Furgal, in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut), we followed up with further exploration of the nature of sea ice and weather change in the three Nunavut communities.  Specific emphasis was placed on connections between Inuit and scientific knowledge to improve northern community, and Environment Canada, capacity to monitor and predict weather/sea ice conditions.  This involved close collaboration with the Environment Canada Science Assessment and Integration Division (D. Piekarz), the Canadian Ice Service (R. DeAbreu), and Noetix Research Inc. (T. Hirose, the Polar View Floe Edge Service).  Through this project we were able to expand the Floe Edge Service to these three communities, and thus in November, 2007 we conducted information sessions and a research workshop in each community to introduce the service.  Through these meetings we were able to gain more understanding and information about northern community priorities in the Baffin region in relation to weather forecasting and satellite imagery products.  We are still in the process of collating and analyzing the detailed results, but over the next few months we plan to develop a cohesive depiction of user-needs, as well as practical recommendations for:

  1. i)improving the delivery of Environment Canada (EC) weather forecasting products (i.e. the northern-specific indicators that address local needs with regards to weather variables important for safe travel and navigation); and,

  2. ii)refining sea ice satellite imagery products (i.e. type of information, and frequency of delivery) for community use. 

Combined, these initiatives aim to enhance the user-friendly nature of forecasting products, and to expand Environment Canada’s capacity to deliver region-specific services to improve travel and land/sea ice use and safety for northern community members.


For more information on recent progress you can read about the Floe Edge Service expansion in our Blog, and reports will be made available here when they are available.