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WMO/WCRP/IPY Workshop on CLIPS in Polar Regions:

Climate product generation, user liaison and training

8-11 September 2008, St Petersburg, Russian Federation

Please note on menu to the right, the Provisional Programme and List of Participants, are now available. Under logistical information, please note important new information concerning visas.

Also available are overview/background presentations on the Workshop, the WMO CLIPS programme and on Regional Climate Outlook Forums, for your information.


Numerous reports in recent times (e.g. the IPCC 4th assessment reports of Working Groups 1 and 2, the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) report on Shrinking Snow and Ice: Rapid Changes in Polar Regions, the WCRP/CliC-SCAR Cryosphere Theme Report for IGOS (the Integrated Global Observing Strategy), the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, etc.) have highlighted the extent and rapidity of climate changes at high latitudes. The people that live and work in these regions have a great need for climate information, with which they can better adapt to climate variability and change. It is also important to assist vulnerable polar communities to make optimal use of the available information in implementing their adaptation strategies, and in conducting their lives in a changing environment.

At this time, the IPY is generating many legacies, including the new collaborative initiative SAON (Sustained Arctic Observing Networks). There is now an opportunity, perhaps a unique one, for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of Members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to build collaborative mechanisms for generating sustained, practical, operational products and services to meet user needs for climate risk management in Polar Regions.

The workshop on CLIPS in Polar Regions, a collaborative effort between WMO, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the IPY, aims to bring together climate and user representatives with interests in Polar Regions, to share information and identify requirements for climate information, products and services, and to engage in awareness and technical training.  Important factors in this effort will be knowledge of the evolution of the local climate, and of the climate sensitivity of social, natural and economic systems in these areas. The workshop will provide information and training on the climates of Polar Regions and useful modern methods and tools for climate products including monthly to seasonal predictions; and will evaluate options for sustained, regular international efforts to serve the climate-related needs of Polar Regions. Such future activities could include establishment of a regular Polar Regional Climate Outlook Forum (PCOF) as part of the WMO legacy of IPY 2007-2008, and as a contribution to the future WMO Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW).

This initiative will involve a representative group of current and potential future providers of climate data, information, products and services and will identify climate-sensitive socio-economic sectors, including indigenous peoples, in Polar Regions for assessment and priority evaluation of requirements for climate data, information and services. It also will identify the current and future capacities of and constraints on providers, identify gaps which will require additional scientific research, observation, product generation and capacity building, and will invite recommendations for sustaining existing services and offering new ones for these vulnerable regions. A survey will be conducted prior to the workshop, to initiate development of the knowledge base required.


The programme for this Workshop will cover:

  • International Climate Science Programmes relevant to polar climate (WMO programmes including WCASP/CLIPS and ETR, WCRP including CliC and CLIVAR, IPY 2007-2008);
  • Climate variability and change in Polar Regions (the scientific basis, key uncertainties);
  • The status of products and services developed by NMHSs that are relevant to polar communities; Identification of stakeholders in this initiative and status of their current activities relevant to climate; Climate-related needs of people in Polar Regions (international polar cooperation;
  • Climate applications in Polar Regions; Traditional knowledge systems; Societal and economic sensitivity in polar regions to climate variability and change; Survey results; and Preliminary assessment of user requirements for climate data, information, products and services, and gaps); Development and communication of information, products and services; challenges;
  • Demonstration and hands-on training in climate prediction (Training for climate services specialists on global prediction, projection products; modern modeling of cryosphere; regional (polar) modeling, downscaling, model evaluation/reliability; predictability at seasonal, interannual and decadal time scale; statistical tools for identification of climate means, extremes, anomalies; etc.);
  • Future perspectives on climate services for Polar Regions (Recommendations for improved or new products and services to address the needs of polar communities, recommendations for a mechanism to facilitate effective interactions between climate service providers and users/stakeholders, such as a sustainable PCOF, research, model development and statistical tools needed for climate prediction; capacity building for climate and user communities, etc.).


The workshop is organized by:

  • The WMO World Climate Applications and Services (WCAS) Division of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch (CLPA), Climate and Water Department, under the guidance of the Commission for Climatology (CCl)
  • the WMO Education and Training Office (ETR)
  • the WMO-ICSU and IOC of UNESCO WCRP  and the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Scientific Steering Group (SSG)
  • WMO/ICSU Joint Committee for International Polar Year (IPY)

The workshop will be hosted by the Main Geophysical Observatory of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet), 7 Karbysheva Street, St. Petersburg  194021, Russian Federation.

The workshop will be conducted in English only.

Contacts for further information

Dr Rupa Kumar Kolli
World Climate Applications and Services Division
Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch
Climate and Water Department
World Meteorological Organization

Tel:            +41 22 730 8377
Fax:           +41 22 730 8042

Mrs Leslie Malone
Scientific Officer
Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch
Climate and Water Department
World Meteorological Organization

Tel:            +41 22 730 8220
Fax:           +41 22 730 8042

Dr Vladimir Ryabinin
Senior Scientific Officer
World Climate Research Programme
c/o World Meteorological Organization

Tel:            +41 22 730 8486
Fax:           +41 22 730 8036

Dr Eduard Sarukhanian
Special Advisor to the WMO Secretary-General
on International Polar Year

Tel:            +41 22 730 8420
Fax:           +41 22 730 8049

Local Co-ordinator:

Dr Alexandr Zaitsev
Roshydromet Main Geophysical Observatory
7 Karbysheva Street
St Petersburg 194021
Russian Federation

Tel:            +7 812 297 43 90

Background to the event

  • The WMO Climate Information and Prediction Services (CLIPS) project has been quite active around the world, particularly in temperate and tropical latitudes, since its inception on the recommendation of Members at the Twelfth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-XII) in June 1995. CLIPS has principally focused on promotion of operational climate prediction services, particularly on seasonal to interannual scales, in a user-targeted manner; providing an active interface between the research and operational communities; promotion of consensus-based climate outlook product generation, particularly through its support to the Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF) process and development of WMO El Nio/La Nia Updates; and capacity building of NMHSs in providing climate services through a worldwide programme of CLIPS Training Workshops.
  • The WMO, further, is a founding sponsor of the International Polar Year 2007-2008. Many WMO Members are actively engaged in national and international IPY projects and hope to contribute to an ongoing legacy, to benefit the science, and the people in Polar Regions, for years to come. In that context, and because it is clear that the extent and rapidity of climate and environmental changes in polar regions are having a profound effect on the people in those areas, WMO, in collaboration with the WMO IOC of UNESCO ICSU World Climate Research Programme and the IPY Secretariat is proposing a workshop to extend the CLIPS concept to polar regions.

This concept was first raised at the meeting of the WMO Intercommission Task Group in April 2005, when it requested that, under the auspices of the Commission for Climatology, WMO promote development of specialized activities for Polar Regions through Regional Climate Centres and the CLIPS RCOF process, and to arrange user feedback to these activities, and to NMHSs. Subsequently, the Russian Federation offered to host a CLIPS workshop, and agreed that it focus on a contribution to the IPY legacy.  The extension of the CLIPS to Polar Regions was endorsed by the WMO Executive Council at its 60th session (EC-LX, June 2008).  The Council urged Members with interests in the Region to contribute to scoping the feasibility of establishment of a Polar Climate Outlook Forum (PCOF).



The deadline for application for participation is past. Candidates have been selected from the applications received, based on relevance to and background in the proposed activities. Based on the availability of accommodations, no further applications can be considered, but expression of interest in future activities are welcome.

NB:    This workshop will touch on both Arctic and Antarctic interests but, considering that this constitutes a first step in a longer process, in this instance a greater emphasis may be placed on the Arctic region particularly due to the need to consider, as a first priority, the need of the indigenous peoples in that region.




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