The Arctic is a region experiencing rapid climate changes. APPOSITE is a proposed three year research programme focusing on improving our ability to forecast the climate of the Arctic on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Arctic predictions would be of great value to both the people that live and work in the Arctic regions and also for informing important policy decisions about the region.
Additionally, the Arctic region exerts an influence on the climate outside the Arctic. Hence improved forecasts of Arctic climate may increase our ability to forecast climate in mid-latitude regions, such as Europe, on similar seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Building such Arctic forecast systems will be a complex task, involving the construction of a detailed observation system to monitor Arctic climate, and sophisticated forecast models that can use these observations to enhance predictive capabilities. An important first step before committing to such a programme, is to assess the likely benefits that such a system may bring. APPOSITE is specifically designed to provide this assessment by answering four key questions:
1) What aspects of Arctic climate can we predict? 2) How far in advance can we predict these aspects? Does this depend on the season? 3) What physical processes and mechanisms are responsible for this predictability? 4) What aspects of forecast models should be prioritised for development? APPOSITE will use state-of-the art climate models to answer these questions. The answers to these questions will form a key part of the future development of seasonal to inter-annual Arctic forecasting systems nationally and internationally.