SWARP final report

Work package/Task: 

WP1 - Management

Main achievements of SWARP

  • Two new remote sensing methods to measure wave attenuation from SAR images in sea ice and to classify these images by ice types. A few hundreds of images processed in the Arctic.
  • Developments of the wave model WAVEWATCH III and ocean-ice models HYCOM-CICE and NEMO-CICE to include waves-ice interactions. Validated with project data and demonstrated feasible for near real time forecasts.
  • Inclusion of the new forecast data into a commercial e-Navigation service from NAVTOR AS.
  • Easy and free access to remote sensing and model data on the project web portal.
  • Integration into international initiatives like Copernicus Marine Services and the Nucleus for European Model of the Ocean (NEMO).
  • An educational movie intended to a broad audience.

Post-SWARP priority list

What need to be done soon?

  • Port the waves-in-ice model to operational centers, in particular the Copernicus Arctic MFC services, primarily with the stand-alone neXtSIM model (for accurate initialization) and HYCOM-CICE model (TOPAZ). Porting to the EuroSIM model for use in NEMO.
  • Port the SAR sea ice classification technique to Copernicus services, including MIZ detection, to improve the ice charting capacity.
  • Obtain improved sea ice parameters: ice thickness (as input), floe size distribution (for model validation). Floe Size Distribution can be obtained from sequential Sentinel-2 images, but these are too few for the time being. These should be used to train the ice classification algorithm for floe-size-dependent MIZ classification.
  • Sea ice breaking parameterization is not well validated. This needs more SAR data (in IW mode) especially before and after storms. Sentinel-1 SAR images should also be made easier to order.
  • Obtain accurate wind and current measurements around the ice edge for forecast validation.
  • Promote the SKIM mission to ESA to obtain waves and current information close to the MIZ.
  • Provide smaller files to users in high latitudes: develop a CF convention for NetCDF isolines files.
  • Test the online coupling of the waves, ice and ocean models using professional coupling software (i.e., OASIS-MCT).

What needs to be done, but later?

  • The different data policy for ECMWF (expensive) and CMEMS (free) is a problem for Navtor’s users. We need to lobby for harmonizing these practices.
  • A better understanding of the energy distribution from waves to ice or ocean. A laboratory experiment in a wave-ice tank could measure currents below ice. For example, the Aalto ice tank in Finland could be used for that.
  • Include wave data products to Copernicus (SAR detection in sea ice) when they become fully automated.
  • Include the wave effects into fully-coupled climate models for long-term forecasts.

What would be nice to have?

  • The models do not take pancake ice into account, although it is known that the waves have an impact on them.