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Arctic Tools

This page contains links to web-based tools and publicly accessible models to help understand, analyze, and assess the vulnerabilities and resilience of Arctic systems to climate variability, global climate change, and compounding stressors. Tools include interactive mapping applications as well as navigable libraries containing scientific and technical publications, additional datasets, or models.

General Resources

  • AOOS Ocean Data Explorer: The Alaska Climate Science Center provides scientific information, tools, and methods for managing land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources in Alaska in the face of a changing climate. The Alaska Climate Science Center maintains a repository of information and resources that it has developed.
  • Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site: The Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (ARC LTER) Site is part of a network of sites established by the National Science Foundation to support long-term ecological research in the United States. The Arctic LTER is located in the foothills region of the Brooks Range, North Slope of Alaska (68° 38’N, 149° 36.4'W, elevation 760 m) and is based out of the University of Alaska’s Toolik Field Station.
  • Beaufort Gyre Observing System: This web portal contains a wealth of information about oceanography derived from the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project, which investigates basin-scale mechanisms regulating freshwater content in the Arctic Ocean, particularly in the Beaufort Gyre.
  • Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM): The Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) project, coordinated by George Washington University, maintains an archive of active-layer depth at >200 sites, most in the Arctic.
  • Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) Land Cover Atlas: This online data viewer provides user-friendly access to regional land cover and land cover change information developed through NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP).
  • USGS Daily Values Web Service URL Generation Tool: This tool provides a simple way to generate syntactically correct URLs to use with the USGS Daily Values web service. Use it to get comfortable with the service before creating your own applications.
  • Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program – North Slope of Alaska Barrow Facility: This comprehensive scientific infrastructure and data archive was designated by DOE as a scientific user facility—the ARM Climate Research Facility—in 2004, and is freely available for use by scientists worldwide.
  • Global Climate Observing System (GCOS): GCOS is intended to be a long-term, user-driven operational system capable of providing the comprehensive observations required for various aspects of climate science. GCOS includes components focused on obtaining a comprehensive view of the spatial structure, trends, and variability of changes in active-layer thickness and permafrost temperature in the Arctic.
  • USGS Groundwater Levels REST Web Service URL Generation Tool: This tool provides a simple way to generate syntactically correct URLs to use with the USGS Groundwater Levels REST web service. Please note: this service provides historical, manually recorded groundwater levels only, which in many cases are decades old. Groundwater levels recorded by automated equipment are not provided by this service, but recent automated groundwater levels are available using the Instantaneous Values Web Service.
  • Ice-tethered Profilers (ITPs): ITP’s are inverted moorings with an anchor in a drifting ice floe supporting a cable that extends 800-1000 m below the floe. A vehicle with temperature and salinity sensors motors up and down the cable making Lagrangian measurements. ITPs have been deployed since 2004 with support primarily from the National Science Foundation.
  • Imiq Hydroclimate Data Portal: The Imiq Hydroclimate Data Portal provides access to the Imiq Hydroclimate Database, a central repository built by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks containing hydrologic and climate-related data from Alaska and nearby regions (The word Imiq means ‘freshwater’ in the Inupiat language of Northern Alaska.)
  • USGS Instantaneous Values REST Web Service URL Generation Tool: This tool provides a simple way to generate syntactically correct URLs to use with the USGS Instantaneous Values REST web service. Use it to get comfortable with the service before creating your own applications.
  • Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS): The IMS is an operational software package maintained by the U.S. National Ice Center for mapping snow and ice. The IMS provides northern hemisphere snow/ice charts and data files for current and archived data.
  • Marginal Ice Zone Departmental Research Initiative (MIZ DRI): This research initiative was a five-year (2012-2016) Office of Naval Research project with two objectives: (1) Understand atmosphere-ice-ocean-wave interactions and feedbacks in the summer marginal ice zone of the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska in order to improve coupled models and sea-ice prediction, and (2) demonstrate robotic technology for integrated observation of the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean-wave system of the marginal ice zone.
  • National Land Cover Database: This National Land Cover Database Evaluation Visualization and Analysis (NLCD EVA) tool provides user-friendly access to national and state land-cover and land-cover-change information developed through the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. NLCD EVA eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing NLCD data for the user and providing easy access to that distilled information. The tool also summarizes general land-change trends and provides users with the option to specify and explore specific land-change classes of interest (e.g., forest-to-urban land change).
  • Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) Arctic: NGEE (Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments) Arctic is a Department of Energy program to improve process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska.
  • NOAA ESRL Global Monitoring Laboratory – Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory: The Global Monitoring Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratories, conducts sustained observations and research related to carbon source and sink strengths, trends and global distributions of atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing changes in the Earth’s climate through modification of the atmospheric radiative environment, that may cause depletion of the global ozone layer, and that affect baseline air quality.
  • North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO): Since 2000, the University of Washington/Applied Physics Laboratory has maintained a mooring at the North Pole to investigate ice thickness and ocean stratification. Buoys are deployed and airborne physical oceanography surveys are also conducted during each spring mooring recovery and redeployment operation.
  • Snow, Ice & Permafrost Group at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute: The Snow, Ice & Permafrost Group at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute conducts research on Earth’s cryosphere in order to better understand how it interacts with and impacts other earth systems.
  • Rutgers University Global Snow Lab: This site contains various products related to global snow cover, including maps, graphic products, and tabular data.
  • Barrow Sea Ice Webcam: The sea ice webcam operated in Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska is part of a collaborative effort (lead by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and partners) to monitor and record changes in sea ice cover on the northern coast of Alaska.
  • Toolik Field Station GIS Data: The ToolikGIS program provides a stable platform for enhancing and expanding scientific, managerial, and administrative efforts at the Toolik Field Station (operated and managed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with support from the National Science Foundation) while acting as a key node in Arctic spatial-data services and distribution. ToolikGIS helps maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts ranging from individual projects to multi-agency initiatives all targeted at advancing knowledge and informing management of Arctic ecosystems.
  • U.S. National Ice Center: The U.S. National Ice Center is an interagency (NOAA, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy) operational center that provides snow- and ice-science products and services to meet the strategic, operational, and tactical requirements of U.S. government agencies and other institutions.
  • Water Quality Water Services Portal: The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is a cooperative service sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) that integrates publicly available water-quality data from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), the EPA STOrage and RETrieval (STORET) Data Warehouse, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Sustaining The Earth’s Watersheds – Agricultural Research Database System (STEWARDS).

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