31 Jul 2023
 | 31 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Developing the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System – SIOS

Hanne H. Christiansen, Lisa Baddeley, Clara J. M. Hoppe, Maarten J. J. E. Loonen, Rune Storvold, Vito Vitale, Agata Zaborska, Ilkka S. O. Matero, and Heikki Lihavainen

Abstract. We present an overview of the current gaps in knowledge and infrastructure based on an overall synthesis of all recommendations developed as the main outcome of the annual State of Environmental Science in Svalbard (SESS) reporting of the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS). Recommendations from the first four years of SESS reporting represent the point of view of the wide scientific community operating the large observing system implemented in Svalbard (SIOS) since 2018, and aim to identify the scientific potential to further develop the observing system. The recommendations are bottom-up inputs for a continuous process that aims to accomplish the vision and mission of SIOS: optimising, integrating and further developing the observing system in an Earth System Science (ESS) perspective. The primary outcome of the synthesis work is the evidence that ESS in SIOS has, during the first 4 years of operation, naturally developed from individual scientists or smaller groups of scientists to larger disciplinary international groups of scientists working together within the different environments (atmosphere, cryosphere, marine and terrestrial environments). It is clear that strategic efforts towards interdisciplinarity are necessary for operating fully at ESS scale in Svalbard. As Svalbard is experiencing the largest ongoing warming in the Arctic and worldwide, SIOS is in a unique position to perform a full-scale study of all processes impacting ESS dynamics and controlling the water cycle, using all parts of the SIOS observation network, with a large potential for increasing the understanding of key mechanisms in the Earth System. We also identify the potential to upscale Svalbard-based observations collected in SIOS to pan-Arctic scale, and to global scale, contributing to full scale ESS.

Hanne H. Christiansen et al.

Status: open (until 19 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2023-18', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Sep 2023 reply

Hanne H. Christiansen et al.

Hanne H. Christiansen et al.


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Short summary
We provide an overview into the state and future of Earth System Science in Svalbard as a synthesis of the recommendations made by the scientific community active in the archipelago. This work helped identify foci for developments of the observing system and a path forward to reach the full interdisciplinarity needed to operate at Earth System Science scale. Better understanding of the processes in Svalbard will benefit both process-level understanding and Earth System Models.