Overview . Operating Principles

Operating Principles (Revised May 2007)

1. OBJECTIVE

The objective of the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) is to establish and maintain a network of data buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological, sea ice and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes, including support to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme. The Programme will build upon cooperation among agencies and institutions with arctic interests.

2. PROGRAMME RESPONSIBILITIES

The IABP will:

2.1. Maintain an observational network over the Arctic Ocean using data buoys;

2.2. Distribute basic meteorological data (atmospheric pressure, air temperature) and buoy location from the network in real time over the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of the WMO and distribute relevant additional real-time data approved for public dissemination;

2.3. Ensure data from the network are archived;

2.4. Develop and distribute basic analyzed products;

2.5. Cooperate with and provide results of the Programme to the WCRP/SCAR International Programme for Antarctic Buoys and other related programmes; and

2.6. Promote the use of Programme data and products.

3. OBSERVATION PROGRAMME

3.1. Operational Area The operational area of the Programme will include the central Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas, excepting Exclusive Economic Zones where agreements of the Coastal States have not been obtained.

3.2. The IABP measurements include the following variables:

   3.2.1  Sea level pressure
   3.2.2  Surface air temperature
   3.2.3  Sea ice motion
   3.2.4  Snow depth
   3.2.5  Seal ice thickness
   3.2.6  Sea ice temperatures
   3.2.7  Ocean temperatures and salinities
   3.2.8  Ocean circulation

3.3. Additional variables, such as surface winds, atmospheric chemistry, longwave and shortwave radiation are also desirable and buoy deployment, data collection, analysis and dissemination from these instruments will be facilitated by the Programme.

3.4. Basic Network Density The Programme will strive to establish and maintain a well distributed network with observational points no more than 250 kilometers apart. As far as practical, buoys will be deployed to achieve and maintain this density over the operational area.

4. DATA ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION

4.1. Transmitters All buoys in the network should be equipped with transmitters to enable transmission of data in real-time (synoptic and asynoptic observation times) using satellite telemetry such as Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), and Iridium.

4.2. Global Telecommunication System Participants are responsible to code appropriate data and buoy location in approved WMO code(s) and required to distribute data onto the GTS in real-time (See item 2.2).

5. DATA ARCHIVING

5.1. Operational Archiving All data transmitted on the GTS will be archived by the Integrated Science Data Management (ISDM, formerly Marine Environmental Data Services) as the Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centre (RNODC) for Drifting Buoys of the Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the WMO.

5.2. Research Data Base A uniform, quality-controlled Programme data base has been established at the Polar Science Center, University of Washington for use by the research community, and is maintained by the Coordinator. Periodically these data will be submitted to World Data Centre A (Glaciology), World Data Centre B (Sea-Ice), and to ISDM.

6. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE

6.1. Participants Programme Participants can be operational agencies, meteorological and oceanographic institutes, research agencies, data centres, government and non-governmental organizations, and commercial services interested in the Arctic Ocean and contributing actively to the Programme. Participants will indicate their involvement in the Programme by means of a Letter of Intent.

  • On an annual basis, the Participants will review the membership to identify potential new Participants and to re-affirm the intent of existing Participants. Participants who chose not to re-affirm their participation will be deemed to have withdrawn.
  • Participants may withdraw from the Programme with a letter to the Chairman of the IABP.
  • A Participant who is unable to attend may designate a Participant to act as Proxy at an annual meeting by notifying the Chair in advance of the meeting.

6.2. Election of Programme Executives The Programme is coordinated by the Participants. The Participants will arrange for the implementation of the Programme within the framework of the Programme Objective.

On an annual basis, the Participants will elect a Chair and Vice Chair and appoint a Programme Coordinator. The Chair, Vice Chair, and two representatives elected from the Participants will form the Executive Committee. Elections will be held at annual meetings of the Participants and will be decided by a simple majority if a quorum of Participants is present. A quorum will consist of a simple majority of Participants. If a quorum is not present at the annual meeting of Participants, elections will be by unanimous vote.

A Participant who is unable to attend the annual meeting may register a proxy vote delivered by an attending Participant if such authority is signified in writing to the Chair.

6.3. Executive Committee The Executive Committee will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Programme within the guidelines set at the annual meeting of Participants. The Executive Committee will provide guidance and direction to the Coordinator.

6.4. Coordinator The Coordinator will act as the focal point for the Programme and will carry out the directives of the Executive Committee during intercessional periods. Specific responsibilities and duties of the Coordinator are contained in Appendix 1.

6.5. Funding Provisions The Programme will be self-sustaining, supported by contributions of equipment, services (such as communications, deployment, archiving, and scientific or technical advice), coordination, and monetary contributions. As necessary, the Participants will establish a budget to implement the Programme. Other funding arrangements made between the Participants will be recognized as contributions to the IABP if they further the Objective of the Programme.

6.6. Programme Review The management structure and operation of the Programme will be reviewed at the annual meeting of Participants. The operating principles and procedures will be reviewed and updated as necessary at the annual meeting.

7. MEETINGS

An annual meeting of the Participants will be held at a location to be determined by the Participants.

APPENDIX 1 to

The International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) Operating Principles

Terms of Reference for the Coordinator of the IABP

The Coordinator is appointed at the annual meeting of the Participants and is directed by the Executive Committee. The Coordinator's specific responsibilities are to:

  • Monitor and receive appropriate data from the buoy network and to prepare a monthly status report of buoys;
  • Stay informed of the activities of non-IABP Participants and other field operations and to make those data available, as possible;
  • Liaise with Principal Investigators and managers of individual buoy programmes in the Arctic Ocean;
  • Arrange for the maintenance of a research quality data base of ice motion and surface meteorological data, and to submit through the World Data Centre A (Glaciology) to World Data Centre B (Sea-Ice) and the RNODC/DB;
  • Develop a deployment strategy to maintain an optimum buoy network in the Arctic;
  • Identify and coordinate opportunities for buoy deployment;
  • Liaise on technical aspects of buoy deployment;
  • Prepare an annual summary of resources committed to the Programme;
  • Liaise, as needed, with the Technical Coordinator of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel to ensure that: a) the proper quality control of arctic data is maintained; and b) the data are distributed over GTS. Provide the Technical Coordinator with deployment information;
  • Arrange for the purchase of buoys and ancillary equipment, as authorized;
  • Arrange for the payment of CLS data acquisition and CLS processing fees, as authorized;
  • Prepare and distribute an annual data report;
  • Maintain a distribution list for monthly status reports and annual data reports;
  • Respond to requests from the international arctic science community for reports on arctic climatology, global change, and advice on experiment design;
  • Maintain a web page that promotes the IABP, provides access to the IABP datasets, and provides news and information to the Participants and general community;
  • Organize the annual meeting of Participants, present a report of the preceding year's activities, and prepare a plan for the following year; and
  • Promote the IABP so as to attract potential Participants.
NOTE:  Additional contractual duties of the Coordinator that may be required in the future will be approved through the Executive Committee.