An Exciting Week For Arctic Passion In Tokyo

by Michael Karcher | Published: 12-Dec-23 | Last updated: 07-Dec-23 | Tags : event oceans | category: NEWS

Between November 14th and 18th several of Arctic PASSIONers have been participating in a series of three meetings happening in Tokyo, Japan, all of which had a high relevance for the future Arctic Ocean Observing activities.

G7 FSOI meeting

The G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (G7 FSOI) unites marine scientists and representatives from government agencies and ministries across the G7 nations and the European Commissions. Its purpose is to enhance the global ocean observing system. Since 2022 the chair nation of the G7, currently Japan, can identify an 'Emerging Issue' and for 2023 Japan had chosen 'Arctic Observing Capabilities'. Takashi Kikuchi, our partner from Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), leads a working group on the Arctic topic in the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative, which is populated by experts from the G7 nations and the EU. Jeremy Wilkinson from British Antarctic Survey and Michael Karcher from Alfred-Wegener-Institute, were the experts from the UK and Germany, respectively. Based on the recommendations and priorities presented by the expert group, the G7 FSOI National Focal Points decided to keep 'Arctic Observing Capabilities' as a priority topic for the coming year. As a main activity of this expert group, G7 FSOI will encourage the Arctic Global Ocean Observing System Regional Alliance (GRA) taks team to continue its efforts in coordinating Arctic Ocean research and monitoring on a pan-Arctic scale and request regular updates for consideration and consultation in 2024.  

There will be a special session at the Arctic Observing Summit in Edinburgh that will discuss the way forward to an Arctic Ocean regional alliance as an open community effort in a workshop on 2nd March 2024 1330-1600 'Towards a Regional Alliance for the Arctic'.

National and EU delegates at the G7 FSOI meeting at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan in Tokyo, 14-16 November 2023. Japan is the current Chair of the G7. Photo Credit: MEXT

Pacific Arctic Group fall meeting

The second important meeting which took place in Tokyo that week, was the fall meeting of the Pacific Arctic Group, visited by several Arctic PASSION partners. The Pacific Arctic Group is the leading organisational structure that runs the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO), a pioneering concept for an internationally coordinated comprehensive marine observing network for climate and environment. Arctic PASSION currently builds a DBO in Atlantic-Arctic region (A-DBO) to cover the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean - one of the key gateway areas of the Arctic, currently experiencing rapid environmental, climate and ecosystem changes. Two more DBOs are currently under development: the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait DBO, and the East Siberian Sea DBO, all of these will together form a pan-arctic collaborative observatory network. The meeting offered a great opportunity to exchange updates on the recent and planned expeditions in the area as well as getting an overview on upcoming research results.

Participants at the PAG Fall meeting in Tokyo Japan, 15 and 16 November 2023. Photo Credit: JAMSTEC

1st International Workshop on Arctic Ocean Observation - Future Collaboration by Research Vessels and Icebreakers

Finally, the week ended with a two day workshop on future international collaboration by research vessels and icebreakers in the Arctic Ocean, organized by our Arctic PASSION partners at JAMSTEC. The workshop offered an opportunity to share and discuss the 'needs and seeds of policy, science, and other topics related to the Arctic region, as well as to consider how Japan's new Arctic research vessel can be utilized as an international research platform'. The speakers and participants covered fields from research to policy and Arctic ship operating practitioners and presented overviews on planned Arctic Ocean expeditions for the coming years, ideas and recommendations for future collaboration and discussed the concepts of use for the new Japanese Research Icebreaker. More textual and visual information from the workshop can be found on the JAMESTEC website.

Group Photo of the JAMSTEC workshop participants including Arctic PASSION partners Takashi Kukuchi (JAMSTEC), Jackie Grebmeier (UMCES), Nuncio Murukesh and Manish Tiwari (NCPOR), Arild Sundjord (NPI), Jeremy Wilkinson (BAS), Tetsuo sueyoshi (NIPR)  and  Michael Karcher (AWI). Photo Credit: JAMSTEC

Workshop discussions and panel at the meeting. Photo credit: JAMSTEC