Predicting Sea Ice Changes in Advance

December 11, 2015 — BOULDER – Climate scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) present evidence in a new study that they can predict whether the Arctic sea ice that forms in the winter will grow, shrink, or hold its own over the next several years.

The team of scientists has found that changes in the North Atlantic ocean circulation could allow overall winter sea ice extent to remain steady in the near future, with continued loss in some regions balanced by possible growth in others, including in the Barents Sea.
“We know that over the long term, winter sea ice will continue to retreat,” said NCAR scientist Stephen Yeager, lead author of the study published online today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. “But we are predicting that the rate will taper off for several years in the future before resuming. We are not implying some kind of recovery from the effects of human-caused global warming; it’s really just a slow down in winter sea ice loss.”
The research was funded largely by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor, with additional support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Yeager is among a growing number of scientists trying to predict how the climate may change over a few years to a few decades, instead of the more typical span of many decades or even centuries. This type of “decadal prediction” provides information over a timeframe that is useful for policy makers, regional stakeholders, and others.
Decadal prediction relies on the idea that some natural variations in the climate system, such as changes in the strength of ocean currents, unfold predictably over several years. At times, their impacts can overwhelm the general warming trend caused by greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by humans.
Yeager’s past work in this area has focused on decadal prediction of sea surface temperatures. A number of recent studies linking changes in the North Atlantic ocean circulation to sea ice extent led Yeager to think that it would also be possible to make decadal predictions for Arctic winter sea ice cover using the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model.

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DC Startup Innovators


By Melanie D.G. Kaplan 2015 Issue 4 Trajectory Magazine

Mapbox is one of Washington’s fastest-growing geospatial companies. This summer, the company closed on $52 million of venture capital backing and now has more than 100 employees, 30 of whom are based in D.C. But locating the Mapbox office isn’t easy. It sits in an alley north of Logan Circle on the backside of bustling 14th Street, where employees go for freshly brewed filter-drip coffees at Peregrine and local beer at Batch 13.

Inside the former auto shop, dozens of bicycles compete for space on wall hooks, bare bulbs hang from the ceiling, and Herman Miller chairs roll around the concrete floor, catching occasionally on a manhole cover. The office is uncannily quiet as workers communicate through GitHub and Slack, standing or sitting at desks and tapping away on MacBook Pros.

The five-year-old, open-source startup builds maps for developers, including Foursquare and Pinterest, and recently partnered with MapQuest in an effort to overhaul the navigation company’s branding and product. Although the commercial market primarily drives the company, the value of its proximity to the federal government is significant.

“We’re working with federal agencies that are tackling some of the toughest and most complex geo problems in the world, like NGA mapping West Africa’s Ebola epidemic in real time or the U.S. Geological Survey finding better ways to serve terabytes of open imagery data,” said Matt Irwin, Mapbox’s government and humanitarian lead. “It’s a ton of fun to have someone from the government approach you and say, ‘We’re trying to solve X.’ These are massively compelling problems.”

– See more at: Startup Innovators




USGIF GEOINT Community Job Fair (Jan. 11, Herndon, VA)

Jan 11, 2016 10:00am – Jan 11, 2016 04:00pm
Event Type: Workshop
Category: Technical Workshop



USGIF Job Fair


This event is free for job seekers to find the employers that match their skills and dedication to the Defense, Intelligence, and Homeland Security communities.

Hyatt Dulles

2300 Dulles Corner Blvd

Herndon, VA 20171


GIS MOOC Roundup

From GIS Lounge

GIS MOOC Roundup

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ISIS Is Likely Responsible for Nearly 1,000 Civilian Deaths Outside Iraq and Syria

New York Times

UPDATED Nov. 17, 2015

Recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet have focused the West’s attention on the Islamic State’s civilian toll outside Iraq and Syria.

But the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has a history of attacking mosques, hotels, busy city streets and other civilian targets in mostly non-Western countries. If the Islamic State is responsible for the Paris killings and the explosion of the Russian plane, as officials on both sides of the Atlantic seem to believe, the civilian death toll outside Iraq and Syria would rise to nearly 1,000 since January.

Continue reading ISIS Is Likely Responsible for Nearly 1,000 Civilian Deaths Outside Iraq and Syria

Study Incorporates Ecological Processes Into Earth System Models to Improve Climate Change Predictions

Sensors & Systems

Written by Virginia TechPublished: 23 November 2015- See more at:

VTech Project

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 11, 2015 – A professor in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment ( is launching a new project to enable scientists to look many decades ahead and predict the effectiveness of land management practices in agriculture and forestry to mitigate climate change.

“The project is focused on predicting how forest and agriculture management can be used to meet demands for food and fiber while having positive benefits on climate,” said Quinn Thomas (, assistant professor of forest dynamics and ecosystem modeling in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (

Thomas is leading the $2.6 million, five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Research partners include geophysical and biological scientists from multiple institutions.

Continue reading Study Incorporates Ecological Processes Into Earth System Models to Improve Climate Change Predictions