The Polar Data Forum (PDF) is a place where polar data holders get together and make more use of data. The Forum has two main components: the Conference, where the border between funding, policy and data is explored through presentations and posters; and Workshop Sessions & Hackathons, where the Polar Data Community opens the dialogue to make progress on their shared objectives.

Polar Data Forum IV

After a long period of uncertainty due to the current Covid-19 crisis, we are pleased to announce that Polar Data Forum IV(PDF IV) will be co-hosted by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) and the European Polar Board (EPB) and held online from September 20th to 24th, 2021. 

The meeting will be co-organized with regional partners including the Southern Ocean Observing System, Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management, the World Data System, EuroGOOS, and many other organizations engaged in polar data management.

Based on the activities and discussions from PDF III, and particularly, on a workshop focused on marine data, the focus of PDF IV will be put on the polar oceans. This also enables the Forum to be aligned with the launch of the UN Decade of Ocean Science and the 2nd Southern Ocean Regional Workshop which will be co-organised during the same week as PDF IV.

PDF IV will consist of a series of workshops and hackathons from September 20th to 22nd to build on the development work done during previous meetings, followed by a 2-day plenary conference to be held from September 23rd to 24th in support of information exchange.

Scientific Rationale

PDF IV is collocated and co-organised with the 2nd Southern Ocean Regional Workshop for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UNDOS). It therefore focuses on data management issues that can support UNDOS activities in the Southern Ocean, as well as broader polar data management issues. We acknowledge that the data needs for the Southern- and Arctic Ocean have many commonalities and many science organisations collect data at both ends of the world, so there is particular value in developing solutions that work for both the Arctic and Antarctic. 

At the 1st Southern Ocean Regional Workshop in San Diego, USA, in February 2020, and preparatory virtual workshops in autumn 2020 leading to the “Ocean Decade – Arctic Action Plan”  stakeholders identified priorities for the decade, many of which need input from data managers. The workshops, in particular, highlighted the need for better understanding of changes in The Polar Oceans species and food webs; sea ice; and biogeochemical cycling. It called for more capability in satellite and in-situ observing, as well as in modelling, which means stronger data management systems to support those observations and modelling projects. The workshops also highlighted the need for an observing system to be both international and multidisciplinary, so as to allow individual datasets to be used many times to answer different kinds of questions. 

Observations in the Polar Oceans are undertaken to serve both operational and scientific needs, across both oceanographic and polar programs, so the resulting data systems must be capable of addressing the needs from all these communities l. Collocating PDF IV and the 2nd Southern Ocean Regional Workshop provides an opportunity to better align data management activities by polar communities and to work directly with Southern Ocean scientists as both providers and users of Southern Ocean data.

For more info and registration click here.

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