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various graphics depicting temperature and sea ice for the Arctic and Antarctic at different times of year

Polar Amplification of Climate Change Across Hemispheres and Seasons: Causes and Constraints Workshop

Boulder, CO and online

Bringing together Arctic and Antarctic scientific communities to elucidate the asymmetries in the polar responses to anthropogenic climate change and identify actions to reduce projection uncertainties. 



Observations show the recent, rapid, and in many cases, unprecedented changes that are occurring in the Arctic are outpacing the rest of the globe. The Antarctic, on the other hand, has until recently, been changing more slowly than anywhere else. This polar warming asymmetry has perplexed the scientific community, and models generally struggle to simulate this feature of the polar climate. For instance, observations indicate a faster rate of Arctic warming than most models predict but a slower rate of Antarctic warming. In addition to the hemispheric asymmetry, analysis of seasonal asymmetry—the greater warming during winter and the lengthening period of ice-free conditions—offers opportunities to understand the underlying mechanisms of polar climate change and to probe the factors that contribute to hemispheric asymmetries and the evolution of polar warming with increased forcing.

Understanding the polar climate system and narrowing the range in predictions of the future polar climate state is an urgent scientific and societal concern. No matter where on Earth we live, we are connected to the polar regions. The connection is forged by the polar region’s fundamental role in the global ecology, economy, and physical climate system. Changes in polar ice conditions and the polar energy budget have ripple effects with a global reach, influencing global sea level, the global energy budget, the carbon cycle, and atmospheric and oceanic circulations.



The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers studying Arctic and Antarctic climate change from observational and modeling perspectives (ranging from paleoclimate to climate change projections) to cross-pollinate and forge new collaborations that accelerate our understanding of polar amplification. 

The objectives of the proposed workshop are to: 

  1. identify knowledge gaps and deficiencies in model diagnostics that limit our understanding of climate change in both polar regions; 
  2. prioritize these knowledge gaps as areas for future research; 
  3. identify strategies, tactics, and data needs (e.g., process studies, collaborative modeling activities, satellite missions) to address the identified knowledge gaps; 
  4. identify candidate observational emergent constraints on key polar amplification  processes; and 
  5. identify steps for enhancing community collaboration. 

A unique aspect of this workshop is the focus on the seasonally resolved processes that also relate to the asymmetries between Arctic and Antarctic amplification. As indicated by the results of previous Arctic and polar amplification workshops, expanding our focus beyond the atmospheric response to the oceanic response and sea ice loss is required to understand polar amplification more fully and reduce the inter-model spread in projections.


Target Participants 

Polar amplification results from the coupled interactions of the sea ice, land ice, ocean, and atmosphere. As such, participation is needed across this broad range of scientific disciplines and especially scientists interested in understanding the interaction between these subcomponents of the polar climate system. We seek participation from scientists studying the evolution of sea ice properties and their radiative impacts on polar climate, the role of land ice melt and freshwater inputs into the polar oceans, the influence of atmospheric variability (including moisture intrusions, atmospheric rivers, and cyclones) on polar surface climate, and the role of atmospheric and oceanic heat transport and ocean heat uptake within the polar climate systems. Modeling, observational, and remote sensing perspectives are all welcome. 

We anticipate 100 in-person and another 80 virtual participants. Participants can include those already working on polar amplification and scientists that wish to apply their expertise within this area. Student, postdoc, and early-career scientist participation is highly encouraged, and international participation is desired. Limited travel support is available for students, early career scientists (within 10 years of last degree), and scientists from underrepresented races/ethnicities. A short application form will be provided during registration.


Workshop Format

This 2.5 day workshop will focus on facilitating discussions to identify priorities and develop strategies for better understanding and predicting polar climate change. It will include a mix of plenary sessions, poster sessions, and breakout discussion sessions. 

This workshop will be hybrid, with in-person and virtual participation available.



The deliverables of this workshop include:

  • A workshop report to US CLIVAR summarizing the outcomes of each session and the content of the breakout discussions. 
  • An edition of US CLIVAR Variations highlighting work presented at the workshop and summarizing recommendations
  • Workshop outcomes presentation to IARPC Collaboration teams
  • A meeting summary to be submitted to BAMS


Scientific Organizing Committee

Patrick C. Taylor (co-chair, NASA Langley Research Center)
Nicole Feldl (co-chair, University of California, Santa Cruz)
Kyle Armour (University of Washington)
Lily Hahn (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
Sergio Sejas (ADNET/NASA Langley Research Center)
Gijs de Boer (University of Colorado, NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory)
Marilyn Raphael (University of California Los Angeles)
An Nguyen (University of Texas at Austin)


Program Organizing Committee

Alyssa Johnson, US CLIVAR
Mike Patterson, US CLIVAR
Shelley Raburn, UCAR CPAESS


Workshop Sponsors

Sponsor logos

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the US CLIVAR Program. These values will be reflected through the planning and execution of the workshop.

Registration Fees

General Registration: $200  
Early Career/Students*: $100  
Participants from Underrepresented Racial and/or Ethnic Groups*: $100  
Fees are the same for in-person and virtual participants

*Early Career is within 10 years since last degree. Underrepresented Racial and/or Ethnic groups in the US include American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Middle Eastern or North African, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.


Registration is now closed

Travel support requests registration deadline: December 1
In-person registration deadline: December 29
Virtual registration deadline: January 10

Abstract Submission & Application

Abstract submission for oral presentations is closed
Abstracts submission for posters closes December 15