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Station on Svalbard. Photo: Ketil Isaksen, MET

Our work in the High North

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has a special responsibility to monitor and forecast weather in the High North.

In the current geopolitical situation the High North is of increasing significance, and we are helping to safeguard the national interests in the area. More people and increased traffic in the polar seas put lives and property at risk. Daily ice charts from MET safeguard activity in the Arctic.

The daily updated maps are used by those involved in shipping and transportation, the oil industry, research and tourism. In specific situations, the police, military and insurance companies also need ice charts. 

The maps show not only where there is ice, but also information about sea temperatures, virtually in real time. The ice charts have been produced regularly for fifty years, but both the data and the product have changed considerably. We have had access to satellite images since 1970, but today the quality is considerably better and the quantity of data much larger. The long series is however extremely valuable in a climate context. 

The forecasting service

The forecasting service in the High North is extensive and ranges from forecasting the extent and thickness of the ice, to warning of icing on vessels. Since 2015 the Norwegian Meteorological Institute together with the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre and the Institute of Marine Research, have had the responsibility of monitoring and measuring the ocean and sea ice conditions in the High North and the Arctic, including plankton blooms in the project CMEMS. Another project we contribute to is the Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT). 

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute contributes to several research projects focusing on the High North and the Arctic. 

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute is a member of FRAM - The High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment.