ASOF stands for Arctic and Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: ASOF is an international program on the oceanography of the Arctic and Subarctic seas and their role in climate. ASOF focuses on ocean fluxes of mass, heat, freshwater, and ice in the Arctic and Subarctic oceans.

The overarching science issues driving ASOF are:

  • What are the fluxes of mass, heat, liquid freshwater and ice from the Arctic Ocean into the subpolar North Atlantic?
  • What are the terms in the budgets of mass, heat, liquid freshwater and ice for the Arctic and subpolar North Atlantic Oceans, and how are they changing with time?
  • How will anticipated changes in Arctic freshwater efflux impact the MOC?
  • What impacts do the changing Arctic and subarctic physical environment have on ecosystems?
  • How can ocean circulation, sea ice, and climate models be improved through issues 1 and 2, and how can these models help address them?

ASOF recognizes that the scientific questions it addresses are of decadal scale and require stamina to maintain the observing array that exceeds the regular funding cycles and attention spans of research agencies. This statement was true in 2000 when ASOF began, and remains true today. On-going synthesis of the physical measurements across the whole ASOF region is an essential component of this activity. Science issues 1 and 2 deal with this issue.

ASOF also recognizes that applying the knowledge that already exists, and is still accumulating, is critical to leverage the success of the initial phase and broaden the scope of the program. Engaging climate dynamicists, high-latitude ecosystems researchers, and high-latitude modelers in science issues 3-5 will deliver this goal of applying the discoveries of the ASOF program. These synthesis are impossible without international coordination.

More about this initiative:

Upcoming meeting:

24-26 April 2019, ASOF meeting, Copenhagen (DK)

This event is co-organised by ASOF and Blue-Action and it is linked to the Blue-Action deliverable D6.2. The event is co-sponsored by Blue-Action and CliC. Contributions to the following focus topics:

  1. Representativeness of ocean observations: A recurring issue in the analysis and interpretation of observational data, as well in the use of these data for model validation and data assimilation, is how their representativeness in space and time are dealt with. This issue is of particular relevance for in-situ data such as oceanic measurements from profiling devices or time series data from mooring locations. We would particularly welcome submissions dealing with questions related to representativeness and uncertainties in observations, what these mean for the observational analysis as well as the usefulness of the data in modelling, and ways forward in resolving those issues in particular in regions of sparse data coverage.
  2. Flux calculations: We would like to discuss the problems related to the usefulness/ambiguity of heat- and freshwaterflux calculations across single gateways. Can we agree on a wayforward? 

For further information please contact Michael Karcher, ASOF scientific coordinator at AWI: michael.karcher@we dont want


Blue-Action contributed to

25-27 April 2018, 16th ASOF-ISSG Meeting and Workshop, LOCEAN, Sorbonne Université, Paris (FR)

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