Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)

11 October 2019 - 1 October 2020

Lead Scientist: Matthew Shupe

Observatory: amf, mos

Arctic climate change is amplified relative to global change and is embodied by a dramatic decline in the perennial sea-ice pack. These cryospheric transitions carry significant implications for regional resource development, geopolitics, and global climate patterns. Indeed the changing Arctic cryosphere is considered a grand challenge for global climate research. Arctic change, and its linkages with the global system, must be understood. In addition, there is a growing stakeholder community that expects improved sea-ice forecasting for many applications. To make progress on these important issues requires developing a detailed, process-level understanding of the coupled climate system that can help to address the numerous deficiencies in numerical model representations of the Arctic. Such an understanding is only possible by making targeted, interdisciplinary measurements within the central Arctic sea ice environment. The Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) initiative has been developed in response to these great challenges. It is comprised of three parts:

  1. An intensive, icebreaker-based observatory that will freeze in, and drift with, the Arctic sea ice for a full annual cycle making interdisciplinary measurements in the atmosphere, sea ice, upper ocean, and biosphere.
  2. A distributed network of targeted, autonomous measurements to characterize spatial variability on model grid-box scales
  3. Coordinated, multiscale analysis and modeling activities.

MOSAiC is a major, international effort that will require the modular participation of many different agencies and entities. DOE ARM user facility is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in this initiative by providing a comprehensive instrument suite to characterize the atmosphere and its interactions with the sea-ice surface. In support of MOSAIC, ARM will operate its second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2) and Mobile Aerosol Observing System at the central observatory as it drifts through the central Arctic for a 13-14-month campaign starting in September 2019. Sea ice is an integrator of energy fluxes in the coupled Arctic climate system; thus, atmosphere-ice-ocean processes impacting the flow of energy through this system in all seasons are the primary target of MOSAIC. The broader, collaborative MOSAIC initiative will allow for many inter-disciplinary studies along this theme. ARM’s involvement will target specific areas related to the atmosphere and atmosphere-surface interactions that are critically under-observed in the Arctic, are leading contributors to model uncertainties in the region, and are programmatically important to DOE research and modeling programs. The guiding science themes for this project include:

  1. Surface energy budget of sea ice
  2. Clouds and precipitation
  3. Aerosols
  4. Atmospheric boundary layer

Many fundamental issues concerning these themes are lacking in observational constraints, particularly in the Arctic winter and through consecutive seasons. For example, little is known about the energy budget of first-year sea ice, the annual cycle of central Arctic aerosol concentrations, the spatial organization of cloud-precipitation systems relative to sea-ice heterogeneity, the winter boundary layer evolution, or cloud-surface coupling processes over sea ice. The proposed ARM observations will be ground-breaking in many ways and will ultimately have a dramatic impact on the Arctic research community and its ability to represent coupled Arctic processes in numerical models.


Gijs de Boer Allison McComiskey David Turner
Klaus Dethloff Ola Persson Johannes Verlinde
Elizabeth Hunke David Randall
Wieslaw Maslowski Michael Tjernstrom


  • Child Campaign


Liu C, Q Yang, Z Gao, M Shupe, B Han, H Zhang, S Peng, X Xi, and D Chen. 2024. "The Role of Non‐Local Effects on Surface Sensible Heat Flux under Different Types of Thermal Structures over the Arctic Sea‐Ice Surface." Geophysical Research Letters, 51(4), e2023GL106753, 10.1029/2023GL106753.

Newsom R, G Gibler, K Gaustad, and D Zhang. 2024. Doppler Lidar Motion-Correction (DLMC) Value-Added Product Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-296. 10.2172/2318487.

Lonardi M, E Akansu, A Ehrlich, M Mazzola, C Pilz, M Shupe, H Siebert, and M Wendisch. 2024. "Tethered balloon-borne observations of thermal-infrared irradiance and cooling rate profiles in the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 24(3), 10.5194/acp-24-1961-2024.

Maahn M, D Moisseev, I Steinke, N Maherndl, and M Shupe. 2024. "Introducing the Video In Situ Snowfall Sensor (VISSS)." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 17(2), 10.5194/amt-17-899-2024.

Newsom R and G Gibler. 2024. Doppler Lidar Motion-Correction Wind Profiles (DLMCPROF-WIND) Value-Added Product Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-295. 10.2172/2301604.

Matrosov S. 2024. "Statistical Relations among Solid Precipitation, Atmospheric Moisture and Cloud Parameters in the Arctic." Atmosphere, 15(1), 10.3390/atmos15010132.
Research Highlight

Dorsey KS, CB Ireland, ME Mundy, RA Stafford, KK Palmer, MR Wasem, ME Prichard, JM Comstock, and I Silber. 2024. 2023 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Annual Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-23-047. 10.2172/2281709.

Nie Y, X Li, Q Paletta, M Aragon, A Scott, and A Brandt. 2024. "Open-source sky image datasets for solar forecasting with deep learning: A comprehensive survey." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 189, 113977, 10.1016/j.rser.2023.113977.


Wang D and MJ Bartholomew. 2023. Laser Disdrometer (LDIS) Instrument Handbook. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-137. 10.2172/1226796.

Akansu E, S Dahlke, H Siebert, and M Wendisch. 2023. "Evaluation of methods to determine the surface mixing layer height of the atmospheric boundary layer in the central Arctic during polar night and transition to polar day in cloudless and cloudy conditions." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 23(24), 10.5194/acp-23-15473-2023.

View All Related Publications

Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Jessie Creamean DRUM aerosol sampler Order Data
Thomas Hill Ice Spectrometer Order Data
Sergey Matrosov Snowfall Rate Estimates using Ka-Band Radar Measurements Order Data
Markus Rex Navigation/GPS Data Order Data
Matthew Shupe Measured/Derived Cloud Microphysical Properties Order Data

MOS Data Sources

Name Full Name Browse Data
AERI Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer Browse Data
AERINF AERI Noise Filtered Browse Data
AOP Aerosol Optical Properties Browse Data
AOS Aerosol Observing System Browse Data
AOSMET Meteorological Measurements associated with the Aerosol Observing System Browse Data
ARMBE ARM Best Estimate Data Products Browse Data
CAMSITE camera that monitors a site area Browse Data
CCN Cloud Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter Browse Data
CCNKAPPA CCN Counter derived hygroscopicity parameter kappa Browse Data
CEIL Ceilometer Browse Data
CEILPBLHT Boundary-layer height data with CEIL Browse Data
CLDTYPE Cloud Type Classification Browse Data
CO-ANALYZER Carbon Monoxide Analyzer Browse Data
CPC Condensation Particle Counter Browse Data
DL Doppler Lidar Browse Data
DLMC Doppler Lidar Mentor Corrected for Ship Motion Browse Data
DLMCPROF-WIND Doppler Lidar Motion Correction (DLMC) Wind Profiles Browse Data
GNDRAD Ground Radiometers on Stand for Upwelling Radiation Browse Data
HSRL High Spectral Resolution Lidar Browse Data
HTDMA Humidified Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer Browse Data
ICERAD Radiation instruments on ice Browse Data
INTERPSONDE Interpolated Sonde Browse Data
IRT Infrared Thermometer Browse Data
KASACR Ka-Band Scanning ARM Cloud Radar Browse Data
KAZR Ka ARM Zenith Radar Browse Data
KAZRARSCL Active Remote Sensing of CLouds (ARSCL) product using Ka-band ARM Zenith Radars Browse Data
KAZRCFRCOR Ka-Band ARM Zenith RADAR (KAZR) CF-Radial, Corrected VAP Browse Data
LDIS Laser Disdrometer Browse Data
MET Surface Meteorological Instrumentation Browse Data
MFR Multifilter Radiometer Browse Data
MPL Micropulse Lidar Browse Data
MPLCMASK Cloud mask from Micropulse Lidar Browse Data
MWACR Marine W-Band (95 GHz) ARM Cloud Radar Browse Data
MWACRARSCL Marine W-band ARM Cloud Radar, Active Remote Sensing of Clouds Browse Data
MWR Microwave Radiometer Browse Data
MWR3C Microwave Radiometer, 3 Channel Browse Data
MWRRET MWR Retrievals Browse Data
NAV Navigational Location and Attitude Browse Data
NEPHELOMETER Nephelometer Browse Data
OZONE Ozone Monitor Browse Data
PBLHT Planetary Boundary Layer Height Browse Data
PRP Portable Radiation Package Browse Data
PSAP Particle Soot Absorption Photometer Browse Data
RAIN Rain Gauge Browse Data
RWP Radar Wind Profiler Browse Data
SMPS Scanning mobility particle sizer Browse Data
SONDE Balloon-Borne Sounding System Browse Data
SP2 Single Particle Soot Photometer Browse Data
THERMOCLOUDPHASE Thermodynamic cloud phase Browse Data
TROPOE Tropospheric Optimal Estimation Retrieval Browse Data
TSI Total Sky Imager Browse Data
UHSAS Ultra-High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer Browse Data
VISST Minnis Cloud Products Using Visst Algorithm Browse Data
WB Weighing Bucket Precipitation Gauge Browse Data