Arctic Council chairmanship

During Finland's two-year-long chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the Finnish Meteorological Institute wants to raise awareness of Finland's current knowledge and experience of the Arctic region, its special characteristics, its challenges, and the dramatic climate change currently taking place there.

Climate change is clearly taking place faster in the Arctic region than anywhere else. With climate change, travel, shipping and the utilisation of natural resources will also increase in the Arctic region, which will increase the demand for both observational data on the Arctic environment and services.

Finland is one of the world's most northern societies with permanent settlements, so challenging natural conditions are familiar to Finns. In order to enable the society to run its operations efficiently despite the snow and freezing temperatures, there is a need for weather observations, research and services to allow different actors to prepare for weather fluctuations. The Finnish Meteorological Institute focuses on improving the smooth and safe functioning of society using new information and communication technologies. This expertise will be needed in the future at ever higher latitudes.

Meteorological co-operation in a nutshell

WMO received an observer status in Arctic Council (AC) in March 2017 to strengthen the cooperation with the AC by
introducing an Earth system science approach.
Finland has taken a lead role through the priority Meteorological collaboration:
  • FMI's Action Plan for the priority Meteorological collaboration
  • FMI Arctic Science Networking Workshop 8/2017 produced a Message from scientists: 
    1. Need for developing a sustained monitoring network in the Arctic
    2. Providing support to understanding the climate change
    3. Improve data sharing and better use of existing data for e.g. weather, climate, ice and ocean modeling.
  • FMI Arctic Meteorology Summit 3/2018 Key findings:
    1. Meteorology is an elemental part of international collaboration in the Arctic 
    2. We must intensify data sharing, including indigenous and local knowledge, and find innovative solutions 
    3. Comprehensive monitoring network of the atmosphere, cryosphere and oceans is a necessity in the Arctic. It is time to invest in High Elliptical Orbit (HEO) satellites.
  • SAO resolution 3/2018: meteorology is elemental for AC and its permanent working groups
  • "Connecting Meteorology and Indigenous Knowledge" is a FMI side event of the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting (Rovaniemi, Finland)  in  May 7, 2019.
    Arctic indigenous peoples have always been dependent on knowing and the weather, sea, ice and snow are elemental for hunting, fishing, surviving.  
    Meteorology can be strengthened by including IK more than before: we want to get to know IK and its potential in arctic meteorology, and the service needs of indigenous people.

What next?

  • Ministerial Declaration 5/2019 in preparation: Meteorology will be a vital part of Arctic Council activities from now on. 
  • As an observer in the Arctic Council, WMO is dynamic and brings the expertise of its 191 member institutions for use of all AC Working Groups.
  • Iceland and Russia have a strong interest to continue developing meteorological collaboration during their presidency (Iceland 2019-2021, Russia 2021-2023).

More information

FMI Arctic Research

Meteorology's role in Arctic cooperation confirmed in Levi (3.5.2018)

The Finnish Meteorological Institute´s action plan for Finland´s chairmanships of the Arctic Council 2017 - 2019 pdf

Exploring Common Solutions in Arctic Meteorology - Message from the Scientists pdf

Meteorological Cooperation in the Arctic pdf

Findings of the Arctic Meteorology  Summit 2018 pdf