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Real-time Ice Data and Ice Forecasts (RIDIF) for Canadian Coast Guard Operations in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago


The observatory in the eastern Northwest Passage, illustrated below, is designed to provide real-time water temperature, salinity, ocean currents and ice-cover information every two hours. This project will develop a second instrument node to provide real-time ice thickness data, with planned deployment in August 2014. Illustration: Stacy Osborne/Francis Kelly, DFO

Rapidly changing ice conditions in the Canadian Arctic—including a trend toward reduced summer sea-ice cover—has led to increased marine traffic and the prospect of regular commercial shipping through the Northwest Passage in the near future. To aid climate change adaptation of Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) operations in area, this project will deliver an on-line web tool that provides real-time sea-ice conditions and forecasts for the eastern Northwest Passage.

An ocean observatory off the south coast of Devon Island will provide data on ice thickness, ice drift, and current and water properties, which will be interpreted to provide forecasts of the timing of freeze-up and break-up. These products will enable the CCG to adapt and improve its client services, potentially reducing costs and risks. This project is a contribution to CONCEPTS — Canadian Operational Network of Coupled Environmental PredicTion Systems — a Government of Canada initiative to develop advanced atmosphere-ocean-ice prediction systems.

Program Name

Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP)


Central Canada: Lake Winnipeg, Nelson River Drainage Basin

Principal Investigator(s)

Jim Hamilton
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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