Welcome to ASOF

ASOF is an international program on the oceanography of the Arctic and Subarctic seas and their role in climate. ASOF focusses on ocean fluxes of mass, heat, freshwater, and ice in the Arctic and Subarctic oceans.

The program was established in 2000 and the first phase from 2000 - 2008 coordinated novel measurements in novel places in order to produce a basiline freshwater flux budget for Arctic inflows and outflows. The first ASOF phase had the overall goal to measure and model the variability of fluxe between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean with the view to implementing a longer term system of critical measurements needed  to understand the high-latitude ocean's steeming role in decadal climate variability.

In 2008 the ASOF book was published entitled "Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate" summarizing the state of the science at that time (available here).

Since 2008, ASOF has entered a second phase: ASOF II. Bob Dickson, the inspiration behind ASOF and the first Scientific Coordinator, stepped down and was replaced by Tom Haine. ASOF II still has a focus on fluxes, but now has a charge to apply the knowledge gained during the first phase to broader issues of high scientific and societal importance. In particular, ASOF II foci are:

  • To perform an Arctic/Subarctic synthesis of mass, heat & freshwater fluxes,
  • To interact with scientists and programs studying Arctic/Subarctic ocean ecosystems and biology,
  • To assist testing of ocean circulation and biophysical models of the Arctic and Subarctic.

See more details at ASOF II objectives.

ASOF has been sponsored by 16 agencies and institutes in 7 countries in the past. Currently, AWI is supporting ASOF II. ASOF II consists of an International Scientific Steering Group which meets annually to discuss progress and plans. Please contact Michael Karcher if you would like to attend the next meeting or become involved in the ISSG.

Next date for ASOF meetings in spring 2022

9-11 May 2022: 

ASOF meeting on Iceland at MFRI in Hafnarfjörður

For the spring meeting in Iceland we will have a thematic focus on the connection of ASOF research to the research on changing marine food webs of the Arctic and Subarctic plus the potential impact on fisheries, in addition to our classic ASOF topics. We will reach out to programs and research teams to particularly encourage contributions to this thematic focus. Stay tuned for more information later this year.In case you ware not yet receiving announcements for the ASOF meetings to your email address, please ask lilian.schubert@awi.de for being listed.


Scientific Coordinator:
Michael Karcher

Administrative Support:
Lilian Schubert

ASOF Meeting 2021

Next dates for ASOF meetings in autumn 2021 and spring 2022:

21/22 October 2021: 

ASOF-online meeting (on all themes relevant for ASOF)

For 21/22 October 2021 we will offer 2 x 5 hrs and schedule for 25 min per talk. This will allow us to have about 20 talks in total, including some breaks.Authors/presenters please submit your title and abstract until June 11th 2021. As you see we have a limited number of slots, in case we have more applications than we can manage we will run a first come-first served scheme (Please accept that in case of more than one submission from the same working group we might give #2ff a lower priority). 

We open the floor for all ASOF related topics, but like to particularly encourage early career scientists to submit their work (not their supervisors please ;-) ).

Please send your submission to Lilian.Schubert@awi.de, including title and a short abstract.

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